Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Evil is, as Evil Does

So I love my friends, LOVE THEM. But it doesn't stop me from joining in on an evil plan to thwart one of them when an awesome plan is suggested. I don't want to divulge my crime, but let me just say, latex and hot air was involved. Hee, hee, I wish I could be a fly on the wall when our looner crime is discovered.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Urban Eats

Serendipity and hunger collided tonight. I stopped and had dinner at Urban Eats ( ) at 3301 Meramec (yes it is just east of Grand). What makes this fall in the Serendipity catagory is that this awesome little eatery is just a few blocks from my home. I have driven by the place several times in the last couple of months and said to myself and whomever I was with, "I want to eat there, but they are never open." Tonight on my way to some undecided eatery on Grand, the open light was on and after an unauthorized u-turn on Meramec, I was there.

Urban Eats is the sort of place everybody wishes was in their neighborhood. It is clean, bright, and has that special exotic smell of spices and fresh coffee that sucks me in every time. At first I thought that I had made a mistake, it was the unknown menu with the smiling server trying to help me decide what I wanted which made me nervous. I hate high pressure ordering. But once I took a deep breath and listened to John (owner and chef), it became clear that the u-turn was worth it.

The cafe is like an upscale panera location. They give you the option of breads (panini, wrap, or flat bread), protein (veggie, turkey, chicken, or Italian meats), and extras (spreads, sauces, more veggies, and of course cheese). The only thing that costs extra is if you want bacon. I ordered a flatbread pizza with Italian meats and mozzarella. I knew as soon as the plate sidled down in front of me it was gonna be good. The thought just kept running through my brain, "I could, nom, walk here, nom nom, from my house."

Fellow knitters and other friends be prepared I am going to try and make you eat here soon. It was really tasty and did I mention in my not so upscale neighborhood. And my pocketbook was in fact not so distressed by the time dinner was over. I paid for two flatbread pizzas, an ice tea, and a smoothy all for under $17. My smoothy drinking companion was so very busy slurping down her banana / strawberry concoction that she didn't even look up to tell me how good it was. I had to get this info on the way home.

While there I meet 3 of my neighbors and the owners Kya and John. It was like hanging out with old friends. John and Kya delighted me with their insistence that this venture was not to make money, but to improve the business community in Dutchtown and by doing so improving the neighborhood as a whole. I thought thank you Urban Eats and don't worry I will be back.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Casting Spells

OK I am over the holidays. Instead I want to mention what I am reading. At the library (where I work) I found this silly book by Barbara Bretton called Casting Spells ( It is a paranormal mystery, knitting, romance novel. The fairies, shape shifters, and sorceresses all knit. The heroine has her own LYS called Sticks and Strings and magically while there you always get gauge and never drop a stitch. She also has a never ending supply of roving to spin with. It is all very...well...disneyesque. I wish it was a little better written, it is a little clunky around the edges, but I love the idea of the story. To be a witch, with a specialty in yarn. There is a little yearning on my part at that idea.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Smart People

I am not the person that thinks up clever things like this, but I feel the need to share. My girlfriend is so smart she told me the other day that she had 5 projects that were SOS, but 2 more that were NOSY. I was like what? She explained she had 5 project that were Still On Sticks, and 2 she had the yarn for, but Not On Sticks Yet. Maybe she made this up maybe not, but to me she seemed damn near genius.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


I have been sick the last two days. Nothing inspires a person to get well again more than daytime television. It really is awful. I don't know which is worse, the overwhelming amount of personal injury lawyer commercials or the ITT tech commercials. I am all about improving one's self, but do I really think a career in medical records will turn my life around? Maybe, but not without some work on my own core issues.

Okay enough with the pitiful, I finished putting all the buttons on my fidgets and they look so cute. I had some of the Dyebolical Yarns ( ) pencil roving left over so I knit headbands to match two of the fidgets. I still had a little yarn left over so I knit the Chernobyl and the Mermaid together in a swatch. In a fit of creativity, I bunched up the center and tied it to one of headbands so it looks like a bow on the headband. It is very cute. The pencil roving was a lot of fun to work with. I wish everything knit up that quick.

Friday, December 5, 2008

fidgits galore

I have been knitting fidgits out of Dyeabolical Yarns pencil roving. I have finished 4. 2 in a colorway I have been calling Mermaid and 2 in a color I have been calling Chernobol. I wish I could show off with some photos but alas still in the weeds with my computer. The fidgit pattern was so much fun to knit. I loved the pattern so much I knit one for me. The rest are "the holiday knitting" I am so desperate to get done. Fidgit pattern (

Monday, December 1, 2008


I feel so bad. I have three projects on the needles right now. I feel so loose and uncontrolled. I also really don't like doing this I feel so tawdry. The problem is that I am deep in holiday knitting right now. I have projects I can't work on with certain people. This means I am constantly shifting projects. Again it makes me feel so unfaithful. But soon the holidays will be over and I can knit something beautiful and monogamously for myself.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I have been jinxed. I had a flat tire on my 6 week old tires. I spilt 32 oz. of tea on my kitchen floor as I was leaving for work. I had atm "issues" today, which ended with me punching the atm. I feel like someone has hexed me! If you have hexed me, please remove it. I am suffering here. You have accomplished your goal, and the bonus round is that the tire cost money I did not have. And tomorrow I get to spend the day with my brother. Oh joy, I am hoping each of us grit our teeth and put aside our usual animosity. Wish me luck.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Again No Pics

I wish I could post photos of how awesome the socks I knitted look with my Nike mary janes today. Despite all the problems and errors I am feeling fairly stoked with pride everytime I look down and see the blue and green stripes on my feet. Of course if someone even glances at me I am like, "Hey, did you see the socks I knitted?" I am sure by the end of the day my co-irkers are going to hate hearing it. Too bad!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I finally, after a year, finished my first pair of socks. I would like to jump and trumpet with pride at my success, but I will just say "yay" instead. The second sock was a different gauge from the first. The first was actually too slouchy on my foot, so the second one is smaller. And tragedy of tragedies as I was sealing up the toe I dropped two stitches. And of course they were the decrease stitches. And did I mention how much I hated the cotton blend yarn I picked out for the socks. Yikes, it was a mess. But D for done and onward to better socks and of course my holiday knitting.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


My beloved Penelope (what I call my computer) is so broken. I keep getting multiply error messages followed by the blue screen of death. It sucks. I keep trying to remove the bugs that are causing the problem, but tenaciously I can't remove the smut. Again it sucks. I am going to hand over my dear Penelope to a friend who may be able to clean her up and save her hard drive. In the meantime, I wonder what I did before the Internet. I think of things I want to block about, like the sock I will finish knitting tonight. Or the recent Bread Company Tour I did of the St Louis area. But alas, I am at work (LIBRARY HELL). Again I say it sucks.

Monday, November 3, 2008


My computer is sick, it keeps giving me the blue screen of death. In other words I am having technical difficulties and can only post at work. Not the best scenario. Be patient situation will improve soon.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Strike a Pose

One day I found myself with a little time before I was suppose to meet some friends at Dewey's Pizza in Kirkwood. Rather than hang out in front of the restaurant, like a pizza junkie waiting for a fix, I walked down the block to the Kirkwood Public Library and decided to look at their knitting book selection. I found a whole cache of bound Vogue Knitting Magazines from the 1990s. I fondled the periodicals, but did not have the leisure to thumb through them and see what treasures of knitting gems awaited me between the covers. Fast forward about four months and lo there I was with the time to do just that. I gathered the stack up and found a sunny alcove and began the loving look through the pages.
I found 5 that I needed to get to know better, with my municipal library card I borrowed these babies. After two weeks with the VKs I decided, it is a good thing the nineties are over. There were some horrid fun fur sweaters and plaid, machine knitted suits that needed to die an early death sandwiched between the covers. The southwest themed sweaters only lacked the howling coyote, to truly be awful. But I also found some articles that I really enjoyed.The article with a very young Lily Chin, sporting a flip was particularly inspiring. She talks about learning to knit and then learning to rebel against all the rules of knitting. She reminded me of one of my knitting mentors, which of course made me spend some time at Office Max today making copies of selected articles for said mentor.

Despite some awful designs, some are as beautiful today as they were when first published. Timeless, would be the word for the above Lily Chin original. I love the soft, prettiness of the yarn and how it works with the cables. Of course, I have yet to knit anything out of a VK, my skill level is just not there yet. One day I hope to knit something just as beautiful from VK, one day.
I also liked the articles about chenille yarns, the Shetland Islands, and the article about knitting and literature was very charming. The journalist points out that in the story, "Breakfast at Tiffany's" Holly Golightly does not knit, her roommate does. Hmmm, Hollywood take liberties, never. All in all I have enjoyed my time with these magazines. It is going to be hard to return them.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Et tu...

In the shortest post of my blog I will say with umbrage, ET TU SUGAR'N CREAM? There is nothing I hate more than merrily knitting along and finding a knot. Especially when it is so unexpected.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Nashville, Part Deux

So last week in the life and times of the knitting obsessed, our two heroines took themselves to the land of Opry to bask in the presence of the Mason-Dixon Knits twosome. You heard the gushy, gush about how fabulous it was and how I was on their national blog, blah-blah stuff. So famous knitters aside. I had a great trip with my beloved Cuz. Above she is showing off her almost finished shawl to some super nice knitters from eastern Tennessee.
I can't remember this lady's name, but she was working on some socks. She scooted right over to make room for the us while we waited for the room set aside for our group.
The talented Tara ( was also working on these socks for her husband. They are Seminole football fans and she wanted to knit her hubby some Nole socks. Okay that is not was is so astounding about these socks, cause I could care less about football. She dyed the socks herself and even mixed the dye from her own kool-aid recipe. These colors very vibrant and were striping up like a dream. It is funny beloved Cuz and I used the same yarn and kool-aid, we even followed the same directions. Trust me our yarn did not come out looking this good.
The equally talented Lindsey was working on this adorable duck-billed hat. She had already finished a pair of duck-footed booties to match the hat. Wish I could post a photo of them, those booties are just so damn cute. It amazes me the endless variety of things that people knit.
Not only was the knitting fabulous, but the food was equally as good. We stopped at a yarn store Angel Hair Yarn ( and after ohhhing and ahhhing over their shop, the lovely knit divas sent beloved Cuz and I over to the Noshvile Delicatessen( for lunch. We did some serious eating here, I had a truly tasty rueben and beloved Cuz had some concoction that had her lips smacking for awhile. I wish I could find someplace that yummy in St Louis. On the way out of town we stopped at Jacks and had some seriously good bar-b-que served up by some of the nicest people I have ever met. If I had to use one word to describe the people I met in Nashville it would be welcoming. I can't wait until the next time I get to visit that fair city.

The only really negative thing that happened was the four hour traffic jam and the accident which slowed our egress out of town. But I can't blame the good people of Nashville for that one, we should have just stayed an extra night. The trip's timing though couldn't have been better, it was a much needed balm on my soul.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Knitting with Rock Stars or Mason Dixon Does Nashville

Oh yes, that is my cousin and I cozying up to the wonderful knitters, Ann Shayne(on left) and Kay Gardiner(on right), the writers of Mason-Dixon Knitting. My beloved cuz and I took a road trip to Nashville with the express purpose of meeting these ladies. We both agreed that before Cuz spawns her newest project, baby Deuce, we should do something fun together. We decide, Nashville here we come. Tennessee does this wonderful thing once a year called the Southern Festival of Books. Over 250 authors went to downtown Nashville for a weekend to schill their books and see their fans. It was awesome. Books were everywhere, people selling books, giving away books, talking about books, and signing books.

These lovely ladies from Mason-Dixon filled a court room full of knitters and their families to talk about their newest book, Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines. They passed around knitted items from the book and engaged all of us in the story of how knitting led them into the odyssey that became . They made me laugh and feel good about my own knitting adventure. I had the added bonus of meeting knitters from all over the state of Tennessee, we talked yarn, projects, and techniques. We were instant friends ready to just sit and knit together as we got to know one another. Above is the talented Tara (on left) and Lindsey (on right) who had projects that made me lust after their skill. Tara particularly touched my heart when she told me she taught herself to knit during a time in her life when she was very unhappy. I thought, I know that story. Everyone was so welcoming.
Ann and Kay were so approachable and excited to meet the twoseme who drove from St Louis to meet them (See: for proof, Tempesttea in her 15 minutes of knitting fame). Kay especially made me feel less like the neophyte knitter and one of the crowd when we both pulled out our knitting and found stitches had jumped right off our needles and we had to quickly save our respective projects. I also really liked that Kay wore my favorite color and was knitting something in the same beautiful shade.
It was just wonderful, this was just the medicine I needed for my soul this weekend. Thank you to all the wonderful Tennessee knitters who opened their knitting bags and hearts to the chubby girls from St Louis.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Knit Masterpiece

Okay for the non-knitters this is a knitty-knit-knit post, and for the knitters this is the oh-my-god when is she going to stop flapping this throw in our faces kind of post. Please indulge me today, I need the little victory right now. Last summer I bought 5 skeins of this Noro Silk Garden. I spent a couple of months hoping I would stumble across a cache of a few more to make myself this awesome Lady Eleanor wrap. Well I may have stumbled, but no yarn turned up and I decided Lady E was a little above my knit abilities. So 5 skeins of Noro languished in my stash. I thought some project will present itself.
Enter my friend Debbie. Debbie has been sick, the last couple of years and has recently moved to New Town in St Charles. When she saw me knitting she hinted that she would like a throw for her new digs. I caught the hint, actually I would have been in another state to have not caught that suggestion. So I thought, hmmm, I do have that Noro and Christmas is coming. But still I did not have enough for a throw. Again the yarn went back to languishing.
Then I picked up a copy of Mason Dixon Knits and drooled over their mitre square afghan. I drooled some more and then a bulb went off over my head . Finally, a purpose for the Noro Yarn. I picked up more yarn in a complimentary color. I scoured through some other mitre square patterns and started knitting. Then I made a mistake and had to pull out three squares. Then I made some more mistakes and pulled out a few more squares. Slowly it started to come together before me. People would stop me as I knit at Borders, Knitorous, Ornesto's just to droll over the throw. But something wasn't quite right I needed an edge to pull it all together and more yarn in black had to be purchased. I learned to crochet to do the edging. I discovered I don't like crochet as much as knitting, but...

I present to date my most beautiful knitted project. The throw isn't perfect. I can point to all my mistakes, but I am reveling in just how beautiful it turned out. It is 42 inches by 48 inches and just yummy to touch. Come Christmas, I am going to have a little trouble letting go of this baby. I hope Debbie loves it as much as I do.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The streets were dark...

I found this crazy quote website called . I was thinking about Raymond Chandler quotes and found a few I like:

The streets were dark with something more than night.

She gave me a smile I could feel in my hip pocket.

I knew one thing: as soon as anyone said you don't need a gun, you had better take one along that worked.
I am still thinking about the feeling in the hip pocket. Does he mean his wallet, or his gun, or his guy part. I will be thinking about that one for a while.

I also the first quote's suggestion there is a texture of evil in the darkness.

The quotes were suggested to me by the Martin Scorsese's 5 part documentary auspiciously titled, A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies. He presented a section on film noir and Chandler, naturally, came up. I like film noir and of course being a bit obsessive I had to go to the web and do some research on Chandler.
The whole concept of a documentary on what Scorsese thinks of films is just a tad narcissistic, but hey he has made a fortune on his visions of the world and I have not so maybe I am just being a bit self-righteous. I have only watched the first two episodes and found them horribly dry, but I am hoping it will get better. I think I would like the series more if he had profiled his own movies. I do like his gangster films and I am intrigued on his inspiration for some of his characters. Regardless the commitment on my part has been made to finish the series so I can return it to the library by Wednesday. Bring on the caffeine.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Strange Folk Festival

Saturday I went to the Strange Folk Festival in O'Fallon IL to see my friend and yarn mentor, Rachel's table she set up to sell yarn. The beautiful weather and the desire to shop at an alternative Kraft fair, hopefully devoid of tole painted teddy bears, my crew and I crossed the river. I am amazingly good at not getting lost on the west side of the Mississippi River. People call me and ask for directions. But as soon as I cross that river I get lost. The lost where you can't find yourself on a map and you have to stop at a creepy farm house and ask for directions kind of lost. So of course I was tasked with getting us there because once 18 years ago I had been in O'Fallon IL. We did get lost, but a quick stop at a gas station put us on our way to the Strange Folk Festival. Surprise, we were 15 minutes early and they weren't quite ready for the Missouri contingent of neophyte knitters and random friend.
Early or not I found said Dyeabolical Yarn Mistress at her table selling her wares of yummy dyed yarns. She sat surrounded by riots of color that made me want to sit and knit them all up in to amazing garments (okay this is the fantasy section of the blog). Rachel was happy to see us and was showing off her new colorways. I felt kind of cool standing next to the hip indie dyer, while others crowded to her table and fondled her yarn. Then she gave us the look, like go busy yourself minions and we scampered off to look at other fun stuff. It is considered bad form to take photos of others designs so I can only regalia you dear reader with the variety of things I saw. I saw zombie dolls, brass knuckle quilts, reusable flannel sandwich wraps, bullet casing necklaces, lamb soaps, llamas, spinning wheels, vintage tie dog collars, pottery, and my favorite a day of the dead porn bedroom suite. Whew! There were a lot things there wanting my non-existent funds.
I only bought the lamb soap, lavender bath scrub, woman in corset photo, and of course Dyeabolical yarn (etsy store I tried to purchase Dyeabolical Yarn Mistress' hubby, but he was busy spinning yarn. So I left him with a lipstick marked cheek and left. It was a fun morning and I definitely putting the event on the calender for next year.
And then there was swag, lots of swag. For being one of the first 100 Strange Folk to show up we got bags for our bootie. The bags had the usually business fliers and cards, boring. But it also had other freebies like soap, notepads, buttons, fabric, tape measure/level, stickers, magazines, decals, temp tattoos, postcards, bead hangy things, and iron on transfers. I spent this morning digging through the swag. The green skull print fabric is my favorite, who knows what I will do with it. I haven't heard how Dyeabolical did, but it looked good when we left. End critque of the event for me, way worth the trip across the Mississippi.

Friday, September 19, 2008


Awhile back I taught Bianca Clue (name changed to protect someone I am sure) to knit. When you think of someone knitting an imagine of her does not come to mind. Actually, I wonder what comes to most lay people's (aka non-knitters) minds when I say knitter. Do they see little, old, grey-haired ladies in rocking chairs with long needles and skeins of horrific red heart yarn around them? Okay Bianca looks more like she would be comfortable at Lowe's than surrounded by loads of fluffy yarn. But lately I have seen her doing just that buying up yarn and talking the knitting lingo like a pro. "I couldn't decided if I wanted to do the garter stitch on 3 or 6s, but the gauge was so much nicer on the 6s." And, "I love how soft this yarn is." And my favorite, "I saw this yarn yesterday at the LYS (Local Yarn Store) and it was so cool, I thought about it all night." She is in the thick of it hook, yarn, and needles.
However, I am concerned she is starting projects like mad, scarves, afghans, Christmas projects, etc. I must admit it frightens me. Personally, it frightens me to have too many projects on the needles, I want to work on one project, complete it and then start another one. I believe in being monogamous to my projects, dammit! But this is the tragedy of the situation, though Bianca is starting projects right and left she is getting them done. The squares from her afghan project are literally falling off her size 15 needles. The scarves are seemingly growning instantly in front of my eyes. And don't get me started on how quickly the other projects are coming together for Bianca. As she sews in her ends, she ponders aloud at what next feat of extreme knitting she is going to tackle in the next hour. In other words Bianca is knitting with the ferocity of a demon and I am left in the dust knitting my single project, lapped.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The End of an Obsession

Recently, I have been obsessed with Simon Schama and the work he did with BBC and the History Channel. I watched both The Power of Art (8 episodes) and The History of Britain (15 episodes) back to back. I stumbled across the first series by accident at the library. I really liked how in POA he approached each artist via one of their great paintings and how that masterpiece effected the world of art. He showcased: Caravaggio, Bernini, Rembrandt, David, Turner, Van Goh, Picasso, and Rothko. I especially liked the Caravaggio and Bernini episodes since I knew nothing about either artist. I also found the Van Goh program to be my favorite. The actor who portrayed Vincent really brought the story to life by reading some of the touching letters the artist wrote to his brother Theo.
Silly me I clicked to the bonus feature and found an interview with Schama. He said after The History of Britain BBC let him do whatever he wanted and POA was the end result. Back to the library catalog I went and found five volumes would have to be requested. Off I went clicking in my requests.

With my most recent knitting project I sat and watched the series over the last couple of weeks (more like 5 weeks). I was surprised at how little I actually knew about British History. It upset me, anglophile that I am, the amazing amount of events Schama discusses in HOB which was new to me. I am no slouch on this subject, I especially like the Tudor/Stuart period, but even that episode had nuggets of facts that I had never heard before. I also really liked how Schama would taunt the viewer with their ignorance, pointing out the many myths that have been internalized as truth. The thesis that most shocked was that the British Empire was really more of an accidental empire. Overall Britain wanted consumers for their goods not really lands to conquer and control. Schama presentation rivals that of Anthony Bourdain full of snark and anger. And low and behold I was rattling on last night at a dinner party about how much I liked these series and Schama and one of my friends reminded me that he had written Citizen, about the French Revolution. Oops, I had read this in college for my French Revolution & Napoleonic Era Class. I obviously was not over-whelmed by Schama writing. Sadly, like many, I am much impressed by watching my history instead of reading it.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Displaying my Passion

This month I put up a display on knitting for the library in which I work. I was overall pleased with the outcome. I used lots of knitting things like needles, yarns, books, and of course some beautiful projects. I hit up my knitting tribe of friends for examples of various types of knitting.
Fiona loaned me this very stunning felted entrelac bag. I am love this bright and fun bag that gives me at least one reason to smile everyday at work for the next month. This photo does not do justice to the display. The book of knitting with the yarn and needles is very cute and appears as if the bag is ready to go to a knit night at a moments notice.

My friend Scott loaned me this bold striped sweater. It has been difficult to get it to pop in the display because it is so dark and the cabinet so poorly lit, but after this photo we put a white background which really made it stand out. Already I have had a few little boys come ask if a "Dude" really knitted this sweater. I say of course and one boy commented, "I want to knit me one like that."
Lenora, what can one say, but these or gorgeous sweaters, one lace, one Gansey are so amazing. I revel in the skill of these designs. Two knitters have mentioned how beautiful they are and how much they long to make a garment that stunning. Rachel made me feel very special by gracing me with a loan from her stash of personally hand-dyed Dyeabolical Yarn ( along with some examples of roving and fleece. Tammy's socks and Amy's tea cozy are also big hits. I am proud to be so entrusted with all of these treasured items.

The woman who volunteers once a month to teach a beginning knitting class, June, was thrilled by the display. She gushed about the items and we talked about each one individually and the wonderful people who made them. It was a bright spot in a very overcast day. June even confided in me that the reason she learned to knit was so she would look really smart when people see her knitting. I like the idea. I knit for so many reasons, but now I have one more reason, I look very smart when I knit. So please excuse me I am going to practice looking like a genius.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Knitting, the book

A couple or entries backs I wrote unfavorablely about She-Bang by Valerie Vogrins and her fictional prespective of knitting. Surprisingly, I picked this book, Knitting by Anne Bartlett, right up not long afterwards. But it was much easier to read 'cause I actually checked it out as a book on CD. I find that my standards are lax when it comes to listening as opposed to the reading of books. Also, I feel that it makes my ride back and forth to work less of a chore and the CDs don't leave my car. I was actually quite taken with this book. The story kept my attention and I empathized with both of the main characters. The plot centered around two middle age women who develop a relationship despite significant differences in there personalities and background. One woman is an amazing knitter driven to perfection. I was impressed with Bartlett's ability to write about knitting in a narrative form which kept my interest without being too technical. I could almost feel the yarn working through my fingers. The reader was not particularly good, her characters all sounded the same, but I found myself wanting to drive around in my car just so I could continue to listen to the story. It is important to me when I read or listen to a book that I can on some level connect with a character in the story. In Knitting I found I related to both of the main characters. One's drive for perfection and control and the other character's sadness and misguide floundering as she searches for meaning in her life spoke to me in a way that at the apex of the story arc I was almost overwhelmed with emotion (i.e. I teared up). End analysis, I liked listening to this book. Now back to reading Truly, Madly, Viking...

Monday, August 18, 2008


Some things I would rather not celebrate, but today is an anniversary I wish I did not remember. Today is the one year anniversary of quitting my job at silly hall. I think about what I did, leaving at lunch and instead of returning to work I e-mailed in my resignation. I had no job or even job prospects waiting for me. It was intense and very stressful. Add that to my surgically forced menopause and I have been sad. Okay really sad. I wish I could say it has been great to walk away from an abusive work situation, and my life has been awesome since, but I would be a big-ass liar. Yet upon reflection I ask, if I could go back,would I do it exactly the same? No of course not. I would not have cried for 3 days straight after quitting. I had already decided to leave and being humiliated and belittled everyday was not worth the salary. So I still would have left. But the major change would be that I would have called in sick for the afternoon, and then quit the next morning. I lost 4 hours of sick leave by being so rash. In the future I will make sure to use up as much sick leave as I can before leaving a job. Also I will not apologize for leaving a place where I was emotional abused, spied on, and ask to turn in my dignity every moment I was there. I was right to leave and no amount of looking backwards will change that.
The year has been hard. I have made less and worked hard for my measly check, but I do have my dignity. I am lucky, I have an awesome support network of friends who have held my hand and helped me in this dark period. I would be lost without their love. I am not one of those people who believe that change is good, and that it makes us better, but I am surviving. I will live and things will change again and I will do better.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Dinner and Some Change

Tonight I went out to dinner at the Iron Barley( with some of my nearest and dearest. First I have eaten at this place a handful of times before and found it to be a tasty place for a some of the most innovative cuisine in St Louis. Potato is my starch of choice, but what they do with barley there is insanely good and don't even get me started on the crazy places they add chilies. My Chicken Carondelet had me moaning with pleasure. But my culinary delight was nothing to what my friend Ohari experience when they served him an Elvis Sammie Special with bacon. I thought he was going to swoon or have a heart attack, good thing Semperfiona just finished first aid training. The joint was hopping as they say, which is a good sign. I especially love that the neighborhood is a little on the gritty side and you could see some of hippiest and obviously middle-class people from all over the city smacking their lips and chomping down on some serious good food. After a particularly disheartening week this was just what I needed to lift my spirits.
So on the dork side I am coming out of the closet, I collect (and yes I am a little embarrassed about it), elongated coins (E.Cs, pressed pennies, stretched pennies, whatever you want to call them). I have been doing this for years. One day on a trip for work I had no money for any souvenirs, but I had a pocket full of change and there was a pressed penny machine, the inevitable happened, a collection was born. I am not obsessed about it like I am my Fiestaware, but I am a member of the PennyCollector club ( ).I have amassed a little collection of this smashed disks of coolness. I have even had to buy little binders to keep them in. When I get new coins I take them all out and fondle them, it is a good feeling. Over the years I have had friends and co-workers help me amass my little stash here. Unfortunately, I have not been doing much traveling lately, it was with much joy that some of my nearest and dearest added three more copper disks to my booty. I need to spend some time locating some homegrown penny pressers that I have yet to visit. I have heard that Big Foot, the monster truck, has a press, hmmmm...sounds worth the effort.

Friday, August 8, 2008

This friend of mine

I have this friend, Julie, she is awesome. I meet Julie, like so many of my friends, through knitting. I have loved hanging out with her and her three kids. Back in June I went to Meramec Springs on a picnic with her and spawn and we had just the most wonderful day. They make me laugh and right now I need the laughs. So for her I want to do some shameless promotion.
Julie is a photographer and I think her work is great. She is always coming up with some new way to surprise me with her photographs. I am bringing this up because she has a show of her work in Belleville at the Abby ( through August. Also some of her work is being displayed at Bouffant Daddy on 7276 Manchester Road. She is starting her own photography business and has done some really beautiful portraiture of people I know. She seems to capture the essence of the person in her photographs. Check out her website ( I am so in love with her Alice in Wonderland inspired photographs that I am including one on my blog. Thanks for indulging me.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Knit one, pule two

I am not a fast reader, in fact I read very slow. I plod along at my snail pace just trying to get through. It is still hard for me to imagine that once upon a time I was an English/History major and that I read all the time. It was usual in graduate school to have a British Victorian novel, an American Victoria novel, a Shakespearean Play, and a ton of criticism to go with each that I was suppose to read. Thank the Divine for Monarch Notes. Is it any wonder that I never finished my masters.
Currently, I have a pile of books next to my bed of books that friends have sent home with me, saying, "You really must read this!" Sigh, reading takes time. A lot of time for me. I have never read any of the Harry Potter books, not because they don't look interesting, but because that is a huge commitment for me. Over the years I have come to love books on CD because they allow me to at least attempt to be on the same literary page as everyone else.
Suffice it is to say that when I do decide to read a book it is with a great deal of deliberation and thought. I want to only commit only to something that I will enjoy. And the right book will usually take me about a week, give or take a month. But I do try to be reading something. So it is with sadness that I admit the last chosen book was She-Bang by Valerie Vogrins took me two months to read. I wonder if that is a commentary on me, the novel, or both.

I really wanted to like She-Bang, the author was a knitter. A knitter that I had meet in Edwardsville at Knit one,Weave Two ( I refer you back to April when I blogged about the visit ( One of the raucous knitters was the above mentioned Vogrins. She talked about the book while we were there and I decided to check it out from the library and read it. I was excited, a knitter wrote this, and there is knitting in the book. I got the book and well I want to focus on the positive things about it, a knitter wrote the book and there is knitting in it. But beyond that when you quote "famous" knitter "Barbara Zimmerman," I have to wonder, though a knitter, how much knitting culture the author had absorbed. A seasoned knitter would probably quote, "Elizabeth Zimmerman," not Barbara who when I googled her discovered a real estate agent, a school teacher, and a woman who lives in New Zealand, but no famous knitters. But I could have my knitting culture wrong, I am not a guru of the knit scene, just a sycophant.

In the end I would not recommend reading the book, as part of the knitting cannon, I am however think about looking into Debbie Macomber books, she knits and writes and her books fly off the shelves of the library. But I do have Truly, Madly, Viking by Sandra Hill on that stack of borrowed books waiting for me too. And a knitter did recommend it...

Friday, August 1, 2008

I Spy

Okay, lately I have been thinking blogging is a very narcissistic way of talking about yourself. I did this or that, I went here or there, I feel this, etc. Yet I keep doing it. I wanted blog about myself and my woes and have a virtual pity party, but something stopped me. I would like to think it was good sense, but I would be lying. It is this picture I pulled of Alice and the Duchess. I picked it because I liked the crying baby, because well, I kind of felt like a whining and whimpering baby. But as I started clicking away on the computer I looked up and thinking as a pure Freudian noticed the salt shaker in the cooks hand. Is it my over-sexed imagination or does that look like a phallus reminiscent of Steely Dan (not the rock band, but shall we say the device from Naked Lunch by Billy Burroughs)? And then I noticed the strange whirls on the Duchess' red dress. I thought, "Now we know why, yes cat, is grinning." Whoa, this is what happens with the over educated when they have too much time on there hands. I should just stick to blogs about knitting.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Pulley System

I haven't wanted to blog lately. I don't know why, it just feels pointless and narcissistic. But here I am again blogging. I want to blog about something practical, but again it is practical for me. Like always the view finder is set to as I see it.
My friend, Rachel was over the other night and, as most who visit, liked the basket storage system set up in the house. She like many of us has a storage problem and thought the idea was great. Of course the system only works if like here you have high ceilings. The ceilings in this house are 12 feet. I must admit that despite the impracticality of high ceilings and having half a room you never use, I love them. Also, in houses with close ceilings I start to feel a bit like I am in a cave. I have contributed nothing to this storage system when I moved into Natalie's house she had already put up the basket/pulley system and I have enjoyed it every since.
When we were in college Natalie and I knew a lot of engineers, because, well we went to an engineering college. One of these guys married one of our history major friends. He was a very practical kind of guy who had not only a mechanical engineering degree, but rope experience from his days as an Eagle Scout. He knew his wife needed more space for her pot lids and he came up with this idea to help. He installed a hook from the ceiling, ran a pulley with rope from the hook. Put a clip on the end of the rope and through trial and error figure out optimum location for hooks on the wall. One low hook for high position and one high hook for low position. It is actually more technical than I could do without guidance, but with the right installation you can have yourself a stashapalooza situation. I would be lost if I didn't have the baskets for pot lids, container lids, napkins, etc. Lately, I have been scoping out my front room for possible ancillary yarn stash locations.
The only warning is to always secure the rope, if you let go, you could have a mess. Once the container lids basket got away from me. It dropped on my foot (many expletives were needed) and lids went everywhere. Otherwise there have been in the last 12 years no other incidents worth mentioning. However,sometimes I do play toss the lid in the basket because I am too lazy to lower it, I am a terrible shot so I would not recommend this type of entertainment.