Wednesday, March 29, 2006


As the irises push pointy green spikes out of the soil, I start dreaming about days of short sleeves and capris. And I'm reminded of uncontrollable office air conditioning. So I'm thinking about a shawl, but it's terribly hard to find a not-girly, not-gramma shawl pattern. Last year, I made the Not-Knit-Round scarf, but I hardly ever wear it. First, it still sheds. Second, I have to pull it over my head and Third, it's a smidge too trendy, and I'm convinced that I won't notice when it becomes 'so last year.' I want something I can just wrap around me like a big smushy hug.

For the moment, I'm in love with this shawl pattern SANS POINTS. I read the pattern and the points are done last, as an add-on, so it would be easy-peasy to leave them off. Thoughts?

This is motivation to rip the 5 thrift store sweaters I have in my stash, because I'm on a serious yarn diet.


I am finally starting my SockPalOOO socks. After a several weeks of indecisiveness, I finally opted for Koigu KPPPM in #141. Pretty huh?

I'm afraid to say it, but perhaps I'm not a sock knitter. I can hear the Knitting Goddess's spear crackling in the fire and will accept my stab wounds as punishment for such blasphemy. But, damn it, I don't like knitting with sock weight yarn. I don't like tiny needles. I'm getting sick of the magic loop both socks at the same time technique. And I'm not switching to the needle cactus either, so don't even suggest it. I love handknit socks though. What a dilemma.

I spent an hour last night casting on and arranging the needles appropriately. I knit for a long ass time, including propped against a stack of pillows in my bed. I fell asleep with the needles in my hands. And I woke up with this.much.progress.

Screw you Koigu.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


I'm taking another vacation day this Friday so I can volunteer for CRAFTBOSTON. Hooray! I love juried art shows. Love love love them! On Friday I'll be fundraising for most of the day, but for the Saturday lunch hour, I'll be "booth sitting" which meaning watching an artist's booth while s/he grabs a bite. I can't wait to see who I'm paired up with. On Sunday I'll be working registration from 2:30-4pm, so if you swing by, say Hi.

For anyone interested in shibori, the amazing Jeung-Hwa Park will be there. I've seen her work in person, and it's well worth the price of admission!

Oh pissmeyer ... I need 3 arty outfits. What am I going to wear???!!!

Saturday, March 25, 2006


I'm supposed to be cleaning our house, while Wifey and Little Man pick trash off the sidewalks and bushes in the tough neighborhood where Wifey teaches. Apparently the city officials aren't interested in spending public works money on cleaning up this neighborhood at the end of the winter, but are happy to scour the Irish middle class section of town. So the teachers and administrators are out there this morning. Anyway ... I'm home alone under the guise of "if you leave me alone for a few hours, the house will be clean when you return." So what am I doing? Blogging. Bad Mafia. In my defense, I function best in stress mode. For people who listen to Cast On, did you hear the song Stress on Sage Turtle's guest show last week? Yep, that's me. On the nose. Sad. True.

Speaking of Cast On, have I ever mentioned how much I love Brenda Dayne? I found her pretty early on, like maybe in November when she had 3 podcasts out, and I've been listening religiously ever since. In one of the first couple episodes, she talked about the view from a window in her house in Wales, and I was completely hooked. It was solidified when she casually mentioned her partner and used the pronoun "she". But it's the sound of her voice that has me head over heels. I wouldn't kick her outta bed. Just sayin'.

I must be diggin' the older chicks lately 'cuz I developed a healthy crush on Sandra Betzina this week. First of all, if you click on that link, please ignore the terrible Betty Page hair she had for a little while, k? Focus on these photos and you'll have a better understanding of what I'm saying. I'm not sure what I expected when I walked into the first class on Monday, but whatever it was, I was wrong. She's beautiful and charming and afffectionate and confident and creative and wicked SMART! She kept taking off her top to show us her designs, so she spent a good amount of time in a teeny chocolate camisole. She must work out because she has amazing muscles in her upper arms and across the top of her back. Best of all, she's hetero in the way that San Fran hets are. In other words, she doesn't hold back when touching another woman. She's confident enough in her own sexuality to touch other women lovingly. For example, she measured each of us quite thoroughly. Everyone was more than a smidge uncomfortable with this. Then we tried on some jackets and some pants and she pulled and tugged and folded bits of fabric until the fit was precise. Needless to say, this meant smoothing wrinkles down our backs and legs and (gasp!) pulling tucks at the inner thigh. Perhaps the middle class hets in the class thought nothing of it, but I was a little nervous about having this beautiful older woman pulling at my crotch. And lets not even discuss the process of putting boob darts into a jacket. Lordy! Next time I take a tailoring class, it better be taught by a gay man.

But really ... I learned a TON in these classes, and I dare say, they were worth every penny. My new goal - to never buy another pair of commercial pants again. I hate shopping for pants. I can never find any that fit. And now I don't have to!! Hooray! Freedom from twiggy fashionistas! Viva la Curves! Viva la Eating!

Speaking of eating -- does anyone else get annoyed with the obsession with weight loss techniques and the propensity of practitioners to discuss these issues in the middle of a meal? There were a couple women in the class who have undergone enormous weight loss in the last few years. Both had surgery (stomach staples and gastric bypass) and have lost 130-150 pds each and kept it off. I was VERY impressed. I know all the details because it was discussed quite extensively throughout the classes. But then lunch was served (chicken caesar salad, bread and dessert tartes) and the conversation continued. We got the play-by-play of their appropriate food choices throughout the whole damned lunch. I wasn't planning on consuming three tartes, but felt the need to after hearing this blather while trying to eat. For some reason, it's become socially acceptable to discuss food choices under the guise of "healthy eating" while dining with strangers. Grrr! If I want three fucking tartes, I'll have three fucking tartes, and I don't want to hear some self righteous snit about it. It's very hard to enjoy your lunch with yackity-yack-fat-yack going on in the background. Shut up already. We're very proud of you. Well done. Now shut up. I'm trying to enjoy this chocolate without thinking about what part of my body it will nestle into for eternity. Am I the only one who feels that way?

While chillin' at the Fabric Place this week, I had plenty of time to devote to the yarn/knitting book section, and I found two things I MUST have.

1) Simply Felt

2) A kids sweater with a white cat on the front. Ok, I know it sounds hokey, but it was cute. Damn if I can't remember what company produced the book. It was one of those 8 1/2 x 11 books with like 15 patterns from one company. The pullover was probably navy, worn by a white kid of about 6-7 years. The cat was cute (unlike many intarsia animal designs I've seen). It was a side view of a walking cat. The tail was all S-curvy and the cat eyes were looking right at you. The shape of the kitty was kinda whimsical. Back Story - when Wifey was a child, her Mom knit The Bear Sweater.

She remembers loving this sweater as a child, being broken hearted when she outgrew it, and then joyous when her sister (only 15 months younger) started wearing it. Then her other little sisters (now 13 & 16 yo) wore The Bear Sweater. At the tail end of her pregnancy, Wifey went looking through the family trunk for The Bear Sweater and found it. Little Man fit into The Bear Sweater at about 12 months, so he probably won't remember it as an adult. However, considering that Little Man and our kitten Lugh have an amazing love for one another, if I make Little Man a sweater with a white cat on the front, perhaps this will be his Bear Sweater. So ... does anyone know the pattern I'm talking about?

Now for the photos. It's the reward for enduring through all my morning ramblings.

Finished Art Yarns socks (plus Little Man's hand and his green balloon).

Finished Booga Bag (which still needs de-pilling).

Thursday, March 23, 2006

I have needs

I want this:

*actually located here and first seen here

Can I figure out how to make it (with a teeny bit less ribbing on the sleeves)?????

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Sneaky Nasty Yarn Porn

Yesterday was a glorious day. The sun was shining. Wifey was working. Little Man was dropped off at daycare at an obscenely early hour. And the Mafia drove west along lovely small highways, crossed ancient bridges, and skillfully avoided end-of-the-month entrapment by the State Police.

I arrived in Noho early, so I swung by Webs. Webs was not part of the original plan. Stop that - I'm not lying. I mean, I owe the electric company and the gas company and the phone company and and and. But what is a trip to Noho without a trip to Webs? Admit it, you'd do the same. And if faced with $12/pd Highland Tweed in a stunning vibrant blue, wouldn't you grab 4 pounds? Big curvy girls need more wool, and two pounds won't be enough for a whole sweater, and since it only comes in 2 lb cones... (cell for scale)

Yeah ... so what if you found entire bags of Rowanspun 4 ply in an amazing emerald? Wouldn't you buy a whole bag?

Yeah ... and if you found sloppy mangled balls of Jo Sharp DK Wool in Brocade, the exact color that you bought every available ball on sale in Philly to make a Pearl Buck Swing Jacket only to realize that you don't have enough, spend the next month hunting the internet and LYSs high and low, and come up empty handed. You'd buy the four remaining balls even if they were missing ball bands, had ends tangled and knotted together and you weren't 100% sure it was the same color, right? And then you'd buy four balls of a beautiful cream color just in case you needed a contrast color when you change to another pattern because you don't have an entire sweaters worth of Brocade, right?

Would you then spend the next few hours stressing about how to get the HUGE Webs bag past the Wifey? Would you hide the bag in the trunk? Would you accidentally leave it in the trunk when Wifey takes the car out to do errands? Would you hide under the bed when she comes home, walks through the door and says "so ... you wanna tell me what you bought at Webs?"

Fearing for your life and dodging flying tea cups (not really, but isn't that a fun image?), would you strike a bargain involving relinquishing the remaining balance of an Amazon gift card, cleaning the house while Wifey sits in front of the TV, and serving gallons of hot tea and piles of warm cookies. Me? Noooo ... I wouldn't lower myself to such degrading agreements.

I've learned that Wifey is more observant than I give her credit for. Even if I snuck the bag into the house, she claims she would've noticed the extra 4 (!) pounds of coned wool. Apparently she's paying more attention to my stash acquisition than I thought. Shit. shit. shit. No more sneaky Mafia. As of today, an entire day of skulking around the house with my wooly tail tucked between my legs, I'm officially on a yarn diet.

After my yarn binge, I met the lovely MamaCate for lunch and a stroll around her leafy women's college campus. With the addition of bustled skirts, leather bound notebooks, and linked arms, we could've skipped back a century. Speaking of linked arms, she greeted me with a hug. See here - I've only met Ms. Mama once before, and I usually reserve hugging for those I'm sleeping with, those I've slept with, and those I want to sleep with. But apparently these blogs make fast friends of virtual strangers, 'cuz I dove straight into the hug without thinking anything of it. It only crossed my mind while driving back across the state later in the afternoon -- "wait a second ... there was hugging." We've clearly reached a new level of friendship. We hug. Cool.

Cate was wearing her lovely rustic handspun and handknit Kepler. Wow. Now I have some serious Kepler envy. We talked work, careers, knitting, socks, dykes, politics, kids, blogging, privacy, architecture, and aging. I even had a chance to call her an older lesbian, and she didn't smack me. Being only 5 years younger, with my grey hairs emerging fast, any comments about aging are entirely tongue in cheek. [bad Mafia, no talk of tongues among the dykey ones...those minds go wandering]

Here is one final image of a beautiful day. Little Man is newly obsessed with the digital camera, which he insists on calling "cheese" instead of "camera". He's been taking lots of close up pictures of his pinky finger, but occasionally he snaps an interesting one. Here's Little Man's view of the world/me:

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

23 Days Later ...

The Knitting Olympics Turtle Update:

March 10th - (blogless) Janey from Nova Scotia completed a Branching Out - her first lace knitting!

March 19th -- Penelope's Got Nothing On Me is done with her Zig Zag sweater in spite of starting a brand new job!

Almost there -- cheer them on.
FreckleGirl is almost done with finishing 6 (!) WsIP.
PlastikGyrl only needs to add a zipper to her BPT sweater.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Ode to Vacation

(to the tune of 3 Blind Mice)

4 days off.
4 days off.
Little Man in daycare.
Wifey at work.
The Mafia's a happy girl,
Bein' a crafty mama and ridin' the rails.
4 days off.
4 days off.

Today - Sandra Betzina - Fast Fit
Tuesday - to Noho, the Sophia Smith Collection and MamaCate
Wednesday - Sandra Betzina - Fabric Seminar
Thursday - Sandra Betzina - Pants that Fit

Booga Bag ready to felt
Art Yarns Sock #1 completed from toe to ankle
Matisse's Blue Hair is in the lead

I Heart Vacation!

Thursday, March 16, 2006


I can't remember the last time I stayed home alone for an entire day. If I'm ill, I go to work anyway because I preserve those sick days for Little Man's growing immunities. But last night I woke up sick at 4am and refused to wake up again at 5:30am. So I'm home sick, and it isn't so bad. I consciously stopped myself from slipping into my usual TV-on-for-background-noise M.O. and opted for the silence. Ok, I lied. I watched Ellen at 11am. She's so cute! But I turned the idiotbox off at noon.

The silence is fabulous. I've been thinking, petting the kitties, laying on the couch in that special sunny spot, taking pictures and doing some knitting. It's divine. Can I stay home sick a couple times a week? If I could, I'd be an amazingly crafty girl, I promise. See -

The body of the Booga Bag is done and I'm working on the i-cord.

I started a pair of socks on the train last night with the ArtYarns Supermerino #114 that I bought at Loop back in September.

And I pulled out my design ideas for the Matisse quilt block. I'm torn between these three images:
Blue Hair

Blue Nude II

Blue Nude IV

Help me decide?

And ... Emily, if you're still reading, I'd REALLY appreciate your opinion. Thanks!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Days of Dreaming

These days my mind is swirling around itself with project ideas, colors, patterns, yarn, fabric, thread.

Last week I took a much-needed long walk into Central Square (Cambridge) in the middle of my work day. I swung by Goodwill, knowing full well what was about to happen. I spent $10 and walked out with a J. Crew 100% wool sweater in a stunning shade of cornflower blue, and a 100% cashmere sweater in a very pale icey blue.

I can't wait to start ripping. The cornflower is precisely the same color as Little Man's eyes, and I've been looking for that shade for a couple years now. Clearly there's another Little Man sweater on the horizon. I'm not sure what I'll do with the cashmere, especially since it's probably fingering or sport weight.

Danielle has a colleague who wants to commission a memory quilt for her daughter's high school graduation, and I agreed to do it. So I've been pouring over pictures, learning about this amazing young woman and the sport of synchronized swimming, and thinking about designs. I haven't started sketching yet, but I'm very close. Watch out colored pencils.

I'm 75% done with a Booga Bag, a long-overdue gift for a secret recipient. I love Noro, and after Little Man's Chunky Cabled Sweater, I'm loving this long stretch of knitting in the round. The colors are so incredible, I just want to lick the yarn.

Next week I'll be taking time off work to attend three workshops by Sandra Betzina at the Fabric Place. I have her books, I've read them, and now I'll meet her. So exciting! I asked for these workshops for Christmas, and didn't get them (grrrr!!!!), so I've been selling my body and soul to MIT brain researchers in order to fund the classes. I really really really really want the Pants Fitting class, and I've earned nearly enough money to go. Naturally Wifey (and my better judgment) think that any extra money I earn should go into our household account (which is not quite Red as Emma anymore, but a nice variegated pink/black 2 ply). However, I've been looking for a pants tailoring class for about 4 years, so come hell, high water or domestic strife, I'm going to this one. Wish me luck on the domestic front, k? (speaking of, I couldn't bring myself to tell her about the 'professor' thing. I'll just be content in the knowledge that I'm not being a "poser" (THANKS Y'ALL!), and resist the temptation to rub her nose in it.)

I'm shopping for sock yarn for SockapalOOOza. PippiKneeSocks and I have been emailing because I LOVE her colors and I want to patronize this very cool chica. But I also took a gander at the Koigu at A Good Yarn yesterday. For some odd reason, two skeins of a lovely variegated green jumped into my bag, stole my debit card, made love to the swipe machine and nestled into the lowest corner of my bag with the receipt tucked between plies, before I even realized what happened. Even stranger -- I got back to my office only to realize that my sockpal doesn't like green. Hmmm ... I'll probably have to exchange those skeins for something she'll actually like. And no, at the tune of $22, I can't keep it for myself and buy more for the SockPal. Hrumpf!

For over a year I've been meaning to design a quilt block based on Matisse's Blue Nude series. I have the exact image in mind, the whole production process mapped out, the supplies in my craft closet, and two gift recipients who know that something is "on-the-way," but are probably losing faith in my ability to deliver. But these days, I'm feelin' it. Perhaps I'll dig into the closet and resurrect that pile of blue fat quarters.

Wifey, Little Man and I spent last Saturday helping Wifey's Dad with some home renovations. In other words, I spent time wandering through the glory of Portsmouth's fabric and yarn stores (aka 'entertaining Little Man') with Wifey's step-Mom, while Wifey sanded and primed. I'm a lucky girl. Wifey's step-Mom is a quilter and a knitter and fabulous cook and an overall crafty chica. I love her. Sometimes I love her so much that I want to kiss her. Last weekend was one of those times. First of all, she gave me a pair of blue Danskos, because the footbed is too hard for her feet. These shoes ... oh these shoes. Love. The leather mocks the skin of a freshly picked blueberry, alternating between shiny and matte, dark and light. Love. She also introduced me to a new yarn store in town - Yarn for Ewe, which has an amazing selection. If you're near Portsmouth, NH, check it out. Back at the ranch, I nestled into her craft room (room!) to browse the heaps of quilting books for ideas for the SynchroQuilt. Before I started into the quilting books, I spotted Scandinavian Knitting Designs. Love. Lucky me - she said it could come live with me on a 'long-term loan'. Yeah! Which reminds me ... around Christmas time, she gave me two old Kaffe Fassett books (Glorious Color and Glorious Knits) on 'long-term loan'. While the patterns are SO not my style, they're very inspirational. Love.

Through all of this, I was reminded why I adore my Little Man so much. We walked into downtown Portsmouth, which is a decent walk for an adult, but a LONG walk for a boy. He jumped and ran and twirled the entire way, so by the time we reached downtown, he slumped into the stroller with a juicebox and his Magna Doodle. This left me free to browse. Although, sporting his brand new Chunky Cabled Sweater, he was a conversation stopper in The Yarn Basket, both because of the sweater (blush!) and because he was carefully fondling the yarn, ohhing and ahhing, naming all the colors, saying "knitting" and "yarn" over and over again, and giggling about the Monkey Fur scarf.

Monday, March 13, 2006

15 days later ...

While hoards of other Olympians have soaked and soothed aching joints for the past 15 days, we Turtles are still working away, undaunted by timelines and worldwide expectations. Our glory is in our persistence.

Within the first 15 post-K.O. days, a few people have crossed the finish line:

1) March 3rd - Kimberly at Some Bunny's Love finished her Clapotis!

2) March 6th - Lars at Norsky Bear completed a beautiful pair of socks, his first socks.

3) March 10th - Marisa at An Elephant's Gestation finished her first knitting project ever (!), a beautiful hat in a stunning Rowan yarn. I think the folks at her LYS saw a newbie and pointed her in the direction of the Rowan right away. Marisa - I know you're knee deep in much more important matters, but can we see a hat photo, please?

4) March 10th - The Mafia finished the Chunky Cabled Sweater for Little Man.

Keep going Turtles!

ETA: See Marisa's finished hat here. It's her very first knitting!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

I'm a Turtle in so many ways

Today is the deadline for turning in the grades for my students, and I'm not done. I'm almost done, but damnit if I'm not a perfectionist Instructor and want to write substantive and useful comments on each and every paper. Oh yeah, and there was that weekend that I ignored grading all together, but we won't discuss that.

As soon as I finish these grades, I'll post a Turtle KAL update. In the meantime, look over there ----> someone has finished!! Give a shout out to Kimberly at Some Bunny's Love for her completed Clapotis! Good job!

Another question -- does anyone know the rules regarding use of Professor vs. Adjunct Faculty vs. Instructor. Wifey and I had a battle a couple weeks ago because one student said Professor Mafia, and I didn't correct her. Wifey feels strongly that you can't be called Prof without a PhD (which I SO don't have). I sign all my emails to the students with my first name Mafia and refer to myself as Mafia the same way in class. I wrote Instructor on the syllabus. I've never used the P-Word, but she said I'm being a "POSER" for not explicitly correcting them. Needless to say, I was extremely pissed off, called her an insensitive ass, sulked for hours calmly explained my point and put it behind us. First of all, I'm not sure she's correct on that Professor=PhD thing. I think back to my community college days, when lots of Profs didn't have PhDs, but they were still called Professor. At my leafy women's college, everyone was called Professor. Frankly, I don't want to called Professor because it feels inaccurate, but should I explicitly correct people? Needless to say, I'd like to prove Wifey wrong and rub her nose in it find the correct answer. I'm curious. Anyone know?

Friday, March 03, 2006

Be Still

Thank you for the amazing outpouring of support for Little Man's adoption (22 comments? holy shit), and for a huge group of Turtles who've signed up (22 comments? holy shit). I've just had my very own De-Lurking Week. Thanks y'all. I feel very loved.

Here's something for my inspiration book. Love Bjork. Love this photo.

-photo snagged from decor8 (which includes my girl Christine as a guest blogger. check her out, she's fab.)

Plain Talk About Plain Speech *

By Rob Weir

I can’t remember when I snapped. Was it the faculty seminar in which the instructor used the phrase “the objectivity, for it is not yet a subjectivity” to refer to a baby? Maybe it was the conference in which the presenter spoke of the need to “historicize” racism, rambled through 40 minutes of impenetrable jargon to set up “new taxonomies” to “code” newspapers and reached the less-than-startling conclusion that five papers from the 1820s “situated African-Americans within pejorative tropes.” Could it have been the time I evaluated a Fulbright applicant who filled an entire page with familiar words, yet I couldn’t comprehend a single thing she was trying to tell me? Perhaps it was when I edited a piece from a Marxist scholar who wouldn’t know a proletarian if one bit him in the keister. Or maybe it just evolved from day-to-day dealings with undergraduates hungry for basic knowledge, hold the purple prose.

At some point, I lost it. I began ranting in the faculty lounge. I hurled the Journal of American History/Mystery across the library, muttered in the shower, and sent befuddled e-mails to colleagues. I’m fine now. Once I unburdened I found I was not alone; lots of fellow academics agree that their colleagues couldn’t write intelligible explanations of how to draw water from the tap. From this was born the Society for Intellectual Clarity (SIC). We intend to launch a new journal, SIC PUPPY (Professors United in Plain Prose Yearnings) as soon as we find someone whose writing is convoluted enough to draft our grant application. (We’re told we should seek recruits among National Science Foundation recipients.)

Until the seed money comes in our journal is purely conceptual, but upon start-up SIC PUPPY will enact the following guidelines for submissions.

Titles: Brevity is a virtue. Titles with colons are discouraged. Any title with a colon, semi-colon, and a comma will be rejected on principle. We accept no responsibility for doodles and exclamatory obscenities scrawled on the returned text, even if you do enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope.

Style: If any manuscript causes one of our editors to respond to a late-night TV ad promising to train applicants for “an exciting career in long-distance trucking,” the author of said manuscript will be deemed a boring twit and his or her work will be returned. See above for doodle disclaimers.

Audience: Hey, would it kill you to write something an undergrad might actually read? If so, please apply for permanent residency in Bora Bora.

Terminology: If any author desires to invent a new term to describe any part of the research, refer to Greta Garbo’s advice on desire in the film Ninotchka: “Suppress it.” There are 171,476 active words in the English language and the authors of SIC PUPPY are confident that at least one of them would be adequate.

Nouns and Verbs: Among those 171, 476 words are some that are designated as nouns and others clearly meant as verbs. Do not confuse the two. SIC PUPPY refuses to conference with anyone about this. We have prioritized our objectives.

Thesis: We insist that you have one. If you don’t have anything to say, kindly refrain from demonstrating so. We do not care what Bakhtin, Derrida, Jameson, Marx, Freud, or Foucault have to say about your subject or any other. We’ve read them; we know what they think.

Academic Catfights: The only person who gives a squanker’s farley about literature reviews and historiography is your thesis adviser. We request that you get on with the article and reduce arcane debates to footnotes. The latter should be typed in three-point Windings font.

Editing for Smugness: If your article was originally a conference paper and, if at any time, you looked up from your text and smiled at your own cleverness, please delete this section and enroll in a remedial humility course.

No Silly Theories: SIC PUPPY does not care if a particular theory is in vogue; we will not consider silly ones. For example, bodies are bodies, not “texts” and dogs are dogs; they do not “signify” their “dogginess” through “signifier” barks. While we’re on the subject, we at SIC PUPPY have combed scientific journals to confirm that time machines do not exist. We thus insist that human beings can be postpartum or postmortem, but not postmodern.

Privileging Meaning: We believe that sometimes you’ve got to call it like it is, even if that entails using a label or category. We know that some of you think we shouldn’t privilege any meaning over another. To this we say, “We’re the editors, not you, and we intend to use our privileged positions of power to label those who reject categories ‘ninnies.’ So

Citations: We insist that you use the Chicago Manual of Style for all citations. Not because we love it, but because it annoys us no end to see parentheses in the middle of text we’re trying to read. Why we read a theory on ellipses (Bakhtin, 1934) just last night describing how English authors (Wilde, 1905; Shaw, 1924) sought to embed Chartist messages (S. Webb, 1891) into....

Complaints: In the course of preparing a journal it is inevitable that typos will appear, that medieval French words will go to print with an accent aigu where an accent grave should have been, and that edits will be made to what you were sure was perfect prose (but wasn’t). Do not call the editors to complain that we’ve humiliated you before your peers and have ruined your academic career. SIC PUPPY will not waste time telling you to get a life; we will direct your call to the following pre-recorded message: “Thhhhhwwwwwwwpt!”

Satire and Irony: To paraphrase the folksinger Charlie King, serious people are ruining our world. If you do not understand satire, or confuse irony with cynicism, go away. Try therapy ... gin ... a warm bath ... anything! Except teaching or writing.

-- Robert E. Weir is a former senior Fulbright scholar who teaches at Smith College and the University of Massachusetts.
from: Inside Higher Ed

*for those who went to college with me, you may recall my daily rants about the use of the word "discourse" in ALL of my classes. Hate.That.Word. and others like it. Love.This.Essay.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

I'm Legally "Mommy"

Yesterday March 1st, 2006 was a very important day in the life of our little family. And today, for the first time ever, I was able to write "SON" on a form and know that it's legally true. For now and forever, Little Man is mine and I'm so glad to have him.

Thanks to Wifey's Dad ("Papa"), step-Mom ("D-Ma") and Sister Kelly ("On-Tea") for enduring rush hour traffic to celebrate with us in the judge's chambers and for taking us to breakfast after all the papers were signed.

Thanks to the scads of older queer folk who advocated on behalf of families like mine to enable the "Adoption of Tammy" in 1993.

Thanks to the State of Massachusetts for recognizing my rights as a co-parent.

Thanks to the universe for connecting us with Judge S (a big dyke).

Thanks to Judge S for waiving the home study requirement.

Thanks to our wonderful attorneys who have been taking good care of Wifey's family for many many years.

... but most of all ...

Thanks to Wifey for having faith in my ability to parent a child even while I had little faith in myself.

Thanks to Little Man for being a beautiful, kind, gentle, loving, charismatic, intelligent, opinionated, curious, stubborn, affectionate, forgiving, emotional, happy kid. It's my pleasure to call myself your "Mommy." I love you more than you can possibly understand.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Zoe Mellor -- Bite Me (part 2)

I have been accused of many many things in my life, most of which were more or less true. On many occasions, I have called myself a knitting-math-moron, and there is ample evidence to back me up. However, the Knitting Olympics inspired me to stand tall, look knitting-math in the eye and say "Fuck Off, I'm Smarter Than You." I did, and here I am:

Why doesn't this feel like victory?
Something is
(other than the horrible pix courtesy of Wifey's camera phone which is standing in for the Elph which we left at Pepere's house. Sorry.)

Let's investigate:

1) Knit back (check)

2) Knit front to 13" (check)

3) Knit "until front matches back to shoulder" (check)

4) Knit sleeves to 9 1/2" (check)

5) End up with Chicken Wings (huh?)

Even I know this isn't right. So I asked Wifey - the 7th/8th grade math teacher - and she made me do algebra:

Step 1: Measure Little Man's current favorite fleece. Body 15", sleeves 11" (from underarm to cuff)

Step 2: Do some cross multiplication. 11 over 15 = x over 13 ....knashing of teeth, horror at my own ignorance ... x = 9.7"

Step 3: 9.7" = appropriate sleeve length? Hmmm ... as we see above, this is not true. 9.5/9.7=Chicken Wing. Apparently the evil Mellor Publisher did the same math.

But nooooooooo you evil people of knitting book publishing -- these are drop shoulder sleeves. The longest measurement needs to run from the shoulder to the cuff, which MIRACULOUSLY (can you hear the sarcasm?) should be about the same measurement as the body - 13". So, once again, Zoe Mellor is wrong! Wrong. Wrong!

Through this entire saga, I've tried to be kind (sorta). I've avoided name-calling. I've questioned myself. I even resorted to my old stand-by self-depracting humor. But damnit. I'm done. This pattern writing is completely idiotic!

Can I get a gold medal for finishing this f-ing sweater, posting pattern corrections and a f-ing CHART? Puh-lease? Turtles -- maybe someone can design a GREEN (which is #33cc00 BTW) version of the medal?