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.