Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Family Book & Alexis Stewart

After telling Wifey about yesterday's pre-school interrogation, she called the Director. Apparently I'm a bit of a "bull dozer" and this is her "area of expertise," so I was banned from making the call. Just for the record, I am capable of being diplomatic.

Mom ... stop laughing!

The response was stellar:
-Of course we'll discuss it with the kids.
-We'll do it during circle time.
-Do you have a book that we can read to them?
-Families are all different, and many of the kids are being raised by single moms, so some of them don't have dads either.
-etc etc etc.

So I brought The Family Book by Todd Parr to school today. Now I sit and wonder when the bum-holes (see, I'm learning) in Lexington or their northern counterparts will catch wind of it.


Occassionally I click around Site Meter just to see who's reading and where they're coming from. I was once obsessive about this particular activity, but now I'm content to periodically add to my list of "Weird Searches That Drove Traffic Here" (sidebar bottom). In the past few days, I've been getting a lot of Alexis Stewart traffic, so I googled her to see what was causing the rush. I didn't figure it out (mostly because I didn't feel like spending the time), but I did see this interesting bit on her Wikipedia entry:

"not legally divorced yet, but Alexis said ... that she's dating someone new. While on Stern, she also said she wanted to have a child via a sperm donor."

Now, seriously...unless a het is in love with a fertility-challenged-man or seriously disgruntled by the boys, there's rarely talk of sperm donors. Alexis is dating someone and thinking about pay-by-the-vial-sperm? Yep, she's a dyke.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Weekend Update

Little Man's 3rd birthday and party was Saturday. Periodic showers didn't keep us inside (thank dog), so the kids ran around the backyard chasing the 5,000 balls we bought. We were blessed with a weekend-long visit from my Mom, and tons of friends at the party (including Marisa and Nina et al). For the first time, Little Man understood that it was his party, and I was moved nearly to tears by his expressions of joy.

In crafty news, I'm still working on the Puma quilt. As expected, I accomplished VERY little this weekend, so I'm feeling a little panicky about it. I even forgot to have my Mom try on the Poncho I'm knitting for her. Silly Mafia!

In other panicky news, Wifey is in LA for a few days, so I'm responsible for Little Man care and shuttling. When I dropped him off at daycare this morning, I had the following interaction:

Curious 3yoGirl: Hi.
Mafia (holding Little Man): Good Morning.
Girl: Are you Little Man's Mommy?
Mafia: Yes.
Girl: Where's his Daddy?
Mafia: Uh ... he doesn't have a Daddy.
Girl: His Daddy's at work?
Mafia: Well, no ... he doesn't have a Daddy. He has two Mommies.
Girl (clearly confused): Oh, you're his Mommy and his Daddy's at work?
Mafia: Nope, I'm his Mommy. He doesn't have a Daddy. He has another Mommy. He has two Mommies.
Girl: Two Mommies?
Mafia: Yep.
A Different Girl: I have ONE Mommy!
Mafia: That's great. Little Man has two Mommies.
Both: Whoah ...

At this point, I managed to run sneak away. It was TOO early in the morning to deal with the politics and potential fall-out of this conversation. Little Man is the only kid in the school with gay parents. The town is notoriously conservative. Parents might complain. I fear the worst. And of course, this HAD to happen when I was doing drop off. eek!

To prove that Little Man is growing up too fast for the Mafia to handle, here's a road trip conversation between Little Man and Adge (my 16 year old sister in law), while I was pumping gas:

Little Man: Damn!
Adge: What did you say?
Little Man: Damn! Mommy and Mama say that.

Dear lord, I spend a ridiculous amount of time protecting him from Disney movies, merchandized clothes and war toys, and it's ME that's warping his little brain. Crap!

Yeah, he said "crap" recently too. It was the same day that produced a very dramatic "Oh.My.God!" I can't imagine where he get's that from. I've switched to "Oh My Goodness," but I feel like a flaming ninny.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


My blog is worth $21,452.52.
How much is your blog worth?

Hooray! I've doubled in value since Oct. 05. But ... what does this really mean?


Yeah, that's what I thought.

Still, it's fun.

Knitty Surprises

1. Fun for femmes.

2. File Under: Why do people dress babies like mini-adults? Can't they just be babies? Yucky. Without the "cups," mayyyyyybe, but the halter is still kinda icky.

3. Must make. Love the bright whimsical colors!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Favorite Things Monday - Little Gems

Several months ago, I went to Northampton with the BFF&exGF#2. While there, we poked around the Smith College Museum of Art. In the gift shop, I found these delightful little people, and envisioned them in Little Man's bedroom. I flipped them over and was shocked to see the price tag: regular price: $10, on sale: $2. For $6 dollars, these three little gems came home with me.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Pride and a Fall

Pssst ... look what I did!

That's the fire circle in the bottom left corner of the Puma quilt. And yes, that silver thing is a safety pin.

In other Mafia-news, I am officially insane. Yeah, I know. That's not news. But in addition to the commissioned Puma quilt (due by June 5th(ish) ), I was roped into doing a bit of consulting for an excellent local queer group, AND teaching another graduate class at a local university! Frig! The consulting gig will be done by the end of July, and the class starts mid-June and runs through early August. Each one is a great opportunity/resume boost, but whoah ... lotsa work coming down the pike.

That's a long way of saying that I won't be knitting much for the next couple months, and blogging will be more sporadic. Unlike last time, I won't swear off blogging entirely. That just made it more appealing. However, if you're here for the knitting content, take me off your list until August. If you actually derive some twisted pleasure from reading my random drivel, feel free to stick around. Who knows what will happen?

Friday, May 19, 2006

Creamy Puffy Revolutionary Love

If you've been here for any length of time, you know how The Mafia obsesses.

[Mom - stop laughing!]

I fall hard. I do. It's a sickness.

Here's the historical evidence: Pippi, Alexis Stewart, Cate, Brenda Dayne, Sandra Betzina, Nina, Stephanie.

My obsessions are mostly a good thing (I think) because the ladies feel the lovin', and everyone knows I'm married (hi Wifey!) so I can get away with the lusting without any awkwardness. Right?

OK good, 'cuz I have a new one.

I am totally 100% in love with roro, and for once, I swear I wasn't stalking her. Can I jump up and down and act like a total fool with the glory of this HILARIOUS lesbo? Can I steal her away from Katr (with whom she's celebrating a 3 year anniversary)? If you're not already reading her (ahem...Cate, Marisa, Carry), start now. Go.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

'Tis But a Flesh Wound

The last 7,000 days of rain have demolished the Merrimack Valley. Wifey's school and Little Man's daycare have been closed all week. We've been pumping water out of the basement, but have seen very little damage in our home. In spite of living within a couple blocks of the river, we're perched on a hill. We're very lucky.

However, here are pictures of our communities. all photos courtesy of The Boston Globe readers photos

Lawrence -- where Wifey teaches

The Lawrence Dam

Juncture of Route 495 and Route 114 on the N. Andover/Lawrence line -- usually a normal road

Downtown Haverhill -- can you see the 30 ft stone sea wall?

Downtown Haverhill -- can you see it now? Right where those lights are? Here's a photo of the sea wall under normal circumstances.

River Street, Haverhill

Trying to salvage the new bridge from Haverhill to Bradford.

Groveland Bridge -- usually at least 20 feet above the water

Downtown Amesbury -- usually a nice swift creek

The Riverwalk, Lowell -- 10-20 above water normally

But as I look outside today, I can see the SUN!! I feel like stripping off all my clothes and dancing around in the sun like the pagan hippie I really am. If you see a crazed naked woman in Kendall Square today, it's probably me.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Craft Mania

I was stuck in the house on Sunday, preparing for a nasty medical exam, so I played the avoidance game and crafted like a maniac.

I finished piecing the center panel of the Puma quilt. I still have to quilt it, but here's the basic design alongside the original photo I was given.

I made a knitting notions bag.

And I made a knitting bag from a recycled thrift store sweater. I originally intended for the thrifty sweater to be ripped apart for the yarn, because I wanted to make a sweater for Little Man with this cornflower blue that matches his eyes exactly. But the fabric was too felted to be easily ripped apart, so I threw it in the washer and felted the thing within an inch of it's life. And now it's a bag.

Thankfully I got all this done because the nasty medical exam knocked me on my ass yesterday. The lovely cocktail of drugs I was given made the exam a whole lot less nasty, but I slept from 12 noon yesterday until 6am this morning. Yes, you read that right. I slept for 18 hours. And I'm still very foggy. I'm a terrible employee today.

Favorite Things Monday - the Mother's Day Episode

At some point on Sunday morning, I heard Wifey and Little Man chanting "up, down, up, down" and wondered what they were doing. But sleepiness prevailed and I dozed off again. Some time later, Little Man climbed into bed with me, snuggled into my neck, kissed me, and said, "Look Mommy! Look what I did!" and handed me this card.

Only then did I realize that "up, down, up, down" was the chant for drawing an M. Isn't he the smartest nearly 3 year old in the whole wide world??

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Wool & Water

And lots of it. So many other people have posted fantastic post-mortems, that I have little else to add. It was cold. Soaking wet. I met bloggers, although it was hard find people under all those hoods and umbrellas. And there was wool everywhere.

Oh yeah -- and of course, Cate the Enabler was there to assist.

Yep, I bought a Bosworth drop spindle in purpleheart wood and some roving from Ingrid Byrd of Ward Brook Farm. My teenaged sick-kick Adge picked out the green/gold and plans to learn alongside me. So CUTE!

I also finally met Kellee, and yes, her hair is really that red. I also met Pippi, who is just as delightful as her blog/business would indicate. After emailing with physical traits to help us i.d. one another, I felt sure I found her when a woman with shocking pink hair walked past me. I felt like a fool when I squealed "Pink Hair? That must be her!" Thankfully she was much more socially suave and treated me to a cuddly hug. I also met Pippi's long-time friend Boogie (the designer of Knitty's Lolita legs) who I was eyeing for a bit because she has purple hair. Boogie, I apologize for being a stalker.

I tried to meet other folks at the blooger "picnic" but I was consumed with a 3 year old who, despite his brand new caterpillar rain boots, absolutely refused to walk anywhere. After an hour of carrying him around, it occurred to me that I could use my favorite wool scarf as a sling. While other people were chatting and snacking, I was hoisting Little Man onto my hip and dancing around with my newly freed arms outstretched.

Earlier that morning, I forced Little Man and Adge into various bits of wool and nylon. Little Man and I both wore our brand new SockaPalOOOza socks, and Adge wore my ArtYarns Supermerinos under her Converse. After pulling the handknits over her toes, she was converted, so I promised to knit her some socks. She picked out this Dorchester Yarns Sock Yarn for her first pair of handknit socks.

Unfortunately I couldn't get to the margarita-fest in Concord because Little Man lost his mind (as expected) and Adge needed to get home for a job interview. She got it too! Her first job. So CUTE! I planned to drive back up for the margaritas, but after seeing 3 accidents on the way home, I decided to count my blessings and stay home. Can we schedule a rain date on the drinking? Me likey libations.

Friday, May 12, 2006

I don't know ...

ETA: We're going. We'll try it for a bit, and if everyone is miserable, we'll head home. I don't know ...

I was so excited about NHS&W that I was planning to drive up for the late morning/lunch, drive back home to drop off the wee one, and return for dinner/margaritas. But look at this weather forecast and the accompanying flood watch. I don't know ...

Anyone still going?

NH Sheep-ride needed

Does anyone in the Boston area have an extra spot in their car for my girl Christine? She's an amazingly interesting woman. A Media Lab graduate student. Founder of the Seamless fashion show. Creator of the urbanhermes messenger bag. And friend of Project Runway.

In spite of all these things, she's totally down to earth and would make a great car companion. And she's probably going to kill me for making her seem like a super star instead of the totally normal knitter that she is.

Oh yeah, one more thing -- check out her alteration of the Seaberry Shell from the brand new IK. I love the asymmetry.

If you can give a girl a ride, click on over to Christine and leave her a comment with your info.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

G.I. Joe wears a mohair poncho

Mom's mohair poncho is speeding along. Look how pretty the colors are. Can you see that I joined the new ball to create the neckline with virtually no color change? Yep, I'm proud of that. I'm less excited about how the colors "come together" on the other side of the neck. After much thought, I decided it was unavoidable.

Gratuitous Dog-Wearing-Poncho photo, because Danielle and I must use our shared window ledge for fun.

In other news, Wifey and I have been complaining for over a year about the old raggedy store-bought quilt that graces Little Man's bed. The quilt's previous tour of duty was through most of Wifey's college years, so it's taken a beating (drowning?). We've been oogling this Pottery Barn quilt for months, and I finally decided that I'm going re-create it. This will be the project for June (aka once the commissioned Puma quilt is done.)

Lest you fear that I've lost my marbles, there will be NO camouflage in Little Man's room. My Mom thought it was funny to include a vintage G.I. Joe in Little Man's Easter basket this year. Mr. Joe found himself face-first in the trash within seconds of arriving in my house. My Mom is sassy. Surprised?

Monday, May 08, 2006

Favorite Things Monday - the Titty episode

This is the first piece of 'real art' that I bought, and by 'real art' I mean anything that wasn't procured at a poster shop. It's a Tit Print by Annie Sprinkle [beware: the links are 18+ but pretty tame]. I bought it during my sexual revolution six years ago when I was utterly heart broken over a girl, and doing a lot of local events, girls, drugs, drinking ... you know ... heart break stuff. So one night, I heard that Annie Sprinkle was speaking in Boston and I I'd been impressed with her sex-positive work for a long time, read her books, etc. As a former porn star, she has a fascinating perspective on sexuality and feminism. Her talk was excellent, and I wanted a souvenir. I contemplated T-shirts and buttons and other such swag, but when I saw this print, I had to have it. Granted, it was $30 and I was broke (of course ... drugs and student loans are expensive). Plus, I had to fight off another girl for the privilege of buying it. This was a major commitment. But I loved it, and I still do.

Unfortunately, Wifey hates it. She thinks it's tacky/trashy/etc. But she's a bit of a prude, so I ignore her. It's mine. I love it. And after a couple years of keeping it hidden because Wifey didn't like it, I recently came to the point in our relationship where I just don't care. I hung it near my dresser and told her if she didn't like it, tough titty. [sorry, i couldn't help myself.]

My Happy Monday thought is -- I love my Wifey, but she's opinionated and controlling. Kinda like me. In order for two opinionated and controlling people to co-exist, sometimes we have to ignore each other. I'm getting better at ignoring her, and in the process, long dormant parts of my personality are emerging and new parts are blooming. I'm feeling free. Probably not free enough to do a tit print though...

Happy Monday!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Bad Wonder-Under

There's some bad acid running around the quilting world lately, and I'm ready to cry. I've been trying to get this f-ing Wonder-Under to work and it just won't adhere to the fabric!! Thankfully FiberMania has posted extensively about the "Bad Wonder-Under" so I've stopped thinking that I'm a complete moron. But I'm losing valuable time here!! And the Pellon website is down, so I can't even file a customer service complaint and get some replacement fusible. F-ing Wonder-Under!!!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Prezzies for the Lezzie

For the past two days, I've been swamped with gifts. I'm almost embarrassed to show you. It's like bragging about how many presents are under the Christmas tree. But I'm so excited that I must ignore convention. After all, I'm good at ignoring conventions.

Prezzie #1
Wifey calls me at work.

Wifey: You got a package from California.
Mafia [squealing]: Yes! It must be my socks!
Wifey: Well ... there's a problem.
Mafia: WHAT??
Wifey: Well ... It's really big and Lugh is attacking it. She's scratching and biting it and digging at it and dragging it around the house. Should I open it?
Mafia: Yeah, there must be catnip or something in there.
Wifey: Why would someone send you catnip in the mail? [despite my attempts at indoctrination, she's still a muggle.]

Look ... presents for Lugh!

And little did I know...the catnip eggroll and cat treats were only the beginning. Look at the haul!

Clearly I got the best SockPal in the bunch! She's a blogless veterinary dentist from UC Davis, and she seriously spoiled me. Seriously. Korean chocolate and Korean candies and postcards and magnets from California and UC Davis.

Beautiful socks that fit perfectly!

Socks for Little Man, which he promptly pulled over his hands and ran around the house laughing about. He's developing quite a sassy sense of humor. Of course, I expect no less.

Claudia's handpainted merino sock yarn, in case Wifey felt left out!

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you to Jean! And thanks to Alison for doing this again.

Prezzie #2
Back in November, I had a birthday. Back in November, several people in my extended family collected $100 for my birthday present. Back in November, they told me to buy a ball winder and a swift combo from Webs. But somehow the money got sucked into the bank account and was used on bills. So I've been stalking Joann recently, waiting for those 50%-off coupons to appear. Success - I finally got my ball winder and swift, and I only paid about $60 for both. Yes!

I know ... it's a horrible picture, but that's the best I could do mid-work-week. Notice the Claudia's sock yarn was my virgin spin?

Prezzie #3
The wonderful Ashley was recently frustrated by some Bearfoot, so she offered to give it away. I never win anything, but somehow I won the drawing! But when the yarn arrived in a big box, I knew there was something else up her sleeve. Seriously.Spoiled.Mafia:

Two skeins of Mountain Colors Bearfoot in Rainbow
The Yarn Harlot's new book
Two chocolate bars
Puffy dinosaur stickers and a chocolate brown wind-up Hippo for Little Man (presumably)

Thanks SO much Ashley! That little Hippo scooted across our kitchen floor about 75 times before bedtime last night.

I'm a Lucky Lezzie!

Thursday, May 04, 2006


Thank you all for the lovely comments and emails this week. It really made me feel better about staring at the ceiling for days on end. Smooch! I'm feeling better. Not 100%, but I'm on the rebound.

Can we discuss the next Mafia sighting community gathering -- NHS&W. Can we round up the troops? I can only attend on Saturday, but I hope to be there early and plan to stay late. Some people have already mentioned going, but I'm not sure which day. So ... gals ... what's your plan?

-Cate? Cate? Cate? (oh how I love that Cate) Your mini-adorables? Your Rogue?
-Kellee? Your new Rogue?
-Kat with a K?
-Any MIT SnBers? Christine? ChrisQ? Jess? Kathy? Katie? Rhonda?
-All you cool-ass-people I don't know yet?

Speaking of Pippi ... she's offering free shipping on all of her amazing hand-spun and hand-dyed yarn and fiber in order to finance her trip to NHS&W, so go check out her shop.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Favorite Things Monday - the Sick episode

After spending a night in the ER last Tuesday to combat Little Man's croup, and a couple days with a very cranky boy with an incredible seal cough and very labored breathing, I got some nasty bug on Saturday. This morning the doc said I either have a nasty flu-like virus or a kidney stone. In either case, I have to take lots of Advil and wait it out. For once in my life, I'm hoping for the flu, which should be on it's way out. If it's a kidney stone, this is just the beginning and I have excruciating pain to look forward to. Nice.

That's a long way of saying ... sorry if I haven't responded to email lately. I'll be upright again soon.

Favorite Things Monday
Throughout these crappy 7 days, this little lady has been keeping my company:

This is Grace, our older skittish kitty that most people never met because she's usually hiding under our bed. That's how she earned the extended family nickname Snuffleupagus, because many wonder if she's even real. She's a typical New England kitty with many many toes, and a big fat belly. As a teeny kitten, she was given to Wifey as a Christmas present in Dec. 1999, so she's probably 6 1/2 years old and a Scorpio (like me!). Grace and I get along great, but she and Wifey simply tolerate each other, and she's unjustifiably terrified of Little Man. So she's actually my kitty now, which is great because she slept with me Saturday night while I was high-fever-shivering. She's a good snuggly girl.

Happy Monday!