Saturday, February 24, 2007


Um, yeah. Really. That's me, as of yesterday!

A collection of gifts, supportive and celebratory. The liquor and Trader Joe's chocolate covered peanuts are from my sister's care package. She's been through law school, so she knows what will best soothe a stressed out student! The tiara, from my friend Virginia, who crowned me as soon as I stepped off the elevator, post-exam. The bag from East Side Cafe from Brenda, with an intoxicating lavender soap and a candle. And the flowers from my sweet Cristina; lilies are my favorite!

What I can't show you here are the phone calls, text messages, and home-cooked food from people I love, without whom I couldn't have gotten through this. Thank you!

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to knit and watch Buffy on DVD all afternoon.

Friday, February 09, 2007


Which I'm sure is a result of an impending conference and my exams the week after that. But all of a sudden, I want to knit everything in sight.

Which also means my yarn diet has gone out the window. It's usually this way with diets for me, especially shopping ones. I'll be good for a while, sometimes a month, sometimes several, and then I'll make one purchase. And then...whee! Get ready for a fast ride down a slippery slope.

I didn't blog about it, but like everyone else, I vowed this year to knit through my stash. I know what I have, and I have projects assigned to at least several batches of yarn. But then I made an innocent little trip to my LYS, because I was going to make an exception to buy yarn for Pasha.

Ever since seeing Ashley's, I've wanted a knitted penguin in my life. And the black and white yarn? Also perfect for the sushi roll toilet paper cover! Cheesey? Kitschy? Yes and yes. But recently I bought what feels like a pallet's worth of Kirkland TP at Costco, and they are all individually wrapped. I feel like this calls for a TP cozy, don't you?

I then saw some Berroco Denim Silk yarn on sale, and I had just been leafing through my copy of Knitting Nature, and knew that this was the yarn used in the Roundabout Leaf Tank. It was on sale! And it's in a color that will look good on me. Have I mentioned that it was on sale?
That was all the damage I did that day, but I ran back two days ago because I missed a friend's birthday and decided to knit the Airy Scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. The book claims that this is a four hour project. Like many of the other projects in this book...doubtful. It's a simple pattern, yes, but with the slipperiness of the Kidsilk Haze and the potential for dropped stitches, it's been slow going for me. And, I was screwing up the last knit together/yarnover combo, so that I was losing stitches but not knowing why. I frogged it twice before I finally figured it out.

I have also been coveting Kodachrome's beret (and a number of others), so I picked up some Blue Sky Alpaca and Silk to make the beret from Greetings from the Knit Cafe.

Do you see a pattern here? Monkey see, monkey want!

I also got suckered into digital cable the other day; I have cable internet, but originally wanted to save money when I moved into my new place, so I skipped the cable TV. Yet when the Time Warner cable salesman came and knocked on my door recently, he may as well have prefaced his pitch by announcing confidently, resistance is futile. I get digital cable for 30 days for free, and then for half off for two months after. Then I can downgrade to basic.

It's pretty ridiculous, me having digital cable, because I really only watch a few shows on network TV, and then sometimes Bravo, AMC, A&E, stuff like that. I honestly don't know what to do with all these channels. And the music? Just discovered it this morning. You know what, though? Don't care. Don't want it.

The one thing I was excited about was....Knitty Gritty! Yay! The other cable provider I had before didn't carry DIY, so I sat myself down as soon as I found the show, heart aflutter in anticipation.

Yay! Marnie MacLean, one of my favorite bloggers, was demonstrating her Hooray for Me! gloves. I love Marnie--she was one of the first bloggers I read when discovering the whole knitblogger world, and she was the first blogger I didn't know personally to respond to a comment. I was in shock when I got her email, but then was happy to tell her how much I loved her, and how generous to put all those beautiful patterns for free on her website.

Anyway, while watching the show, I had that moment where I was like, oh my God, Marnie's a real person. The universe rent in two for a brief second, and then I settled into listening to her voice and thinking that she sounded just like I expected her to.

Vickie Howell, on the other hand...hmmm. She's much more low-key than I expected. She's an Austinite, so I actually have seen her running around the LYS here, kids in tow, hair askew. Obviously, she's totally polished on the show, and so pretty to boot, but I guess I expected her to have a more energetic on-air persona.

Anyway, I've seen a couple more Knitty Gritty episodes since then, and I have to say I'm a bit underwhelmed. With the exception of that first episode, where Marnie demonstrated double knitting, the other two have been about pillows. Snooze. Granted, the first one demonstrated applique, and in the second, the guest demonstrated bleaching stripes into the knitting to get a checkerboard design. But still.

One final note on the whole new cable thing--I called Time Warner because I couldn't figure out how, or I couldn't remember, how to record on my VCR from the cable box. I got a nice young man in technical support who helped me fix the way the cable box defaulted to channel one (the reason I didn't record 24 last Monday, but instead a whole hour of the Time Warner sales pitch).

Just to confirm, I asked him, so I set my VCR to channel 3, and then leave the cable box on the channel I want. Pause. Oh, no offense, he says, but I didn't realize you said VCR. I thought you said DVR.

Mmm, no. I have a VCR.

Oh, I'm sorry. I've never hooked up a VCR to to cable, myself.

You're making me feel old, I wailed.

Sorry. I'm into the technology.

So this is how it happens, folks. One day, you wake up, and when you're not even aware of it, and when you may even think you're advancing by hooking up digital cable, you instead turn into a technology dinosaur.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Silent Poetry Reading.

I was reminded by Ashley and Nancy that today is the Second Annual Brigid in Cyberspace Poetry Reading. I'm not working at home, so I'm not able to look through my books. Which is a good test of seeing which poems really stick with you, even after months or years of not having read them. So I went looking for this on the internets (meaning typos and missing accent marks, apologies to the poet).

I present to you another Sandra Cisneros poem. What can I say? She's da bomb.

"You Bring Out The Mexican In Me"

You bring out the Mexican in me.
The hunkered thick dark spiral.
The core of a heart howl.
The bitter bile.
The tequila lagrimas on Saturday all
through next weekend Sunday.
You are the one I'd let go the other loves for,
surrender my one-woman house.
Allow you red wine in bed,
even with my vintage linens.
Maybe. Maybe.

For you.

You bring out the Dolores del Rio in me.
The Mexican spitfire in me.
The raw navajas, glint and passion in me.
The raise Cain and dance with the rooster-footed devil in me.
The spangled sequin in me.
The eagle and serpent in me.
The mariachi trumpets of the blood in me.
The Aztec love of war in me.
The fierce obsidian of the tongue in me.
The berrinchuda, bien-cabrona in me.
The Pandora's curiosity in me.
The pre-Columbian death and destruction in me.
The rainforest disaster, nuclear threat in me.
The fear of fascists in me.
Yes, you do. Yes, you do.

You bring out the colonizer in me.
The holocaust of desire in me.
The Mexico City '85 earthquake in me.
The Popocatepetl/Ixtaccihuatl in me.
The tidal wave of recession in me.
The Agustin Lara hopeless romantic in me.
The barbacoa taquitos on Sunday in me.
The cover the mirrors with cloth in me.

Sweet twin. My wicked other,
I am the memory that circles your bed nights,
that tugs you taut as moon tugs ocean.
I claim you all mine,
arrogant as Manifest Destiny.
I want to rattle and rent you in two.
I want to defile you and raise hell.
I want to pull out the kitchen knives,
dull and sharp, and whisk the air with crosses.
Me sacas lo mexicana en mi,
like it or not, honey.

You bring out the Uled-Nayl in me.
The stand-back-white-bitch-in me.
The switchblade in the boot in me.
The Acapulco cliff diver in me.
The Flecha Roja mountain disaster in me.
The dengue fever in me.
The Alarma! murderess in me.
I could kill in the name of you and think
it worth it. Brandish a fork and terrorize rivals,
female and male, who loiter and look at you,
languid in your light. Oh,

I am evil. I am the filth goddess Tlazoltotl.
I am the swallower of sins.
The lust goddess without guilt.
The delicious debauchery. You bring out
the primordial exquisiteness in me.
The nasty obsession in me.
The corporal and venial sin in me.
The original transgression in me.

Red ocher. Yellow ocher. Indigo. Cochineal.
Pinon. Copal. Sweetgrass. Myrrh.
All you saints, blessed and terrible,
Virgen de Guadalupe, diosa Coatlicue,
I invoke you.

Quiero ser tuya. Only yours. Only you.
Quiero amarte.
Atarte. Amarrarte.
Love the way a Mexican woman loves. Let
me show you. Love the only way I know how.