Thursday, July 29, 2004


And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.

--Anais Nin

...see you guys on Monday

Wednesday, July 28, 2004


Whilst I was being most puny with strep I read The Magician's Assistant by Ann Patchett. It was a pretty good book. I really liked the characters and didn't want to leave them at the end of the book. The ending was somewhat lackluster, but I liked the characters so much that I didn't really care. The only thing that drove me crazy was that she uses "towards" all the time instead of "toward." Oh my gosh, it stopped me in my tracks every time I came across the word and I came across it a lot. See, I AM anal in some ways! I am a "toward"-preferring gal.

Now I'm finally getting around to reading She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb. This is so typical of me. I'm either reading all the time or I go a year or more without reading anything but work stuff and textbooks.

My only pleasure-reading rule is that I only read writers I would want to emulate. No pot boilers. No quickie mysteries. I want to be wowed by the witty, wise and musical words of a great writer, or at least a great writer in the making. I don't ever want to say "good grief" to myself while I'm reading a book.

Well, I have to get back to feeling like shit, croaking like a frog and blasting snot out of my nostrils to the chagrin of all office mates. At least I'm back at work, sweating because I'm so blasted hot, but still, back in the "swing" of things. I know: wah, wah, wah.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

everyone is alive...

Well it turns out I was feeling cruddy last week because I was coming down with strep. I've felt like crap over the past few days but got to see the doc yesterday and began some antibiotics.

Rooney is now on all soft cat food. His bloodwork came back ok. At this point we think he's simply not able to eat enough with this gum/tooth condition. He always comes down to eat breakfast and starts munching away, but feeding the kitties is usually the last thing I do before I leave so I don't see how long he eats. So, he's getting two small cans of soft food everyday and antibiotics twice a day to help the inflammation in his gums. Don't we all love to give the cats pills?! Hopefully we'll fatten my little boy up and get him happy again. Which will make me happy. It horrifies me to think that he's been hungry.

It's funny that Rooney and I are both taking antibiotics at the same time. Thanks for all the nice comments--sorry I didn't update sooner--just feeling awful... hopefully tomorrow will hold an upswing...

Oh yeah, and one more fun tidbit. For the first time in my life my blood pressure is high and now I have to monitor it for two weeks and fax it in to the doc. WTF??!!! I'm answering work email from home today because I feel like crap--not to mention I'm probably contagious. Whatever...going to lay down now...thanks again for all the comments :-)

Friday, July 23, 2004


I took little Mr. Rooney (a.k.a. Secret Agent Eyebooger) to the vet at lunch and they wanted to keep him for the afternoon to do some testing: feline AIDS, feline leukemia, bloodwork, etc. They're also going to give the poor little guy some prednisone to help with his lousy mouth condition. Rooney has a genetic condition that promotes an immune response to his own teeth. His gums are always raw and the enamel is disappearing from his teeth. Short of having many, many fillings done by a feline dentist-which I would do if I had even half the money-there's nothing we can do but have his teeth professionally cleaned every year. Somehow, he remains the most cheerful cat I've ever met and jumps into the lap of every person who comes into our house.

So, I hope nothing is wrong. My poor little bony boo-boo...he hates going to the vet anyway. I didn't expect to leave him there. I'll pick him up at the end of the day and I've already stopped by the store to buy him a big supply of soft food-no more crunchies for his sore little mouth. He likes Fancy Feast.


Thursday, July 22, 2004

well, poo...

I really don't feel well today. And I didn't feel well yesterday. I feel suddenly and extremely tired--abnormally tired. I just had bloodwork done a couple of weeks ago and nothing is way out of range. I just feel like I'm out of gas... don't understand it. though I have napped and slept enough for four people over the last day or so). WTF? I don't have time for this crap! *stamps foot*

check it out...

Check out the Rocky Top Brigade tailgate party over at Big Orange Michael's place

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

it had to be done...

We finally had to close off the bedroom to the kitties, especially Baxter (below), except when we are physically in the room.

Why? Because of his unexplainable puking. Baxter likes to sleep on the bed and now that he's older he's not interested in jumping off the bed to spew up his gastric juices. Thus, we were getting surprises on the bed on a daily basis (see below).

The vet still has no explanation for his puking. He's healthy minus a borderline hypoglycemia problem and is at least 13 years old (we rescued him when we was estimated to be 2 years old). I just don't know how his system takes it, but it does and we can't find a food or remedy anywhere that works. We recently began giving him liquid vitamins on a regular basis. No change in the puke schedule but he looks better. We had washed our sheets so many times they were starting to resemble cotton postage stamps.

So, mommy's sorry, but you have to go sleep somewhere else while we're out... :-(

All our animals are over 10 years old now, but the one I worry most about is Rooney (below).
Rooney's weight has dropped off significantly over the last year. I am taking him to the vet on Friday to see what's going on. Although I haven't noticed him drinking more than usual I'm afraid he might have diabetes because I have been feeding him more but to no avail. At his last vet appointment he checked out fine (just needed his teeth cleaned) but had obviously lost some weight. Ugh, as soon as there was no money, everyone needed vet attention. That damn Murphy bastard.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Tonight's feature...

DH rented The Butterfly Effect last night and I was surprised to find I thought it was really pretty good. Okay, fine, I really liked it. There.

Oh, and being the closet poet that I am, I rented Sylvia last week. The movie is about Sylvia Plath's life and while I thought it was intriguing and Paltrow's performance very good, there was something missing, although I'm not sure what...anyway, if you are a Plath fan you'll like it; if not, you'll fall asleep or poke your eyes out with, as Dooce would say, "hot forks of displeasure." (Note to self: quoting other bloggers is likely to lead your gentle readers to believe that you neither have a life of your own nor do you ever plan to have one...)

BUT, the renter of the YEAR in my opinion is The Station Agent. Quirky, intelligent and extremely witty, this movie really captured my heart and I did not want to say goodbye to the characters. YOU MUST RENT THIS MOVIE. I absolutely adored it and by golly, I'm pretty picky.

Go forth and partake of mid-week entertainment!

Monday, July 19, 2004

I'm so sorry California...

I don't like politicians but at least most of them are not this publicly and completely obtuse.

"Nohhwww, line up all de kitties and paaahhhpies where I cahn shoot dem and save ahs lots of maaaahney for ah new Hummahhs..."

"may I speak with Miss..."

There's nothing more humbling than getting a bill collector call AT WORK. We are going to be destitute for about another year until DH gets out of his "training period" for his new career. Having slashed our income by about 60 percent or more has been shitty to say the least. We pay our bills, but sometimes we have to juggle. Sometimes I can afford a smidgen of yarn; other times I can only drool--like today. DH works on strictly commission--factor in lowly trainee cuts and you've got a recipe for disaster. Almost 40 (oh dear, less than six months now!) and struggling...hmmm, not my idea of fun. Happy friggin' Monday. That electrical cord is looking more and more like licorice all the time...

Sunday, July 18, 2004

I'm baaaa-a-a-ack...

Just like that frightening childhood wart...
Anyway, I had a great time tooling around Asheville (took mi mama with me) and had some good vegetarian food whilst I was there. I wish I could have taken pictures and shown you all the good stuff I saw at the show, but you know how that is...kinda naughty and all. I found another dollmaker I am very impressed with--Lesley Keeble. She is also a new member of NIADA. See her work on this page. The pictures do not do her figures justice at all. They are really exquisite.

On the way back over the mountains it rained and made us feel like we were "in the clouds..." (click the image for a monster size...)

I've also been working on some more laminated scarves... (click the image for a monster size...)

I also wanted to show you what I did with Lori's Art Cards. I look at them every day when I open the fridge! I found some magnet frames that are just perfect. Now isn't that a well-dressed fridge?

Friday, July 16, 2004

ah, the weekend...

I took some pictures of another laminated felt scarf I did, but they are so dark and boring that they don't do the piece any justice at all. I'll have to retry and post some others tonight. I'm also continuing to knit on the rib-hugging raglan sweater from The Purl Stitch book.  But I have to tell you, although I think the Filatura Di Crosa Millefili Fine Print is mucho delicioso, it has friggin' knots in it, which is my number one pet peeve. Expensive yarn should not have knots in it. If stinkin' Red Heart can make a one pound skein without knots then, by golly, other manufacturers ought to be able to perform the same feat for 136 yards. The yarn has zero give so I don't like joining anymore than I have to. Pbbbbllllllt!
Something exciting for the weekend: tomorrow I'm going over to Asheville, NC to attend the Southern Highland Craft Guild show. I am so excited. It's the guild I hope to get into one day. Their application process is worse than getting into graduate school. Ah, something to shoot for.
Seabiscuit is still snorting and stamping around in my head. I've never hated to finish a book so badly. In the book one of the horse owners' dogs is named "Wee Biscuit." I thought it would be funny someday to have a small dog and name him "Crouton." I know, I'm warped. And damn proud of it!

p.s. I am staying in school. Really.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

waffle up...

Do you ever write something so stupid, so whiny, so self-absorbed that you just have to delete it?

Well, I did. All that's left is the should say "shut up."

I'm into self-deprecating humor. If you don't like it you can suck my dill pickle. :-P

Wednesday, July 14, 2004


It's always a bittersweet moment when I close the cover to a really great book. I have to say Seabiscuit is the best non-fiction book I have ever read. I am really sad to see it end and feel like I've been booted out of gentle-reader-bliss. I guess I'll console myself with a little bit of knitting.

If you are looking for more gripping non-fiction, I would definitely recommend Level 4: Virus Hunters of the CDC. Amazon has them used for shit-cheap and it's hard to put down. It's nothing like Seabiscuit, but it just came to mind as another page-turner.

neigh, fair maiden, get thee to your trusty steed...

Last week I was obsessively knitting on the 2x2 rib raglan and this week all knitting was cast aside to read Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand. Yes, I know I am the LAST person in the world to read it--shaddup already. I was kind of obsessed with the movie and started reading the book and can't get enough--I'm nearly finished. It's been a long time since I picked up a book I couldn't put down. The only other book that absorbed me so completely was Anne Rice's Interview with The Vampire, which I read in one day (very unusual for me) and my favorite book of all time To Kill A Mockingbird. Well, I have to throw in Coming of Age in Mississippi by Anne Moody, too. Ah, heck, I was trying to make a point...

Anyway, I was previously somewhat possessed by horse information and now I'm demonically and awesomely possessed. If you gave me a job of staring at one horse for eight hours a day every day, well, I'd take the job without hesitation. Yet another rabbit hole is opening up for me to fall through. I hope to take some lessons before the year is up so I can get horsey with it. If you offered me a horse but told me I had to quit school, I wouldn't even blink before saying "the horse, please." Neigh, fair maiden, you have lost your mane as well as your brain...

Gah, work has been terrifically soul-squashing this week. I would do almost anything to get out of it. *The visualization: a poor animal caught in a steel trap chewing away at its own leg to escape.*

I was going to write a commentary on the killing of Bobo, but what's the use? I could have written the news story the day the big cat disappeared.

Monday, July 12, 2004


Blue sound of flute
So childish tenderly little
Dull beat of drum
Triumphantly scarlet sounding of kettle-drum.

These verses are written by Russian poet Balmont early in this century. The ability to compare, to confront visual and auditory impressions is called "synesthesia." In the case the coloristic aspect of visual impressions is emphasized, or, more specifically, when visible component of the association is limited with color, they usually use another, more vivid and possibly lightly embarrassing term "colour hearing."
--editor's preface to the book "Children Draw Music" by I.Vanechkina, I.Trofimova. - Kazan: FAN, 2000, in Russian.

I mostly see music as shapes and textures in my mind's eye with color being secondary--which doesn't really qualify as synesthesia. Most people who truly have the condition (or ability) see colors, shapes and images projected outside of themselves. I can still sort of identify with this experience though. Usually when I hear music I really love, I will not only describe the actual tones of notes, but their shapes. There are certain notes in pieces that are distinctly round and some that are quite square or pointed, glassy, rough, curved, metal, wood, warm, cold, fluid, still, vibrating, expanding, contracting, exploding, dissipating, regenerating, etc. It's more than a sensory description, but a physical image of the sound that pops into my head. I've often thought about painting "sounds" to see what kind of composition would come out.

I also get hung up on the visual and musical qualities of words. Sometimes it slows my reading to a crawl. I can read quickly, but I really don't enjoy it. I like to munch on words and repeat their "sing-song" qualities in my head. Unfortunately it's a great way to lose track of the plot and who begat who and all that stuff. Anyone else "see" or "visually experience" music or words?

p.s. Thanks for all the hairy compliments! I haven't regretted the big "locks-off" yet!

It would be a shame to lose it...

I think I finally talked my dad into recording the stories of his youth. He's a pretty good writer, but he's decided to tell the stories into a tape recorder and give them to me. "Writing is hard work!" he said. I'll second that one.

I love hearing the stories my parents tell of the Great Depression. My grandfather on my dad's side was somewhat of a "round-a-bout" in his younger days, and it's no wonder after being thrown out of his own house at one year of age and raised by his uncles, one of whom shot his father off his horse and killed him. He never knew which uncle lifted the rifle and they all went to their graves holding the secret--probably because my grandfather would have exacted revenge. I am quite sure of that.

He began working in the coal mines when he was only 9 years old and pretty much raised himself, hopping railcars to find work, living in hobo camps in between and doing his share of fighting. During Prohibition he ran the most popular moonshine still in the area and had a standing order with the county court judge. He literally had no fear and practiced hard-knock justice, but every few months he would drink himself into oblivion when he began thinking about how he was treated as a boy. It was a rare occurrence when he showed vulnerability. I guess it hurt so bad he intended to render himself unconscious.

His mother never took him back in but he loved her. Many years later when her husband, a very large man, decided to "smack her around," my grandfather grabbed a huge piece of wood, marched over to the house and whacked him in the head. He stayed in bed for three weeks recovering. I am pretty sure he never again lifted a finger toward her and she lived to be 101.

By the time I knew "papaw," he was old and gnarled, working in his huge garden well into his 90's. "Let me put some 'maters in a poke, fer ya," he would say. Who knew he had been dubbed the "meanest man in the county" before his graying years? With the hardship he endured, I'm surprised he didn't wind up behind bars or worse. He lived a few months short of age 100- bent in every direction; crooked as "a dog's hind leg," but never completely broken.


Whoopee. It's Monday. It's Monday and I have no hair. Which is okay. I added another picture below after the haircut, because I don't fix my hair like my stylist does. I feel perfectly weird when I post photos of myself. It makes me feel all self-absorbed and boring. Anyway, it was all for the hair, I promise.

I found a quote I really like, so I'll share it with you:

"If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men."
Saint Francis of Assisi

Saturday, July 10, 2004

one hairy mess...

Well, I did not chicken-out. I like it. My dearest hairstylist Chaundra always fixes my hair sleek, but I mess it up when I get home and make it more piecey. Yah, I know it doesn't look exactly like the picture I took with me, but I DO need to see. How I fix it is more swept forward like that...maybe another pic sometime... Next on the agenda is to lose the 30 pounds I gained after surgery about a year-and-a-half ago. Pics of the hair: before, after at the salon, after I have washed and fixed it myself and the leftovers that will be donated to Locks of Love.

It feels good. It's not that I didn't like my hair before--I just needed a drastic change. Maybe it's because 40 is only six months away. Maybe I just need to feel different in some way...whatever it is, a major whack-job seemed to do the trick...for now.

Friday, July 09, 2004

hair today, gone tomorrow...

Currently my hair is halfway down my back and is all one length. Tomorrow it is going to be not much longer than my ears. I NEED A CHANGE. Here's the pic I'm showing up with after not having my hair cut for at least two years (minus one hatchet-job by yours truly).

creativity killers...

This morning at the gym (I never thought I'd be saying those words), I was reading an article about creativity downers and realized I am guilty of a few. I think I really get hung up on trying to different, when all I need to do is be GENUINE. Genuine is always as unique as you ever need to be and has no "false fire" within it. Like the article said, "It's all been done before, so get over yourself, honey." And I suppose it has, so I'm going to try to be very aware of the genuineness in my work. I need to trust myself more and stop censoring what I need to express...

I did another nuno scarf last night, but I forgot to take a picture. Shate. I'll take one later, I promise.

And the knitter's nightmare. Yes, I AM knitting something--a raglan body hugger (like my body needs to be hugged)--but I think I accidentally mailed off a ball of the yarn I am knitting it with! Gah!!!!!! I was going to knit on the raglan at lunch yesterday so I threw in a new ball of yarn (the other only had a couple of yards left in it) with the other Ebay yarn to be mailed that day. Then, I wound up not knitting at lunch, but going to the post office to mail off the other yarn and got in a hurry when I mailed...when I got back I couldn't find my project yarn. *sinking feeling* I think I will send the buying ladies an email...what to do?! I suppose I could knit short sleeves instead of long ones, but...gah! piss! bugger! doggie doo!

Thursday, July 08, 2004

dial the phone...

The Phone.
Found at Alas, A Blog

Speaking of being, I feel like crawling under my desk and hiding out today. All this family bullshit/drama has rubbed raw every nerve I own. I'm tired of being the person who steps up to the plate all the time. Where's the escape hatch? I want out!

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

hey ma, no stitches...

Sadie got her stitches out yesterday, so other than still owing $150 to the vet, we're back on track and in the healthy zone--the biospy of the growth came back benign (yippee!). Next off to the vet will be Rooney, my little Manx kitty who is getting TOO skinny. He has a genetic gum disease that makes it hard for him to eat crunchy food (so I suspect anyway), so I've been giving him little cans of Fanc*y Fea*st cat food. You know, the prissy stuff. I hope he's not developing feline diabetes. I had a friend with a cat that developed the disease and it was just awful. Rooney has the cutest little cat butt I've ever seen--one ball is cream-colored and the other is tan--and they're topped by a petite (and usually quite clean) pink pucker. The cuteness meter goes up even more with his stubby little tail. I guess I just love them a bunch from head to toe. :-)

Oh yeah, we took the nieces to see Spiderman 2 last night. Ooooh, I just loved it. I'm sure I'll find a way to see it again. I forgot what a wonderful mental break a movie provides when you have too many worries rattling around in the noggin'.


I am upset that my brother doesn't want more for himself in life. It absolutely tears my heart out. I said my peace, but I feel no peace. Nevertheless, I can't live my life without putting up my dukes on his behalf.

bookish, are you?

You're "Master Harold"... and the Boys!

by Athol Fugard

Even though you should have realized it for years, you're only just
starting to understand how bad your society is. It's been keeping some of your best
friends down for ages, and even you have been complicit with this system. When you
make a mess, someone else is quick to clean it. When you need help, someone else is
quick to your rescue. But when they point out injustice, you've pulled the wool over
your eyes. Until now. If you ever need a cast, it will be small.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Lovingly lifted from Dogs Steal Yarn

my crappy little elf name...

My crappy little elf name is Tealeaf Granitebottom.
What's yours?
Powered by Rum and Monkey.

Shamelessly stolen from Atypical Female

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

anger management...

Gah, I wish I had the balls to leave my rant up, but that damn shred of decency keeps interfering...damn it. If you missed it, you missed it. At least it made me feel better to keep it up for a couple of hours--and I only commented it DOES still exist for posterity.

Friday, July 02, 2004

drift would...

I am floating around...pointless bullshit deleted...I just couldn't stand looking at all the whining, so POOF! I deleted it! Ah, I feel much better...
An update: I did find out that my brother has been to the doc and is now on Gluco*phage for his diabetes, so that's really great news. I guess it was worth being the bad guy after all. :-)

Thursday, July 01, 2004

nuno felt

I've been working on some large nuno felt scarves. Nuno felt, also called "laminated felt," is the process of felting fibers into lightweight this case, I used silk gauze. I laid out very thin layers of superfine merino and handyed silk and felted the silk gauze between the layers. The whole idea is to make super flexible lightweight felt that is still durable. "Nuno" is Japanese for "cloth." Click thumbs for monster-size photos.

Oh, and don't forget about the yarn on Ebay! See post below!

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