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.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

On The Passage Of Time

No, this isn't about Christmas Knitting. (Although, I added up the potential number of hours I have to work on it and the number of hours of knitting I have left, and I have to conclude that someone is going to be disappointed. Besides me, I mean.)

This is about the actual passage of time. Let me backtrack a bit...

So I was knitting and watching some late night TV (my only free time) and one of the commercials was about this anti-aging moisturizer. They kept talking about "crepe-y" skin, whatever that is. Anyway, all the women they showed were about my age or younger. And I thought, OMG! Do I have crepe skin? (Whatever that is.) Am I walking around, revulsing people? Do I need some sort of 3-step lotion treatment like this one that's advertised?

So that has prompted me to seriously look at myself after stepping out of the shower every day. What's that? Is that crepe? I don't know. Looks fine to me. I assume I would be grossed out by crepe. Nothing is grossing me out. Am I okay?

Let me just say, I look damn good for my age. Not Michelle Pfeiffer good. Not Elle MacPherson good. But, you know. I see what other women my age look like. And I look pretty good. At least 5 years younger. So I have to assume I don't have any crepe. Whatever that is. What does that matter anyway? I was never an Elle MacPherson "10." Not on the outside. The brain... That was a 10. I only wish I could keep it. Unfortunately, time does to my brain what gravity does to my boobs.

Yeah. There's your visual image. Right there.

Anyway. So even though I don't have crepe-y skin (whatever that is) right now, I realize that might be in my future, with the passage of time. So you can imagine me, slathering on lotion like it was cool. Like I was getting paid for it. Like it burned calories.

So, that's what I've been doing--thinking about time (and lotion). And that was my state of mind last night when I watched a show about the end of the solar system. (It was actually about the end of the moon, but it applies.) One of the graphic depictions was of the sun's expansion to red dwarf status near the (relative) end of its life. The sun expands over all the inner planets, including Earth. Whoof. Crispy planets. Bye-bye.

Ok. Granted, this is billions of years in the future and you and I won't be around for this. But seriously? If the sun is just going to burn the planet and all trace of humanity, then what is the freaking point? Why are we even here?

And... Why are we not working on this problem? Are we just going to wait until the last minute? Because that's how you get crepe-y skin, folks. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go apply some more moisturizer.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Bought Some Looms

I bought a set of knitting looms. If you remember, I already have a round one. And I have a long one. But, I decided to teach a loom knitting class next month, so I needed to get the whole set of round ones. (Any excuse to buy more tools, really.)

As you can see, I was not really clever about putting the instructions back in the bag. But, while we're on the subject of instructions... I took a look at these instructions, just to see what they consider "basic instructions." Turns out, they're so basic, they don't even tell you what size loom to use for what project. Or what weight of yarn works best. That's a little too basic for someone just starting, I think.

So I will be creating some instructional handouts myself for my class. That should be fun! Stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Christmas Knitting Update

You know, I feel like 90% of my blog posts are just some iteration of "I'm so far behind on my Christmas Knitting." I don't want to disappoint, so that's what this is, too.

I am so far behind on my Christmas Knitting.

It is August, people. And I have limited time to get it done. Frankly, I think it's time for the annual Oh Shit Where Did The Year Go Re-thinking Of The Christmas Knitting List. My main problem is that I am so not organized this year at all. Not organized in terms of yarn stash or tools, but also in terms of time and focus.

I would like to blame some of this on hormones. Especially the part where I'm just so scatterbrained and unmotivated. Way to go, hormones. Thanks for screwing up Christmas.

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Vast Wasteland

I actually took a course in college called Television: The Vast Wasteland. (Journalism major, remember?) The class was not about how crappy TV was, though. It was about how TV could be crappy, but could also be great. Like everything else in life, TV does not exist in a vacuum. Society changes it and it changes society.

I always laugh whenever I hear someone proclaim "I don't watch television" in the same tone of voice they might also say "I don't eat toenails." I suppose it's not the idea that a person doesn't watch television. Whatever. No one is forcing you to watch TV, people. The thing that I find offensive is the tone of voice. It says, "You're wrong/not as smart/not as good as me because you watch TV." It's kind of like those people who say "I don't knit with synthetic yarn." or "I only eat organic food."

Listen. These people don't know what they're talking about. Yes. It's definitely better to eat tomatoes and strawberries that have not been sprayed with chemicals. No one wants to eat toxins. But, as far as nutrition goes, there's no real evidence that organic = more nutritious. Does it taste better? I don't know. Could it be that, because organic food has a shorter shelf life, it comes from more local sources? And therefore, it's fresher? Fresh food definitely tastes better than old food.

And yarn? There is all kinds of yarn. No knitter or crocheter is better than another by virtue of their yarn choice. There are some awful synthetic yarns, yes. And there are some awful natural fibers, too. I've handled some really, really expensive wool that people always tell me is just the softest yarn ever. And it's scratchy. Look, I knit with wool, bamboo, silk, cotton, and acryllic. I've knitted with wire, with t-shirts, and with plastic bags. Hey, I've knitted with VCR tape and red vines candy. My yarn choice is not a reflection of my worth as a person. And if you think I'm not a real knitter because I've knit an afghan out of Worsted Weight Red Heart, well then...

Sorry. I was laughing.

Anyway, in defense of television in general, I have to stress two points:

1. There are all kinds of TV programs. They are not all for every person. Some people like reality TV shows like Hollywood Housewives, or whatever. I don't. Some people don't enjoy Game of Thrones. I do. I think there is enough variety on television that people can find whatever they want to watch, without it being a contest.


2. No one is making you watch. Or not watch.

Now, keep all of this in mind when I tell you that I have been binge-watching not only the SyFy Channel, but the Science Channel as well.

Friday, August 07, 2015

Halloween Is Coming!

Halloween is my second favorite holiday of the year. I love Halloween decorations, especially scary ones. No cute scarecrows and friendly ghosts for me. I want those kids to work for their trick or treat candy. Ha!

But seriously. Way back when we actually had free time (and a clean garage) we would make a little haunted house in the garage for the trick or treaters to go through. It was a lot of fun decorating it and we always got tons of kids. I kind of miss it. This past Halloween, I didn't even put up my animatronic talking head at the front door. (He always scares the kids!) I was working so much that I wasn't even home for Trick or Treat.

Sad Patwoman.

Hopefully, I will be able to enjoy the holiday this year. Michael's has put out many new Halloween decorations and there are lots of them that I simply must have.

Like this buzzard. I need a bunch of them to perch right around my front door. I might even put one on The Head's cage. How creepy would that be?


This skeleton would be great fun just about anywhere I could put him. Look. Can you see that he is fully articulated? I could even move him around during the night!

And these foam skulls would be awesome painted with glow in the dark paint and draped in gauze. I would just hang these from the tree in the front yard so they can blow. I have a motorized ghost that I like to run on a line from the tree to the house. Wouldn't you just shit your pants if you saw a group of ghosts fluttering around at the tree and then, as you approached the door, one of them broke away and flew toward you? Ha!

And these things. These would just sit out on the table all October.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Not Knitting - Jewelry Night Again

Only this time, it was at home. And it was just me. Hm. Well, that's not much of a jewelry night, is it?

Except, I did get the earrings made to match my necklace and bracelet set I made before. I had two of the silver and blue beads, two of the round silver beads, and a crap-ton of square blue ones left over from the original bead night. Actually, I almost had enough for two bracelets.

Here are the earrings:

Simple. But I like them. They have a lot of movement and they, of course, match the set perfectly. Again, I am told people don't really do matching sets any more. But tough snarkies. I like it.

I wanted to make another bracelet to go with the set--something that I could wear at the same time as the first one. I wanted it to be the same, but different. (Ha! Logic!) That's the first bracelet on the top, for your comparing pleasure.

Anyway, I didn't have any more of the small silver beads or the blue and silver beads that I used in the first bracelet. But I did have a bunch of those blue cubes and some square silver spacer beads. So that same/different problem worked itself out. I just strung them, alternately, on the elastic.

Then, I realized I still had a bunch of blue cubes left. How many did I buy?! But, sadly, not enough to do an all-cube bracelet. And, I didn't have any round spacer beads, which would have been really cool, but I did have a bunch of seed beads of all colors. So I used a sequence of clear/blue/clear seed beads, alternating with blue/clear/blue seed beads, to separate the cubes.

So now, these three bracelets stacked together look pretty awesome-tacular, am I right?

Monday, August 03, 2015

Ornament Swap Received

So, check it out. I got a package today from England. Whoooo-hooo! I was excited. Achilles was excited, too. He jumped up onto the table to help me open it. (He, with the self-centeredness of a cat, believes that all packages are for him.)

He felt a little cheated about there being a second box inside the first, but his curiosity outweighed any frustration he felt. So look what was inside!

This is beautiful! I love the colorwork! I can't wait to hang this on my tree.

Plus, look at this bonus! Chocolate! Yes!

Sadly, I worked all day and didn't pick up the mail until it had been in that hot mailbox for several hours. It felt ok, but I didn't want to take any chances of wasting any of that chocolate getting chocolate all over. So, just to be on the safe side, I've popped it into the refrigerator for a bit.

Achilles is not that interested in the chocolate. But he does love this ornament. Seriously. His eyes are fixed on it, as I hold it and look at it. Don't worry. He didn't touch it. I wouldn't want him to snag it or anything. He just sniffed it constantly. To the point that it became super weird. Like, stop sniffing the ornament, weirdo cat. I believe I will have to pack this up right away so he will forget about it.

Cats. Whattayagonnado?

Sunday, August 02, 2015

GenCon Day 4

Day 4 of GenCon is always fun. It's the last day, so everyone is rushing to squeeze in just a little more fun. But everyone is incredibly tired.

I am exhausted. But in a good way. We left as the Exhibit Hall closed and went home to collapse. I may need to take a vacation after my vacation. Ha!

Still, it was a good time. Got to spend time with the family. Got to see some friends. Got to play some games and buy some original art. And, I got to generally not worry about stuff for a while.

I count that as success.

Saturday, August 01, 2015

GenCon Day 3

Whenever someone from the non-gaming world learns that I go to GenCon every year, the first thing they ask me is "Do you dress up?" The answer is no. No I do not dress up. It's a gaming con, yes. But I work in the industry. I can't very well meet with vendors dressed as Slave Leia, can I? Anyway, there is more to GenCon than cosplay.

There are games, for one thing. We playtest a lot of games during these 4 days. Some are games that are in prototype stage and the designers are looking for feedback. Some are in beta and the designers are looking for backing. Most of them are newly released or soon-to-be-released games that we are deciding whether to carry in our store.

This one, for example, was a simple, fun game. The object is to stack all of your cats without toppling the cat tower. On your turn, you might have to stack one or two cats, a fat cat, stack your cat upside down, make someone else stack a cat, or divide all the cats equally between players. Very quick and very fun. The girls and I tested this and decided we would all have to get this.

T and I played this one, Jupiter Rescue. It's not new or anything, but I hadn't played it before and I really like this company's games. Basically, you're trying to get colonists into escape pods and off the space station before alien creeps can bodysnatch them. I must say, it was rather fun, even if it is a cooperative game (and I like to play to win!) and even if we totally failed at rescuing the colonists.

I don't mean to imply there were no costumes. Perish that thought. Saturday is the Costume Contest. So there are a lot of costumes.

Just kidding. That last one is R and I. We're not wearing costumes. Unless you count our awesome costumes.

M and Bre and I also took a craft class. You know in the past, we've done fused glass and the like. This year, we did a beaded wire tree. Here is mine:

And Bre's:

And M's:

They are all so pretty. I think this is a great craft. I would be intested in doing this again.

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