Monday, May 21, 2012

Stupid Mickey

I am despondent, people. DESPONDENT I SAY! Life has lost all meaning and the unicorns are farting in grayscale. It’s so bad that I made a fart joke and barely even cracked a smile. DESPONDENT.

At first this funk started with the conclusion of the book I was reading- The Fault in Our Stars. What started out in a witty, irreverent fashion couldn’t keep up the lighthearted feel forever- like I said- a teen with stage IV cancer.

I finished reading it the day after I started and so began this whole, “Woe is me,” outlook. It’s a curse of reading for me. I get so wrapped up into the characters that I forget about real life for a bit. I don’t call it “escapism” for nothing, folks.

Anyway, my escapism into a depressing book isn’t enough to bring me down for long. It is fiction, after all. And, it resulted in a very good discussion yesterday at our Book Club meeting, so all was not lost. (So totally nailed the oral book exam!)

So what could have brought along this dark cloud of despair that has been hovering over me? Well, I finally finished Little Mister’s Blanket-o-Love. TA DAAA! That’s a big reason why I’ve been silent on here- I’ve been much too focused on crocheting my life away to spend on the computer. Or exercising. Gah. How the heck am I going to run in the 10K next month if I keep on making excuses to not exercise? (Yes, I decided to “run” a 10K with Miss A next month. May the Lord have mercy on my soul. And my butt. Can’t forget that.)

So you’re thinking, “You finished it?? YAYAY! Now show us some pics, monkey!”

I’m going to gloss over the fact that you called me a monkey (takes one to know one) and instead of posting pics, I’m going to cry just a bit more.

You see…..oh man…this is hard.

You see….Ihavetoripitoutagain.

That’s right. I HAVE TO RIP IT OUT AGAIN. AGAIN!!!!

Lest you think that I am on some sort of crochet masochistic binge and am using this Blanket-o-Love as some sick way to get my jollies, let me tell you that this decision has not come easily and it truly has ripped my heart out. I made a mistake. Not a, “I’m the only one who can see this mistake but I’m going to rip it out because I have OCD,” mistake. A, “HOLY MOLY HOW DID I MISS THAT???” mistake. A mistake that would cause you all to point and laugh at me a huge, Nelson-esque, “HA-HA!” A big, terrible, mistake.

My Mister said I should leave it in as a sort of “Hidden Mickey,” which, since I've already crocheted the same blanket twice, I thought might not be a bad idea. As I was mulling it over, he said, “So, are you going to leave your Hidden Stupid in it or not?”

Oh that honey-tongued love of mine. Always knows just what to say to cheer me up.

So, no. I’m not leaving in my “Hidden Stupid,” and instead have to rip out 58 rows PLUS the border. I actually finished it last week but have yet to rip it out because I needed a break from it to wallow in my grief.

Instead, I’ve been working on some of my shawl ideas because I wanted something that I could finish quickly. I really needed something with instant gratification. Except I realized that I’d never use this shawl the way it is (I miscalculated the increases and so it’s a little wonky. That, and it’s a shawl.) so I’m going to rip that thing out, too. Stupid shawl. Stupid yarn! Stupid hooks! STUPID STUPID STUPID.

GAH!!

So. Ugggggghhhhh. I decided to take the plunge and rip it out tomorrow so that I can hopefully have it done by this weekend. After that, I don’t care how many Hidden Stupids are in it- Little Mister will have his blanket and he will love it, I have spoken AMEN.

Since I have been (mostly) gone from the internets in the last week, I nearly missed out on a little something that actually has the potential of cheering me up. Libby is starting a yarn and tea swap and that sounds fabulous. You have until the 22nd to sign up, so get your butts in gear! And if you get me for a partner, the yarn you send better be simply AH-MAZ-ING because, you know. Despondent and all.

Ok. I'm off to melodramatically shower my pillow with my melodramatic tears yet again. Fare thee well, kind gentle folks. May your day be blessed, may your night be peaceful, and may your crochet not be filled with Hidden Stupids.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

'Allo, Guvnah!

So, in the last few days, I've been working feverishly on Little Mister's Blanket-o-Love. So feverishly, in fact, that I've gotten quite sick. No, not of the *cough*cough*I'm gonna die!* variety, but of the *holy moly*I want to crochet something else now* variety.

I'm almost done. This is good because good golly, Miss Molly, I can't wait to be done with it. I know that I'm getting itchy to do something else because I'm spending a huge chunk of time on Ravelry looking at shawl patterns and randomly taking out my lace and sock yarns and petting them in a way that makes My Mister a little jealous.

Why shawls? I don't wear them, so why make them? Because in my head I'm a raging fashionista with a long cigarette holder and huge bug-like sunglasses and say things like, "Oh, dahling," and, "Chip chip cheerio," and other random British stereotypical phrases while effortlessly tossing a shawl end over my shoulder and laughing a coquettish trilling, "Oh haha, dahling!" way instead of a, "BAHAHAHAHAHA! *snort*" way.

Could this highly improbable vision of myself be due to watching Downton Abbey last week and episodes of Agatha Christie's Poirot and Miss Marple this weekend while I slave away on my blanket? NO!! And get out of my head, Freud!

*stupid yet awesome British shows* *sulking*

I am really almost done and instead of getting a few more rows completed this evening, I've succumbed to the allure of my stash and have started a new project that had been swirling in my mind for a while. I'm both excited and ashamed of myself. As My Mister said, "You need to finish this project sometime!" Except my overly sensitive and slightly neurotic ears heard, "YOU BETTER GET THAT YARN MOUNTAIN OUT OF OUR LIVING ROOM NOW, WOMAN!"

Granted, he said that after I started hyperventilating because I thought there was a mistake 10 rows down and was about to rip them out again. His well timed verbal slap in my face brought me back to my senses and I realized that I was fretting over nothing. My work is perfect and all is right with the world.

SO.

Hopefully I'll FINALLY have some pics to share by this weekend. Crossing fingers they'll be of Little Mister's blanket and not of some really awesome addition to my shawl UFO pile.

Where's my hot toddy, O'brien?! And some petrol for my lorry? The raaain in Spaaain fauls gently on the plaaain. G'night, guvnah!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Fault in Our Downton Abbey

I'm in the middle of The Fault in Our Stars, but I did not end up reading it last night. For all that talk of cheating on my crochet, I ended up crocheting after all, but in my defense I had too because I cannot watch television without having my hands or something in constant motion. Call it a curse of ADD or something, but I need to be in motion, even when at "rest" so it was either crocheting or doing leg lifts but since we all know I already have buns of steel, well, my decision was an easy one.

So, instead of reading my book last night (which is an AH-MAZING book so far. I started reading it during Little Mister's naps today and I've laughed, I've cried...it's moved me, Bob.) I was totally and completely drawn into the last couple episodes of Downton Abbey. Now, I'm sorry for this post because I'm going to go on and on about how amazing this show is because I don't have anyone with whom I can talk about it in real life and real time. My Mister has been watching it with me but, to assuage his guilt for his "non-manly" TV watching, he refuses to discuss the importance and nuances each head nod and sly smile Mary and Matthew share with each other and instead constantly tells me, "Don't cry! You're always crying!" But I swear he's wiping his own tears when he's pretending to be absorbed in his web browsing. (You can't fool me, Mister! He always makes me pause it when he gets up and has put on the subtitles by himself so he can follow along more easily and not miss that sharp and witty dialogue of the the Dowager. We all love the Dowager- Maggie Smith, will you marry me?)

So last night we watched the last episode of season two and started the Christmas Special episode. We couldn't finish it because it was late and we had to go to bed so I've been ever so patiently waiting for dinner tonight so I could finish it. Thus, I've been occupying my time by getting wholly and completely entangled in The Fault in Our Stars. UNTIL DOWNTON TIME!

OH.MY.LANTA. I was a bawling mess last night watching *SPOILER ALERTS!! DO NOT CONTINUE READING IF YOU HAVE NOT YET WATCHED SEASON TWO*

*I MEAN IT!!*

As I was saying....I was bawling when Bates and Anna FINALLY were able to get married and consummate their marriage. I LOVE them! Anna is just a pure angel and nobody deserves her because she is so pure and perfect and sweet and I LOVE HER! And then, Lavinia. Oh my...I wanted to hate her because she is coming between Ross and Rachel Matthew and Mary but OH MAN! She is another sweetheart and I just cannot hate her. I can't hate Matthew for the whole ordeal because he was quite noble in his intentions and...umm...have you seen Matthew? EXACTLY.

SO, my Mister had to tell me AGAIN, "Don't cry!" when Lavinia died. It's like telling me, "Don't breathe," or, "Don't eat Nutella," or, "Don't fart." I CAN'T HELP IT! An angel on earth has left us and somebody better ring a bell so she can get her wings because if there's anybody who deserves to flap around joyously naked on clouds, it's Lavinia.

BUT! Oh.my.lanta! How excited I was at the end of the Christmas episode when Matthew and Mary FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY!! got engaged. Oh man. If anyone will make beautiful babies, it's those two. GAH! Cannot wait for season three! CAN.NOT!

Ok. I can go on for about 5 more pages since I haven't discussed Lord Grantham and that slutty hussy of a whore Jane, or how Sybil and Branson made me squee and, yes Honey, cry yet again. Or OR! how stupid Thomas weaseled his way to not only work again at Downton but also finally become Lord Grantham's valet. GAH!!!!  And, most importantly, what the heck is going to happen to my poor loverlies Bates and Anna??? I'm so glad he's not going to die but STILL!! Poor, poor perfect little Anna!

Ok. So now that I've gotten that out of my system, I can finally wipe up my tears and finish up The Fault in Our Stars. Oh, who am I kidding. From what I've heard from my fellow Book Clubbers, the tears are just beginning to flow because oh.my.lanta y'all. It's about a 16 year old girl with stage IV cancer.

I KNOW, RIGHT??

So, for now, I'm going to bask in the feel-goodness of the Downton Abbey Christmas episode. It just finished and, as my Mister said, "Don't cry! You are always crying now! You are such a wussy!"

Cold, heartless man. ANGEL WINGS, MISTER! Angel wings!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A Little Sumpin' Sumpin' on the Side

I've been working pretty feverishly on Little Mister's Blanket-o-Love these last few days because I really really want to finish it once and for all. Seeing the large, rewound balls of yarn slowly getting smaller and smaller gives me both a reassurance that I'll get there soon, as well as a pit of impatience because HOLY CRAP I ALREADY CROCHETED THIS STUPID YARN!

Right now I'm at the place I was over a year ago on his blanket. A lot of rows of one color TSS which has really slowed my crocheting mojo. On the one hand, I'm able to zip along pretty quickly since it's just one color; on the other hand, I want to gouge out my eyes with my hook because I'm getting bored. I'm getting tempted to put it aside to finish the stained glass window blanket since I'm just about done with that one, too. Buuuut....I really really want to get this done. Like yesterday.

So, instead of playing the field with my other crochet works, I'm putting my foot down and staying faithful to this one.

Except....well, cheating on it with a book doesn't really count, does it? I mean, I have to read this particular book anyway, so....a little dalliance on the side is fine, right?

I finally started reading The Fault In Our Stars and I can say that this dude got me from the very first paragraph.
Late in the winter of my seventeenth year, my mother decided I was depressed, presumably because I rarely left the house, spent quite a lot of time in bed, read the same book over and over, ate infrequently, and devoted quite a bit of my abundant free time to thinking about death.
I mean, come on! How could I not love a book that started that way?? Actually, reading the first couple of pages made me love this author if only because he writes the way I think and the way I tend to write, as well. I like his humor. I am picking up what he is laying down, yo.

At dinner tonight, I told my Mister how excited I am to be in this book club and that I'm going to read this book tonight. I then told him that I also ordered the second book club book, A Tale of Two Cities- a book I'd eventually order for myself anyway since I love classics. He suggested that it might not be a bad idea to look into an e-reader.

Now, I've thought about the whole Kindle thing in the past, but as soon as the subject peeks it's little head over the clutter in my brain, I quickly squash it down, spray it with Raid, and say a couple Hail Marys just to be safe.

As I told my Mister, I love books. I love the feel of books in my hand. I love seeing the thickness of pages migrate from my right hand to my left hand. I love the sound of the pages turning. I love the smell of books. Reading to me is more than just absorbing lines of words on a page. It's an experience. 

I thought I expressed my passion for books well and expected a nod of agreement or a, "Yeah, me too," or something along those lines from my Mister. Instead, he, adopting a rather effeminate, lisping voice, said, "I love the way the cover slides through my fingers..."

DUDE. I didn't know whether to smack him upside the head for mocking me or smother him in hugs and kisses for really, truly understanding my book lust.

So, if you'll excuse me while I slip into something a little more comfortable, I've got a date tonight that I'm rather excited about. Sorry Blanket-o-Love. She really doesn't mean anything- you're the one I love. It's just for tonight...ok maybe tomorrow night, too, but I'll be back in your (unending) embrace soon. Promise.

Monday, May 7, 2012

In Remembrance

I received a tweet from my BFF Lyteyz showcasing her loot from the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. I am not ashamed to admit the large green-eyed monster of jealousy reared its ugly head- all that alpaca could have been mine!! Where are my nunchuks?!? After I finished foaming at the mouth, I was filled with nostalgia- Lyteyz, my sister and I had a great time last year and, even though I would love to attend the Festival again this year, I would much rather spend time with them, no matter where we may be.

It’s really amazing how quickly a year goes by. One moment you’re hauling your 7 month pregnant body up and down a fair grounds, adjusting your belly support band and ignoring your cankles as you waddle by the vendors again and again in a hormone and wool-fume induced shopping frenzy; the next moment you are filling your days playing with the babe once in your womb and trying and trying and trying to teach him to say, “AL-PAC-A” as you untangle him from the wooly goodness strewn across the floor.

As I look back, I also remember some not so great memories from the previous two Mays. It’s actually taken me this long to be able to face these memories and I was shocked to realize that they all occurred in the same week, though a year apart.

Last year, a week after the fun and laughter of the MDSW, I lost two important people in my life. One was my uncle- my mother’s brother- who died very suddenly and unexpectedly. He was the baby of the family (last of 13) and his death rocked our family. Two days later, I received news that one of my coworkers- and the person I’d consider my mentor as a nutrition professional- had lost her decade long battle with breast cancer. She had gone on leave in November when she found out her cancer had returned and six months later, she was gone. (Cathy was also a knitter and had spent that summer making her daughter’s wedding shrug for her October wedding- something I’m sure her daughter will treasure forever.)

As I mark one year of their passing, I’m also facing the two year mark of the passing of another uncle- my dad’s brother, the first of two he lost that year. Remember when I said 2010 was a terrible year? Losing them was part of that terribleness.

Although the last two Mays have not been the happiest in my life, I’m hopeful that this May will bring laughter and love and good memories with it. It’s the first May I get to spend with Little Mister, the first May where I’ll get to celebrate Mother’s Day as a mother, and, as always, it marks another year that My Mister and I got married all those moons ago.

As I mourn my loved ones next week, I hold tight to the ones I still have with me. If anything, that’s the main thing the month of May has taught me: Hold tight and love your loved ones as much as you can because life is unpredictable and sometimes much, much too short. When looking back on my life and reminiscing about my loved ones, I hope I'll be able to say, “Oh, remember when!” rather than, “Oh, if only I had.”

In remembrance of Uncles Charlie, Mingo and Joseph and dear friend Cathy.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The One With the Arms and the Legs and the Movie Star

You know how I said I was a superfit mega babe a few days ago? Yeah. So not. Miss A and I were joined by our friend, EC, this morning for our morning exercise jaunt. We decided to once again tackle that six mile, hilly trail that nearly killed me a while back. Except today, since both Miss A and EC are runners, I, bowing to peer pressure and not wanting to be deemed a mere “walker,” somehow agreed to try RUNNING those hilly 6 miles.

OH.MY.LANTA. My lungs! My legs! My poor bruised butt! Oh the humanity!

Just so you all know, I am not a runner. I have never been a runner. I’ve been active and athletic my whole life, but I’ve never been a runner. I don’t run well, don’t run fast, and definitely don’t run attractively. I thought I could transform myself into a runner and even bought a treadmill to start “running” because it’s supposedly a wonderful way to get in shape and lose weight and get that “runner’s high” that so many people talk about.

Balderdash! Balderdash, I say! The only thing that is “high” when I run are my shorts as they are racing up my buttocks as if they are embarrassed to be seen on a girl who so obviously should not be seen doing that thing with the arms and the legs. (And the panting and the wheezing and the dying.)

I not only do not run well, but when I do run, I do it with distinction. I found out this unique trait of mine a few years ago when I was an extra in War of the Worlds. Yes, I got to meet Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg. Funny that they never called to congratulate me on winning a Best Actress Award. See, Steven?? That could have been you all proud about directing me, an award winning actress, but no. You chose to ignore my obvious talent all those years ago. Well, your loss buddy. I guess you just learned that you should never judge an actress by the way she tries to run. *I sure showed him*

I got to film a scene (along with a hundred other extras) with Tom Cruise where we run up a hill towards the end of the movie. Tommy (that’s what I call him) was exceptionally nice and shook everybody’s hands and was really down to earth. Now, this was Tom Cruise before he got all crazy “couch jumping” with Katie, but very shortly after breaking up with Penelope Cruz.

A sneakily taken picture of them adding a squib? Or adjusting his platform shoes? OOOOO! Burn!

I remember this for two reasons. One: We were all trying to get a picture of the girl-who-was-NOT-Penelope with whom he was seen in between takes; however we weren’t allowed to take pictures or else our cameras would be confiscated. (Stupid Tom Cruise.) And, Two: at least four of my fellow extras asked me if I was Penelope Cruz.

*teehee!*

Of course I said, “Why yes, yes I am. Would you like my autograph?” Except I said it like this, “Why jes, jes I jam. Would jew like my ow-toe-grrraf?

Because Penelope Cruz wore braces and liked posing with random blown up men.

ANYways….once the movie came out, my Mister and I watched it together, hoping that my big screen debut didn't end up on the cutting room floor. When the scene I was in finally started, we carefully searched the hoards of running extras to see if I could somehow be seen and, what do you know?!? You can totally see me! I STARRED IN A MOVIE WITH TOM CRUISE!!!

My Mister was so excited and exclaimed, “There you are! I can tell by the way you run!”

Ermmm….what? Maybe he meant, “There you are! I thought it was Penelope Cruz at first but realized that you are so much hotter!”

I chose to ignore his obviously misspoken declaration of love, but I couldn’t ignore it when my dad called me and said, “I saw you in the movie! I could tell it was you by the way you run!”

DUDE. How the heck do I run??




So this morning, needless to say, I'm already self conscious about my running ability, though having a huge stroller in front of me kind of offsets the awkwardness and lets me play it off, if only a little bit. "No, no. I'm not having a seizure- it's just crazy hard running while pushing this heavy stroller which I do because I am an amazing super fit mega babe. If it wasn't for this stroller, I'd be a freakin' gazelle."

Throw in being seen with actual runners who know how to run well and have run marathons and stuff...let's just say I wasn't exactly the epitome of self confidence this morning. After bringing up the rear the whole way, and being the one to request the walking breaks to recover from the torture running, we had two miles left when Little Mister decided to melt down because he refused to fall asleep. Since I was still reeling from coughing up my left lung at mile number four, you can imagine that this was *not* my shining moment as a running mega babe.

Maybe I should give my good friend Tommy a call to help coach me. He's an amazing runner. And not *at all* crazy anymore. If only he'd return my calls every once in a while... Stupid Tom Cruise.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Book 'em, Danno

In an effort to further my escapism from reality literary knowledge, and to get out of my comfort zone (a.k.a. my living room) and meet new people, I’m joining a book club for the first time in my life. I'm both excited and nervous about this since it's going to be the first time I leave Little Mister for longer than an hour alone with Big Mister. It's not that I don't trust Big Mister- he's a phenomenal dad; it's the fact that I suffer from a very acute yet crippling bout of separation anxiety just thinking that I won't be near him for that amount of time. I swear- Big Mister and I are never going to go on a date ever again and Little Mister is never going to school and he's going to remain my Little Baby Boy forever and ever and if he even thinks about getting married, I may have to pull out my crochet nunchucks once again. HI-YA!

Yeah. Maybe getting out of the house for a couple hours and having grown-up talk might not be such a bad thing after all...

The first book we’ll be reading is The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I have no idea what it’s about, even though I have already ordered it and currently have it sitting right beside me as I type. Read the dust jacket, you say? Stop pressuring me and get off my back monkeys! I’ll read it when I’m good and ready to!!

Ahem. I am sorry for calling you monkeys.*

The truth is I’m unsure how this venture is going to go. On the one hand, I’m excited to find new books to read and it’ll be nice to once again get on a reading binge. Lord knows I need to stop it with the yarn-buying binge already. On the other hand, I can’t shake the feeling that this is going to be an awful lot like homework. Reading a book for pleasure is one of my very favorite things to do instead of cleaning my house. However, reading a book because I need to discuss it with a bunch of people (many of whom I’ve yet to meet…I missed the first meeting. Oops.) kinda puts the pressure on to write a good report so I’ll get an “A” on my analysis.

Should I take notes? Use a highlighter? Will they think me uncouth for dog-earing my pages? Do I have to look for a deeper meaning in a book that may just simply be a novel? What does, “It was a dark and stormy night,” really mean? OOOO! It means they’re constipated, doesn’t it!

Truth be told, I’ve never been good at finding the “deeper meaning” of various books. Let me rephrase that: I was never good at finding the deeper meaning when reading for and by myself. Mainly because I’m devouring the book for the wonderful story that is unfolding before my eyes. Why ruin it with trying to find all the symbolism that may or may not be there? It’s not like finding an Easter Egg on a DVD where you feel proud of yourself and are treated with some cool, funny, or sometimes stupid behind the scenes stuff. It’s usually very frustrating and headache inducing “seeing” things where the author may or may not have intended something to be seen. I remember reading The Great Gatsby in high school and being all, “What the heck are they talking about?? What symbolism? That eyes and glasses billboard was just a detail seen on the road by an obviously non-ADD person, not some creepy symbolism for being watched by Big Brother,” or whatever the heck they said it was supposed to mean. (Note to self: re-read The Great Gatsby.)

However, once I knew what they expected me to see in between the lines, I was able to “see” symbolism everywhere. I nailed all the symbolism in every novel thrown my way and did indeed ace my book reports. Didn’t mean I agreed with it or even really got the full meaning, but I was able to find it none-the-less. (Sorry Mrs. Pittard!)

One such book was A Tale of Two Cities. I remember I really liked it but I don’t remember too much about it since it’s been at least five years since I read it in high school. (Ahem). I remember Madame Defarge knit people’s names in her longest-scarf-in-the-whole-world (or whatever the heck it was) and now that I know about double knitting, I do wonder if that was the method she employed. Or was it simply purling on a knit row? If that’s the case, she wasn’t very devious. I could even do that.

The exciting thing is that A Tale of Two Cities will be the second book we’ll be reading, so I get to revisit any symbolism I may have already identified and have subsequently forgotten in the mrfmrfmrf years since high school. And, I’ll get to really pay attention to the knitting part which, of course, would be even more awesome if it was crochet. However, a fiber lover is a fiber lover, no matter how insane and duplicitous she may be. I love you, Madame Defarge, you crazy old bitty, you.

I was informed that a book discussed as a possibility for inclusion in our reading syllabus is Fifty Shades of Grey. I must confess I had never heard of it because I am not a pervert. I don’t know if we will end up reading it, but egads. The symbolism that must be in that book, right? I mean, sometimes a sexual deviant really is a symbol for constipation, no two ways about it. Heck, I know I turn at least 30 shades of grey when things aren’t moving along as they should in that department. He could save 20 shades of grey by simply taking some Metamucil.

Heehee. This is going to be fun.





*No I’m not. That’s a lie.

(Btw: I'm going to be tweaking things on the blog for the next few days....sorry about any seizures this may cause you.)