Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Free Art

Go see my friend Delilah at The Unruly Helpmeet. She is giving away free art!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Pulp Fiction is one of my favorite movies. I love the timing of it, the back and forth from future to past to present so that you aren't really certain where you are in the story until the end. The acting is incredible as well.

So I own a copy, of course, and there are deleted scenes on the end, of course. I think this one is a little gem and love the questions that Mia asks of Vincent... Oh, and if you want to skip the completely spastic Quentin Tarantino intro - the actual clip starts at minute 2:40

Are you a Beatles person or an Elvis person?

This was a hard one for me. Since I live in the south, there is this mythic quality to Elvis that speaks to me. I had a velvet Elvis in college on my wall that I got on one of those crazy road trips bought for $25 on the side of the road. He had a tear that sparkled on his cheek. I have been known to eat a peanut butter and banana sandwich. But the music? Not so much.

So really, I am a Beatles person. I love the Beatles. All of it - the cheesy early stuff. The psychedelic stuff from the middle and the incredible lyrics, sad and beautiful. I sing Blackbird and I Will to my kids as lullabies. And it causes me pain that John Lennon was killed. He was a true gift. Elvis killed himself. Totally different. He was on his way to being a Vegas lounge singer, John Lennon would have continued to break the rules and write amazing songs.

Brady Bunch or the Partridge Family?

Definitely the Partridge Family. BB was always so goody goody and unrealistic. Not that the PF was really more realistic, but it was a teeny bit grittier. Plus that love is a rollercoaster song ROCKED the house for me. The few musical things the BB did just sucked balls.

On Rich Man, Poor Man who did you like better Peter Strauss or Nick Nolte?

Always gonna be a Nick Nolte girl here...

What is your favorite way to say "Thanks" in a foreign language?

Danke Schoen - preferably singing it a la Brenda Lee (remember that scene in Ferris Bueller's Day off?) "Danke Schoen, darling danke schoen - Thank you for all the joy and pain..." Fabulous song. Full of the dichotomies in life.

In conversations, are you waiting to talk or really listening?

I like VV's answer here - but I must clarify by saying I am a great listener. When someone is really upset or needs to talk, I listen very carefully and only comment when needed. In casual conversation I admit to be waiting to talk sometimes more that listening and if you are boring me, I am waiting to change the subject or find an excuse to get away.

In the Archies, who would you fuck first, Betty or Veronica?

If I was into the ladies, it would have to be Veronica.

So how about you? Which way do you go?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Blog Schitzophrenia

OK, I have been a terrible blogger. Mostly because I haven't been able to decide on a genre, I think.

I am NOT a knit blogger, because I just don't produce enough. I knit here and there and occasionally DO finish something, so I think I may continue to share those few and far between finished objects here for those of you who care. But I really don't think it is interesting to note that I have about 4 more rows of garter stitch to do and sew some buttons on and then the February Lady Sweater will be done. Do you care? Probably not. So I will take my blog down from ravelry (not that it was getting me any real readers - especially since I don't post about knitting all that much) and move on.

I am NOT a Mommy blogger - even though I am a mom and it does consume my life quite a bit. So my kids will still be featured here, but it won't be everyday or anything. But it is kind of like ignoring the pink elephant in the room - you just can't do it.

What I am figuring out is that I am starting to come out of the fog I have been in for the last 6-10 years, maybe longer. Nice that I have wasted the prime of my life, so to speak, in a fog of depression, neglecting myself, my husband and my family. I am trying to look up more, smile more, and see and experience MORE of my life. It is so easy to be bogged down by life, you know?

And I am trying to redefine myself outside of my kids. Somewhere I got lost in there. It is time for them to learn what an amazing person their mom is beyond the hugs and peanut butter and banana and the silly songs we make up, and the fact that mom goes to work three days (sometimes nights) a week.

So no genre. Just some rambling a way to rediscover myself.

And my apologies. I am a great reader but not a great writer. But I am trying to learn to be a little more insightful and observant and I hope that I will be able to convey some of that into words. Hope you will let me know when I am succeeding.

Monday, May 11, 2009


Notice - this post is going to be a little more risque and foul mouthed than usual, so if this is going to offend, please stop now. Don't flame me in the comments when I have given you ample warning!

My friend Katiri had a teaser of a post wondering about the appropriateness of using the word pussy. It is really a word I think is only appropriate in the bedroom and not a word to be used in a derogatory manner toward men OR women. I mean, really, why is it that the words we use in slang for a woman's vagajay are also used to be mean? "Man he was such a pussy for not blah blah blah". Or my favorite "That woman is such a cunt".

I went through my ultra feminist phase where I was insulted about hearing those words at all. I refused to allow them uttered in my presence. I got all offended and returned the favor by offending the offender back. Tit for tat and all that. I don't think I was a particularly attractive person at that time in my life, angry, bitter, dealing with my baggage.

I am over that, but I really think the best place for those words is in the proverbial bedroom, not the locker room/ball game/bar etc. Pussy/cunt are words to be used in worshipful tones only, please.

Then there is Balls. Why is courage referred to as having balls? "Wow. That took balls". There is usually awe and reverence there that you NEVER hear with the slangy use of pussy. Why balls? Those two, fragile little things dangling between a prick and an asshole, why are they another word for bravery, demanding of respect? Hanging in the breeze, vulnerable to kicking both metaphorically and not, why do those things hanging in their soft sack, the slang term for courage?

Because I am here to say that being born with balls does not make you brave. It takes a lot more courage to grow up female in this male-centric world we live in. A lot more guts to have breasts and walk down a dark city street at night alone. A lot more daring to have sex with someone when you have those ovum down there, ovulating away every month just dying to get fertilized. A lot more bravura to deal with the fertilized egg as it implants in a female uterus and starts to grow into what may one day be an independent person in this world. A huge ton of pluck, steadfastness, and power to birth a baby into this world after nurturing it for 10 months of it invading your body, your life. THAT is courage. THAT is valour. THAT is grit and determination.

So can we make a pact to not call acts of daring and dash "Ballsy?" Can we call it having ovum instead? Damn, that guy seriously made an ova move there. That took ovaries!

Do you think it will catch on?

* Bawls is what my 2.68 year old son calls his testicles. His bawls. He has a peenis and bawls and likes to touch them and tell you all about them and ask how yours are doing. He is very upset that I don't have them. Personally, I am pretty happy to be peenis and bawls free and have a mighty fine set of ovaries.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

THE Great Read

Do you have any books that you re-read over and over again? And I don't mean the ones that your children might make you read for them.

I think a book that you dive into more than once is the sign of a great read. The story never gets old, even when you know how it is going to end. I thought I would share a few of my favorites with you - and hope that some of you might give me your favorites. I am ALWAYS looking for the next great read.

* The Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder - I admit that I haven't read this in years, but I am going to take it out again as my daughter gets closer to the age to enjoy it. I don't know how many times I read these books, MANY many times for sure.

* Cyteen by C.J. Cherryh - sci fi and just an amazing story.

* The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein - need I say more? I actually didn't read this book until I was a freshman at Wake Forest. It was assigned reading for a religion class called "Faith and Imagination".

* Mama Day by Gloria Naylor - I cried and cried at the end of this book because I knew I would never have the experience of reading it for the first time again.

* One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez - just a beautiful book.

* The Wheel of Time Series by Robert Jordan - fantasy and I only regret that this series after 13 books is still not finished yet and I am waiting and waiting for the next book to come out.

* Kushiel's Dart, and the books that follow in Phedre's story by Jacqueline Carey - Revisionist history with a twist on religion that is fresh and new and lovely.

* I am currently plowing through Philip Pullmans trilogy - The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife and His Dark Materials. I don't think I had noticed how anti religion it was on the first read. Really enjoying it again. Want to see the movie.

* The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley - King Arthur's story retold from the point of view of the women. Big focus on the druids and goddess worship and how they were forced out by the church which destroyed the ties the people had with the land and the magic. Can you see a theme here?

* Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. I like the books that follow as well. Sci Fi - a great story.

* The Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling - what can I say? I love them along with the rest of the world.

* My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok - story of a devout, Hassidic jewish boy in Brooklyn that has a true gift for art and how that tears him, his family and his community apart.

* The Ruins of Ambrai and The Mageborn Traitor by Melanie Rawn. Such an awesome, awesome story. Supposed to be a trilogy but the third book has yet to come out. I have been waiting for YEARS.

* The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. I read all of the books in the series, but this is the only one I actually re-read over and over again. I can't wait until my kids are old enough for me to read it to them.

* A Wrinkle in TIme, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, The Arm of the Starfish, and A Ring of Endless Light by Madeleine L'Engle. Loved them as a child, loved them as an adolescent, love them still as an adult.

* The Awakening by Kate Chopin - an author ahead of her time. Timeless story about the oppression of women and reminds me how many more choices and options I have now because of women like Chopin.

* Dune by Frank Herbert - an epic classic. I love this book. Not so much the ones that follow - just this one.

* The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. Near future - oppressed women, writing is excellent, story is gripping.

* Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. My favorite, by far, of Austen's works.

* Geek Love by Katherine Dunn - crazy story of a carnival couple that intentionally does things during pregnancy to mutate their children for the carnival. Told from the point of view of the kids.

* Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins - Which reminds me that I need to read this again...

* Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - by Roald Dahl - love the book to bits, hates, hates, HATES the movie(s).

* The Cider House Rules by John Irving - my favorite of his books, but I really like everything he has ever put to paper.

* The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway - I think I love this most because it takes place in Spain.

* To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee - Need I really say more?

* Snow Crash and The Diamond Age: or A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer by Neal Stephenson - He is awesome. Still slogging my way through the Baroque Cycle...

I think the one thing all these books have in common is that I was complete caught up in and consumed by the different worlds the author creates... I like to lose myself completely in a book. If you see my Good Reads bookshelf there are a lot of 5 star books there - but these are the ones that I keep re-reading.

What are your favorites? Do you re-read them?

Sunday, April 5, 2009


I just finished reading Blindness by Jose Saramago. Amazing book. Although I did it backwards. I saw the movie first (imagine me hiding under a chair in embarrassment here). I have to admit, the movie was incredibly true to the book and I think I liked it better than the book. It may have been the writing style. It was kind of free flowing, no paragraph breaks or quotation marks to break up the dialogue at all so I really had to pay attention to understand who was saying what.

But the thing that was most interesting to me is that no character had a proper name. It was "the doctor", "the first blind man", "the girl with the dark glasses", because when everyone is blind, names aren't important anymore.

So if you haven't read the book, I suggest that you do so. And if you have, put it in your netflix queue. Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo are both amazing, but especially Julianne Moore. Can she act badly? I don't think so.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Special Place in Hell

Even though I don't believe in hell, I think there must be a special place for those lost souls that light other people on fire - or throw hot grease on , dip in boiling water, or put their body parts on hot stove/oven/grill surfaces.

Can you tell I am still spending far too much time working in the Burn Unit? Special kind of evil, there.

Shooting someone? Stabbing someone even? But to BURN someone? Come on! That is just too twisted for color tv (to quote Steel Magnolias).

And then there are the strange ones - the people that light themselves on fire. WHY? Can someone explain this? If you want to kill yourself, why not chose a less painful path? Pills? Throwing yourself off a very tall building? Even putting a bullet in your head, but to douse yourself in gasoline then light a match?

Oh, and in case you haven't figured it out - it isn't a sure path to death either. It IS a sure path to excruciating pain, extensive repeated surgeries, long term hospitalization, and certain mutilation and disfigurement.

As a nurse, especially one in a teaching hospital, I see a lot of patients that probably shouldn't live. Ones that doctors manage to keep alive for far too long in the name of science. People pulled back not only from the brink of death, but from death itself. People that were heading to the light or what-have-you, but we yank them back just in the nick of time so that we can torture their bodies for a few more days/weeks/months longer. People that if they do manage to survive have a terrible quality of life after we "save" them.

I have told my family I will haunt them if they don't stand up for me and tell the doctors to back the hell off and let me die if I have a terrible brain injury (but don't necessarily qualify for "vegetative"), if I have burns over greater than 50% of my body, if it looks like they are going to amputate all my limbs or I can't move my arms or legs. The living wills all talk about "persistent vegetative state" but there really are very few cases that are that cut and dried. Doctors will say "There is hope. We don't know that much about the brain, we won't really know until they wake up". By the time it gets to the point where waking up is an option - and I am not talking about Hollywood waking up here - no one just opens their eyes and says, "bring me a grilled cheese, please" - I am talking about long slow wake ups where the patient might just get to the point where they open their eyes and move one arm, but can't speak or eat normally. By this time you've got a feeding tube and are headed for a long term care facility. Then it is much harder to let someone die.

Hard stuff. Even for someone like me that has, at this point, seen a lot of death. I know the hope people have for their spouse/child/parent. I know the ones that can't and won't let go. How can you? How can you make that choice? How can you decide for someone else what their life should be like? Especially if it is a child? I am starting to realize that it is much easier to say what I want/don't want. I am an adult that has lived and loved and seen life and death. I know the kind of choices I am making and sharing with my family. Children are so, so much harder. No one should ever have to see their child suffer. Yet we also ask for so much more suffering from children than we would ever want or expect from ourselves. Because they haven't had the chance to live/love/make mistakes/wildly succeed/go to Disneyworld - whatever - we ask them to endure great pain, great suffering so that they may have that chance one day. So that we can hold onto them a little longer, love their bodies that we have nurtured and grown in our own bodies.

Not preaching here, just trying to work through the abject suffering I see on a daily basis. And I DO know that my own ideas about quality of life have changed for myself since I have become a mother. There is a lot more suffering and pain and humiliation that I am willing to endure now that I don't want to leave my children without a mother in this world.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

FO: Clapotis

Do not get excited. I finished this last summer, but I finally have some great pictures of my goddaughter in it.

Pattern: Clapotis by Kate Gilbert
Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Luscious Single Silk in Rook-Y
Mods - none
Problems? Um, had an issue with dropping one of the stitches down and ended up having to cut a bar of yarn and then spit splice it back together.

I think she likes it. Her mom says she wears it quite often and has gotten several comments about it. I told her it was a very popular pattern and to not be alarmed if strangers wanted to pet it.

This yarn is really truly amazing. And I have over half a skein and another full one left over. I used less than half the yarn I ordered. This yarn went so far. Any ideas of what I should do with the left overs? Probably around 800 yards left. I could knit a tank or vest with that much.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Do not read if the f-bomb is going to offend...

I am in my winter slump. After the holidays I can't seem to get anything done. It is the same way every year but for some reason I forget about it until I am in it again. And fucking February is the worst of it. The crocuses and the daffodils are blooming, but in case you haven't heard, people, IT IS STILL FUCKING WINTER and I HATES it.

This pervades my entire existence. So I haven't blogged since December, ach well, I wasn't a blogging regularly anyway. And there are only a few people that are paying attention here anyway, so who cares, right?

And I have been stuck working in the fucking Burn Center for like the last 2.5 months straight. That is another thing I HATES. It isn't the work so much - I mean it is just a branch of the surgical trauma stuff that I dig. It is the stories. I mean, it takes a certain amount of just plain EVIL to burn someone on purpose, you know? I mean, who gets pissed off at their girlfriend and LIGHTS HER ON FIRE. Or their husband, or their CHILD. Yes, there are kids there and while I don't have to take care of them, I have to see them. Makes me cry. Big time. And the doctor/nurse climate there isn't all that great. The main doc doesn't really want the nurse to do any independent thinking and I am used to being part of a team. I don't go for the doctor's handmaiden shit too well.

But it is into the knitting. Terribly. I can't finish anything. Or if I finish it, it really sucks. Here is the run down.

* I free knitted a hat in this gorgeous yarn (there is a big clue there - I don't free knit anything) and it was just way. too. big. Like it was too big for Paddy-O even if he would be willing to wear a slouchy beret style hat in lavender, golden yellow, cream and brown variegated yarn. I got my mom to frog it for me.

* Then there is the sweater I knit for Paddy O for christmas. It isn't bad looking - a Cobblestone knit in some lovely tweedy green with flecks of brown and orange in it. It is FINISHED. Except for the kitchenering (is that a word?) of the armpits. Plus, I am scared of finishing it because then he will want to wear it and what if I am totally doomed by winter and it doesn't fit? It is, after all, my first adult sized sweater. I am paralyzed by fear of failure here.

* The Lady February Sweater? Nothing wrong with it. Looks like it will fit and all that. Knitting it DIC Classy in Some Summer Sky and the yarn is amazing. The fear here is that it will really be unflattering on mhave and here I will have put all this work into a sweater (not to mention this gorgeous yarn) and it will look like shit on me. And it is February, in case you haven't noticed, and therefore my mommy body is at it's whitest and flubbiest and I really think I might go drown myself in Jordan Lake if I put all this work into this sweater and then it looks like hell.

* A hat made of odds and ends in simple rib stitch - looks like it will be too small for an adult head and too big for a child's.

* Spring Forward socks (from Knitty) are the only thing getting any action. Bus knitting. I have turned the hell, I mean heel on the first one and am working my way down the foot. But it is a sock - and while it is shaping up to be a very pretty one, it will still need a mate when I am done with it. And since it is strictly bus knitting, it isn't moving very fast.

Part of me thinks I should just start something new and see if that will turn things around. The other part says if I fuck up another knitting project in February I might stab myself with the closest knitting needles.

At least I am doing some reading. See my sidebar for the latest. Just finished The Friday Night Knitting Club, and why didn't anyone warn me it was sad?

Here is what is in the stack - anyone want to suggest which one I should start next? Maybe the heaviest thing I should read right now is a Hello Kitty coloring book, but I am open to opinions here...

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaimon
The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan
Better by Atul Gawande - although that might be cutting too close to work for February reading. Written by a surgeon.
Kushiel's Justice by Jacqueline Carey - I am just obsessive enough to go back and read the entire series before starting this one - and she has two more after it that I need to read too. These are some of my favorite books so maybe I want to savor them sometime other than February. Or maybe they would be a pick me up? And not too difficult a read...