Archive for September, 2007

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Allergies can suck my dick and other impromptu thoughts

September 28, 2007

I’m dying here, folks.  Okay, not really dying, per se, but really miserable.  The Goldenrods are blooming and that means that I am sick.  Not like the “call the hospital and provide me the last meal” kind of sick or even the “I feel totally justified in laying around in my pajamas all day and puking in a trash can” kind of sick.  But I am that “dear sweet feathery nutella on toast, I think I’d rather jump out of a window rather than blow my nose again and are you absolutely certain you didn’t put razor blades in my coffee?  No?  How about salt under my eyelids?  Still nope?  Then fuck it, I’m going back to the couch” kind of sick.  I won’t even mention the fascinating science experiments I’ve been hacking into the sink.

My brain has not stopped designing.  I need to get a new sketch pad.  I need to get new pencils.  I need to get an additional 24 hours each day.  I’m working on this shrug that is quite possibly the most beautiful shrug I’ve ever seen, but it’s also very detailed and time consuming and it’s all mine.  I have to commit to finishing it before I get cooking on the other things spinning in my head.  I MUST FINISH MY OWN PROJECT BEFORE TAKING ON THE PROJECTS FOR OTHERS.  gah. 

Sunday I’m swapping sewing machines with my Mom.  A few years ago, she took a huge chunk of money and bought this totally computerized, 60 stitch, self threading, sewing machine.  This freaking thing can damned near do anything – in fact, it can even sew without the use of a foot pedal.   It’s almost as awesome as a Liger and if you don’t know what a Liger is, It’s pretty much my favorite animal. It’s like a lion and a tiger mixed…bred for its skills in magic. heh heh heh.  (Are my kids old enough to watch that?)  Anyway, she got this fabulous thing and has maybe used it once.   She’s got some projects she might want to work on, but really can do it with her old machine (that I inherited when she bought the new one) and I’m designing some pretty insanely intricate things these days, so she offered to switch machines with me.  Let me tell you, I about crapped myself when she offered, but hell yeah, I’ll swap her for awhile!  Now I have to learn how to use that machine!

I’ve had a few folks ask me to sign their KnitKnit books.  Freaky.  Anyway, I cannot decide if I want to sign inside the cover (there’s some crazy artwork there) or if I want to sign on my pages.  It’s so silly, but I’ve been concerned about where to sign for weeks.  Good lord, as if there aren’t other things to be concerned with…

So this morning, I hear Duck scream out, “STEALTH!  OMG, STEALTH!!  You’ve got a MOUSTACHE!!  Wow, you’re really growing up!  Your moustache is really growing in!!”  Of course, it’s just peach fuzz that we all have covering our bodies.  Stealth, however, just happens to have dark peach fuzz.  But, still, coffee shot out of my nose when I heard that.  My 5 year old has a moustache.  Awesome.

Does allergy attack constitute a drive-thru lunch?

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Take a peek!

September 27, 2007

My friend, Mark, posted all about the KnitKnit book on the Ozark Handspun blog.  You can read about it, read an excerpt, see the 2 pages devoted to Dave and Terri and the two pages devoted to my handbag and pattern.  You can click on the scans to enlarge.

Very very cool, indeed.

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Help Wanted

September 26, 2007

PARENT – Job Description

POSITION
:
Mom, Mommy, Mama, Ma
Dad, Daddy, Dada, Pa, Pop


JOB DESCRIPTION
:

Long term, team players needed, for challenging permanent work in an often chaotic environment.  Candidates must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and be willing to work variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends and frequent 24 hour shifts on-call.  Some overnight travel required, including trips to primitive camping sites on rainy weekends and
endless sports tournaments in far away cities!  Travel expenses not reimbursed.  Extensive courier duties also required.

RESPONSIBILITIES
:

For the rest of your life.
Must be willing to be hated, at least temporarily, until someone needs $5.
Must be willing to bite tongue repeatedly.
Also, must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule and be able to go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat
in case, this time, the screams from the backyard are not someone just crying wolf.
Must be willing to face stimulating technical challenges, such as small gadget repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets
and stuck zippers.
Must screen phone calls, maintain calendars and coordinate production of multiple homework projects.
Must have ability to plan and organize social gatherings for clients of all ages and mental outlooks.
Must be willing to be indispensable one minute, an embarrassment the next.
Must handle assembly and product safety testing of a half million cheap, plastic toys, and battery operated devices.
Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst.
Must assume final, complete accountability for the quality of the end product.
Responsibilities also include floor maintenance and janitorial work throughout the facility.


POSSIBILITY FOR ADVANCEMENT & PROMOTION
:

None.
Your job is to remain in the same position for years,
without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills,
so that those in your charge can ultimately surpass you.


PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE
:

None required unfortunately.
On-the-job training offered on a continually exhausting basis.


WAGES AND COMPENSATION
:

Get this! You pay them!
Offering frequent raises and bonuses.
A balloon payment is due when they turn 18 because of the assumption that college will help them become financially independent.
When you die, you give them whatever is left.
The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme is that you actually enjoy it and wish you could only do more.


BENEFITS
:

While no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays and no stock options are offered; this job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth and free hugs and kisses for life if you play your cards right.

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Shiner Time

September 25, 2007

Man, you ever have one of those days?  Today has been one of those freaking days.  Lots of good, lots of bad.

 Mamacita was diagnosed with an irreversible eye disorder today.  I spent the day with her having tons of exams and finally held her emotionally while she made a very difficult decision about the course of treatment she is choosing to pursue.  You know it’s not a good thing when your doctor, a specialist no less, looks you in the eye and says, “What you have is not good.  In fact, it’s bad.”  Damn, ya’ll, that’s just tough.  But, being the survivor that she is, she made the best choice available to her at the time.  Now we just wait and see and start counting Karma points.

I did get to show her the Knit Knit book, though.  It was very cool, showing my Mom my work being published in an internationally distributed book.  She bought me the cutest knitting bag evah – called KnitPickers – I love it.

Came home, made the prerequisite phone calls.  Got the kids overnight childcare so I can hang with B and drink some beer or, well, Rum as the case may be (The Captain moved in a few days ago….)

Rearranged my office.  Put the new-to-me monitor on my computer, moved my tower, and gave the boys my old monitor and speakers (forgot to add that I got new speakers, too….)

Listening to Mr. Ritchie.  I gotta say, I just heard one of my favorite lines.

“Thou shall not diss the Rock, goddamn it.”

Amen, and pass me a bottle.

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Pickle Parade!

September 24, 2007

Meghan’s getting hitched ya’ll!!!!!!

My very first long term partner in serious crime is going to be saying “I Do” to a man who knows how to do it right – folks, he used a puppy to propose.  You KNOW what that does to me, eh?  I mean, sweet Jezuz, diamonds and dogs?  Forgedaboudit.

Girlfriend better get her tush to my town soon.  We have some serious pickles to throw before she signs on the dotted line.

 HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY.

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YAY!

September 23, 2007

My client blissfully and swiftly birthed a baby boy into the world today at 12:10 pm.  I got a full night’s sleep, she went into labor when I had childcare, and went so perfectly that I was only gone for 3 hours.

Doing a big time happy dance over here.

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Of course, that explains it!

September 23, 2007

I was hanging out with Stealth last night eating dinner.  As I sat there eating black beans and rice and a quesadilla, I looked at my youngest son.  His forehead is all scabbed up from falling head first off of a picnic table and into a pile of gravel when we went camping last week.  His lip was split and swollen to the size of a grape from slipping as he hopped on one foot, his hands were scraped up from climbing our mammoth cedar tree in the backyard, he had 2 splinters in his feet, a broken fingernail, a blackened toenail.  The kid is looking pretty rough, but there he sat, happy as a clam, eating dinner and telling me about his great adventures.

“Stealth,” I say, “You’re really growing up.  You’ve really become a rough and tumble boy!  Just look at your battle scars!”

“Well, Mom,” he says, “I’m really a Ninja.”

Of course.  Makes perfect sense.

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Now that’s some question!

September 22, 2007

I got a question on my Ask Away page several weeks ago – a question that was far more intense than I would have imagined!  Normally I would get questions like, “How did you wash your dreadlocks?” (answer: same as you wash your hair.)  Or maybe, “What can I make for dinner with a can of peas, a bottle of ketchup, and some bourbon?”  (Answer: you can make yourself a bourbon and forget all about dinner.)  Or even, “Is Mr. Ritchie awesome in bed or what?”  (Answer: shut your dirty mouth.  He’s my skanky love slave, not yours!  Now, go back to Canada you Baywatch Whore.)  But this question was much different.

“9/11 and post-9/11 events have changed the way Americans see their neighbors (literal and figurative).  Do you feel that your homeschooling has helped or harmed your children in such a culturally diverse country?”

Yowza.

Took me some time to come up with my answer.  I’ll be stepping away from my typical Mamakohl response here for just a few minutes and answer sincerely.  The question was asked sincerely by someone who’s views are often different from my own, but after years of knowing one another, we have always found a way to bridge that difference with respect.  He asked, I’m gonna answer.

The events of 9/11 have shaken everyone to the core.  We have long been a country with an ego bigger than it’s name, feeling invincible and more powerful than the universe.  When those planes went down, we realized what we really are – humans and incredibly mortal.  It’s changed us all.

Has my homeschooling harmed or helped my children?  I don’t know.  I can only hope that it has helped.  In a large school setting, there often is not time or space or man power enough to take the time to assure each child that they are safe, to answer each and every question they might have, to really discuss the different views of different cultures and lead to a better understanding of why some people might feel as they do.  Homeschooling my children has given them the ample opportunity for each and every one of those things to happen.  It’s very true that I have extremely strong opinions about the way this country is run and what has happened since 9/11.  It’s also true that I have extremely strong opinions on what happened before that day and what will happen long after that day takes on the history book quality of Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima, Kent State, and other tragic events.  While I wear my politics on my sleeve, I have always made sure to expose my children to both sides of the story.  I have friends who are very conservative Republicans (I know I know, hard to believe, but it’s true,) and I give my children the opportunity to hear us discuss these hot topics.  Duck can read the paper and magazines and he does, to an extent.  I make sure they both get exposed to all the differing views.  I don’t want them to think like me.  I want them to think for themselves.

As far as being introduced to all the different cultures, I have to say homeschooling wins that hands down.  While it’s true that many schools have a culturally diverse population, the fact is that the school systems are designed to create cookie cutter children – all who act alike, think alike, learn alike.  This is not because they don’t care or whatever, it’s simply because they don’t have the resources to do anything differently.  You cannot have one teacher in a classroom of 30 children and allow for each cultural difference, each learning difference, each personal difference to come shining through – it would be classroom pandemonium.  Cultures get a month at BEST (Black History Month in February comes to mind,) more often a day (Chinese New Year,) but most frequently NO mention at all.  As homeschoolers, we can, and do, study each culture as interest comes up.  We can meet people of these cultures, we can do group studies with other homeschoolers and we can do field trips, art projects, order in cultural films, have a cultural pot luck.  We have the opportunity to go in depth, not just skim the surface.

As far as safety is concerned, I’d be lying through my teeth if I said that I don’t thank my lucky stars that my kids are with me 90% of the time.  I think that’s a mothering trait, though.  And my fears for their safety have just as much to do with Columbine, Jonesboro, Thurston High, and Virginia Tech as it does 9/11.  It’s true that there has to be a day when we send our young ones out to venture the big bad world on their own, but being with them on a daily basis, I can teach them through example, through roll play, through question and answer, what to do in certain circumstances.  I can teach them to take care of themselves rather than just follow the herd.  We’re teaching our children to think and to act rather than to duck and follow.

Do I always feel confident that I’m doing the right thing?  No, of course not.  No mother ever does – if she says she does, she’s lying.  Parenting is full of doubt and worry and concern – anyone who loves a child cannot help but feel those things now and then.  I’m doing the best that I can, I’m doing what feels right and what works for us.  That’s always open to change.  Someday we might make a different decision than we are making now and that’s great.  We have to be open to that because, after all, we are human.

Whew.  That was something, eh?  I’m not sure I answered his question fully – if not, please, oh question writer, tell me how I can be more clear and I’ll do my best.   Perhaps he was looking for the Mamakohl answer –

“Um, I believe the problem is that lots of Americans cannot grasp numbers past 10, so this 911 thing really is unjust to the citizens of Zimbabwe and Jamaica and we, as Americans, should give maps to the Russians so that they, too, can appreciate Mary-Kate and Ashley cosmetics.”

HA!  Miss South Carolina’s got NOTHING on me!

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3 wishes

September 22, 2007

1.  Today is the film date for The MotherHip’s first instructional DVD.  I’m on call so I am here.  DDFF is in the next state to the West.  Wish her luck!!!

2.  Today is JFL’s birthday!!  I love you more than my luggage, Rootin’ Tootin’ Woo Hoo!!  Wish him a Happy Birthday!!

3.  Today is also the most dreaded day on my calendar.  I’ve been dreading this day for ages and ages.  Got a client due and had NO childcare lined up, but my lovely homeschooling gal stepped up to the plate.   I’d love to not have to ask her, though, sooooo  Wish me luck that my client holds off until 3 pm.  If she makes it that long, I’m sooooooooo in the clear!!

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Freaky Friday

September 21, 2007

Okay, not only one of my all time favorite childhood books and movies (the Jody Foster version – seriously, amazing,) but a fairly adequate description of my day thus far.

 Woke early, although it was my morning to sleep in.  Did my Morning pages before my feet ever hit the floor.  It’s so interesting how they are evolving.  As part of the plan, I’m not reading what I have written before, but I’m noticing these days that I’m being descriptive.  Coffee isn’t coffee.  Nope, it’s oily black energy.  The kids noise isn’t just noise anymore. Nope, it’s the wheels of progress desperately in need of grease.  Odd, I’m telling you.

Did yoga before leaving my room.  Just 15 minutes first thing in the morning makes all the difference.  So I’m doing my Sun Salutation and suddenly, I’m hearing my own narrative in my head.  “Warrior 1 can be challenging.  Spread your toes and ground your feet, being sure to balance yourself equally on your front foot as well as your back.  Your knee should not extend past your ankle.  Send your breath where you need it, use your breath to center yourself.  Yes, that’s it.  Now, transition to Warrior 2 … ” I wasn’t hearing myself tell myself that, I was hearing myself narrate to a class.  The same has begun happening when I’m dancing around the house.  “Interior Hip circles, Ladies!  Downbeat in front! Front, left, back, right.  Front, left, back, Right!  Lower abs, glutes, lower back, glutes.  1/2 time now!  Keep it up, you can do it!”  Look what you’ve done to me, DDFF!!

 I made it downstairs and to my office desk and decided I needed to call the book distributor.  I ordered 3 copies of the KnitKnit book 2 weeks ago and they have not arrived nor had my card been charged!  Turns out that, although I had spoken to 3 different people last week about it, somehow it didn’t go through.  Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuc*.  Half the free world has this book already – but I don’t have it yet!  So, of course, it’s Friday and I’m waiting to hear back .. have heard nothing.  I’m a little more than pissed off at this point.  If I wasn’t getting a 50% discount, I’d just say, “Screw it” and got to Barnes & Nobel.  I get 20% off there anyway.  We shall see.  Maybe they’ll give me something fabulous for my trouble.

Gathered up the boys and took ’em grocery shopping.  Now, I knew this was going to be one hell of a shopping trip.  I usually do a HUGE shopping trip about every 6 weeks and often require two carts.  I stock up and fill the deep freeze with flour, cereal, chicken, tortillas, ravioli, coffee, dry pasta, etc.  Then I go to the store several times a week for fresh veggies, fruit, milk, butter, etc.  Anyway, today I was aware it was going to be a huge day, so I did my little trick of genius — “Hey boys, would you like to listen to music while we’re shopping? What do you want to hear?”  And so I loaded up Erzulie, my iPod, with their preferred music and off we went.  As I’m standing there researching new shampoo and conditioner (I’m always on the hunt for good products,) Duck starts singing “Real Gone” by Sheryl Crow at the top of his lungs and Stealth is just dancing and bopping his little head.  Before you know it, we’re surrounded by 6 women, ranging in age between, oh, 37 and 80 years old.  The younger ones were thinking what a great idea it was and that they should do it with their kids.  But this one lady who had to be in her 80s just captivated me.  She was just looking and listening and asking me what he was singing.  I mentioned to her, “Sometimes Duck’s volume control doesn’t work that well.  😉 ” and she said to me, “Honey, let me tell you something.  Life is too short to worry about volume.  If I knew the words, I’d be screaming at the top of my lungs with him.”  Sweet Maude, I cannot wait until I’m 80!

Finally, after more than an hour, I haul my thousand pound cart to the check out.  You know it’s gonna be a big deal when the checker has already filled all of her bags and is waiting for me to get my car to her so she can load it up .. before I’ve even put all the groceries on the conveyor belt!!  So, she’s scanning things left and right and left and right and the cart is overflowing and I am trying to keep a mental note in my head of how much I’m going to be spending although I’m sure I’m missing things here and there.  As she scans the last thing and balances it precariously on top of Mount Produce, she hits the total button and I prepare for the vomit to hit my shoes … and I wait for it .. and wait for it.  But it never comes!  I’m stunned beyond belief as she reads the total aloud to me — it’s a full $70 less than I anticipated.  I made it out of there having spent less than $200!

We stop by the gas station on the way home.  For some bizarre reason, Breaktime was having a party.  Balloons and crap all over the place.  As I’m standing outside filling the van up with E85, some dude in a Twinkie costume approaches me and offers me miniature loaves of Wonder Bread.  Why he wasn’t giving out Twinkies is beyond me, but that’s another post.  Anyway, I took 2 mini loaves, one for each of the boys (you couldn’t pay me enough to eat Wonder Bread,) and they are thrilled beyond words.  Those kids sit in the van and declare that Wonder Bread is what they want for lunch!!  😀  HOLY GRANOLY!  They got full, I didn’t have to cook it, and it didn’t cost me a dime.  Now, of course, I have to deal with the fact that my kids are filled up with enriched white flour and probably not a single decent nutrient, but you know, it’s Friday.  Whatever.

In 25 minutes it will be screen time.  The boys get a movie a day.  Today they have chosen different movies, but they are both really long.  So Duck will watch Cars in his bedroom on the portable DVD player, Stealth will watch Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in the living room, and I’ll happily spin yarn in the basement.  NICE.

So, it’s 12:39 pm.  Cannot wait to see what the rest of the day holds for me.  I just hope Mamacita and I don’t switch places – she doesn’t know how to spin.