Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Avert your eyes, for I am about to blind you... WITH SCIENCE!!!!

While I wouldn't necessarily describe myself as a multitasker per se, I would definitely say I'm someone who likes to, whenever possible, soften the suckiness of the things I have to do by adding things that I like to do.

For example, if I have to drive 45 minutes to take one of the Apes to some Apetastic activity, I'm playing the Sweeney Todd Soundtrack in the van and singing along as loud as I can with the windows down and embarrassing the hell out of my kids the entire time. Both ways. If I have to sit at the Cooter Rooter's with my feet in the stirrups and my twattage hangin out for two hours, I'm bringing my knitting.

Remember this?

So I have to run my my enchanted dishwasher (the one that's visible only to me) a LOT. And I thought it would be cool if I could felt my knitted wool feltables in the dishwasher while I'm washing the dishes, thereby uniting something that sucks with something that doesn't.

For my preliminary research, I did a search for Dishwasher Felting, and didn't really find anything, so that could only mean one of two things.

Either it's a horrible idea and other people have tried it and it didn't work so nobody bothered to write about it,

OR it's a fucking brilliant idea that no one has ever thought of before and I'm now officially a knitting pioneer with a book deal on the horizon.

I posted my Dishwasher Felting idea on the Knittyboard where I knew I have enough street cred that the other Knitties would encourage me to follow through with it just to see what would happen, in the interest of SCIENCE!

And so, as promised, here are the results of my Very Scientific Research.

The materials used in this experiment:

The Dishwasher

The Knitted Coasters (Made from Lopi wool) BEFORE.

The Friction.

Cuz I'm Loooong, and I'm Stroooong, and I'm down to get the FRICtion on, so Ladies (yeah?) Ladies (yeah?) Do ya wanna roll my Mercedes? (yeah!) Turn around, stick it out, even white boys got ta shout, Baby got Back! (L.A. face with the Oakland Booty!!)

Sorry, I do that every time I hear the word Friction. Aaaaaanyway -

I put the coasters and the friction (Cuz I'm Looooong, and I'm ... sorry) inside a small drawstring bag, and set the dishwasher for Heavy Duty Pots and Pans.

And here's what came out.

Looks exactly the same.

My assessment? Looks like I'll be kissing my street cred goodbye.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Slightly Menacing. I LOVE it.

Your Score: the Cutting Edge

(71% dark, 46% spontaneous, 26% vulgar)

your humor style:

Your humor's mostly innocent and off-the-cuff, but somehow there's something slightly menacing about you. Part of your humor is making people a little uncomfortable, even if the things you say aren't themselves confrontational. You probably have a very dry delivery, or are seriously over-the-top.

Your type is the most likely to appreciate a good insult and/or broken bone and/or very very fat person dancing.

PEOPLE LIKE YOU: David Letterman - John Belushi

I don't know how to adjust this so all of it shows up. Anyone know?

The 3-Variable Funny Test!
- it rules -

If you're interested, try my best friend's best test: The Genghis Khan Genetic Fitness Masterpiece

Link: The 3 Variable Funny Test written by jason_bateman on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test
View My Profile(jason_bateman)

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Oh, this is just awesome.

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Milady the Most Honourable Sarah the Vehement of Much Bottom
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

This one amused me too.

My Fortune Cookie told me:
The stiffness of an earlobe will incite your passions next Friday.
Get a cookie from Miss Fortune

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Ice Queen, ROUND TWO.

Forgive my absence from the Knittyboards. I've had a rough week. After three hours with Margie I felt like someone had beaten me from head to toe with a wooden bat. Couple that with the fact that Tito has been sick all week, awakening every morning this week sometime between 2:30 and 3:30, demanding my attention.

Wednesday morning I woke up to the sound of coughing. It was strange, because I couldn't figure out where the sound was coming from. It wasn't in our bedroom, but it was too loud to be coming from upstairs or outside our bedroom door, which we usually keep closed. I got up and walked toward the sound. My bedroom door had apparently been opened, and when I looked in the hall, on the floor I saw Tito sleeping here:

He got in the coat closet, put my down coat on the hallway floor for a mattress and put his own coat on top of himself for a blanket. Most ingenious. So I felt sorry for him and asked him why he didn't just come climb in the bed with me and Dad. He cuddled up with us for a few hours, and I kept him home from school. He was lethargic and grouchy, and he just wanted to lay in bed next to me.

I love staying in bed for hours, believe me, but if I can't be with R (or Mr. Depp or Mr. Rickman or some other luscious pool boy), I'd rather be by myself than with a crabby five-year-old. It's not like I could sleep, as every few minutes he'd want me to get up and fetch him something. So since I was already pissed off anyway, I decided to pull the Ice Queen out of the frog pond and knit in bed next to Tito. Call me a glutton for punishment.

I'd read the message boards for the Ice Queen KAL on Ravelry (that's Kint-A-Long, where a bunch of knitters work on the same project at the same time and compare notes), and saw that someone suggested the Beaded Picot Cast-On, rather than the Provisional which was such a pain in my ass the last time around (and I didn't even get to the part where you have to rip out the waste yarn and pick up the stitches, which I suck at).

Obviously either one would require me to learn a new skill. I figured it was worth the effort to try out the Beaded Picot thing, since by doing so I wouldn't have to deal with picking up stitches and whatnot. You know how you can look at the instructions for something and see that it sounds like something you can handle, and then you wonder if it might be a typo or some other kind of mistake? It CAN'T be as easy as that. There's no way. Cuz that sounds like something I actually know how to do.

CO 5, BO 2, place a bead in the middle of the 3 stitches you've got left. That didn't sound too hard.

So I did. And it took me a couple of tries to actually feel like I was doing it right, because it really didn't look right on the needles. But I did it, and I was pretty sure it was okay.

I dug out the instructions I had thrown down in angst weeks ago and got started. I got out my #7 Denise needles and after frogging the City Shawl I started in November of 2006, which was painful but necessary -



I attached long a cord as I had available. I was pretty sure it was about 24", which is not the length called for in the pattern but Turtlegirl, among others, had said that the longer needle made the project easier, and I'll always follow the suggestions of someone who knows more than me.

I wasn't able to do a lot on it, but I did get to the point where I was able to tell that the Beaded Picot Cast-On did, in fact, look rather kickass. I was proud of myself. I set it aside for the day.

Thursday morning Tito climbed in with us and coughed and sniffled and kicked and whimpered, which was completely pitiful, and no, I'm not the most heartless mother in the world, but this was the third night in a row of this shit, and this girl needs some sleep. I let him stay in the room with us, but I clenched my teeth the entire time and went through all of Thursday with a blistering headache.

I was afraid if I touched the Ice Queen, one or the other of us would die. So I left her alone on Thursday and let Tito be Tito. Yes, that's a pair of underpants on his head. It was funny for about two seconds, then I discovered that he'd put his head through a leg hole and I had to cut them to get them off his head. And there went a perfectly good pair of underpants.

When he woke up at 3am on Friday, I was able to convince Tito to go lay on the sofa in the living room so Dad and I could sleep. And it went great for a while, but within about thirty minutes, he started wailing for me to pick up the box of Kleenex for him. I went out to find a box of Kleenex within arm's reach of where he was laying, and about fifty wadded-up Kleenex on the floor around it. Grrrr.

After he got me out of bed the third time for something stupid, I decided just to stay in the room with him, subjecting myself to whatever kids' show was on PBS Kids at that moment. It happened to be Boobah, and loves, if you've never seen Boobah, I can't even describe it other than it's a bunch of colorful, furry, uncut outer-space penises that make fart sounds whenever they move. It's the only show that makes me want to kill myself more than Caillou does.

Friday I absolutely had to clean my kitchen. I have an Enchanted Kitchen, do you? You see, only I have been entrusted with the sacred knowledge that there's a mystical, secret dishwasher in our kitchen that's visible only to me. So I really can't fault the rest of the family for never loading or emptying it, can I? Oh, and there's also a Magic Trashcan, and eventually everything thrown on the floor and forgotten WILL, in fact, find its way to the Magic Trashcan. Eventually.

It's not magic, it's Mommy. Story of my life.

After cleaning out the sink, wiping down the counters and scrubbing the floor on my hands and knees, I got dinner started (Idiot Soup - four cans of beans in a Crock Pot) and decided to reward myself with a little knitting.

I had taken Tito to school Friday morning, willing to take the chance that they might call me to pick his phlegmy ass up at any moment because I was SO. SICK. OF. THAT. KID. But I had him home with me in the afternoon, so I got him the DVD of Beethoven and sat down to confidently do battle with Her Majesty once again.

This time I got all the way to row 20. I had all the beads right, and while I had made a couple of errors along the way, I didn't think either was major, plus this part of the piece is actually at the bottom and I doubted anyone would really notice. Here's where I got:

And then, the moment of truth. After 20 rounds, you should have 108 stitches. I had 107. I found the errant repeat and figured out a way to fudge it. Who cares.

Somehow, kids, despite casting on with the needle size called for in Version A and completing the first two knit rows as called for in Version A, I discovered that I had painstakingly completed the last twenty rows... from the VERSION B CHART.


(You were waiting for me to say it, weren't you?)

I'm not ashamed to admit that I cried. I'm actually surprised I didn't vomit.

Knitties, please talk me down from the ledge. Tell me this is no big deal.

I've kinda already decided it's not a big deal to ME. I'm absolutely NOT going to rip the shit out and start over. If I frog the queen again, I won't try again and I'll return Turtlegirl's lovely yarn (which I absolutely love, by the way) to her so that she can pass it on to a more worthy knitter.

I'm going to carry on with Version B like I did it on purpose. To me, the only thing that will be different is that there will be more beads on it that in Version A. The stitch pattern is only slightly different, otherwise, right?

It does explain why I'm having so much trouble scootching the stitches around a needle that's a size smaller than I'd have if only I'd started out following the directions for Version B when I cast on.

Oh, it's a damn good thing we're stocked up.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Unanswered Questions Answered.

Subtitle: The Margie Rant.

The weird question Margie had for me yesterday wasn't so much a question as it was a hypothetical statement. And it really wasn't even that weird. I have to admit, I was slightly disappointed. It went something like this:

So I've applied to work at (the school where Pie and Camille went last year and where Tito goes this year) three days a week, and I won't know for a while if I have the job because it really kinda depends on whether or not the teacher I'd be replacing goes on medical leave, I don't know what she'd be going on leave for and I don't really want to know. I hope it's not something really awful or I'll feel guilty for hoping I get this job, you know? I mean, I want the job, but I don't want the poor woman to have cancer or something! Maybe just something like hip replacement would be not so bad... I mean, I'm not a selfish person but anyway if I took the job it might mean that I wouldn't get home in time to get Camille to the bus...

Oh SHIT, here we go...

And the boys would get to go to school there for free if I worked there, and I think that would be great for them to get to meet other kids and play because then they'll be really good and tired when we get home and then maybe they'll take a nap for me and I'll have a chance to take a nap, or read a book, or just have some quiet for Pete's sake, plus we could really use the money, even though Calvin thinks I'm crazy for wanting to take another job. But I don't see HIM offering to take another job! Lazy ass! Anyway, yeah, just think about it and let me know...


Did ya see how she didn't really ask me directly if I would be willing to take her daughter to school three days a week? Cuz that's what she was asking. I mean, I think it is. It may even be "Can I drop Camille off on my way to work and let her hang out with you and Pie and have lunch and then you can just take them both to school?" That's actually what I'm assuming it's going to come down to. And I'm way too nice a person to say no.

I am a nice person, despite all evidence to the contrary depicted in this blog. I know I come across as a hardcore badass when I say stuff like That's How This Gangsta Rolls, but the truth is, I actually have to fight my own genteel nature to leave the Please off of Suck it, Bitches. It's the good manners my parents instilled in me, ya know.

So I spent three long hours with Margie and when I got home I just wanted to go to bed. She's a nice person, and I like her and everything, she's just exhausting to be around. I wanted to wear a wire or something so I could record and post a conversation with her for your amusement. The most interesting part might be the fact that I can be quiet for that long and let someone else talk.

Yeah, yeah, we all know I'm quite a Chatty Cathy. I always have been. I guarantee you I'm the best person to sit next to at a party, especially if there's an open bar. I don't apologize for it, it's just how I am. But I think I make an effort to engage others in conversation, or at least make it entertaining by peppering it with colorful words and humorous anecdotes. But this woman reduces me to yeah... uh huh... seriously... oh, I know... ooooooooh yeah... wow... innnnnnnteresting...

I mean, you guys would tell me if I was like that, wouldn't you? Please, God, don't let this be what people think of me. Please, if I'm like that and I just don't know it, strike me dead now. Please, God, RIGHT FUCKING NOW. Thank you, Amen.

She casually mentioned that not one, but two of her best friends are moving out of state and she will very soon have no friends to do stuff with. I interpreted that as "I desperately need a new best friend and it sure looks like it's gonna be you." Fuck. I wonder if it's occurred to her that perhaps she's the reason they're moving out of state.

Oh, that totally reminds me of a story. She was telling me about one of her friends who is moving away... Oh, remember, you met her that day we met her at the park with her son Phillip...?

Yeah, I remember that day. Margie hadn't told me that we were meeting someone else there, so when this strange woman came up and started a conversation with me about my kids I thought she was some surprisingly well-dressed escaped mental patient. It was the end of May, and this lady was wearing an outfit that seemed horribly inappropriate for a day at the park. She had on dressy black slacks and heels, and low-cut white sweater with her unnaturally orange boobs peeking out the top and the spray-tan color visibly staining the inside of her plunging neckline.

She was exactly the sort of person I would have made a snarky comment about to someone else, but thank God I didn't because suddenly Margie appeared and said, "Oh, I see you've met Michelle!!" And I just about shat myself.

The kids played happily on the playground despite the fact that it was apparently a field trip for a nearby Catholic school (the church R and I got married in, in fact) and the parochial kids were running around and climbing to the top of the slides declaring themselves Supreme Rulers and denying access to anyone under the age of ten.

Ok, the kids were kinda menacing and they weren't paying attention to the little kids that were all over the place and sure, someone might have gotten hurt. But it's a playground. They're playing. Cut 'em some slack. As a parent, be responsible for your own kids and direct them to play on a different part of the playground. Mischief managed.

Margie tried to find a leader of this motley crew, and when she was unable to identify one, she fervently swore to Spray-Tan Boobs and me that she would be contacting this school to complain about the behavior of their students. I don't know if she ever did, but she sure had me convinced that she was going to.

The sad part is that Margie and I actually have a great deal in common. She told me how she feels like an outsider among the other moms in our kids' class and that she tries really hard but never quite feels like she's doing the right thing. She's a hardass with her kids like I am with mine, and I respect that. I get along quite well with fellow advocates of a good smack when a kid's really fuckin asking for it. But she's so much of a spotlight hog diva, I never get the opportunity to tell her how well I can relate to her plight.

But getting back to the story, Margie points out ridiculous minutia around the house that I probably wouldn't have noticed and definitely wouldn't have cared about. At one point we were standing at the bottom of the stairs and she looked up and saw a scuff of some sort on the ceiling - the size of a pencil eraser, mind you - gasped and said Oh my God, I need to touch that up...

She's an artist, by trade, and, to her credit, a very good one. But there's always something wrong with what she did or there's something she wishes she would have done differently and Ooooh, she hopes nobody notices the flaw she just went out of her way to show me.

When R called on his way home I didn't have dinner started yet because I was still recovering from the afternoon. He was anxious to hear what The Weird Question was, and he too was a little bummed that it wasn't something more interesting than her not actually asking me to watch her kid and expecting me to figure it out. R is so awesome.

Margie bitches about her husband Calvin more than any woman I've ever met. I really don't like being around people who bitch about their husbands and wives constantly. I mean, occasionally, if he pissed you off, that's fine, I know I occasionally kvetch about R on here, but not very often, and I feel that I have the kind of relationship with you, my vast readership (and by the way, I love calling you My Vast Readership) where I can feel comfortable doing that. Y'all know I love R to pieces.

But I've never heard her say a nice thing about Calvin EVER, and I've never met the guy so I haven't had a chance to form my own opinion of him. I don't feel that Margie and I have the sort of relationship where she's allowed to bitch about her man to me all the fuckin time. Not to sound harsh, Sweetheart, but seriously, if you're that fuckin miserable, either get the fuck out, or shut the fuck up.

Ugh. I need an Excedrin even just recalling the whole thing.

So anyway, at 3am this morning Tito came in crying and saying he couldn't sleep. He climbed into our bed and his body was so hot I had to kick all the covers off of myself. He managed to get to the potty before he threw up, for which I am extremely grateful because I don't know if I can muster the energy to change the sheets.

I do take a bit of sick pleasure in the fact that, in all likelihood, one of Margie's kids is barfing in her bed right now.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Barber is Dethroned. For Once.

I know I don't need to remind my vast readership of my passionate love for All Things Depp. I've been listening to Sweeney Todd in the van so much that the kids know most of the words. They each have their favorite songs.

Pie likes Ladies in their Sensitivities (Excuse Me, My Lord, May I request, My Lord, Permission, My Lord, to Speak...), Tito likes Pirelli's Miracle Elixir (That's what did the trick, Sir, true, Sir, true...), and Beebie likes By The Sea (Wouldn't that be Smashing...). Personally, I'm fond of Epiphany; so wrought with palpable angst.

There's something deliciously demented about driving my kids around Suburbia in an innocuous-looking minivan, singing merrily about slicing people's throats and encouraging one another to Try the Priest. Hey, at least I wait until I'm alone to play NWA - Straight Outta Compton. That's how this gangsta rolls. A soccer mom, I'm just NOT. Suck it, bitches.

And because this Soundtrack includes not only my Beloved Mr. Depp, but also my equally (if not more) beloved Mr. Rickman, it goes without saying that for a CD to dethrone the Sweeney Todd Soundtrack as my driving CD of choice, it would have to be pretty effin amazing.

My new driving CD is the soundtrack from the movie Once. Oh, my friends, if you have not seen this movie, you simply must. I bought the soundtrack within an hour of watching the movie. I don't want to tell you anything about it, but it's a sweet romantic story and I absolutely loved it. Seeing Once was the highlight of an otherwise rather dull week. Oh, and I got a new vacuum but I don't like it because it's too bloody loud, but that's pretty much it.

Last Wednesday night I had to go to Beeb's junior high, which she won't attend until fall (I hate having to think about August when it's only January, don't you?) and get her all registered and whatnot, and when I entered the cafeteria for the presentation, I saw three of the moms from the ill-fated Daisy Troop Puppet Regime - and you really should read that story if you're unfamiliar with it - and I instantly cast myself into Inferiority Mode.

That Daisy Troop debacle may just hang around my neck forever. And ok, I know it's my own choice and I should get over it, and at an intellectual level, I know that maybe they've moved on and I'm the only one who cares, but I can still feel the weight of it sitting on my shoulder like a parrot, squawking to the world how stupid I am, er, was. And kind of still am. I can run, but I can't hide from the constant reminders. So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past. Yeah. That's my life in a nutshell.

One of the former Daisy Troop moms is Mrs. Aldi's sister, and I actually like her all right. She was without question the mom who was the nicest to me during the Daisy Troop Era. But she always looks exhausted and sad. Perhaps if I sit next to her, I'll look stunning. I'll give it a try next time I leave the house in my pajamas and slippers and my hair in rollers.

The other two women were the wife of this really hot guy who teaches at another school - I'm pretty sure she thought I was flirting with her husband, and in fairness, I was - and her friend who wears way too much eye makeup and talks like the late Suzanne Pleshette. Thank GOD I didn't see Dr. Eyeball. Cuz I guarantee she would have cornered me and it would not have been a pretty sight.

Oh, and while I'm thinking about creepy people, I got an odd phone message from Camille's mom Margie (she's the sweetest person in the world, love her to death, she's just really INTENSE - remember?) that went like this: Hi, Sarah, it's Margie, Camille's mom... I have a question for you, and it's kindof weird... can you give me a call back either before 5 tonight or tomorrow morning between 9 and 11? Thanks!

First of all, she's already weird and any question from her would also be weird, and I think she has a sense of what would qualify by MY standards of weird (which would have to be pretty fuckin whacked-out, bat shit crazy, let's be honest), so for her to preface the entire thing by letting me know that she had a weird question for me was extreeeeeemely unsettling.

And the reason why she gives me such a specific window in which to return her call is because they have neither call waiting nor voice mail. Not even a plug-in answering machine. Seriously, when you hear a busy signal or when the phone rings nine times without a machine picking up, don't you just want to scream What century is this????

And it frustrates the fuck outta me because I'm a little freaked that maybe the question she has for me is something like "Hey, do you have a blog in which you call my daughter Camille? I was doing a search for Joey Lawrence Bulge and I found this Behold My Brilliance thing..." For some reason my blog gets hits for Joey Lawrence Bulge all the time. I don't even want to know.

I'm also afraid that she'll con me into watching her kids or something, but then again, I figure if she doesn't have call waiting or a fuckin answering machine, she probably doesn't have DSL either, so I'm probably safe, but I'm still not calling her. I can selectively use the excuse that I tried calling and nobody was home or the line was busy.

But anyway, so I got Beeb hooked up with all her classes, and she has decided to play in the band. I am sincerely hoping that "This one time... at Band Camp..." will stop playing in my head, especially since her instrument is the (ahem) Flute.

Oh, I thought of another thing I did this week. Inspired by the Sexy Snape video I posted for you, I decided to watch Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, with Mr. Rickman as the evil Sheriff of Nottingham. I remember thinking he was wicked sexy even back then, when I saw it in a theater. But this time through I felt that there was an appalling lack of Sheriff scenes in the film.

I went ahead and bought myself Mesmer, so if you were thinking of surprising me with it, too late. Perhaps on my first Mommy Monday Morning (starting next week - woo hoo!!), I'll spend some time alone with Mr. Rickman, a bottle of Peach Schnapps, and the B.O.B. I like to call El Diablo. Someday I'll give y'all the specs on El Diablo, but just to give you an idea, you could probably club a baby seal to death with that thing. And if that's TMI, well, sorry.

UPDATE: In a bitterly ironic twist, as I was typing this, Margie called to invite me and the Apes over to hang out today, since all the kids are off of school today. I was kinda looking forward to a leisurely lunch, so I managed to push the agreed-upon meeting time to 1:00 instead of NOW, which works out fabulously because Margie needs to go to work this evening and she'll be kicking us out at 4pm at the latest, giving me time to decompress (and one needs to after an afternoon with Margie) before R gets home. God, I'm so glad I minimized that shit.

But the question remains, was "Would you guys like to come over to play?" the weird question she had for me? Cuz I kinda doubt it. And now my mind is abuzz with the possibilities. GAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Surprise - It Didn't Suck!

So, like I said yesterday, I woke up to Mimosas and breakfast burritos and my 37th birthday got off to a good start. We had a few minor errands to run, which included exchanging a Wii game that we'd bought for Pie last week. We had bought him the Pirates of the Carribean game, which was a little too difficult for him, so Pie exchanged it for the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix game. Goodbye, Jack Sparrow, Hello, Professor Snape. I don't think you can actually play as Snape, but we haven't gotten that far in the game to know.

As one of my creative and frugal birthday gifts, R spent some time researching and collecting Alan Rickman sound clips for me. And I've been (ahem) enjoying them very, very much. My favorites came from the movie Mesmer, which I've never seen and which, sadly, is not available at my local Blockbuster, nor at Blockbuster Online, so I'm going to have to find it on Amazon and buy myself a Valentine gift.

While I'm on the subject, let me just briefly discuss the benefits of purchasing one's own gifts. I shopped for my own birthday gifts this year, as I made it clear to R and to everyone who cared that I was absolutely determined to have a non-sucktastic birthday this year even if it meant taking matters into my own hands.

When we got paid last week I went out and bought myself the Sweeney Todd soundtrack, which I'm sure R would have thought to purchase for me but A) I couldn't wait and B) I wanted to make extra special sure that I got the Super Duper Fancy Deluxe version with all the extra pictures. And suffice it to say, I have been extreeeeeeeeemely happy with this CD. I've been listening to it pretty much nonstop since I bought it.

My favorite part is when Johnny says "Sweeney's Waiting... C'mon, C'mon..." the beginning moments of his delicious decent into madness. Helena's singing voice doesn't thrill me like Johnny's does, but I'd still make out with her. And of course Alan Rickman sings on it, too. It's a swoonfest, girls.

I also bought myself the Knitting Pattern a Day calendar for 50% off, which, again, I'm sure R and the kids would have thought to buy for me, but I was unwilling to wait until my birthday to see if someone had thought of it, because if they hadn't, I might have a hard time finding it on January 14th. I think I like it better than last year's edition, but that could very well be because I feel much more competent now and more patterns look do-able this time around.

My parents even let me pick out my own birthday gift this year too. After spending a week playing Wii with the kids while sitting on fold-up papasan chairs, they gave me some money and let me spend it on whatever sofa/loveseat/chair combo I wanted for my living room. I found a great deal on a sofa, chair and ottoman set that had been on display and I absolutely love it.

Here's a pic:

Plus, R took Friday off to hang out with me, and we went to the Lush shop to indulge in a fantastic sale. I got Silky Underwear dusting powder among other fragrant delights. I'm big into smelling good. Ask anyone who's ever hugged me: I smell awesome. I also love it when other people smell awesome, so I got R some shaving cream at The Body Shop. I love that stuff. It reminds me of my favorite Dame Wendy scent - Wonderland.

So I was absolutely delighted with the gifts of my own choosing. I don't have to have a cake or flowers or cards or anything, and I absolutely hate the thought of everyone kissing my ass one day a year. You don't have to kiss my ass, just don't piss me off. That's all I ask. The kids let me relax in bed watching football most of the day, which was nice. At one point, however, Pie came in and asked me a question:

Mommy, I know babies come out of their mommies' tummies, but I was wondering, how do they GET IN their mommies' tummies?

I'm so not in the mood for this conversation. It's my birthday.
Go ask Dad.

Need I remind you of how poorly I handle sex questions from my kids? I mean, I'll talk hot raunchy sex with grown-ups all day and all night, but my kids' inquiries really throw me off because I have to water it down and I never know if I've watered it down enough. I do love messing with Beebie with that whole Nap thing, though. That shit was hilarious.

I forgot all about Pie's question until later when I was giving the boys a bath. Pie mentioned that he now knew how babies get in their mommies' tummies. Oh, shit, I thought. I wonder what R told him.

I hadn't given R a heads-up or touched base to make sure we were using the same terminology, like 'Daddy gives Mommy a special kind of hug and their bodies fit together kinda like a puzzle...' or something equally vague which would almost certainly invite more questions but hopefully buy me enough time to come up with some way to answer them at an appropriate level.

So I asked Pie, "Did you ask Dad about that, then?"

And Pie's response was the highlight of the entire day:

"Yeah, he went over the basics."

Thank God. I was concerned that I'd get a call from the principal saying that Pie was leading the kindergarteners in a lively discussion about the elusive G-Spot.

Cuz THAT's all I fuckin' need.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

It's MY birthday, but YOU'RE getting a present.

EDIT: Supersexy Alan Rickman as Professor Snape video clip removed because I couldn't figure out how to get it to stop playing every time I opened the blog.

If you're interested, search YouTube for Snape Can't Stop Thinking About You.

It's hot.

Tomorrow I'll give a full report on whether or not I managed to get through a birthday without something sucktastic happening. Right now it's still too early to tell, but I will say that I got Mimosas in bed this morning. I think R's trying to get me trashed so if anything shitty happens I won't remember it. Not a bad idea.

And I have no idea who seaweed2007 is, other than a fellow Rickmaniac, so don't ask.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Here's a Resolution: Screw it.

So I've decided to selectively lighten up and not drive myself crazy trying to get my kids to behave in public. I figure, a kid can't really be too big an asshole if he's funny enough, right? Who's gonna be pissed if they're too busy laughing at my kids? And if I'm laughing too, do you really think I'm going to scold them?

Screw it, I say. Let 'em be kids. Roll your eyes and question my parenting skillz all ya want. I don't care. You're just jealous because my kids are funnier than yours and you're an uptight twat raising a kid who isn't any fun to hang out with.

I apologize for the quality of the cameraphone recording, and yeah, I probably should have been videotaping Beeb's Special Chorus performance (which you can hear in the background), but I didn't bring my actual video camera because historically the Choral performances are, in a word, lackluster. This was waaaay more entertaining.

The gym was crowded and uncomfortable, and the boys couldn't see Beebie, so they were getting antsy and impatient. I told them they could go stand near the wall where they could see. And here's what happened.

I laughed so hard I cried and when the boys saw me all red and blotchy, they thought I was mad at them. Nah. How could I be?

Friday, January 04, 2008

2007: A Look Back and a Look Forward.

I'm taking a wee break from Wii Bowling to contemplate the goals I set for myself last year and how close I came to meeting them.

I re-read my January 2, 2007 post. Here are some highlights, with my added comments in bold:

I'm depressed.

It's a combination of post-Christmas letdown, and a general sense of having failed miserably in the past year and the high probability that I will fail again in 2007, the fact that I weigh twenty pounds more than I did at this time last year (this year I haven't lost weight, but I haven't gained either, so I guess that's not bad), and my impending birthday.

I have come to dread my birthday in recent years. I'm still trying to forget my last three birthdays in which I've enjoyed a HUGE (ie. the words "GET OUT" were shouted) fight with R, a kidney infection, and a -$600 bank balance. Last year I woke up to an ice storm that knocked our power out for a few hours.

I know it's seasonal and situational, but I'm still fighting the urge to go back on the meds that I managed to kick this past year (one of my prouder accomplishments of 2006, if I could separate it in my head from the weight gain that came along with it). I know it wouldn't be a big deal if I went back on, but part of me would feel like I'd failed at yet another thing. I'm back on now, and I've added a new pharmaceutical friend to my arsenal, too. And I'm ok with it.

Another thing that's on my mind - remember how desperately I wanted to get out of this house and into one of our own and how hard I was working on having this be our last year as Elite's prisoners? Well, this won't be the year. I'm heartbroken, but I agree with the logic that we should stay another year.

I feel like it's entirely my fault. I haven't managed the money well. I've tried, honestly. And I've actually made significant progress in cleaning up our credit. But I really, REALLY wanted to get out of here, and at that goal, I have failed. I know I shouldn't be upset and I should be glad that we have a place to live, but I've lost sleep over this. R is also suffering from insomnia, currently. It's putting a strain on everyone.

We managed to negotiate a six-month lease and we got the perfect house for our family in a location that we absolutely love. PLUS, we got $825 of our $950 deposit back, after having lived there for three years. And I never have to deal with those half-wits at Evilite ever again.

So I thought that to make myself feel better I'd do a few things:

A) Read back over the last year of my silly little blog to remind myself of something good that I did over the last year.

B) Set a goal for myself for next year that I can actually accomplish.

C) Look through personal ads and allow the desperation of ugly people who can't spell to remind me that I am indeed a goddess among mortals. I totally need to start doing that again.

And so, here is my goal: I will knit a sweater this year.

And I'll make some socks. I swear I will. I can't believe how much sock yarn I have and not one sock to show for it. YET.

I have actually taken a step in the direction of meeting the sweater goal already! I signed up for an Intermediate Knitting class at Kirkwood Knittery, wherein I will learn to knit a basic shell.

All, right, so I didn't knit a sweater. I didn't even finish the shell I was supposed to make for the class. I finished the front piece and the back piece, attached them at the shoulders (inside-out, but that's not even the point) and saw that it looked absolutely huge and ridiculous on me and I hated it.

So later I tried to make a ribbed (for my pleasure) tank top and I think I did pretty good with it but I only finished part of the first half of it and it's still sitting in my kickass Lexie Barnes bag in the closet because I can't remember which pattern I was using for it. I also found, while in the process of moving and organizing my yarny stuff, the City Shawl I started two Thanksgivings ago that still isn't finished because I made a mistake somewhere early on and didn't realize it for a while, and I couldn't decide whether or not I wanted to go back and fix it. I should fix it and finish it, shouldn't I?

I have an embarrassing number of UFO's laying around. Including the sock I also resolved to make but didn't, but that wasn't entirely my fault. I took a class and the leader gave us the wrong instructions and I just haven't had the heart to tear out my work and start over. So that's in my kickass Lexie Barnes bag too, taunting me.

So I'm 0 for 2 on my knitting goals from last year, BUT...

I did learn the provisional cast-on, except for the ripping-out and picking up stitches part.

I learned how to add beads.

I learned how to do Feather and Fan.

I learned how to read a chart, kinda.

I learned how to do cables.

I bought a kickass Lexie Barnes knitting bag to house my UFO's.

I organized some of my needles (only after discovering that I had duplicate sets of several sizes of DPN's). I still want a DPN roll or some other organizing tool.

I went TEN FULL MONTHS without buying yarn. I'm extremely proud of that.

I got four skeins of practically free Frosting yarn at Hobby Lobby and made three scarves in a day and a half for Beeb's triplet friends.

I knitted ALL teachers' gifts, spending $0 out of pocket. PLUS, I shared the joy of snarky gift-giving with my daughter.

So I feel that I grew as a knitter this year, thanks in large part to Turtlegirl and the Ice Queen. And I also feel that I grew as a person this year. I looked back over my blog and found some of the more stellar moments:

I lost my Ren Faire virginity. And I LOVED it.

And, whoda thunk, my Midnight Book Release Party virginity. And again, LOVED it.

I bought Beeb a bra.

I gave the kids an unforgettable St. Pat's Celebration at Hometown Buffet and Dirt Cheap Liquor.

I went on my first job interview in seven years. And I walked 15 blocks in heels, in the rain, with a broken umbrella afterwards.

I stood up to FIL, just a little. And it felt fantastic.


I drank three free beers at Grant's Farm and two at the Brewery in one day.

I ate a Guberburger.

I maintained my composure amidst an Airport Security situation.

Team Karma continued to reign supreme at the Pevely Flea Market Costume Contest.

I got rid of everything Barbie-related in my house.

I sent Pie to Kindergarten and I only cried a little.

I killed the car.

I ate Spotted Dick.

And, of course the biggies - I celebrated ten years of wedded bliss to the King of my Heart, I bought a van AND a house, and my parents visited three times (in March, July, and December), and on their most recent visit, I hosted them in my house for five days without killing anyone. That was a HUGE accomplishment. And I actually discovered that I love entertaining. Well, I always knew I loved entertaining, but now that I actually get to do it I realize how much I've missed it over the last several years.

So, looking back, I think 2007 ws overall a pretty good year. Far better than expected, actually. And although there were some specific goals that I laid out for myself which were not met, there were monumental accomplishments which I couldn't possibly have forseen exactly 365 days ago.

And as for my goals for 2008?

A) I will defeat the Ice Queen and document it for y'all's edification. If I'm up at 3am on December Thirtyfuckinfirst, I'll finish that bitch. I'll unload my Circular Needles of Terror and let her taste my wrath.

Beyond that, I don't know if I really want to set any other goals. My greatest achievements of the past year were the ones I didn't plan. So I think I'll sit back and see what learning experiences come my way if I open my mind to them.

And just for fun, here's one of my favorite lines from all of 2007:

Do NOT screw with a chick sportin' two pairs of panties and an eyeball ulcer. Especially when it's 100 degrees outside. DO NOT.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

The Post-Holiday Post.

I know you've been waiting for it.

There was such potential for blog fodder - two weeks at home with the kids, the obligatory Christmas visit to Chez Inlaw, my parents' visit (and yes, they stayed at our house) - I almost hate to tell you that the last couple of weeks have been remarkably unremarkable.

I did, however, create a new word. I'm hoping it gets picked up like The Yarn Harlot's "Kinneared", a practice which I personally love, and I think my vast readership appreciates my skill at surreptitiously taking photos of unsuspecting people.

The PK twist, though, is that I like to take pictures of my kids and capture the actual thing I want to get a picture of in the background, like the pic of Robert Goulet I got at Tito's Christmas Play or the one of Mark Twain at Ted Drewes. It's an actual picture of something, it's just that the focus of the photo is not in the foreground, it's in the background. I'm sure you're familiar with my work, if you read BMB with any regularity.

Ok, so my new word - let me set this up a bit. Sometimes, no matter what I do, I never feel like I did enough. This is particularly true at this time of year. This year I sent Christmas cards to blood relatives only, complete with the cheesy newsletter that contains absolutely no information that I haven't already shared with you on here. (Yes, you know more about me than the people which whom I share DNA. You're welcome.) I felt bad that I didn't send cards to all of you, even though I know you won't be mad at me.

This year I also had all of my shopping done before December 1st. That's how R and I like to do it. December is stressful enough as it is. And R and I had already 'splained to the kiddos that in terms of gift quantity, this year would be a little thinner than last year because of the house and the van that we all love. And they were really cool with it.

R and I did great with our budget, and each Ape had exactly 4 gifts to open on Christmas morning. And although each Ape was extremely happy with each of their gifts, I kept feeling like I didn't do enough. I knew it made more sense (both logically and financially speaking) to limit the number of gifts so that there would be nothing I bought solely for the purpose of giving the recipient something additional to open, which would surely be forgotten in favor of a few of the Favorite gifts, which, for all intents and purposes, could have been the only things we bought in the first place.

It also helped that we knew what the Inlaws were giving the kids, and anything we got them would be completely eclipsed by their gift. More on that later.

So even though I knew I did fine with the gifts, I still sensed that the kids were disappointed and just not saying so, and I felt like I'd done an inadequate job with Christmas. Not even just with the gifts, either - we didn't bake cookies, didn't put up many decorations other than the tree and the stockings (we usually make a day of cutting out snowflakes and putting them in the windows), didn't drive out to see Christmas lights, nothing like that. It never felt like Christmas to me, not on Christmas Eve, not on Christmas Day, not even the day after. And I didn't go Day After shopping either, because my parents were coming that day.

I just couldn't shake the feeling that I hadn't done enough. And not even just the Christmas stuff - I hadn't cleaned the house enough, hadn't washed the sheets and towels for my mom and dad's visit, hadn't bought enough groceries, nothing I'd done (and I did a LOT, by any definition) was enough. And just to be clear, it wasn't that I feared anything specific happening as a result of anything I hadn't done; nothing I had left undone was a big deal. And no one was making me feel that I hadn't done enough, no one was giving me a hard time about it or anything; I was simply unsatisfied with myself.

I was consumed by this overwhelming sense of general inadequacy, and it was making me sick to my stomach. So here's the word I came up with, to describe the helpless feeling I was experiencing - the feeling that I'd messed something up irreparably and I wouldn't have a chance to go back and fix it to where I'd feel better and I knew there wasn't a damn thing I can do about it, but I couldn't stop thinking about it...


(Adj.) Stressed about something that's completely in the past that you can do nothing about, and unable to shake the feeling of utter powerlessness that you should have done something differently and now, obviously, you can't. And it's important to add the element of "I know that it makes absolutely no sense for me to even feel like this" resounding in your head all the while.

Annnnnyway, I was retro-stressing the entire way out to the Inlaws'. I should have made peppermint fudge, I should have taken a whole Xannie instead of a half, I shouldn't have drunk that caffeine, I should have worn my Wonder Woman panties; everything that entered my head was some mistake I'd made in the last 24 hours. And it was eating me alive.

But we got out there and everything was reasonably stress-free. MIL had ham and lots of snacks, and plenty of liquor, including Mimosas made with the GOOD stuff. Sweet.

MIL and FIL have a Wii. It's made them rather popular party hosts in their neighborhood, apparently. The kids were playing with it while they waited for dinner. My nephews 1Gig and 2Gig are quite adept at it, as they have not one, but two Wii's at their house, along with their two Lexuses. Hey, I'm thrilled for their parents' success. I just kinda shake my head in bewildered awe at it sometimes because, try as I might, I just can't imagine having that kind of money.

Anyway, at one point, FIL mentioned a game called Rayman Raving Rabbids (or something like that) and one particular game within this game he said was, and I quote, "right up your alley, Sarah."

He went on to describe a game which involves the various deranged rabbit-like creatures atop the Arch De Triomphe shaking up a bottle of booze, guzzling it quickly and letting out a belch that shatters the windows on the Champs Elysses and sets off the alarms on all the Peugots. Charming. And the fact that it made FIL think of me? I have a tear in my eye.

So the kids were so good at Chez Inlaw, FIL asked me if there was something wrong with them. Gee, FIL, if this is how you want them to behave, then why question it? Act like there's something wrong with my kids if they're being good? Yeah, that makes sense. And it makes me feel like a fantastic parent. Thanks.

Ok, so what did MIL and FIL get my kids for Christmas?

A Wii.


I hereby retract all the smack I've talked about my inlaws.

R and I have known about the Wii for months. FIL asked both R and Reverend Aldi if they thought the kids would like one. R said uh, YEAH! without hesitation. The Reverend kinda hemmed and hawed, knowing he'd have to clear it with Mrs. Aldi, and Mrs. Aldi didn't want one in her house because they're too viiiiiiiolent.

Um, Mrs. A? Two things. First of all, your husband is a total fucking pussy, and secondly, you could use a little violence in your house in the form of a lil swat on the BEE-hind because, let's be honest, your brattyass kids could sure use one. There, I said it.

Eventually she caved and the Aldis got one too, but for the record, Reverend Aldi is the most pussy-whipped man I've ever encountered in my life. Perhaps she figured if The Rev had a Wii to play with, he'd quit bugging her for sex. We're pretty sure he's not gittin any.

Oh, and let me share what they got Beebie for Christmas. Not just the High School Musical DVD game. No, no. THIS TOO.

Oh, it's fuckin ON.

So the Wii has become a cherished member of our family, as has the hutch we got on Craigslist to go with the dining room table we got for free. R and I unpacked dishes that we got for our wedding ten years ago that were still in the boxes, and as we placed them on the shelves we realized that we have an alarming lack of liquor in the house. We have beer, sure, but if you're a mixed drinks kind of person, you'd be shitouttaluck at my house. We're thinking of having a bar-stocking party. We'll invite people over for dinner and Wii games, and they'll be asked to bring a bottle of whatever they want to add to our bar. Sure, it's tacky, but I'm like that and y'all know it.

I also got to do a little yarn shopping over Christmas break, which was awesome. It was the first time I've bought yarn in a shop since February. I got some Debbie Bliss Cashmerino so I could make my very first cabled project and my first FO of 2008 - Fetching!

I added a cable round at the end to make them longer, and I didn't bother with the picot bind-off, and they're not perfect, but I think they came out pretty good. I absolutely love the yarn; the color especially.

I'm waiting for the kids to go back to school, then I'm going to sneak up on the Ice Queen while she's sleeping and kick her ass. I was afraid to pick Her Majesty up while my parents were here because I wouldn't be able to give her my full attention.

So, moving on to the Parental Visit. I was really nervous, especially about them staying with us. I certainly didn't want it to come down to me screaming "GET OUT... OF THE HOUSE YOU BOUGHT FOR ME!!" Oh, and let me just say that Beeb was a good sport for letting Nana and PopPop stay in her bedroom, but she did request that I wash the sheets after their departure, just in case they took a "nap" while they were here. Tee hee!!!

Some of the highlights of their visit include Tito's Birthday Party. He's 5 now. It's the beginning of the six weeks out of each year that the boys are the same age. After a few days of Wii Bowling, Tito thought we should go real bowling. So we did. I bowling a 248 in Wii Bowling. And in real bowling? Well, I SUCK. But I'm an excellent ball-handler. And I look hot under bowling-alley lighting, do I not?

Another highlight was Mom and Dad offering to watch the kiddos while R and I went to see Sweeney Todd.

Here's my assessment of Sweeney Todd: If you can't stand the sight of blood, you and Sweeney Todd really can't be friends. However, if the thought of seeing Johnny Depp and Alan Rickman together on the big screen is as hot to you as it is to me, you'll figure out a way to deal with the bloody stuff and concentrate on Johnny's extremely sexy eye makeup. Beeeeeyootiful.

That's enough for now, I think. The kids go back to school tomorrow, and let me just say... I CAN'T WAIT.

I'm gonna Wii Bowl ALL DAY.