gifty

June 4, 2014

the other day,
i got a package.
and you know how much
i love an unexpected package.

there wasn’t a note or anything,
so i had to do a little digging to
find out it was from my old
shop sibling, anna, who,
as you can see,
hasn’t updated he blog
since the arrival of her second son.

there is absolutely nothing better than an unforeseen gift;
may it be a sign of many many things to come!

DPP_2063pattern: ishbel yarn: socks that rock in the pining 4 ewe colorway

so thanks, anna.
i miss you, bitch!

tomorrow, how about a fo, eh?
it’s been a while, after all.

shameless self promotion

February 21, 2014

hello again.
just popping in to plug my shit again.
i’ll keep it brief:

Friday, February 21—Live Readings by the Broad MSU Writing Residents
6–7 PM | Free and open to the public
The Broad MSU, in partnership with the MSU Department of English and the MSU Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures, is pleased to announce the Broad MSU Writing Residency! This residency features six graduate students who will create monthly public readings that respond to an art work on view at the Broad MSU, while utilizing core themes from the upcoming exhibition, Postscript: Writing After Conceptual Art. The live readings will begin at 6 PM, and will take place in the galleries alongside a corresponding work of art. (Meet at the Information Desk at 6 PM before moving into galleries.)

i’m one of the residents.
come,
if you like,
and you could see me make a fool of myself.

and also,
because lately
i’ve been in a nostalgic,
sentimental, sappy kind of mood,
here’s a poem i came across, a sonnet
that has been nagging me for few days now.

poetry is good for you. so read it.

untitled

by marilyn hacker

You did say, need me less and I’ll want you more.
I’m still shellshocked at needing anyone,
used to being used to it on my own.
It won’t be me out on the tiles till four-
thirty, while you’re in bed, willing the door
open with your need. You wanted her then,
more. Because you need to, I woke alone
in what’s not yet our room, strewn, though, with your
guitar, shoes, notebook, socks, trousers enjambed
with mine. Half the world was sleeping it off
in every other bed under my roof.
I wish I had a roof over my bed
to pull down on my head when I feel damned
by wanting you so much it looks like need.

source

four years

August 9, 2013

**the giveaway has now been closed!**

you thought i’d forgotten, hadn’t you?
you thought i’d forgotten it’s my blogiversary.

wrong!

however,
it has been a week, bitches.
as my new favorite blogger would say,
gurl, i’ve been going through it!

so i don’t think i have a thoughtfully written post in me tonight.
if you feel like getting sentimental, head on over to last year’s post.
but i should do something to commemorate the occasion, right?
make shit just a little festive around here?
what about a giveaway?
for old times’ sake?

the bitches get stitches fourth blogiversary giveaway!

the rules:

1. spread the word – you can do that anyway you see fit; reblog, tweet, e-mail, facebook, ravelry, phone call, text, whatever. there’s even a ‘share’ button at the bottom of the post. just let some other knitter know about the giveaway. it’s completely on the honor system. i trust ya.

2. leave a comment – it’s the easiest way to assign everyone a random number for the all-knowing random number generator to pick a winner. make sure to comment on this post. you’d think i wouldn’t need to specify that but >shakes head from experience< and for the sake of fairness and my personal sanity, please leave only one comment.

3. this one’s most important – you only have the 24 hours from the time i posted to ‘spread the word’ and ‘leave a comment’. the winner will be announced tomorrow, august 10th.

the prize:

while i realize my mere presence via the words on your screen
is a gift unto itself, the only gift you really need,
a $100 gift certificate to blue moon fiber arts
would be a bit more traditional.
(i’m a sucker for tradition)

sound good? then get to it!
20130809-215439.jpgand thanks for sticking with me for another year, bitches!

i began this post
in the middle of the night
in a guest bedroom in scappoose, oregon
with the intention of recounting my day’s activities
and proceeding thusly for the rest of my mini-vacay/retreat from life.

however,
it soon became obvious
that scappoose lacked the bandwidth necessary
to blog on a daily basis, at least if i wanted to show you my pictures.

so now i am home
literally weeks after my return.
and must resort to the recap format for today’s blog

this might take a while.

there was fun with chickens,
DPP_1495DPP_1496DPP_1497DPP_1499DPP_1505DPP_1510which is one of my favorite scappoose-ian past times.

coffee at ristretto roasters
DPP_1513
DPP_1514
DPP_1515which was the only coffee i had in portland that lived up to the hype
DPP_1518(this mocha was not fucking around)

there were a couple trips to grand central bakery
DPP_1520where i was more impressed by their breakfast sandwich and shrimp po boy (scroll down) than their sweet stuff.

in portland proper,
there was the ubiquitous
homeless/punk/beggar with cute animal entourage.
DPP_1524this group was outside powell’s where i had a pretty amazing haul
DPP_1528
the next day,
tina and i went to black sheep gathering
where we saw judith mackenzie judge the fleeces,
a thoroughly delightful and educational experience.
DPP_1532
DPP_1536(note: apparently, shetlands are in this year)
DPP_1539(the aforementioned shrimp sandwich)

we ran into beth hansen of hansen crafts
DPP_1543she is . . . a character. if you meet her,
and it feels like she’s making fun of you,
that’s because she is.
it’s totally normal.

i have strong feelings about the miniSpinner,
but this is all i’m going to say about it: i’m a traditionalist.
if you’re not, and aren’t bothered by the electric component
you should definitely buy it;
it’s a pretty fucking awesome product.
i won’t be buying one because
i am a fuddy duddy.

i will also draw your attention to this:
DPP_1545really beth? really?

there was this monstrosity,
DPP_1546which is apparently a spinning wheel.
it needs to be melted down into something less ugly.

i stopped by black trillium fibre studio‘s booth,
one of the only booths i thought worthy of documenting, really.
DPP_1547the problem with all of these shows,
especially the smaller ones,
is that these people aren’t business people.
sure, i bet 90% of them make an amazing product,
but that doesn’t mean they know shit about how to sell it.
you’ve got to make a booth that makes people want to come in,
or you might as well not even bother to show up.

melanie knows how to work with what she has;
simple set up, a few beautiful samples, wide open
so people can get in and out easily.
good job.

similarly, the men at the clemes & clemes booth knew what was up!
these dudes are professional, know their product, work well together,
have their demonstration down, and there’s something to be said for a uniform. this dude had me wanting a fucking drum carder
something for which i have no use or space in my life.
that, my dears, is a salesman!
DPP_1549(sorry for the shitty photo)

there was this cuteness
DPP_1552
and this cuteness
DPP_1557
and this cuteness.
DPP_1571

then i met some west coast knitters
though i can only remember angela davis (the knitting one)
with her amazing mustard eye shadow (right) and parna
(with the broken hand), both of whom i hope to see again.
DPP_1575(sorry angela, not the best photo, i know, but better than the other one)

as we were leaving we saw this dude with his dog and guitar
DPP_1576very huck finnesque.

the next day,
tina took the misses newton, heidi dog, and me to the beach
DPP_1581
before which we hit up this joint,
DPP_1577pacific way bakery & caféwhich, was fucking amazing…last year.
but made us a but queasy this time around.
and our waitress?
lizlemonrudegif

then we returned for more chicken time, but with a twist.
DPP_1583
DPP_1584
DPP_1585
DPP_1586
DPP_1587
DPP_1588
DPP_1591i don’t know what it is, but i fucking love deer.
maybe it’s from watching bambi as a kid, i don’t know.
but i can not get enough deer.
and i got way close to this guy.

i was then treated to a ________ about which i cannot tell you.
what i can tell you is that it was a moment when i felt
humble, special, and kinda fancy.
because it was fancy.
and more than a little pantsy.
though likely wasted on my middle class ______.

mystery!

the next day i began the tipsy sock
DPP_1622while hanging out with the falcore-esque heidi dog.DPP_1638DPP_1634(she has no fucks to give)

*

the whole tripped was capped off
by an amazing meal at cocotte bar & bistro
a meal totally worth live tweeting. which i did.
DPP_1639DPP_1642
bread with @depraveddyer
old fashioned
chicken liver mousse with inglehoffer stone ground mustard
the biter
poulet en cocotte
la nella moda
thyme flower and farigoule ice cream
(click pics to read descriptions)

then i immediately hopped on a plane and headed home.

this trip was my vacation,
a flight, really, from my incredibly stressful summer.
there were whole swathes of time when i was not seized
by crippling work-related anxiety.

that level of ease is only surpassed
when i escape to my parent’s house,
or as i still think of it,
‘home’.

still,
tina’s guest room
is a close second.
she’s the kindest host.
i even get my own bathroom.
DPP_1600

*there was an undocumented fabulous indian dinner with tina, megan, and deb, friends from three very different epochs of my life, followed by a night out with megan at a former bowling alley dive where, once the lyons’ club bingo night rapped up, we watched the mentally challenged and tone deaf sing karaoke.there’s no picture in the world that can capture that.

good day

July 1, 2013

my first ever stand-alone class went so well. so so well.
better than i have even hoped it could!
i was a good teacher.
they were good students.
doing good work on day one is really rare.
and while i was literally beset with the feeling
that i was going to vomit and take a huge dump in my pants,
i didn’t.

i cannot emphasize enough what a boon that class was.

then,
just now,
i met a deadline that
i was very worried i wouldn’t make.
but i shat that mother fucker OUT, bitches!
tumblr_m4auedeUk21qgb5p1o2_250

i firmly believe that all my happiness originates from the my mailbox.
recently, i’ve received a few things in the mail that have made me happy, but today’s arrival takes the proverbial cake.
IMG_8880this postcard art was made by jen cooney.
jen is, what i would call, a bar friend,
one of those people you see at the bar
and run into each other at all the same events
because you travel in the same, small, queer circle of people
though, for whatever reason, you’ve never really hung out
and your interactions have been largely limited to complimenting one another on the fabulosity of our outfits. believe you me,
you have not lived until you have seen jen cooney
in space face.

she put up a notice on facebook that she was doing mail art
and if anyone wanted one, to just send her their address.
i was a little reticent since, as i’ve said,
we weren’t very close back in the burgh
and i’ve been gone now for two years now.
but my love of mail prevailed and i sent my address.

best. decision. ever.

i tell you what,
this postcard makes me miss the queer community in pittsburgh.
whereas many people loathe the bubble-like insularity of such a small city, i miss those moments in the streets (or whole foods) of chance encounter throughout the city, that nod of acknowledgment that, yes,
we were both shaking a tail feather last night in the same place
and i may have been a hot mess but at least i looked fabulous.

there’s nothing like that here.

somehow, this image perfectly captures the essence of my life
and provided exactly the smile i needed to finish out finals week.

thanks jen!

i returned from spring break this week
where several chicago men propositioned me in various capacities.
being the lady that i am
i of course bedded
none of them.

my ego sufficiently inflated, i returned
and entered what can only be called the three days of hell,
all of it connected to the real job (as cauchy calls it).

phase one of a particular project is done
and my colleagues and i are moving into phase deux.
(if any of you want to take a look, feel free)
phase one nearly did us in,
and phase deux is fixing to finish the job.

any of you who have ever tried to combine
database management,
digital cartography,
and literary analysis,
may have an inkling of our difficulties.*

and yet,
as the harlot always says,
the universe seeks balance.

and so,
after three days of
setback after setback
bad news after bad news
i received a little gifty in the mail.
any of you who’ve followed my blog
will know how much i adore gifts.
(and .gifs)

you could have knocked me over with a feather
when i got to my office mailbox to find a package
from ms. hello yarn herself.
DPP_1367can you believe it?
for absolutely no reason at all,
i got a gifty when i most needed it.
DPP_1372DPP_1376home made jams and over 1200yds of yarn?
almost enough to make a believer outta ya, right?

in other random news,
ages ago, i purchased colours of shetland by kate davies.
i ordered early to get two signed copies,
one for my shelf
and one for me to use.

after a month with no books in sight,
i explained the situation to kate
and she sent me two new ones at no charge.
they arrived without a hitch in about week.

two days later, the original two arrived.
DPP_1361so now i have four copies of colours of shetland.

what happened to the other two to delay them?
were they trapped in customs?
lost in that black hole with which we knitters are so familiar?

oh no.

nothing so simple.

what had happened was, it was
DPP_1378missent to mother fucking australia?
how on earth did the british postal system of all people
missend my package to australia?
i mean,
they literally sent it across the wrong ocean!

anyway,
since i hardly need four copies of the book
i’m giving away the other two.
if you want to win one,
just share this post somehow,
(there should be a little ‘share’ button at the bottom)
and leave me a comment.

the random number generator will pick a winner.

stay tuned to see what i’m knitting.

(shocker)

*any experts in any of those areas who’d like to help, especially people conversant in arcgis 10.1, hit me up! lol

you’re only a day away

December 17, 2012

i’ve always been on the fragile side when it comes to mental stability,
and grad school has only heighten my general state of anxiety.
it’s to be expected, of course. it’s not meant to be easy.
but it does take its toll now and then:
teeth grinding
odd weight fluctuations
and the occasional inability to sleep.

take last night for instance;
i haven’t been to bed.
or more accurately,
i haven’t been to sleep.
frankly, when you look at your phone and see 5:45 am,
you might as well head just shower and head into starbucks.

that’s right.
i’ve started my day
without finishing the last.
my goal is to wrap up all my work today,
so that i don’t have to do any work tomorrow.

why is tomorrow so important?

why, it’s my birthday, of course.

the big 2-8.
my midlate twenties.
where has the time gone?
what have i accomplished?

no no, i shan’t go down that road again
yes yes, i’m a bit weird about birthdays.
but it’s one of those idiosyncrasies that makes you love me, right?
so i’ll just distract myself from the inevitable,
by imaging all those things in the world i want.

gifts for steven 2012

day 8
those who know me well know i so desire to own a fur. any fur really. maybe not a full length mink, mind you, but an ostentatious collar on an overcoat at the very least. recently, i saw cirilia got this amazing fur collar on her last trip to iceland.
furphoto stolen without any permission whatsoever from cirilia’s blog.

it’s apparently made from wolf. the sight of it arose in me such an envy as i have not felt in years. i must own a somewhat larger equivalent.
i must.

day 9
on a more practical note, i’m preparing my comps proposal. the comps is an exam one takes and must pass in order to be allowed to pursue one’s dissertation. it requires reading roughly 150 books and then being tested on them. you are given 5 questions. you must answer 3. your answers can range anywhere from 60 to 120 pages. and you only have a weekend to write them. this is then followed by an oral defense at which your committee becomes a verbal firing squad and you must defend your work and demonstrate you’re actually a badass at all of this academic nonsense.

but the first step is forming the list and getting the books. this will be an expensive endeavor. luckily, a) there’s the library for books i’ll need to read but won’t need to own and b) my uncle just sent me an amazon gift card. it was rather a generous amount for a nephew as old as i. i’ve spent half of it on next semester’s books, all french literature concerned with explicit representations of sex. so. exciting. still, some of it will be left over to help build my personal library.

day 10
i don’t know about you, but i grew up in a house where the thermostat was set at whatever the hell we felt like. as a kid, if i wanted to sit around on the couch in my tight-whities in the dead of winter, i just turned that dial and on the heater went. similarly, we keep it as glacial as possible in the summer, just warm enough so that my mother’s bird doesn’t die. now that i must pay my own bills, i’ve become like my miserly grandparents. they lived through the war and the depression. baths at grandma’s house were in an inch of lukewarm water and the thermostat sat at roughly 63°F. i keep mine at an inhuman 60°. and yet still, my bill is creeping up. and it’s not even cold here yet! i suspect mo turns it up when i’m out. when someone asks me what i want for my birthday, why isn’t it appropriate to say, “can you pay my gas bill?”

day 11
david of southern cross fibre has recently woven this amazing fucking twill that will apparently become dishtowels for some clearly underserving person. it’s clear to me that i must own them. i simply need to go to australia and steal it. that’s where you come in. you’re in charge of my ticket, ok? and you have to make it snappy because it’s already my birthday over there. australia’s in the future. go ahead. i’ll need an aisle seat though. don’t even bother if you can’t get an aisle seat. (do you have to pick locks upside down down under?)

day 12
i’m also going to need a flight to l.a. izznit said she’d bring me a doughnut if ever i’m in l.a. i really want a doughnut so obviously, i need to fly there.
after australia of course.
i’ll settle for business class.

day 13
do you think i can pull this off? there’s only one way to know.

day 14
i recently found out i won’t actually be getting a christmas break this year. i’m on this pretty important committee and i have a huge pile of documents to get through by the second week of next semester. as the lone grad student on the committee, my voice is barely heard. i need to make sure i’m extra prepared if i’m to have any say or sway. so obviously i need a spectrum bundle from purl soho because i’m obviously going to learn how to make a log cabin quilt over break.
obviously.

day 15
i’m going to need clive owen. just because.
clive-owen-pictures-1-0309-lgseriously. get on that.

day 16
how much does a rolex cost, exactly?

day 17
every pair of jeans i own eventually gets a hole in the exact same place in my crotch area, just right of center. the other day i went to macy’s to get a new pair. they had a wicked double sale and i got them for only $11! i was trying on the smaller size, determining whether or not they were too snug because i’m a fatty or because of the enormous anti-theft device in the waist band, when i noticed something in the mirror. i took a step closer and a wave of terror and nausea came over me. i almost fainted. there, in the unforgiving light of a shitty ass macy’s changing room one of my worst fears was confirmed: my hair is starting to thin. now, normally, this isn’t a problem. i keep my hair buzzed almost to my scalp anyway. it’s been like that for a couple of years now which is likely why i never noticed. but i’ve let things slide recently and the hair grew out a little. and that fucking light illuminated some fucking scalp. i considered suicide in that moment, but the only weapon to hand was a single, sad little pin in the changing room and i couldn’t figure out how to best use it. so for day 17, i’ll be needing either some rogaine or a membership at the hair club for men.

while any and all presents (including that porche i once had within my grasp yet somehow slipped through my fingers) would be amazing, for my actual birthday, i desire (and expect to get) very little. i plan on stuffing myself with thai food, getting completely lit, and going to bed early. no cake. no singing. no party. no bar. just food i didn’t pay for, intoxicants, and my tacky-as-fuck childhood bed. but maybe you could leave a comment. that’d be a pretty awesome birthday gift.

it’s halloween,
sometimes known
as gay christmas.

so it feels oh so right
that i should have a happy post.

maybe some life stuff?
and then the rhinebeck post?
ok i’ll keep the life stuff brief.

1 – i gave a guest lecture today. i, apparently, rocked. i presented a scaled-down version of an article i’m working on. prof liked it. two undergrads came to her office hours and told her how much they enjoyed the class.
go me.
2 – i rewrote my entire comps proposal this week. committee members find it much improved. i continue on, encouraged.
go me.
3 – i have discovered the udon sushi bakery in east lansing. it’s asian fusion in the real sense, pulling from taiwan, korea, and japan. i am obsessed. i plan to eat my way through their entire menu. and the taro bubble tea? divine.
go food.

the combination of these three things has turned my frown entirely upside down. maybe the harlot is right about that whole universe balance business she’s always going on about. the thing that’s kept me going is that, while the stress has been nuclear, i can track real results in my progress in the program and improvement in my work. i might actually make it through this thing and become a scholar i want to be. we’ll see.

but now for the official rhinebeck post.
writing a cohesive narrative about rhinebeck is a fools errand.
instead, i’ll give my overall impression
and let the photos guide me.
sound good?

this is where we stayed.
i realize you’re jealous. you should be. it’s an amazing house.

(but don’t any of you fuckers even think about trying to book it for next year’s rhinebeck. we’ve got dibs. and anyone who tries to snatch it will have to answer to our leader, yarny old kim a.k.a. buttermilf painkcakes)

ahem.

this was my room.
getting this room was the only perk ever accorded to me for being an epic snorer.

this is where we gathered
and modeled our knitsand delayed our departure for the required pre-rhinebeck tomfoolery.

this was the line.
(the leaves were far less peepable this year)

this is misa‘s epic fucking scarf
in which she has knit four lines of robert frost’s ‘mending fences’
if memory serves.
misa?

this was the crowd at into the whirled.
i predicted last year that they were the next big thing. i heard a sales figure that validated that prediction.

this was the miss babs mob
with a bonus stephen west kinnering.

(so last year there was this moment when i saw him and was sure he saw me, recognized me, then looked away. i realize this is completely paranoid and kinda arrogant since, most likely, he has no fucking idea who i am. still. my insanity requires i now keep my distance. maybe next year i’ll get over my lunacy and ask him to be a part of nips with steVen)

speaking of kinnearing,
that is clara parks.

this was the rug
and the lady who hooked it
that made me finally get rug hooking. gorgeous.

this is the very loud andean band that plays every year.
your support bought them those ponchos.

this is the crazy magician wizard man
of whom i am terrified and cannot imagine letting a child near.

this is a cat statue.

this lady fucking wove those bath towelsand i bought the shit out of them!

this is morgaine.
(see my allegan post)

this is what andrea thinks of the crowd.

this is me with david.
he comes from a land down under. i have a crush on him.

this is andrea and i inducting two new people, dale a.k.a. njstacie‘s gingerlovahhusband & michelle into our rhinebeck tradition of sampling the ghost chili (a.k.a. chili fantasma) pepper sauce.
i don’t know why we do this. it is not pleasant. next year, there will be a new, even hotter chili pepper sauce for us to sample: the scorpion chili.
i’m afraid of next year.

(p.s. after this moment, michelle chugged a large chai to cool the burn and threw it right back up into the cup. sorry to put you on blast, girl, but i refuse forget that memory)

these are vicuñas. they are really rare.

this is a pretty sheep.

this is what it looks like
to sit in the leaves of a substandard leaf peeping year.
imagine a good year.

these are some of the yarn bombs we left behind.
next year – horn warmers for the water buffalo head in the den.

this is what we do on the internet early in the morning.

best quote of the weekend:

“ow! my twat. my twat!”
“it’s for art!”

see you next year!

souvenir

August 31, 2012

when i worked at natural stitches,
an old, sickly woman would come in a knit.

her name was mattie.

mattie was wheelchair bound
blind in (at least) one eye,
and on dialysis 3 times a week.

she would save up her transportation tickets from her senior center
so she could come, hang out with us,
and we could help her with her projects.

she was always happy
and slightly outrageous.
i always had to help fix her ribbing.
now and then, i’d get roped into running to mcdonalds
to buy her a small fry. (with her coupon, of course)

she always made sure her nails were done, her makeup was on,
and always wore her “good wig” when she came to the shop.

sometimes her leg would pop off as she wheeled across the store to her table and we’d have to hand it back to her. sometimes she’d put it back on. other times, she’d simply plop it on the table and keep on stitching.

i recently found out that she passed away;
they blogged about it on the shop blog.

in honor of mattie i am going to reveal a photo.
it is not the most flattering photo;
the outfit i’m wearing is . . .

special.

it was given as a thank you to my friend yvonne.
when we opened, i couldn’t resist modeling it.
for the most part,
the photo has been suppressed

that is, until now.
(post continued after the jump)

mattie,
i’ll never forget you.
wherever you are, i’m sure you’ve finally mastered k2p2 ribbing.

photo courtesy of natural stitches


love,

steven

p.s. yvonne, if you read this, do post the details surrounding the outfit in the comments!

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