Monday, September 19, 2005

Beware Dial-Uppers

I had a wonderful weekend in Philadelphia.

We are actively ignoring the super hard certification test I took on Saturday morning. I won't see the results for 4 (!) weeks, and I'm not sure if I passed. Don't even ask me why it takes 4 weeks to process the damned thing. Say it together now -- if ballots can be read and tallied within hours of the polls closing, the same fill-in-the-bubble answer sheets shouldn't take four weeks! 225 multiple choice vague, easy to misconstrue collections of text questions do not take 4 weeks to score. It was hard [insert whining here], and I'm feeling venomous! We are also ignoring the possible implosion of my homelife. Both are better left alone right now. Happy. Happy. Happy. Are you convinced? I'm not. But ...

I had a wonderful weekend in Philadelphia!

We ate, walked, took pictures, fondled yarn, ate, walked, called friends, engaged in illegal acts in public parks, walked, slept a little, watched TV, ate, walked, shared fantasies of ideal sexual experiences, gossiped, theorized about the meaning of life, walked, and ate. It was divine.

Friday -- Flight Boston->Philly. Startitis set in. I ignored my knitting and bought The Kite Runner. Couldn't find room for my carry-on and had to check it. Got mildly bitchy with the flight attendant and felt guilty about it. Made up for bitchiness by being extra sweet later. [yes, I can be sweet. Shut up! I can!] Got SO many comments from strangers about The Kite Runner, and confirmed the comments by falling deeply in love within 20 pages. Arrived in Philly. Ate Afghan food. So yummy. Drank wine. Slept.

Saturday -- walked about 2 miles to test site, proving that Danskos are the best shoes ever. Took evil test. Pissed and moaned about it while walking to Chinatown. Felt soothed by the amazing noodle bar we went to. Handpulled noodles at Nan Zhou. Yummmm! Hung out at the Mid-Autumn Festival in Chinatown, a production of Asian Americans United of Philadelphia. The organizers were 80% Asian, 20% lesbians with Asian kids. Saw adorable kids doing the Lion Dance.

Then we hustled home to rest. Bitching about the test really tired us out. Watched my first episode of Knitty Gritty on DIY network and LOVED it, although the host seems a tad disingenuous. Then discovered Craft Corner Death Match on the Style network and felt conflicted. Wow -- I really want to be on it. Wow -- it's weird. Wow -- the host is an insane screwball. Wow -- that Craft Lady of Steel is kinda hot (in a weird tough Frau kinda way).

Then we walked back to Chinatown for the big Lion Dance and parade.

Walked back home again. Dealt with home-life meltdown lesbian drama on cell while walking (yes, I was one of those people - yuck). Immediately drank large raspberry martini. Cried. Called Mom. Drank more. Showered. Put product in hair. Donned lesbo-chic clothes. Waited for friends to arrive. Decided I looked Went to dinner at one of Stephen Starr's restaurants, Washington Square. Blocked out lesbian-drama by drinking a champagne and pomegranate juice cocktail and licking the rock candy from the glass's rim like a stripper. I don't think anyone noticed my efforts, so I'm probably bad at mimicking a stripper. Ate amazing food and a fabulous green apple martini. Giggled a lot. Chatted. Entered park across street to engage in illegal act. Succeeded in blocking out lesbian-drama. Walked to Tavern on Camac, to prop up the wall and watch all the young lovelies shaking their tight little asses. Drank another green apple martini (not nearly as good as the restaurant's version). Started yawning at about 2am. Got home. Flopped on bed. Died.

Formula for Saturday -- lesbian mom with ever-shrinking tolerance for alcohol + lesbian drama of the highest order = stunning ability to consume martinis and remain upright. Viva la adrenalin!

Sunday -- woke up from horrible nightmare of Little Man dro__ing in a tub (won't even breathe that into the universe). Threw nasty smoky cocktail-ly self into steaming hot water. Focused on project for the day -- art. I spotted this beautiful sculpture in a community garden. I had to snap a pic.

Walked to Loop. Ahhh, and the angels sing from above, I loved this store. Clean design, all white shelves, periodic bursts of color in the chairs. Organized by company. Amazing selection. Best customer service ever. The owner was very sweet and chatty and his dog was adorable. We chatted about bamboo, fondling yarn balls, the injustice of wool allergies, and how both "Debbie Bliss" and "Lorna's Laces" would be great drag queen names. I also suggested that he snag a date on the Yarn Harlot's calendar for the bookbookbook#2 tour. That would bring some excellent exposure to the store. This is how much I loved Loop -- see the owner standing there?

With her extreme generosity of late, I hunted high and low for something to make for BFF&ExGF#2. She settled on the Lace Poncho by Susan Sternlieb from the Poncho Loco piece in Fall '05 Interweave Knits. Then she settled on 5 balls of Karabella Aurora 8 in color 16.

Getting a highly sensitive girl to settle on anything containing wool was a miracle and a testament to Karabella's loveliness.

Walked down South Street to Isaiah Zagar's Magic Garden and took some pics. Unfortunately we didn't catch a workshop because it's a two-day affair. We didn't have the time. But I want to try the workshop someday. However, I got some fun pictures of his work. Here's to you, ChrisQ, I brought home some photographic goodies:

The main Magic Garden location

The walkway into the Magic Garden

A bug on the arch

The side wall



4,000 Poets

Art is the Center of the Real World

This one is a good story. I saw bits of a deep dark blue mosaic over a tall wooden fence. As I got closer, I realized the fenced area was filled with Little Tykes toys, and the mosaic filled the entire wall of the playspace. I crammed the camera into a crack between two slats and snapped only a very small portion of the design. But, I may have captured the best part. Around the 2001 there were square white tiles, and each one was painted by a child. It was precious.

Philly is a city of murals. Everytime I go there, I'm amazed by the number of murals, the quality of them and how well they're preserved. On the way to lunch, I spotted this beautiful mural. It reminded me of New England.

For lunch, I experienced another first - a creperie, Beau Monde. Love. 'Member what I said about anything wrapped in dough? Me loves it. First of all, the menu was divided into sweet and savory. The sweet crepes were made with wheat flour, the savory ones with buckwheat flour.

I had a crepe with egg and andouille sausage inside. Here's the boobalicious headless Mafia shot. Boobs are a wonderful invention.

After lunch, we walked down to Fabric Row. Unfortunately every shop was closed. It was Sunday afterall, but I was a little bummed anyway. Then I spotted this mural and rejoiced.

Then we started the hunt for Sophie's Yarns. I heard from Kathy (via my comments) that it was worth checking out. However, ahem, Kathy, it was neither on Walnut Street, nor near the Liberty Bell. After wandering a bit, I called my trusty 16-year-old-always-on-the-computer-and-loves-me Sister in Law for directions. I must say ... I didn't like Sophie's Yarn. The customer service was dreary and totally unengaging. But they carried nice yarn and tons of books. If you're in town, try it out. Perhaps you'll have a different experience.

After a disappointing yarn experience (don't you hate those?), we checked out a couple of funky antique shops in the area. For that, I thank Kathy for bringing me to the area. Fun.Fun.Fun. But I still had wool on the brain. I yearned for some nice sock yarn, and I had $15 burning a hole in my pocket.

You see, I earned $15.50 by participating in a study at MIT last week. So my Philly yarn budget was $15. Damnit, I wanted to spend it! After bitching about being broke, and enjoying a luxurious all-expenses paid trip to Philly (love that BFF&ExGF#2!!!), I was buying sock yarn if it killed me.

So back I went to the glorious Loop and had to confess that I was back for "another fix." So I bought two skeins of ArtYarns Supermerino in a glorious wine/brown/olive colorway, #114.

OK, you caught me -- I over-spent my budget a little. Two skeins were $18.

Then off to the airport, to stick my head in The Kite Runner and await my quasi-public reunion with my little family.

Usually Wifey parks at the airport curb to avoid the parking fees. Unbeknownst to me, she and Little Man were waiting in the lobby for me. Little Man spotted me first, and started yelling "Mommy! Mommy!" and running through the terminal. We performed the Hollywood arms-outstretched-running-spinning-hug.

I'm home, and my boy's soft little cheek is so nice to cuddle up against.


Anonymous said...

Though present throughout all of the weekend's activities, I have no recollection of the Mafia's rock-salt licking antics. Sigh, dissapointment to miss such a sight. I was, however, reminded of our fuck-shit-up days while acting as look-out for the Mafia's illegal activities with Save the World Former Coworker and Oversexed BFF#3 (my BFF, not the Mafia's).

On the sucky test issue, I will add sexist to the litany of negative adjectives used to describe that sore excuse for an exam! "Chairman of the Board" my ass.

On the Loop...being a data/electronics dork, I have no understanding of the fiber dork arts. Yet, I found the Loop to be very interesting. The presentation of materials was wonderful...the clean white lines really made the yarn colors pop. Excellent design and super-friendly owner. Highly recommended over the other yarn store, which was sort of ordinary and boring and head-up-the-assish, as I would have imagined a yarn store to be.

So happy and honored to be BFF&GF#2 to the Mafia and glad I could offer support through lesbo drama death match. Maybe I deserve an upgrade to BFF#1&GF#2 damnit! :)

Anonymous said...

Let me ammend - not to imply that the Mafia has a horde of concubines...I should have referred to myself as bff&ExGf#2 soon to be known as bff#1&ExGf#2 :)

Kathy said...

Oh, shoot, Mafia, I'm sorry that I had the wrong street! That's one thing I always do in Philly. There's so many streets named after trees, I mix 'em all up! Glad you enjoyed Loop, though. That sounds like a fun place.

I love the photos of yarn and murals and mosaics. Glad you had fun....

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this wonderful post! I've been saving it up until I had time to read it. Which of course I don't, but I took the time today, damnit. :)

Fingers crossed on the test. Sounds like a great weekend. Hope the drama calms down.