Monday, July 31, 2006

Favorite Things Monday - Hiking

Back in my late teens and early twenties, I did a fair amount of hiking and backpacking. But after college, I didn't know anyone who enjoyed it, so I prioritized politics over the wilderness. Lately, I've been yearning to scale mountains and climb on rocks, so I bought two books to help ease me back into it: Best Hikes With Children - the MA, CT & RI version, as well as the NH, VT, ME version. I took several vacation days this week, so there's no better time to start, right? I threw the Boy, my two trusty teenaged sidekicks/sisters-in-law into the car and drove north. We somehow found our way to Maine and Mount Agamenticus, despite the fact that I forgot the book, my cell, my wallet, my epipen, and my I.D. But of course there was enough food & water in my pack to sustain a small army. The day was perfect. The bugs were mild. The teenaged sidekicks morphed into wood nymphs at the edge of the forest and frolicked up the mountain. The boy skipped and jumped and slid around on rocks and desperately tried to keep up with his Aunties on this, his first real hike. I plodded along, feeling every bit of my 31 years out-of-shape body, and promised myself that I wouldn't atrophy again. And yet, I love this tightness of muscle, ache of feet, out of breath sensation because it's so pure. So simple.

ETA: Thanks for all the support prior to my big fundraising event. Yes, we did well. With a modest goal of $20K, we left with $47K. I'm a Superstar!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Cash for a Cause

I may have mentioned my 'gay consulting gig' before. Once or twice, right? It's tonight! eek!

Tonight I'll be drinking wine, chatting with smart people, bossing volunteers around (nicely, of course), drinking wine, mildly flirting with rich lesbians, imagining how my life would be different if I had a Cape house, bossing volunteers around, and drinking wine. Why, you ask? Because I get paid to do this shit. I know, it's sick. This can't be 'work'.

If you didn't already know how awesome Danielle is -- here's proof. Yesterday, she and took a lunch-time jaunt to the Cambridgeside Galleria to find a shirt and shoes that I could wear under my blue pin-striped pantsuit. Mind you, I already own clothes that fit the bill, but I needed -new- clothes for this most politically high-powered fancy event. Danielle found me a shirt and matching shoes in under 1/2 hour! How cool is that??? She's just what every fashion-challenged lesbian needs. We need to clone her. I'll get my MIT pals on the job.

Here's the view from my nose. Hot, huh? Shiny chartreuse shirt + Cleave + Chartreuse heels.

Yes, heels. These are fabulous rich gay men, people. I know I can't compete, but at least I won't look like a schlump.

And further proof that Danielle is awesome -- I'm sitting at my desk this morning, and a crumpled ball of paper comes flying over the wall. This is the inside:

Thanks Danielle! You rock!!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Glory of a good Time-Suck

Because that's just what I need the day before my big event. Fun!
Thanks to Suzanne.

Life's to do list - Completed items are bolded

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken Been driven around in a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula [not on your life!!]
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said 'I love you' and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby's diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight [Hi little Bro]
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen an eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 10 provinces or all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe [if you consider that 2 day trip from Germany to Amsterdam for New Years '98]
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer then you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your cds
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke [not surprisingly, I barely remember it]
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Posed Ran around nude in front of strangers
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business [C&J's Feminist Oil Changers -- yes, college]
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken [is that possible?]
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class [LOVE Muay Thai]
71. Played D&D Nintendo for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie [only the kind you make in college]
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an "expert"
83. Got flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music [but can we really call it "music"?]
87. Eaten shark
88. Had a one-night stand
89. Gone to Thailand [SOON with the BFF&exGF#2!]
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in aisles at Rocky Horror.
96. Raised children.
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour [very short leg of Dead & Phish]
98. Created and named your own constellation of stars
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an illness that you shouldn't have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Petted a stingray
110. Broken someone's heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced [wanna guess where?]
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild [if you consider Amsterdam "wild"?]
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed
132. Petted a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey
135. Selected one "important" author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146: Dyed your hair
147: Been a DJ
148: Shaved your head
149: Caused a car accident
150: Saved someone's life

Someday soon I'd like to write my own list, both as a reminder of the cool things I have done, and as a list of goals.

If you do this meme, let me know so I can read it.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Favorite Things Monday - Happy Hippy Lovefest

With only 4 days until the gay consulting gig reaches its pinnacle, and 5 days until I teach my last class for this quarter, I'm about to pull my hair out. Boy do I need to focus on my Favorite Things today. But my creativity is actively atrophying, so this is what I have:


You are my Favorite Thing today. In spite of my current inability to send you love via email, I am reading, commenting on your blogs and most of all, really really enjoying finding new comments in my inbox. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Seriously.

This isn't blatant ass kissing ('cuz really ... I don't do ass kissing), it's about this wonderful community that I appreciate so much. Kisses.

Ah-hem, that's about all the happy hippy lovefest I can handle.


See, it's still me. I haven't been eaten alive by Cute Overload, though I love those kittens. Shhh! Don't tell. It would ruin my reputation.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Passive Aggressive Hair

I'm convinced that Wifey hates wool, knitting, and all things related to sheep. But she won't come out and say it. It comes out in weird passive aggressive ways, which if confronted with, she forcefully denies.

1) A couple weeks ago, we were all sitting at the dinner table eating corn on the cob (I think). Instead of reaching for her napkin, Wifey wiped her hands on the newly finished Woolarina socks for Little Man! In utter astonishment, I blurted out an incredulous "what the hell are you doooooo-ing?"

2) Yesterday, I was home with a mild eye infection and thought I'd be a nice wife and do some laundry. You know where this is going, don't you? I opened the dryer, hucked everything into a basket, dragged it to the bedroom, dumped it on the freshly-made bed, and stepped back in horror when I saw this:


She felted the g-d d-mn brand-new never-worn handknit socks for Little Man, made from yarn that he picked out at a fiber festival! That's wrong on so.many.levels. I tried stretching them (see bottom sock), but they're still pretty small (see Zoe sticker for reference), and Little Man has big feet. Chances are good these wee socks will go to live next door with Little Man's best girl friend Lila and her baby sister Sophie. grrr.wifey.grrr.

In other photographic news, I didn't ignore the pleas for photos of my botched electric clippers hair cut. With the 3 jobs, everything is slower 'round these parts. Here you go. I was tired and loopy this morning. Consider yourself warned.

Hair has a mind of it's own. Fluff.

Hair and I get into it hot-and-heavy with the product. Crazy.

After a serious discussion about my professional prospects and what effect that will have on my ability to buy nice products for Hair, she decided to relax a bit.

OK, Hair -- this is a compromise I can live with.

See, I'm not bald afterall. Sorry Carry.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

My Gay Frown

Such sad news, both for the movement and these amazing women. Hillary and I are in the same field and on several occassions she's provided valuable mentoring to me. She's a wonderful woman, and I wish her well.

But, damn it, I'm also mad. The right wing will have a field day with this information. Argh! And, as a young married lesbian with a child, who has struggled through times of near-divorce/separation, it's hard to see the older dyke relationships failing.

I know ... I know ... it's hard to be in the public eye, especially having a legal case of this magnitude named after you. It's hard when the Pope says "homosexual acts go against the natural moral law" in response to your case/life. And of course, 50% of all relationships end in divorce.

I've thought of these things already, but it's cold comfort.

I just want to befriend a nice old lesbian couple that's been together for 50 years and can show me how it's done. Help. The younger dykes are relying on you old ladies. Please -- we need role models.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Journal seeks a better home

Anyone want a copy of the Knitter's Journal? I'm trying to clean my office and it's sitting here looking lonely and begging for a home with a loving owner. This is what each of the 60+ project pages look like:

Comment to claim, and don't forget to include your email addy so I can contact you for your snail addy.

ETA: Maureen, the soon-to-be-blogging-Sockologist claimed the journal first. So off it goes to Colorado, to motivate Maureen to finish knit-gifts for her Massachusetts-based grandchildren. Wow, this blogging thing creates some very interesting connections, huh? Congrats Maureen, and please tell me when your blog is up and running, so I can hang virtual streamers and drink virtual champagne. Ciao!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Favorite Things Monday -Sex and Drugs

1) Thanks to our friend/patron/babysitter Barbara, who clipped this from the Globe for me. Love her!

2) Dude ... I'll volunteer for these studies.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

I Heart Work Conferences

After 3 days of schmoozing and best practices, I have finished two feet of my Starry Sky socks. Another inch or so and I'll be turning the heels. Trust me that there's another identical 1/2-sock -- I had only two hands with which to hold said sock and take a picture.

Mere moments before hauling my suitcase out the door, I got an incredible package from Kat! She sent me a copy of One Skein, as part of her Gimme Your Stuff swap, as well as a beautiful photo of Jamaica Pond and some wicked yummy chocolate. Of course I dug into the book immediately, and I'm swooning over these pages:

Petal Bibs - possible giftie for someone who might be bringing home an infant very soon.

Unisex Gloves - silly name ... because you wouldn't want hubby to find out that you're using a pattern for women's gloves (gasp!)

Labyrinth Circle Rug. Love it!

Bath Mat. Must learn to crochet.

Thanks Kat! I burned your CDs on Tuesday and will hopefully toss them in the mail tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Nail Biting, Knitting and Butterflies

Today's the day. I'm so nervous. So nervous.

So I'll post about knitting. Yes, I've been knitting. In spite of the three jobs I'm currently working (including some consulting for the gay marriage folks), I've been doing some serious A.D.D. knitting. Start a project. Start another project. Oh look, there's a butterfly!

Let's start with the boring stuff. You will be rewarded later. Don't scroll down, that's cheating.

Swatching for a new sweater for Little Man. Probably a simple raglan, either from Junior Knits or an Ann Budd composite. Yarn from School Products. Mystery superwash wool blend on a cone.

Swatching for the Pearl Buck Swing Jacket, but as this project languishes, lots of other beautiful sweaters are calling my name. Look, a butterfly!

Teeny tiny progress on the Eris collar. Distracted by the Pomona's? If you're at all interested in making jam, which has reached near-manufacturing status in our house recently, this is THE product. It's all natural, doesn't require sugar. You can use honey or nothing at all. Sets perfectly. Go buy some, online using PayPal or via old fashioned tools. It's easy.

My sister-in-law "Hag" was recently diagnosed with breast cancer at the ripe old age of 45. Although Wifey's sister "Little" is devestated, Hag is such a trooper. She, being the good old butch that she is, was delighted to lose a boob. She asked them to take the other one too. They didn't. She voluntarily shaved her head before the chemo started and gleefully rubs the stubble. You know us knitters ... a tragedy hits and we pick up the sticks. I proposed the Tits Bits because, in spite of Hag's joy in the loss of a boob, Little was missing it. Wifey sayeth - not funny. I proposed a nice soft chemo hat in appropriately butchy colors. Wifey sayeth - she won't wear it; she's a baseball hat kinda girl. Wifey asks Little. Little sayeth socks. Fine, but I have no butch-appropriate sock yarn. Bingo - I got official permission to shop for yarn, as opposed to sneaking it into the house like a crack fiend. Off to the Webs I ran, and found this lovely butchy sock yarn on sale for $6 per ball! Sidenote: LOVE the new Webs site design.

Starting a pair of toe up socks, two at once, to entertain my hands while my brain is at a work conference with my co-conspirator. It's work-appropriate slightly variegated black Koigu that I bought at School Products. I'm making up the "pattern" as I go, so stay tuned. It's so simple, I'm reluctant to call it a pattern, per se, but it's tenatively titled Midnight Sky. Perhaps Starry Sky, for the alliteration. The sock bag was a gift from Wifey two years ago.

Last, but certainly not least, I present Icarus. I'm not a lace fan. I'm not a shawl fan. But this pattern is stunning and with all the experts groaning about being bored, I thought, this is the lace for me! I'm using the $5 cone of white mystery lace weight from School Products. I should've gone down another needle size, but since this is purely process knitting, I'm not frogging it. I suddenly feel silly for bitching about the size of Koigu. Lace-weight? Yeah, my sausage fingers are NOT made for knitting lace. And yet, I'm enjoying it.

Must pack for my work conference now. Look, a butterfly!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Happy 50th Mom!

My Mom. My lovely, adorable, tough Mom turned 50 today. Isn't she purrrrr-dy?

(on the left)

In addition to buying her a very hip birthday gift, I'm working on a design that will undoubtedly be finished in the year 2010. Here's the prototype:

My Mom likes to walk around her neighborhood, and during a recent conversation about the appeal of iPods, I confessed to sticking my Nano in my bra while doing the dishes.

But my Mom, the woman who struggled through child birth, only to be rewarded with my teenaged years, should certainly have a better system, right? She can't go digging in her bra in front of the poor unsuspecting neighborhood children who just want to ride bikes in their driveway. So I've been looking everywhere for an interesting iPod shuffle arm band. No luck.

Out comes the sewing machine and the graph paper. The plan is -- length of fabric + elastic + vinyl sleeve to protect iPod from sweat = prototype.

I chose this basic design so I could make Mom several arm bands in several fabrics. My Mom is a girly girl, so I envision bold pinks and purples and flowery prints. Bold flowery prints should be perfect for her -- shortly after buying her new house, she painted every room pink. Her boyfriend recently bought her a small lawn tractor, and when my brother called it a "pansy tractor" Mom threatened to paint it purple. When my brother snickered and dared her to do it, she did. Now her tractor is purple and adorned with butterfly and flower decals. On his next visit, the boyfriend said, " What will the guys at the repair shop say when I show up with this?" My Mom's response? "I don't care." I laughed my ass off and scoured Michaels and A.C. Moore for additional decals.

Clearly my Mom needs several well-designed, custom-made iPod arm bands to match her many outdoor outfits (and her tractor? oy.). The problem with the prototype is the fabric isn't strong enough to withstand the pressure of the elastic, so the seams are popping. For prototype #2, I'll iron down some fusible interfacing and cut on the bias. Wish me luck.

In additon to the iPod, which should be on her doorstep before 3pm, my brother and I launched a sneak attack.* Bro wrote all over her car this morning with soap pen. "Old Lady Driving" on the windshield. "Careful. I'm 50" on the back window. "50" on each of the door windows. We know our Mom. She's perpetually late, so she had to drive to work in her freshly soaped car. And when she got to work ... mwah.ha.ha.

We coordinated with her colleagues at work to decorate her office. Bro snuck in last night, hung black streamers in her doorway, filled her office with black balloons, and blew up a 3 foot tall birthday cake for her desk. We bought "Over the Hill" plates and napkins and ordered a cake to be delivered to her office at 12noon. Hopefully she's eating cake at this very moment and being tormented by her very feisty and practical-jokester colleagues.

Wish my Mom a Happy Birthday, will ya?

*before you jump to Mom's defense, keep this in mind: at every job I've ever had, at some point in the first 6 months of my tenure, a mysterious fax addressed to my boss will arrive. The image? A picture of me from high school. Ouch.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Favorite Things Monday - Curls & Cheeks

This photo of Wifey is one of my favorite photos of all time. In addition to being astoundingly adorable, this little girl exudes Wifey's special brand of confidence. She's sassy. Smart. Direct. Uncompromising. In love with sailboats. Up to something. Easy to pinch and squeeze. A rascal. Playful. Loving. Intensely loyal. Sweet. Little has changed since 1979.

Wanna pinch those cheeks or tossle that hair? Me too.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Attack of the Clippers

If it's midnight, don't reach for these:
despite how creative you've been feeling all day.

You might end up with this:

Stay tuned...there's a knitting post on the horizon.
For now -- g'night. Tis 1am. Toddlers crow at 6am. eek.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Entitlement, my ass

1) These four people are hypocritical assholes.
I'm so pissed, my head is about to explode.
The state's four Catholic bishops issued a statement, dated Friday, saying that the push for same-sex marriage stems from "an exaggerated sense of entitlement."

The bishops said the proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage "is not extreme, bigoted, or religiously sectarian" but "reflects the deeply rooted consensus in our society about what marriage is."

"In our society, every person has the civil right to marry, but no person should have the right to tailor the institution of marriage to his or her personal wants," the bishops' statement said. "An exaggerated sense of entitlement is eroding the right of society to have a strong institution of marriage."
[italics, mine] Via the Boston Globe. The rest of the article is great. Special thanks to the business leaders who signed the ad in support of marriage equality!

Hey queers ... Do you feel entitled by:
- The legal obstacles (read: crazy-making delays and fees) to your inter-state adoption?
- For the legal obstacles to your co-parent adoption?
- How about for getting "dyke" yelled at you from a moving vehicle?
- Or perhaps for discrimination you face on the job?
- Or for 3 out of 4 of your neighbors with children under 5 refusing to invite your child over for playdates?
- For paying taxes on the health care benefits that cover your partner?
- Or being asked if your husband would be interested in changing your long distance provider?
Nope ... me neither.

2) Mom - this is why I don't live in NY anymore.

Top NY Court Rules Against Gay Marriage. Thankfully the NYS legislators can still enact marriage rights. NYS legislators - please fix this. Please?

It's a hard day to be gay.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


Swap #1
Nina started a great new site - Swaparama Mama - where she swaps her handmade stuff for other people's handmade stuff. I love her pins, and was excited to claim this one before someone else snatched it.

As if the pin wasn't enough, I got a whole package of goodies in the mail.

Love mail. Love it. Thanks Neen. Now I must figure out what to send her...

Swap #2
I claimed a copy of One Skein from Kat's Gimme Your Stuff exchange. I'm compiling some excellent folk and bluegrass tunes to entertain her ears.

The environmentalist in me enjoys this form of recycling.
The anti-consumerist in me loves supporting local artists/crafters.
The consumerist in me loves new stuff!
Good times.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Favorite Things Monday - my fortune

You Are The Wheel of Fortune

You represent the cycles of life, death, and rebirth.
You embrace change, the the ups and downs of life.
Fate is something you accept, even when you could possibly change things.
Big things tend to happen to you more than other people. [Danielle, stop laughing]

Your fortune:

Something huge is about to happen in your life, and you have little control over it.
You must accept your destiny, but luckily it is good fortune that has come your way.
Big things and big changes are about to come your way.
And while things will be intense for a while, they will be followed by a period of rest.

Thanks to Suzanne for the fun.