December 16, 2011
i’m no buddhist.
by which i mean,
i thoroughly enjoy
and revel in
i desire desire,
in all its many forms:
an unfortunate combination of events meant i would not be able to do anything fun to honor my epic 27th birthday.
(it has special meaning for me)
my longing was all the more poignant because
veronica, my best friend in all the world
and former bitches get stitches model,
would be in new york city,
and had been pleading
with me to come too.
it wasn’t going to happen.
instead, my birthday would entail
a half-bottle of whiskey and blog post
enumerating the many things i want to have,
from extravagant designer leather goods
to a smile from the cute phd student
in the college of ______.
(i need some secrets)
languishing in pre-birthday despair,
i looked at all the $700 flights to nyc,
wishing somehow i would find a grand
tucked in my the crannies of my couch.
then, a miracle. the heavens opened up,
and the expedia.com gods’ light shone down
on poor, wayward graduate student, steven a.,
offering me a round trip flight to nyc for $160.
to any of my peeps in the nyc,
my stay there will be brief.
so let’s coordinate a time
for us to meet up so you
can give me my presents.
happy birthday to me, bitches!
December 5, 2011
finals time = maximizing procrastination.
which means it’s time to write a blog post, right?
in less that two weeks,
i will be twenty seven years old
(twenty seven? fuck i’m old).
this is the age my mom was when she had me.
i’ve always thought it’s cool that, on dec 18, 2011
i’ll have been in my mom’s life for as long as i haven’t.
(does that sentence make sense?)
kinda weird, right?
it also makes me think of those big life goals we’re supposed to reach:
i’ve gone on about it before, so i won’t again.
it’s just one of those times where still being in school
and watching your bank account dip under $100 every week
makes one question if they’ve taken the right path.
in moments like this,
i turn to my alpaca namesake
who is a constant source of smiles here at bgs central.
he’s an unusual alpaca, so i’m told,
(though what constitutes a “usual” alpaca, i’m not sure)
and apparently very friendlythere is no joy in the world like knowing
that, in less than a year on this earth,
the alpaca that shares my name,
is already having three-ways.
my work here is done.
October 26, 2011
i’m trying to finish editing this paper.
(it’s a breech birth as my new friend sandra would say)
rather than listen to the tedious coffee house music,
i put my itunes on shuffle, and this song came on.
that choreography . .
. . . i have no words.
they don’t make ‘em like they used to!
September 24, 2011
well i guess i’ve let this drag on long enough.
it’s time to announce some winners.
first prize, my thendara, goes to tina b.
the random number generator picked her number.
there was only supposed to be one second secret prize;
it was meant for the person who resposted the giveaway in most creative way. but how could i pick just one when
two ladies really stood out.
first there was tammy.
tammy got her coworkers to harass me into giving her my thendara.
i firmly believe in harassing people to get things you want.
i think it’s an only child thing.
while i couldn’t just give her my thendara
(that would be breaking the rules after all)
i have to applaud that kind of ingenuity.
so cynthia and tammy will be getting a copy of westknits book three
compliments of yours truly.
if either of you makes a thendara,
i’d love to see it.
until next time!
September 13, 2011
i just spent a good chunk of time looking for my bag because in it was my computer and an article that i have to finish today. i absolutely could not find my bag anywhere, which frankly made me very aware of my bowels.
i did eventually find my bag
hidden quietly under some knitting.
what does this say about my priorities?
September 5, 2011
a daylight search found mo trapped on our property. he is a little guy after all, and country life can be perilous for a city pup. when i came upon him, he was just lying there calmly, waiting to be rescued. when he saw me, he gave me eyes that said, “ok you’re here now. take me home.” after a few rounds around the house at lightning speed, he is now sleeping happily at my feet.
thank you all for your prayers and well wishes.
not only did it provide extreme comfort when i felt alone,
i have to believe that somehow they brought us back together.
September 4, 2011
i don’t know why i’m writing a blog post right now. i guess it’s because i don’t know what else to do. and perhaps also, i’m so sick and twisted that i need there to be a public record of today . . .
this morning mo let me know it was time to walk him, that i’d slept too long. in the fog of sleepiness, i grabbed my spare set of car keys (not my actual set of keys) and locked myself out of my apartment. with no phone, and no wallet (and unfortunately no underwear), i had no way of getting in touch with my landlord on a sunday to let me in. taking a deep breath i bundled up mo in the car and headed to my office on campus where i was sure an ancient computer and phone would be my salvation. of course as soon as i parked i realized it was sunday, and without my keys there was no way in.
i went back to my apartment in hopes that if i parked very close to it, i could get my car’s built in blue tooth to connect to my car and i could call someone. of course who i had in mind, i don’t know. it was a pipe dream anyway.
so i decided that, since i had on my sleeping clothes, i hadn’t showered, and hadn’t brushed my teeth, i’d head to my parents house.
an hour and a half later i arrived at my childhood hope. my parents are out of town for their anniversary (i won’t even get into what i had to do to get into their house without my keys) so i looked at this situation as a mini trip to the country until
monday tuesday when i could get ahold of my landlord and get into my apartment. i did of course check my lease and their website to see if there was some phone number i could call in an “emergency”, but alas there is none.
how bad could it be? sure i have no wallet and no phone and internet from about 2001, but i could make do. i printed off some readings so i wouldn’t fall behind in my school work, and i could prepare my little spiel for my first day of teaching on thursday. i took some meat out to thaw for dinner, and mo and i took a nap.
this is where things get serious. this is where you all will think i’m crazy for writing a blog post. like i said, i don’t know what else to do.
i headed out back with some pork chops to grill, and mo hung out on and around the deck with me. somewhere while i was concentrating on the grilling outside, and the food inside, i stopped paying attention to mo.
with a sinking feeling, i thought, “where is he?”
and that’s the question of the hour; where is mo? he has run off. in the pitch black countryside, i have walked up and down country roads, up and down neighbors driveways hoping to find him, or find the person who has him. i’ve even gotten in the car to drive a ways in all directions to scan the road for his body. i didn’t find one which might be today’s only mercy.
somewhere from the depths of my being, my catholicism came out. i’ve been invoking saints and jesus, begging anyone with any power in the world to bring him back to me.
i’ve stopped crying long enough to make a flyer which i will spend all day tomorrow putting up all over town.
tonight, i’m sleeping on my deck in case mo decides to come home in the middle of the night.
i don’t know what to do. my whole family is gone. i’m on my own in this, and i’m ill-equipped to handle it.
i’m a 26 year old man holding my dogs harness weeping, that kind of crying you only do maybe three times in your whole life when you’re completely overwhelmed by sadness, and nothing can comfort you.
if you believe in something, god, the universe, whatever, please pray for my momo to come home to me.
i don’t know what i’ll do without him.
August 22, 2011
let’s get cracking.
1. i made a knitter. my student on saturday was amazing, a natural, a joy to teach. she will very soon spread her knitter wings and take off. i shall always remember alejandra, the scrub nurse from colombia and my first real knitting student. (actually, i’ll probably forget which is why i’m writing it down here).
2. today was my first day of t.a. orientation. for some bizarre reason i was really nervous about it and only slept for about three hours last night. but of course when i got there, it felt totally natural and, even though i feel really nervous about teaching, i am clearly more competent/less nervous than a lot of people in that room today. and a lot prettier which is of course a bigger comfort.
3. i saw a girl i went to highschool with at t.a. orientation. she either didn’t recognize me, or purposely ignored me. i’m not sure which is worse.
4. perhaps even more random, i saw the guy i bought my new craigslist couch from. he too either ignored or didn’t recognize me. either way, freaky right?
5. i was the only person in the big lecture hall knitting. this didn’t surprise me, but i was a little disappointed.
6. this week, i have been eating, on average, a half an onion and a clove of garlic per day. i am single, and mo doesn’t seem to mind so i’m going with it.
7. i’m getting really close to getting my wheel. i’m waiting on an email about it.
8. speaking of emails, i sent a bunch out to the knitters of the world, but only one responded. i fear that this is because i am a knitting nobody and do not merit a response. worse still, they could absolutely know who i am and have decided not to respond. it couldn’t possibly that they’re just busy people like me and have yet to respond. never. clearly, they either don’t know, or hate me.
9. i have an insane amount of laundry to do. rather than haul my ass to the laundromat, i just keep opening new suitcases to find clean clothes. or else i “sniff test” clothes i’ve already worn, and wear them again. (more evidence of my transition to manhood) this plan has worked for me for three weeks, but i see the end is near. today i had to go commando to my orientation. i made to sure to wear a belt, but kept obsessively checking my fly after the sexual harassment segment of the day.
11. since this is technically a knitting blog, i better show you a picture of some knittingi have embraced the fact that i am a shawl knitter. if other people can be sock knitters, i can be a shawl knitter. give me a triangle and i’m happy. of course, i’m using smaller yarn and needles meaning i’m going to have to do some maths to make the lace section work, but i’m sure that won’t pose any problems at all later on.
12. my rereading of the yarnharlot’s blog continues to be an inspiration. i’m pretty sure that’s why i’m doing a list post right now.
13. i recieved the awesomest of text messages today from a dear friend of mine:
“i’m knitting! also, loved the ‘sleep with as many people as possible’ note.”
what can i say, i’m part knitter, part scholar, part slut apparently (sorry mom). miss you jenny!
14. i thought rhinebeck was out of reach this year, but i may just have found a way to get there. this of course means i must find a pattern i like, and knit a new rhinebeck sweater.
16. i’m toying with the idea of getting my knitting mastery. is this a stupid idea? has anyone done it? help a boy out.
17. now that mo and i are reunited, my mother wants to alpacanap steven jr. i think this is some kind of manifestation of her desire for a grandchild. watch out sally.
18. extra large eggs are stupid.
19. mo has let me know in his not so subtle way it is time to be let out or else i’ll have a date later with the paper towel. later, bitches.
i’ve moved around quite a bit in my adult life,
and i’ve found the most important thing to do
is immediately set out into the world
and find some places to call you own.
having done my undergrad at michigan state,
i already have a couple places where i feel comfortable,
places that make me forget for a few hours that
school starts in less than three weeks.
in less than three weeks,
i will be teaching,
shaping the minds of american youth.
this gives me less than three weeks to get all the nervous vomiting out of my system. (pray for my esophagus).
the other day,
to counteract my nausea,
i thought it best to suck in some yarn fumes,
and maybe see what the weaving class schedule was like at woven art.
there are a few other yarn stores in the lansing area,
most of which are closer to me than woven art.
i’ve scoped them out in prior visits,
felt their vibes and,
for all kinds of reasons,
it’s clear this is my new lys.
of course i wasn’t really prepared for the fact that they “know me from the blog”, and nancy welcomed me back to the area with a hug.
i’m very fragile right now, and that kind of gesture meant a lot.
it’s nice a nice feeling to be immediately welcomed,
to know someone wants you to be here.
thanks nancy (and meg!)
then nancy really shocked me by asking me if i’d like to teach.
you have to be kidding me!
of course i wanted to teach!
and so very shortly i’ll be offering classes at woven art,
easing myself in with some beginning knitting until i get my bearings.
why look at that!
my nausea is back.
August 6, 2011
a long time ago,
a mason from ireland left
and came to the united states.
he briefly settled in brooklyn, married
a woman who’s name has been lost,
and upon having a son, john,
finally settled in corktown,
detroit’s oldest neighborhood.
this man was named stephen martin,
my great great great grandfather.
upon my birth,
my mother decided to give me his name,
tying me forever to a man without whom
i would never have made it here.
but in what can only be called the metaphor of my existence,
she misspelled it.
and so my ancestor’s name,
already anglicized from the irish,
had now been americanized
in a city once owned by the french.
i’ve often heard that there’s a lot of power in a name.
and this misspelling, i now feel, was a kind of curse.
nothing i seem to do ever follows a proper path;
everything must have an accidental twist,
one based on false certainty.
what this has meant for me is that,
while my life won’t ever be what one’s should,
it has been one that i wouldn’t change anything about.
not one thing.
would i trade finding the “knock” my family left behind in county kerry,
or petting a panda bear while he at an apple in chengdu,
or walking the early morning streets of paris at christmastime,
or burning in the himalayan sunshine outside the potala palace,
or a shockingly thorough olive oil massage from a burly greek woman on the coast of santorini for
a wedding ring?
i can’t say as i would.
but i have often wondered
if marching to the beat of my own disco
means i won’t get the chance to pass along a name,
misspelled or otherwise, if,
in twenty years time,
i’d regret not
sometimes i wonder if passing on a name is important to me,
or important enough to me.
i’m not sure, but
in what can only be considered the craziest of signs,
it turns out that my name will live on,
just not in the usual form.
that email was a solar flare during a starless moment for me.
you’re timing couldn’t have been more impeccable.
i’m allergic to alpacas.
this is my life.