19 November, 2011

Layered Relationships

...I think you're nice, but I saw something else that I like/ and I think I gotta make you my next ex....

Speaking to the new husband of my ex's second ex, thinking about the new husband of his first ex, and how I met him without knowing he was married to her. Later, her comment was, "Does she have to be friends with ALL of my husbands?"

Ex #2's new husband is quite charming and humorous, and we discussed Schrodinger.

We spoke of the famous imaginary cat, and the popular notion that he is either in the box, or not in the box. This is incorrect, as the cat being in the box is taken as a non-variable. Whether the cat is alive or not is at issue.

However, my friend applied the 'observation changes reality' premise to this theoretical cat, and said that the cat is either looking up or not looking up, and when we open the box to see if the cat is looking up, of course the cat is looking up, because we opened the box.

This is not Shrodinger, nor Quantum Physics. It's more like a foam marshmallow s'more snowman on a sled Christmas ornament, or a shirtless Korean Canadian in a kilt playing electric sitar. (Hi, Andrew!)

I spoke of the stepson of my cousin, trying to find a word. I decided on 'nephew', which describes the emotional connection, though on a literal level is less than accurate.

Though in conversation I refer to multiple brothers-in-law, I in fact only have one. The husbands of my two sisters-in-law have no designation in English, and calling them out-laws confuses people.

Long ago, I met the little girl who was about to become my niece by marriage. I helped her gather some food on a paper plate and we sat down together. She looked at me with her serious little face and asked, "So, are you.... in law?"

I puzzled over this, because people, even four-year-olds, rarely mistake me for a lawyer.

Then I laughed when I realized she was trying to 'place' me in the family.

Yes, I told her. I'm married to your almost step-mommie's brother. I'm an in-law.

(Beyonce; Kick Him Out)

16 November, 2011

Aborted Visit

...travel the world and the seven seas/ everybody's looking for something....

Before I woke this morning, I was in your apartment- not the house I've visited, nor the other dwelling you've described to me, but a first-floor condo unit in a large complex. I knew it was yours because it was the same apartment I'd dreamed before, which I entered, barely knocking, and walked straight into your arms as you stepped from the shower. This time, as I came in, I tripped over a red cloth shopping bag- Target, I think- which contained a pair of shoes and a sweater I'd left behind the last time.

In my dreams, you don't seem partial to locked doors.

You are not here. I can feel your absence.

A young college-aged woman moves from one room to another in the back of the apartment. The front rooms are dark. She is speaking on the phone, but eventually notices me, and asks, "May I help you?" in a slightly hostile tone. I stammer that I've accidentallly entered the wrong apartment. Her face relaxes and she agrees that the units look all alike, and, smiling at me, resumes her phone conversation as I back away towards the door. I grab my bag of clothes and exit, wondering.

Eurythmics; Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)

02 November, 2011

Juxtaposition, Again.

...they paved paradise/ and put up a parking lot/ they took all the trees/ and put them in a tree museum/ then they charged the people/ a dollar and a half just to see 'em...

The sun gleams blinding on the flat waters of the harbor. Beyond, twin plumes of steam rise from the stacks of Brandon Shores power plant, floating above the dinosaurian skeletal frames of mechanical monsters.

Nearby, a pair of large rocks protrude from the inlet, covered with birds. White-shirted cormorants glare at the monstrous floating city moored across the way. The lone heron among them tips his prehistoric head disdainfully and flaps away.

Marsh grasses rustle against the light breeze. Somewhere, I know there is a tent almost, but not quite entirely hidden from view. I often wonder about the tent's inhabitant: homeless, semi-homeless, or just living off the grid?

A seagull sounds as it sails overhead. I lock my car and walk into the Wal-Mart.

(Joni Mitchell; Big Yellow Taxi)

20 August, 2011

Get One.

...look me in my eyes with the blank stare/ why don't you know/ why don't you know what to do....


What's wrong, honey?

"I have no fucking clue what's wrong! It just won't work!"

He's trying to fix the sink in the bathroom. I'm in the kitchen. I dig around in a drawer, find a chopstick.

I carry it to the bathroom, hold it out to him.

"What's this?" He takes it.

It's a clue stick.

Fluffy, helping, chimes in: "That's not- that's a chopst-"

Shut UP. Work with me, here.

(Rob Allen; Clueless)

14 August, 2011

Sleep, Interrupted.

...whatcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do when they come for you....

I've stayed up too late chatting on the internet with a friend I've never met. She has wonderful words of advice about something that's been troubling me for several months, so I don't begrudge the lost sleep. I gather a few things I'll need in the morning then tuck myself in for a few hours… at least, that was the plan. In less than an hour, the dogs wake me, barking furiously. I listen, and hear a knocking at my front door. This used to not be an unusual occurrence when RJ was living nearby, but he has moved away. Who is knocking? I hurry downstairs and peek under the curtain. There are two uniformed people, one of whom bears passing resemblance to the girl who used to care for my babies, back when I had babies. I open the door. It's the police.

Why are the police at my house?
"We received a 911 call from this residence."
What? A 911 call? From MY house?
"It was a 911 hang-up."
Ah, okay. Which the police are obligated to investigate. The cruiser is parked diagonally across my street, which I mentally note is a Bad Idea, considering the speed at which drivers regularly take my hill. It's 3 AM. Why are the police at my house at 3 AM?
No, I didn't make a 911 call. I was sleeping. The kids are also sleeping.
"Do you have any housemates, someone renting a room?"
Nobody. What the hell? Also, my land-line doesn't work particularly well, and mostly provides me with internet access, which is also spotty. Not only DID no one make a 911 call from my house, I doubt anyone COULD make a 911 call from my house.
"Well, it was just a mistake, then. Sorry to have woken you."
But whose mistake? How?

I go back to bed, but I do not sleep, not for quite a while.

(Bob Marley; Bad Boys)

04 August, 2011

Summer, Suddenly

...then it happened/ it took me by surprise/ I knew that you felt it too/ by the look in your eyes....

It wasn't that the car was pulled up to the kerb, blocking foot and cart traffic as shoppers exited the market.

It wasn't that the windows were wide open while the stereo emitted incomprehensible bleating voices and the rhythmic backbeat of what I believe is called R & B.

It wasn't that the car sagged on the occupied driver's side presumably with the not-inconsiderable weight of the driver.

I could've ignored any one of those.

Taken together, though, and coupled with the fact that the driver was leaning forward towards the vanity mirror, actually plucking the hairs from her chin with a pair of tweezers, aroused a sudden, overwhelming horror of Life As I Know It and reduced me to a walking mass of revulsion against Mankind.

Sometimes these things happen rather suddenly.

(The Drifters; This Magic Moment)

03 August, 2011

Scratch, kiss.

...carries a postcard/ won't the big city be nice/ that's the place with the action/ she's gonna have her a slice....

Between the storm and dawn, I dream of you.

In the morning, I open windows to admit the sound of rattling rain.

Last night, knowing I'd been with another, he ignored me and refused to speak.

This morning, he is huggy kissy again; despite his polydactlism, he is unable to open the food container for himself.

Evidently, he has forgiven me for scratching someone's itch and having a little pussy on the side.

Still, he gives me a filthy look over his shoulder, and twitches his tail as he walks away.

(Adam Ant; Puss'N Boots)

31 July, 2011

Backwards Music

...everyone's a ball of clay / we sculpt each other into shapes / desperately trying to make / the one who fits our empty space / it's temporary and manmade / like little shots of Novacaine....

I have a new crush. This should not be a surprise.

Short story: quirky musicians.

But you want the long story, right?

That's what I thought.

We leave the bar, so exhausted and elated that the Crime Scene tape across the next block fails to do more than arouse momentary bemusement. I re-learn the clutch on the Subaru.


Channing and Quinn are delightful, friendly, chatty and interested in us, as well as charming. YoungEv and I debate adjectives.

"Cute," he decides.
"Adorable," I argue.
"No, they ARE cute," he says. I wave impatiently, with both hands.
"BEYOND cute," I say.
"Oh," he says, "you're raising my...?"
"Right, I see your cute and I raise you an adorable."

Fuzzy ignores us and continues sketching.


My concern that I won't recognize Acacia Sears out of context is unfounded. I can't describe her, but I always recognize her. She's grown so lovely, and rocks so hard, I am in awe.


The family has gathered at Joe Squared for reputedly fabulous pizza, drinks and music. YoungEv will join us in a while. When the pizza arrives, we enjoy it, but are slightly disappointed, as the kids and I have very recently been impressed by pizza at Iggie's, which quite honestly I liked better.


It's Wednesday, and Ellen Cherry is playing live at The Electric Maid in Tacoma Park. Wednesday is beside me, worried that this concert will be crowded or boring or both. She makes me find a different parking space, as she thinks the one I've chosen is sketchy and likely to garner us a ticket

As we open the door to the venue, I spot Ellen relaxed on a sofa. She hops up with a big grin and an expression of recognition and comes over to greet us. I'm amazed that Ellen recognizes my face- we met one time. She doesn’t remember where… but I say 'poetry', and she says, "Oh, yes, Cliff Lynn, he's back from Afghanistan now!"

One of the musician fellows brings in beer, offers to the room in general, and ends up walking 'round and passing them out to each person individually. I realize only later that this is Quinn, the rhythm/drum/whispering half of Channing and Quinn.

As Channing and Quinn begin their set, Ellen slips out. She has been so sweet to Wednesday, signing her CD, and writing a personalized message on it as well. Wednesday and I are charmed.

Wednesday holds her sketch book all evening, not opening it at all, just hugging it to her, totally charmed by the indie-folk-accousticats.

(Channing and Quinn; The Corners of My Mouth)

22 July, 2011

Giant Turtle?

...where the sea was smooth as glass/ giving you one answer to a question/ that you never thought you'd ask....

"There's this movie from the 70s I'm trying to remember,"

and no one can ever remember what the movie is called. Despite having researched it a couple of times, I'm evidently resistant to owning it, or remembering the title. I wonder what that says about the title. Or me.

My cartoonist comic-book geeky pal, whose recent article provoked my musing to begin with 'solved' the mystery for me, which was interesting but not right.

What I remember is two little kids and a turtle, and then some town terrorized by an unseen monster which turns out to be a giant turtle. A Google search reveals that there are many searchers like myself, and despite only knowing 2 actual humans who ever saw it, (only one of whom remembers the title), evidently lots of people saw this and were/have been bothered/haunted by it for 30 years.

The search is 'giant turtle movie from the 70s' and RPG has a surprising yield of answers.

One searcher describes a scene later in the movie, on badmovies.net

This one describes a bit in the movie that I don't remember being there, but of course that's not what really bothers me.

I can't get past the misplaced apostrophe.

(Fleetwood Mac; Bermuda Triangle)

20 July, 2011

To Do:

...take it or you leave it/ things that they say, Honor Brite/ if I promised you the moon and the stars/ would you believe it....

1. Memorize "up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A"

2. Use randomly on internet, just for fun

3. Tell son this will ensure he passes his driving test

4. Laugh maniacally at this thought ALL DAY LONG

(The Alan Parsons Project; Games People Play)

11 July, 2011

Almost Random

...and he fills it only halfway/ and before I even argue/ he is looking out the window at somebody coming in....

12 sheets of copy paper
1/2 apple
2 rolls duct tape, partially used
1 blood-caked golf club
5 pencils, unsharpened
1 wood-handled push broom
15 candy wrappers
3 bungee cords
1 elf suit, minus shoes
7 hairpins
1 informational flyer, homeopathic cold remedies
1 mascara, black
3 tote bags, filled, various items
1 ball of fake mistletoe with red velveteen hang cord
26 index cards, neon
4 hang tags from purchased clothing
1 large Celtic brooch, brass
31¢ in change, 30¢ American, 1¢ Canadian
1 squishy latex cone, purpose unknown
6 ball point pens
1 yarn ball band, Lily Sugar N Cream
3/4 of an envelope with approximately 1/3 of a scribbled poem, unfinished
1 single-serve packet cream cheese
2 plastic bags
1 pair white gloves, kid leather
2 hot pink chenille stems, twisted together
1 bag for folding camp chair, no chair

(Suzanne Vega, Tom's Diner)

24 May, 2011

Going Guerilla?

...when their eloquence escapes me/ their logic ties me up and rapes me....

My Tonguebiting Inner Editor has been escaping more frequently and biting her tongue very little. She may become a permanent fixture or a super-hero or both. Red Penny: Apostrophe Avenger, Comma Co-ordinator, Semicolon Semanticist, Interrobang Interpreter...

It's enough that I'm faced with purchasing "cami's" or "DVD's" at my local shops, forced to suffer the comma-splicings of Subaru: "It's what makes a Subaru, a Subaru", assaulted by a drug company's (I've blocked which) catchy jingle of "O-N-E-L-E-S-S, I wanna be one less, one less", infuriated by my local police force's billboard announcement, "I save lives everyday, what do YOU do?" (I catch your errors, assholes. Hire a writer. 'Every day' is TWO words, and you need different punctuation between your two independent clauses- tell ya what: you draw guns and drive squad cars; I will write and edit) but to now face, on a daily basis, the social (mis)stylings of my 'friends', some of whom have been students- writing students!- of mine, has pushed me right to the edge.

Evidently, I'm not the only one.

You've been warned.

(The Police; De Doo Doo Doo, De Da Da Da)

09 May, 2011

Monday List

...try to kiss me, and laugh /in four or five paragraphs /All your compliments and your cutting remarks /Are captured here in my quotation marks....

1. It will never leach toxic chemicals into a landfill
2. I have one that belonged to my grandfather
3. It will survive a dip in the tub or pool if I fall asleep
4. I can lend it, give it away, donate it or display it
5. Its cost is reflective of something other than its age
6. I will happily hand one to a baby
7. If it's old, it can be cheap, free, or very expensive
8. It carries an aroma which is personal and exquisite
9. If I drop it, I can pick it up in one piece
10. It needs no instructions for use
11. It can be signed by the author
12. This is one of the stupidest things I've ever seen
13. Two words: gilt flashing

(Elvis Costello; Everyday I Write The Book)

11 April, 2011

Recycled Monday

...I'd change her sad rags into glad rags if I could (if I could)....

Pin inside purse as a cell phone pocket
Cut open for tiny towels or facecloths
Revamp as a shopping bag
Turn inside-out and put in soap scraps for a shower soap-pad
Use as puppets or golf-club covers
Stuff with fiberfill for a kid-bopper (comedic use only!) or dog toy
Knit a bathmat
Cover the end of a yardstick and clean under the fridge
Use the cuff part as wrist band or coffeecup cozy
Keep near the freezer for an ice bag
Create undies
Stuff in a tennis ball and knot it for another dog toy
Sew the bottom of the cuff part to be MP3 player cover

(Franki Valli and the Four Seasons: Rag Doll)

08 April, 2011

Longish Title

...I got this, you got this/Now you know it....

This is almost literally the only thing I've done today. Fucking rain.

Arugala April Poetry Tribute To Bebecka Lack

Seven AM I get up in the morning
Gotta cook fresh food in the kitchen downstairs
No clean bowls, can't have cereal
Seeing everything in the pantry
With expired 'best by' dates, gotta rush and
Gotta chow down on some quick slop
Carton from the fridge, I grab a pan

Salt is on my right side
Pepper's on my left side
Gotta make my mind up
Which spice can I shake?

It's fried egg, fried egg
Gotta chow down on fried egg
Wheat bread for my toast is just the butt end, butt end
Fried egg, fried egg
Scarfin down a fried egg
Every day I eat one and I worry about my rear end

You know what it is
I got eggs, you got eggs
They're not even green, say
I got ham, you got ham
Now you know it

Salt is on my right side
Pepper's on my left side
Gotta make my mind up
Which spice can I shake?

It's fried egg, fried egg
Gotta chow down on fried egg
Wheat bread for my toast is just the butt end, butt end
Fried egg, fried egg
Scarfin down a fried egg
Every day I eat one and I worry about my rear end

Dieting Dieting (yeah)
Tired of dieting (yeah)
Fun, fun, it's no fun
But I worry about my rear end

Last night I was thirsty, thirsty
Today I eat a fried egg
Me, me, me, I'm delighted
Burner ignited
Gonna eat up all my fried egg

Tomorrow is gym day
And I'll be sore afterwards
I won't eat this old piece of bread

It's fried egg, fried egg
Gotta chow down on fried egg
Wheat bread for my toast is just the butt end, butt end
Fried egg, fried egg
Scarfin down a fried egg
Every day I eat one and I worry about my rear end

I figure if I have to have that stupid song stuck in my head, it may as well have better lyrics.

I'll be in a murder mystery tonight; Drop Dead, Gorgeous. But it's a private gig, so even if you wear a red carnation, I won't see you there.

(Rebecca Black; Friday)

04 April, 2011

Black Youtube

THAT SHIT AINT RIGHT MAN!!! IT UNHUMANTRY TO LISTEN TO THAT SHIT- MrSmalldude22, commenting on Rebecca Black's Friday

Okay, I find the Rebecca Black Friday song very funny for reasons I probably don't need to explain. I do not, however, advise listening to it. Instead, I recommend this cute parody by a couple of (it looks like) highschoolers. Or this version: Steven Colbert on Jimmy Fallon.

If this is the worst song ever, it's in good company. Seriously, doesn't anybody remember Leonard Nimoy's 'Proud Mary'? That one is SO bad that the painful Ballad of Bilbo Baggins seems, at least, mercifully short.

Let's not forget classic rock band Styx, and the absurd Mr. Roboto. Now THAT was bad, even for the eighties.

Oh, if we want to consider something a bit less ancient, how aboutWe Like The Moon? Granted that Joel Vietch of Rathergood is the genius behind Happy Spacemen, and Love Me Like You Used To, We Like The Moon, well, that song was just BAD.

Perhaps deliberately so.

And "unhumantry" is my new favorite made-up word.

29 March, 2011

Cat Tales

...pusscat's read all the papers/ seen the movie and knows/ all the streets lead to somewhere/ and the pavement's gold....

Cat stories, to balance the knitting. Or maybe not.

We have the reverse of 'stuff on my cat' at our house. Clear surfaces? Check. Sunny windowsills? Check. Cozy comforter-covered beds? Check. Empty laps? Check.

Where's the cat?

On our stuff.

Given the choice between counter and computer, table and a pile of papers, chair to himself or one with a stack of magazines, bet you can guess which he'll choose.

We've finally learned to leave the copy/scan/fax machine in the OFF position, because of the CopyCat in our house. We had way, way too many furbutt photocopies. Who am I kidding? One is too many.


It's just before Easter, 2009. Hawk pulls into the Dana lot, where he leaves the BigTruck.

"Boy am I glad to see you!" says one of the truck-industry-support-folk. "You're an animal lover, right? C'mere, I wanna show you something."

Hawk is wary, but co-operative.

"We call him Trouble, but he's a loverboy, really. You gotta meet him."

He puts a skinny black kitten into my husband's arms. Hawk holds the cat face-up, and rubs his chest and tummy.

The kitten blinks yellow lamplight eyes and begins to purr.

A girl in the office had noticed an abandoned cat hanging around her home, and had put out food for it. Her mother had a fit, declaring that they already had one cat to feed, and that was enough. The girl captured the cat and brought it to the truckyard where, presumably, it survived on scraps leftover from lunches. But the Easter holiday was coming, and no one would be at the yard. And then there were the large actual feral cats. The truckyard folk feared for Trouble's life.

Hawk listens, and glances down at the cat in question. It has fallen asleep.

The first notice I have of an addition to our household is my husband's voice telling the kids (outside in the yard, playing on an unseasonably sunny day) that he has a friend he wants them to meet.

"But you have to be careful- he gets scared by loud noises."

Oh, great. He's brought home some drunk homeless guy.

"And he needs a bath. But I think you'll like him."

Okay, so now I'm prepared for a near-starving black dog. But it's this tiny tuxedoed cat wrapped in a dirty towel. Hawk engages in the aforementioned bathing activity.

Cat emerges clean, notably calm, and after an energetic rub with a towel, purring. And he has one more surprise for us.

This cat has extra toes.

Extra toes!

(Adam Ant; Puss 'N Boots)

28 March, 2011

Monday List

...one, two, three, four/ can I have a little more?/ five six seven-eight-nine-ten I love you....

1. Walk
2. Laugh
3. Compare hairstyles
4. Sweep
5. Complain about gas
6. Pour water
7. Wait patiently
8. Wonder what's causing the big fuss
9. Mimic expressions
10. Relax
11. Keep doing something well past the time you're tired of doing it
12. Employ a lint brush
13. Accept unconditional adoration

(Beatles; All Together Now)

21 March, 2011

Faceblogging? Lame.

...it's a thousand pages, give or take a few/ I'll be writing more in a week or two/ I can make it longer if you like the style/ I can change it round and I want to be a paperback writer....

The boom and patter of thunder and rain fail to resonate enough to dispel mental clouds, and the literal ones hang 'round past lunch. Sunshine, however sporadic, is welcome and cheering.

I haven't drowned myself in the bathtub yet. It's March, always a risky month.

I've stayed out of the tub, actually, just in case. Showers are somehow less satisfying. When I sleep, it's in the bed. I'm trying for 3 hour chunks: no more than 2 days a week of 3 hour sleeps, at least 2 days of 6 hour sleeps, and an attempt at 1 day of 9 hours.

They don't have to be all in a row, though. That may be cheating, but I don't think so. Three hours on the sofa accidentally followed by an hour of snack-n-surf, followed by three hours on purpose in the bed is, I believe, if my math is correct, (English Major- You Do The Math is not my T-shirt, but should be), is six hours. Requirement met.

I'm sorry to report (sorry to have to report) that my writing has been like spring rain: spitty and insignificant. Some of my recent entries- specifically, the haiku- have been posted as my FB status. Yes, poems, but, really? Haiku? And haiku FB status? Yes. It is lame. However, to my credit, I have been posting haiku status since the beginning of October, which was officially "Haiku FB Status Month", and have not returned to "wonders what's for dinner" since then.

The entire previous paragraph is absurd and will not withstand the test of time. It doesn't qualify as literature, humor or helpful information, and I would implore you to not read it except that it is already too late. I will try to redeem myself with the remainder of this entry.

This next, I fear, may but slightly mitigate (see that split infinitive there? I have the most famous split infinitive in the English language emblazoned on my license plate. Some of you will know what I mean) the weak and annoying nature of the material that has preceded it, or perhaps even contribute to it. The next following bit, though, may at least serve as illustration that one never knows what serves to knock one upside the head with the Muse-bat.

Mich: The birds are singing this morning! I want to go give them little scarves and hats.
Februarrry 5 roundabouts 6:57 in the mornin' · Arr!; Kimby J-S an' 7 other mateys be admirin' this. ·

I'm sure Cyb can help you out with that...she's a knitting genius.
Februarrry 5 roundabouts 8:23 in the mornin' ·

Oh, sure. I'm some Disney character, knitting tiny hats and scarves, to set upon Mich's windowsill, while she's slaving over a teakettle. The little birds fly up to the sill, selecting knitwear of their favorite colors (ignoring my malevolent glow), while Mich pantomimes a warning to them. Then she pours my tea.
Februarrry 5 roundabouts 8:38 in the mornin' ·

Like I said, genius
Februarrry 5 roundabouts 9:16 in the mornin'

OMG, I really saw that in my head! Can I wear Aurora's dress??
Februarrry 5 roundabouts 9:48 in the mornin'

See what I mean?

But this next bit:

Once Upon An Ever After…

I'm knitting tiny hats and scarves
to set upon your windowsill
while you slave over a teakettle.
The little birds, oblivious to my
malevolent glow, fly up to the sill
selecting knitwear of their favorite colors.
You pantomime frantic warnings to them.
They do not understand.
And now you pour my tea.

Cybele Pomeroy, 5 February 2011

pro ear much like
min large head a dusky flapping
ent so large flag flag flag
pro it's a very large waving waving
boscis large large waving with
head no breeze
sharp tusk
not much
neck but
drum for a foot THAT
SO MUCH broom
FOOD a tiny
NO ONE tail
CAN KEEP for a
other sits on
foot a bright
boom colored bucket
boom for a funny trick -8 March 2011

There are serious formatting problems with the above, which I am not clever enough to solve. Those of you who are clever with the wordprocessing tools associated with Blogger/Google might give me helpful tidbits in the 'comments' section. Anyone who is still reading at all has my congratulations and admiration.

That was done as a demonstration for Fuzzy, who is taking a literature/writing class. It isn't much, just quick-n-dirty, but it came out better than I had expected(when the formatting worked).She was appropriately unimpressed.

(Fuzzy is twelve. People are astounded. When she was thirteen but looked three, people were impressed. When she was fifteen but looked nine, people were frightened. Now that she is twelve but looks eighteen, people are astounded. And nervous. This is a correct reaction. Fluffy is now old enough to drive. He isn't, yet, but he's old enough. Yes. Be amazed. Time... it's tricksy.)

This next, I wrote as a response to a rant about Creationists who want "Intelligent Design" taught in schools as science. I don't know if what I said is true, but I liked it.
Cave-dwellers will name their demons and deities, hoping to thereby tame them. It is perhaps a measure of human optimism, this attempt to control the uncontrollable.

You may quote me if you wish.

(The Beatles; Paperback Writer)

22 February, 2011

Swirley Hat

Originally uploaded by xoxcybele

Swirly Hat Pattern- adult medium- 21 ½ inches around

Use any size circular needle, at least 24" total length
Use any yarn you like.

Do a swatch test to determine whether yarn: needle ratio will give you a fabric density you like. You can also count stitches per inch, and measure your head. Depending on the thickness of your yarn, you will have more or fewer rounds, and more or fewer M1 stitches.

Cast on 8 in the round
Round 1: knit
Round 2: *K1, M1 around
Round 3: Knit
Round 4: K2, M1 around
Round 5, and all odd rows: Knit
Round 6: K3, M1 around
Round 8: K4, M1 around
Round 10: K5, M1 around

{ continue adding 1 K stitch before an M1 in all even rounds and knitting all odd rounds until circle is at least 5" in diameter (across) }

{ for an Adult Small, 5" diameter circle when beginning the body of the hat;
Adult Medium, 5 ½" diameter; Adult Large, 6" diameter}

Turn of Crown:
Round 12: K6, M1 around
Round 13: Knit
Round 14: K7, M1 around
Round 15 Knit
Round 16: K8, M1 around
Round 17: Knit

{ Body of Hat: continue to make swirl pattern by doing M1, immediately followed by a decrease, in this case SSK. SSK leans to the left side, whereas K2tog leans right. You want a left leaning decrease. }
Round 18: SSK, K9, M1 around
Round 19: Knit
Round 20 and all even rounds: SSK, K9, M1 around
Round 21 and all odd rounds: Knit

{ continue until the body of the hat measures the length you need for head dimensions, usually 4 ½ - 5 ½ " in length, depending upon the size of the melon of the hat wearer }

Switch to 3 x1 ribbing.
K3, P1
Work even until brim (ribbing) measures 1 ½". Cast off in ribbing pattern.

There will be a small hole at the top of this hat. Cover it with a pompon, patch, or appliqué, or leave it alone. It's not big enough to let your brains leak out, promise.

01 February, 2011

Something's Fishy

...packed like lemmings into shiny metal boxes....

I eat an entire tin of sardines on Triscuit crackers, squirting vulture cats with a spray bottle because I don't want to share. Halfway through my inhalation, I wonder whether this is a manifestation of some neurosis, nutritional deficiency or emotional baggage. I haven't even thought about sardines in... I don't know how long.

I pull my copy of Constant Craving, Doreen Virtue's book on the meanings of your food cravings. Nada. Sardines are not even mentioned. Chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream, however, has a significant entry.

I pull Joy Of Cooking, which has useful information about sardines, but only one recipe.

Frustrated, I dive into the 'net, always a risky business, as I mean to do things, but get distracted by the shiny internet and eventually wander away from the computer wondering what it was I meant to do, how I managed to spend $63.87 NOT doing it, and where the hell have the last four hours gone.

Wikipedia says of sardines, in part, this:
are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce the occurrence of cardiovascular disease. Recent studies suggest that regular consumption of omega-3 fatty acids reduces the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease. These fatty acids may also help lower blood sugar levels a small amount. They are also a good source of vitamin D, calcium, B12, and protein.
Because they are low in the food chain, sardines are very low in contaminants such as mercury relative to other fish that are commonly eaten by humans.

Good to know. I certainly may be lacking in some of those nutritive areas. But I derive comfort from this post- the comments, rather than the entry itself.

On bread with mustard, with hard-boiled egg, drizzled in soy sauce, disguised as tuna salad, in hot sauce over rice- so many ways!- I never knew any way to eat them except out of the can on a cracker. Also striking was the memory-laden resonance of some of the serving suggestions:
Daddy and I would sit on the back porch (Mother would not allow sardines in the house) and smash sardines on Saltine crackers. I was about 5 and none of my siblings would touch them. Just me and my Dad. I hadn't thought about that until I read this piece today. I can hardly wait to get a can, sit on the back porch and think of my Dad, long gone, but those sardines were only thing that was "just us".
Evidently, I'm not the only one scarfing a whole can of sardines all by myself.

(Synchronicity II; The Police)

22 January, 2011

Vertical Stripes

...Duke, Duke, Duke, Duke of Earl, Duke, Duke, Duke of Earl, Duke, Duke, Duke of Earl....

Hijacking my own blog for knitting-related purposes. Crocheters, needle-felters and non-crafters, move along. Nothing to see here.

Vertical Texture Stripes Cloth


Size 5, 6, or 7 knitting needle
1 ball cotton yarn
crochet hook or tapestry needle for weaving in ends.

Cast on 33 stitches.

Hint for new-ish knitters: if you have been wondering what to do with those pretty dangly things that people call "stitch markers", this is a good piece for that! You will place a stitch marker (the abbreviation for that instruction: "PM") after each different section. You will have 5 sections: the right hand border, the right garter stripe, the center seed stitch stripe, the left garter stripe, and the left hand border. For this, you'll use 4 stitch markers. Place one after your right hand border, one after the right garter stripe, one after the center seed stripe, and one between the left garter stripe and the left border. Your knitting will be all fancified with jewelry. The stitch markers help you remember to switch stitch patterns instead of continuing in whatever stitch you're knitting.

Seed stitch bottom border:
Row 1: * knit 1, purl 1 *, repeat to last stitch, K 1.
Row 2: Repeat Row 1
Rows 3 – 10: Repeat Row 1
{Work in Seed Stitch for 10 rows total.}

Row 11: (K1, P1 * 3x) K1 {right hand border} [7 stitches], Place Marker ; K 6 {right garter stripe} [6 st], PM; (P1, K1) 3x, P1; {center seed stitch stripe} [7 st], PM ; K 6 {left garter stripe} [6 st], PM; (K1, P1 3x) K1 {left hand border} [7 st]

Row 12: Repeat Row 11

Rows 13- whatever: Repeat Row 11 until cloth is nearly square, or until you're sick of it, for a towel instead of a washcloth, or an afghan panel, or a scarf- really, it could be almost anything you want except an ashtray or an orangutan.

Seed stitch 10 rows for top border; cast off; weave in ends to finish.

Seed stitch: Knit one, purl one, knit one, purl one.
On reverse side, knit all purled stitches, and
purl all knit ones. This creates a dense bumpy fabric that lies flat and doesn't curl.

Garter stitch: Knit every stitch. On the other side, knit every stitch.

In other news.... there is no other news. It's January, in Baltimore, which equals flat-out misery, with February to endure yet. I'm lucky to still be alive.

(Gene Chandler, Duke of Earl)

19 January, 2011

Recent Haiku

...though I respect that a lot/ I'd be fired if that were my job/ after killing Jason off and countless screaming Argonauts....

Whole couch here, but cat
keeps scootching to lie upon
my cashmere sweater.
(Jan. 19)

Feral clowder in
backyard. Tender heart child is
Feeding Goddess. Mrow!
(Jan. 17)

distill my life in-
to two pages; will I fit?
vicious resume.
(Jan. 8)

Toothpaste cap beneath
our Christmas tree- wonder,
but then: Pounce! the cat.
(Dec. 28)

Solstice eclipse of
the moon, wow! Clear, cold; the dogs
have called it a night.
(Dec. 21)

Tires hum, ponder
weather, traffic, bowling ball
on the highway. What?
(Dec. 14)

(They Might Be Giants; Birdhouse In Your Soul)

04 January, 2011

Egg Pie?

...Has anybody seen a dog dyed dark green/ about two inches tall, with a strawberry blonde fall/ sunglasses and a bonnet
and designer jeans with appliques on it?....

Okay, it isn't writing. It's just a recipe. Shaddap. Nobody's reading the blog anymore anyway, except my mom. Hi, Mom!

Anyway. I made a lovely quiche that surprised me by being delicious.

I used:
store-bought crust, pre-baked 10 or 12 minutes (didn’t pay close attention); Belmont brand- may be an ‘off’ brand
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup half and half
1/4 cup whole milk
3 large eggs
parsley, salt, pepper- about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon each
sprinkle of fresh-ground nutmeg
3 slices of already-cooked crisp bacon, crumbled small
1 1/2 cup grated Swiss cheese.

After baking the crust, let it cool while shredding the cheese and combining liquid ingredients with spices. Whisk egg and cream together well, so that there are no streaks of eggwhite visible. Toss cheese and bacon crumbles together, dump evenly into piecrust. Pour egg mixture into crust and gently stir cheese with fork to distribute ingredients evenly, if needed.

Bake at 375F for 35-40 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before cutting.

This is borrowed heavily from Joy of Cooking. We only let the quiche cool 5 minutes (we were hungry!) and the slices stood up, but had ragged edges.

The End. Yum.

(The B-52's; Quiche Lorraine)