If you're not knitting, the terrorists win

(My mostly on-topic ramblings about knitting. And life in general. My life in specific.)

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Location: Indiana, United States

I'm a middle aged mother of 2 grown children and wife to a man who doesn't seem to mind my almost heroin-like yarn addiction. I spend my time writing, knitting, and generally stressing out.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Invasion Of The Body Snatchers

Look at this. I think I already told you I planted tomato seedlings (so as not to be held hostage by the Tomato Consortium and their outrageous pricing structure). I also planted beans and peas.

This little tray/greenhouse is sheer genius, btw. It has a mat underneath that sucks up the water and keeps the soil moist. Because I sometimes forget to water my plants. Not my fault, of course. If the plants would do the water dance, like GenGen
or sit and stare accusingly by the empty water dish, like Zeus
then I might remember.

But to just sit there and silently wilt away… I think my plants have to take some responsibility for their situation.

Anyway, I planted these things and, as you can see, the tomatoes are doing well. Nice moderate growth. Peas are looking good, too.

But Sweet Sassyfrassy! Look at the beans! They are growing about 2 inches a day. That means I could actually watch them grow if I wanted. It’s like those crazy stop-motion movies of plants you had to watch in jr. high science class. (Almost as creepy as the stop-motion movie of army ants stripping a cow to the bone from the same class.)

It’s like that movie…

Oh! Look out M and E! Don’t turn your back on the beans!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Patwoman’s Job Hunting Tips

I’m going to give you some advice here, and I hope you take it. First of all, don’t do drugs. But if you have to do drugs, don’t do them while you are job hunting. Jeez Crackers, people! If you can’t take a break long enough to get a job, get some help.

And if I tell you to get a drug screen within 24 hours, it means within 24 hours. Especially if I say “It’s very important that you get this done within 24 hours. You can’t work until I get the results back. And if you don’t take it within 24 hours, it’s the same as taking it and failing it. Do you understand?” Does that mean get it done 3 days later? No. It means within 24 hours.

If that’s not clear, we’ve got some other, serious issues with communication.

But let’s say you’ve been partying and you know you’re not going to pass the drug test. You’ve got some options.

1. My favorite – Just decline the position. You know you’re not going to pass. Cowboy up, sweetheart and take your medicine. Don’t waste my time and yours.

2. Try and take the drug test on the off chance that whatever you’ve done has worked itself out of your system by now. Probably not and your probably just wasting everyone’s time and money. But, some people still get surprised. (Someone told me once, “It was only pot.” I’ve also heard, “I only do drugs recreationally” and “I was just in the car with a bunch of people who may have been smoking pot before I even got in the car” and “But I promise I won’t be high while I’m at work.”)

You’re stupid, and here’s why: I’m not even going to comment on the legalize thing. Not my issue. Not going to make a health statement. But, I’ve told you every step of the way that you would have to pass a drug screen to be hired. At least a week has passed since I first told you. You signed 2 waivers for drug screen testing. So you are a) a liar, b) stupid, or c) under the impression I am stupid. Are you high now?

3. Try and pass the drug test using some “method” that you’ve bought at a tattoo parlor. Everybody knows somebody who’s used this and swears it’s worked. Everybody knows somebody who can tell you the “science” behind why it works.

Listen, those things don’t work. Different drugs take different amounts of time to work through your system. It depends on how much you had, how long ago it was, how much you weigh, what percentage of body fat you have, how hydrated your cells are (not how much water you’ve had to drink), what gender you are, and what other vitamins and minerals and chemicals are present in your body.

When those “methods” work, they do so by accident. Most of them are diuretics, which just make you pee. That gives your pee a different quality and the Medical Review Officer knows it and you fail. Some of them also require you to drink a lot of water, which also gives your pee a different gravity and you fail. Some of them are vitamins that are supposed to hide the drug. They don’t.

Those people who’ve passed a test using one of these products? Lucky. That’s all.

4. Try and pass the test by using someone else’s pee. You can’t keep pee on the outside of your body at the same temperature as the inside of your body. No matter what you do. That’s why they check your temperature, stupid. BTW, microwaved pee is a dead giveaway.

5. Wait 3 days to get the test done and then swear you had it done within the 24 hour period and people are just framing you. Because it’s not like that chain of custody form has a time/date stamp on it. (And one that you signed the time/date) And it’s not like there are 4 other copies of that form that go to different places. So you can’t conveniently “lose” yours or conveniently not be able to read the dates. Here’s a news flash: I’ve got a copy.

It’s been a bad day.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

I'm Corny, That's What That Means

You Are a Corn Muffin

Even though you've been accused of being otherwise, you're a simple, uncomplicated person.

You just want the same things everyone else wants. You're just happier with what you already have.

You are confident and strong minded. You are proud of who you are.

You enjoy being recognized for your accomplishments, and you like to be the center of attention.

Sometimes your ego can get the best of you. You do tend to outshine people.

It's hard for you not to have a big head - very few people have it as good as you do.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

English Is The Funniest Language

True dat. And I’m not even going to get into dialect. (Like, if you want to get punched in the throat, tell me the President lives in Warshington. Or just axe me if he does.)

No, I mean, I love expressions and the way they evolved. Like zounds from God’s wounds, or hoist by his own petard. (It was a long time before I actually knew what a petard was. I thought it was something else.)

M and I watched Young Frankenstein the other day. (Let’s not even talk about the awesome geniusness that is Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder.) But there is this great line where Dr. Frankenstein says “Damn your eyes!” and Igor replies “Too late.” So easy. It really is the low-hanging fruit of jokes. But still I laughed.

Then I started thinking about the evolution of such a phrase. Why would someone say that in the first place? My friend Google is not much help with this phrase, mainly because no one seems to know its origin.

I’m thinking it was some childish argument…

Damn your impertinence.

Damn your interfering.

Damn your black heart.

Damn your eternal soul.

Yeah, well, damn your… uh… your… uh…damn your eyes!

It’s such an exquisite curse. It’s harsh. It’s specific. And it’s cryptic as hell. What does that even mean, damn your eyes? Why my eyes? Why not damn my inquisitive mind? Why not damn my smartass attitude or my borderline insubordination?

Damn your eyes is the kind of thing that first of all lets you know you’ve been cursed at and second of all makes you go WTF? In fact, I think damn your eyes is just a little worse than anything else you could damn, just because of its huh? factor.

That is so my new expression.

Friday, March 20, 2009

More Retrospective

I probably should’ve posted this earlier, too. I just couldn’t decide what I wanted to say about it. I’m just going to put it out there and you see what you think.

So, it’s St. Patrick’s day and I’m driving home. As you know, I pass through a couple of questionable neighborhoods on my commute. Tuesday was no different.

But, as I’m driving through one of those neighborhoods, I see a crowd of people at the front door of this Irish pub. The pub’s got a tent up, and giant green shamrocks on the front windows, and big signs proclaiming “Happy St. Paddy’s Day.” There’s music playing, and people drinking (even at 5:15), and a real party atmosphere around.

Traffic’s slow here, because of all the pedestrians who are crossing the street from the empty lot on the other side. Well dressed, well-off pedestrians who are coming from their Hummers and SUVs to party at this Irish pub in a bad neighborhood.

And they pass right by the homeless lady who sits on a blanket on the ground every day with a cardboard sign that says WILL CROCHET 4 FOOD.

K8tie Visits

I meant to post this earlier in the week, but I’ve been busier than a one-armed paper hanger in a room full of rocking chairs. Wait. I think I just mixed a metaphor. (What’s a metaphor? For the cows to graze in, silly.) You know what I mean.

Anyway, guess what? K8tie came to visit me last weekend! It was really cool to see her and her family and talk with her. And she brought prezzies… Yes! Take a look at this yarn. Love the Jayne’s Hat in the middle. (Oh, this pic is bad. Bad light. I'll replace it. Don't worry.)

And—how stupid is this?—I forgot to take any pictures. Had an effin camera in my purse. Had an effin camera on my phone.

I have got to stop eating paint chips.

Friday, March 13, 2009

This Totally Cracks Me Up

Mainly because it’s pretty dead on. (And because of the picture.)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Creepy Robot Teaches At Japanese School

When I first read that headline, I thought maybe my high school algebra teacher must have moved to Japan. But then, I read on and realized the story was about a real robot. I must say, that interested me about 17 times more than a story about Mr. Castle. In fact, just thinking of Period 6 math makes me want to…

Wha-? Where am I?

Oh, yeah. Robots. You know I love ‘em. That’s why I can’t figure out why all these websites rag on them so much. Yeah, sure, she’s got a brain made of circuits and wiring. Don’t we all? (Basically) And sure, her emotions are fake, programmed into her fake brain and expressed by her fake plastic face.

But let me put this to you… Some of the Plastic Barbies at my high school went on to become teachers. Some of the Plastic Barbies at my college went on to become teachers. Are they more real than this Japanese teacher?

No. Because, there is always the possibility that one day, the Robot Teacher could develop real emotions and real personality.

You go, Robot Teacher. Good for you!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Behive Phone Cozy

There is a person in my office who has an obnoxious ringtone on their personal cell phone. This thing goes off about a hundred times a day and it drives me crazy. Tip for the workplace, people: Not everyone loves American Idol wannabes. Put your phone on vibrate.

My phone rings a lot these days because someone is apparently trying to reach "Cole." At least once a day I get "Is Cole there?" and I have to say, "No. Wrong number." It's been happening for about a week now. I fully expect to get this call tomorrow: "Hi, it's Cole. Any calls for me?"

But you see, my personal cell phone is on vibrate throughout the workday. I put it on a file on the desk, so when it rings, it makes a soft buzz that I can hear just fine, but it does not disturb anyone else. I’m thoughtful that way. I’m also thoughtful enough not to take other people’s stuff off the printer and toss it off to the side in a random pile just because it’s not my stuff. But that’s just me.

So, I’m sitting there last night, with my fidgety hands (because I finished knitting the cablelicious purse, but I’m not ready to seam right now) and I look down at my naked phone, and I think “I’ll knit a phone cozy.” And, since my phone buzzes through the day, I thought it would be cute to knit a cozy shaped like a beehive.

So, here it is, The Beehive Phone Cozy. Pattern is on the sidebar links. This took me a very small amount of yarn, perfect for using the leftover gold from your Jayne Hat. As you can see, I’m not the world’s best embroiderer, but I think it looks pretty cute.

Took only about an hour to make, so I wasn’t overly concerned when M said “Hey, I wonder if that will fit my iPhone?”

It will, by the way.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

If You Give A Mouse A Cookie

He’s just going to eat the whole damn box and leave you with no Samoas at all.

“Who ate all the cookies?” And he's so evasive about it, my son. “Well, I don’t think any one person ate all the cookies, Mom. That’s an unreasonable assumption.”

“Well, did you eat them?” Offended look. “What? Did I eat all of the cookies? I can safely say I did not eat all the cookies.”

“Look, all I know is that there are no more Samoas.” Now R makes a big show of looking around at the empty spot on the counter, where the cookies used to be. “Hm. You may be right.”

And you know what else makes me crazy? Those are not the only cookies I bought. I have 6 other boxes of GS cookies coming, from various sources (because all the kids in my neighborhood know I’m a soft touch), but they have not been delivered yet.

Come on, girls. I’m hurtin’!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Go See Watchmen

No kidding. I thought it was great.

Well, if you like to see super heroes that are maybe not so super (except one) and not always all that heroic. If you're a Superman fan, you're not gonna like it.

I read this graphic novel back when it first came out, what? Twenty years ago, or so? A friend had recommended it. It was the first comic I'd ever seen with red blood. (The comic code had prohibited it before. Before that time, blood on comic book pages was black.) It was the first comic I'd ever seen with sex in it. (I mean real comics, not those underground porn comics.)

So, I know the book has a huge cult following. But, honestly, I forgot about most of the plot. So this movie was pretty much new stuff to me when we saw it last night. And I liked it a lot.

So go see it.

Especially if you like seeing glowing blue peens.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

On Planning Ahead, Keeping Secrets, and Blogging

Every year I say I’m not going to do any Christmas knitting. But then I always do. It’s because of the conflicting feedback I get from recipients, I guess.

Some of it is really negative. Like, my MIL putting my afghan in a garage sale. For $1. Or my own dad telling me “I don’t want this.” Or just the not-even-saying-thanks attitude that some people get, because you made something. You know, like it’s not a real gift. Or you cheaped out on them or something. (Because they’ve obviously never been yarn shopping…)

And then you get the good responses. Like my bro’s excitement over the afghan I knitted for him. Or M’s requests for items. Or Jill’s “I love it when you knit for me.”

So, you know I’m going to do it. I just decided, might as well get started now, instead of waiting until November, like always. So I made a list. And I joined a Christmas Knitting group on Ravelry. (I actually joined last year, but you know how I am. I didn’t start until November.)

Planning ahead.

Do I worry about those people on my Christmas list reading this blog and spoiling the surprise? Not really. I know some people are reading me, because I can see the counter going up every day. But it’s not my family or local friends.

How do I know? Well, every now and then someone will say something like “Oh, did you see that article about the robots in Japan? You should write about that on your blog.” And I’m like, “Uh, I wrote about 10 posts about that over the last 6 weeks.” Or someone will say “Adam West is your favorite celebrity? Who’s Adam West?”

Sometimes, they try to make me feel better about it by saying “Oh, I’ve been so busy, I haven’t read your blog in a few days. I need to catch up.” Cricket. Cricket. Blink. Blink. If you’ve ever read my blog, you know who Adam West is.

Yeah, okay. Whatever. I guess it’s okay that blood relatives and the friends that I see in person don’t read my blog. And you know R & M stopped reading Mommy’s blog right after the first penis reference. (So, luckily, they’ve missed the whole Batman/Patwoman fantasy.)

It’s okay, because I have all of you. (You know who you are.) And you like to hear about stuff like shirtless men and robots and phalluses and space travel and Adam West, don’t you? Sometimes all in the same posting, even!

Anyway, the point of all of that is, I’m not worried about spoiling any Christmas surprises by blogging about it. In fact, I’ll let you in on the fact that I have already knitted cup cozies for my coworkers and I am in the process of knitting a cabletastic purse for M. (Because I am frustrated all to hell with the baby sweater.) I will show you the other stuff as I finish.

It will be our secret. Right, Adam?

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

The One Where Patwoman Finally Breaks Down And Goes To The Doctor

Don't you love it when you're sick and people are like, "Are you feeling any better?" But you know what they mean is, "Wow, are you still sick?"

Look, I didn't want to go to the doctor for a common cold. Colds go away by themselves. Go to the doctor for a cold and she will say, drink lots of fluids, get rest, tylenol for headache pain, you should feel better in a couple of days. If you don't get any better or if you get worse, come back.

So I just skipped that step. I drank lots of fluids, went to bed early enough to earn the ridicule of my children, had some tylenol, and ended up with a sinus infection.

So much for my home treatment, eh?

Hit the doctor's office on the way home. Got a scrip for some antibiotics. Oh yeah, and she told me, drink lots of fluids, get rest, tylenol for headache pain, you should feel better in a couple of days. If you don't get any better or if you get worse, come back.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Beam Me Up, Scotty... Uh, On Second Thought...

Scientists at the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI) at the University of Maryland and the University of Michigan have published a paper that basically says, Hey, here's how we can teleport people.

I guess maybe I don’t understand quantum physics as well as I should. Seems to me, what they are doing is not so much teleporting as they are faxing. That is, they are sending info across a distance, but the original info still exists.

So what happens to my real body when I teleport from the deck of the Enterprise down to the surface of Risa? (And let’s not even talk about what the definition of real is. Or whether my soul is duplicated at the same time my body is. Or whether this new copy-body is me or someone else. Or how well the fax machine in my office works.)

Let’s just talk about the actual, physical, original body. What happens to that when the copy-body shows up on Risa? Is the original destroyed in the process? (Seems like it would have to be, just to make this thing work.) Or have I just duplicated myself?

Although, as cool as I’m sure all of you think it would be to have two (or more) Patwomans running around, I’m thinking I would just be twice as tired.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Good, Because I Was A Little Worried

You Are 64% Interesting

You are a fairly interesting person. Many people find you to be intriguing.

You have a dynamic, adventurous life... a life that others envy.

You are genuinely interested in and open to the world.

You love making new friends, and you're always up for an unusual experience.

Like everyone else, you can get a bit boring from time to time. That's normal.

But unlike everyone else, you can pull yourself out of a rut. You don't stay boring for long.

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