March 27, 2013
as you know,
i give away almost everything i knit.
i try as much as possible to put random positive energy into the universe, since, as @p12tog points out, i’m often an* horribly elitist person, especially when it comes to knitting.
(though i might actually be ok with that)
and since i feel that brighting some random person’s day through the power of the internets is a good investment in my karma because god knows my ubiquitous sarcasm, sass, and bitchiness
require a bit of equilibrium, today’s post
is an attempt at a double dose of karmic balancing.
first, i’m going to give away this boneyard shawl**
(it’s been a bit overcast the past few days)
the yarn is a two-ply fingering-sport weight spun by me
from some into the whirled bfl top i got at rhinebeck back in 2011.
this shawl’s been a loooong time in the making,
what with having to sneak time to spin and knit it
in the 5 free minutes i have every day.
just look at that craftsmanship
ok so maybe i couldn’t get the best macro shot.
just trust me.
it’s very well knit.
i knit it on 7′s and blocked this shit out of it
so it has a great drape and just enough wooliness for you traditionalists.
and here’s where the second dose of good karma comes in-
i rarely ever endorse anything,
(mostly because my readership isn’t large enough to warrant them)
but in this instance, i feel compelled to make an exception.
the short story is a very dear friend of mine in chicago, joshua herrington, started a business called gallerista. i’ve never seen this much drive and passion out of this guy before, and i find i’m quite impressed with his work ethic. recently, he began an indigogo campaign to turn his online business into a brick and mortar enterprise. i decided to blog about it, not just because he’s my friend (because a lot of my friends have some pretty far-out enterprises), but because i believe in supporting both queer-owned business and the arts. neither one has it very easy this days, and since i have no money of my own, really,
i do what i can.
and this is what i can do:
give away my shawl to help him raise some money.
how to win in three easy steps:
1) go to gallerista’s indigogo page and make a donation. my suggested minimum donations is $30 (so that you all can join me at the super secret launch party!) but if you can’t afford 30 dollars, donations in lower denominations are totally fine.
2) share the campaign somehow (tip: there are tools right there on the gallerista indigogo page to help you do that.
3) leave a comment so the random number generator can pick a winner.
i realize we’ve all been flooded with kickstarters and the like.
maybe you don’t even give a shit about queer-owned business or the arts. but i’m pretty sure you do like you some knitting.
so why not spin the wheel?
it’s not every day i spin and knit a shawl!
if you don’t want the shawl
or just don’t feel like donating,
if you could at least tweet or facebook or rav it,
i’ll personally reward you with some karmic princess points.
and if you’re reading this blog,
i’m pretty sure you could use some.
*i even use “an” before h-words.
**can i just say i love this pattern. i may even knit another one.
March 24, 2013
i was drunk and dancing.
there’s something about dressing up,
knocking back one or two shots of jameson,
keeping the buzz going with a bud light,
(which, before you judge me,
i enjoy for their cheapness, lack of flavor,
and because you can dance with one in your hand without
some flailing drunk-ass soaking you in your hard-earned pin money)
while a room full of gays and gay adjacent folks all sing—in tune!—to any number of pop songs from the 80′s – now (in tune) that i find to be
. . . rejuvenating.
on this particular evening,
i was helping a boy ‘celebrate life’.
he’d passed through a rough patch and found himself in a good mood.
can you honestly think of a better reason to celebrate?
and so i danced. hard.
and though today i find i’m a bit sore,
which is likely more a combination of
and crashing in not my bed,
it was very worth it.
why am i telling you all this?
why should you care?
sure, if you’re reading this, you likely like me
(though it’s possible you’re just waiting to see if you won a book.
no worries. we’ll get there. keep reading)
and, since you like me, you like
when i’m happy.
you see, the reason why this story is important is because
last night, i took my first steps toward accepting the aging process.
i’ve had a problem with getting older basically since i turned twenty three. and while i realize that this is an irrational issue and that, in the scheme of things, many people would consider me to still be young, i’m confident that every single person who reads this post also has his or her own “thing” with which s/he obsesses, irrationally.
(do tell me you do so i feel better about myself)
last night, however, two things happened that made me glad i was older (relatively)
1) i ‘pre-gamed’ briefly a the boy celebrating life’s friends house. on average, i was the oldest person in the room by about six years. sitting there on a broken couch, eliciting laughter that was grossly disproportional to the effort i was putting into my repartee, there was a moment in which i left my body and thought, “thank christ i am not this silly”, and then smiled to myself, sitting in blissful ignorance while they talked about the import of something called snapchat.
2) later, in the middle of the dance floor, i ran into a friend from college i haven’t seen since i graduated. i literally screamed multiple times in the highest pitch of which i am physically capable. in that moment, the past six years flashed before my mind’s eye. i’ve been around the world, gotten two masters degrees, kissed all the boys, got mo, fallen in love, kept up a blog (mostly) for nearly four years, almost died, moved four times, lived abroad, taught at a big ten university, and learned to fucking knit, to name only the big things i can think of at 1:30am.
my only real goal in life
is to live a life i can be proud of.
all i want to do is be able to look back on my life when i’m old old
and be able to say that i wasn’t boring.
so far, i’m not doing too badly.
and i guess my progressively sagging skin and longer recovery time isn’t that high a price to pay to maximize fabulosity.
still, i’ll totally blow you for some botox.
the random number generator has spoken
and the following people have won one of my extra copies of colours of shetland:
2 – cauchy09
9 – stepahnie
12 – ashely
you can now all glare at them in jealousy.
however! i will be giving away a handspun and knit fo in the next day or so, so stay tuned, bitches!
March 14, 2013
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
and literary analysis,
may have an inkling of our difficulties.*
as the harlot always says,
the universe seeks balance.
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.
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.
can you believe it?
for absolutely no reason at all,
i got a gifty when i most needed it.
home made jams and over 1200yds of yarn?
almost enough to make a believer outta ya, right?
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.
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?
nothing so simple.
what had happened was, it was
missent to mother fucking australia?
how on earth did the british postal system of all people
missend my package to australia?
they literally sent it across the wrong ocean!
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.
*any experts in any of those areas who’d like to help, especially people conversant in arcgis 10.1, hit me up! lol
February 20, 2013
while i doubt it will be as good as project runway,
and can’t possibly hold a candle to rupaul’s drag race,
i must admit i find the concept to be rather intriguing.
what do we think?
will this be cool?
will it be boring?
should i blog along with snarky commentary?
December 31, 2012
i considered writing a profound end of the year post,
something characteristically witty and poignant.
then i realized i didn’t feel like it.
i’ll share a link to wordpress’ end of the year report on my blog
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
and this music video
which is quite clearly the shit.
happy new year bitches!
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:
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.
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
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.
photo 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.
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.
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?”
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?)
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.
do you think i can pull this off? there’s only one way to know.
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.
how much does a rolex cost, exactly?
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.
December 11, 2012
hello everyone, from finals island!
while finals time is always hellish,
this is the first finals in. my. life.
where i am not panicked.
but that little voice that has been telling me for years to work ahead,
get things done, don’t put unnecessary stress on yourself,
a voice i have largely ignored for going on 28 years*,
finally got through, and for the first time
i won’t have to rush to finish.
now of course as soon as i hit that little blue publish button on this post,
i will have thoroughly jinxed myself and my computer will explode or
i’ll forget the english language or something.
i guess i better make this post count, then.
one of my favorite activities is imaging that i’ve won the lottery.
the following hour is taken up by a reverie of how i’d spend the cash.
it usually involves real estate and world travel,
with a dash of setting up my friends for life.
imaging the getting of things is my hobby.
i must admit, when i wrote my last post,
i never actually thought anyone would send me a gift.
i was merely indulging in one of my favorite pastimes,
(and thought it might make for a somewhat humorous post)
receiving starbucks cards in my inbox frankly shocked me.
and that shock has left me speechless ever since.
i went through many stages of reaction to the presents.
the first was simply the joyful exclamation of PRESENTS!
then my humility kicked in and i thought about how lucky i am that people think me cool enough to treat me to coffee,
the source of my existence.
then that pesky bit of catholicism that i can’t seem to get rid of made me feel ashamed for asking for gifts;
i couldn’t get the sound of my friend anna’s voice out of my head; her diatribe against annie modesitt’s greedy call for money reverberates in my mind.
(to be fair, she’s not alone in her contempt, but anna has a special way of putting things that just stays with one)
then i came to my fucking senses.
i wasn’t giving anyone a line. i didn’t say i was in desperate need of aid; i’m not haiti for christ’s sake. all i said was i like presents and as i get older i seem to get less of them and that it annoys the heck out of me that, during the holidays, people don’t just ask for what they want. i mean, people send glozell brita filters and tampax. if friends and strangers want to buy me a cup of coffee, i should just say thank you and smile, knowing there are nice people in the world.
(thank you fairy godmothers of coffee!)
so let’s continue, shall we, with
gifts for steven 2012
twice a year, i make my way to the douglas j to get a facial. when i lived in chicago and made entry-level cubical money for an evil multinational corporation, i had a beauty regimen that rivaled any aging actress afraid of being cast as a mother in her next film. i can still remember the glorious pain as the polish esthetician (we’ll call her olga for lack of an better memory) buffed my fingernails to the point where i could literally see my face reflected in them. (the first time that happened, i went around having other people look at themselves in my nails) in those days, i was 5 years younger and far more beautiful than i am today. today, when i make my pilgrimage to douglas j and lay down my credit card, i can look forward to the horrified look of the master esthetician as she sees what truly neglected pores look like. she does what she can and i’m frankly shocked with the results; i look smoother, younger, and pinker. with the fervency of a pulmonologist begging her patient to quit smoking, or a dentist praying his patient will finally floss regularly, she always warns me that these results are temporary, that i need to do something to take care of my face on a regular basis. still, for the next few days, i am beautiful again. i don’t even know if they do gift cards, but if they did, maybe i’d get to be pretty three times a year.
of course all of this might be moot because i’m going to protest at the capital today. i’ll be tweeting while i’m there. there’s going to be a heavy police presence, so i’m sure people are going to be arrested. i won’t be able to get a facial in jail, at least not the kind i’d need to pay for. so for day 8, just wish me and my friends a safe return (and that my union doesn’t become illegal in the next couple days). that feels apropos for the season, right?
here goes nothing!
*holy fuck i’m turing 28 in a week.
ps sending things to bloggers is a tricky business. when i wanted to get something to stephen a.k.a. hizknits i sent it to his then place of employment (blue moon). but then, i’m a particularly innovative stalker when i want to give someone a gift. to the lovely people who have asked for my address to send me gifts, i’m torn. i worry that giving internet strangers with candy my address will put mo at risk. he’s very portable and friendly and even the most ethical person wouldn’t think twice about stealing him. giving you my address is basically inviting you to purloin him.
i mean, which do really love more, presents or mo?
i’ll think it over.
December 6, 2012
i always credit the yarn harlot for getting me into knitting,
and i suppose she’s part of the reason i got into blogging.
though really i think the only similarities between our blogs
is that they’re both humorous (mostly) and center on knitting.
after that, we pretty much have nothing in common.
- the harlot is a
- oldest child
- mother of three
- in her forties
- and i’m a
- only child
- dog owner
- in his twenties
and yet somehow, despite all that difference,
i find her blog and life to be thoroughly compelling.
very rarely do i ever ‘not like’ what she writes.
one of the rare exceptions is her annual gifts for knitters.
i find the hole thing to be irritating,
not because the information she provides isn’t useful or accurate,
but because it is completely ridiculous that anyone should have to go to an outside source to find out what to get for a friend or loved one. you either know him or her well enough to get them what they want, or else you should be able to be a grown up and just ask. this whole need to ‘surprise’ someone with the perfect gift is, frankly, asinine and too much pressure. what people want is a gift they’ll enjoy. so why not ask them?
but more importantly,
no one seems inclined to buy me anything. maybe it’s because i’m a december baby (my birthday is exactly one week before christmas); i’m highly sensitive to gift giving at december time. it just seems like, if one doesn’t have a family of one’s own, after the age of 21,
no one is inclined to get one (me) a gift.
all of my friends are too new to my life
to feel inclined to get me anything.
they’re also grad students,
so they have no money.
and my parents,
my dear dear parents,
they get me things throughout the year that i need,
things like food,
or a new phone,
or my gas bill in the winter.
making them exempt from any familial obligation to get me a gift.
that just leaves mo, and frankly,
he can’t be bothered.
i’m an only child,
which means i have deeply ingrained belief
that i deserve a gift a christmastime.
no amount of rationalization
or lies about the joys of giving
or reflection on how much i have compared to others
will ever wipe away the feeling that i’m getting jipped at the holidays.
and so in the spirit of ‘the secret’
(which has inexplicably been working for me this year
even though i’ve never actually read the book)
i’ve decided to ask, believe, and receive some gifts i want.
nothing unreasonable or outrageous, mind you,
just some shit to make my life
a little brighter.
gifts for steven 2012
a starbucks card. perhaps you think that making this the gift for days 1 through 6 is a cop out, and i’m just doing it to catch up on the days of december. you would be wrong. the amount of time and more importantly money i spend at starbucks is obscene. i go every day, sometimes multiple times a day. i write at the starbucks on grand river, and i frequent the starbucks in my building at least five days a week. it’s eating a whole in my budget, and size orman specifically told me not to buy coffee in her book young fabulous and broke, but since i’m beyond addicted, it’s up to you to solve my willpower problem.
stay tuned as i tell you more things you can get me for this,
my birthday and christmas season.
(i also happily welcome channukah and solstice gifts)
i almost forgot the whole point of this post.
after less than one year in the pot,
not only is my christmas cactus thriving,
it’s fucking blooming, bitches!
this is the very first house plant i have every kept alive. ever.
while i grew up gardening in the country,
and can easily cultivate flora out of doors,
that skill has never translated indoors;
i’m absolute rubbish with potted plants.
but this, this christmas cactus,
one of my favorite plants,
it’s fucking blooming!
i’m telling you, bitches;
ask, believe, receive.
oprah wasn’t lying.
December 3, 2012
if you’ve been at this knitting thing long enough,
you’ve probably been exposed to a certain amount of spinning.
you may have even gone down the dark path to bliss that is weaving.
if this is the case,
then you’ve heard of judith mackenzie.
if you haven’t, please do crawl out from under that rock;
it can’t possibly be comfortable under there.
judith mackenzie is a textile ‘goddess’ as they say,
personally, i prefer the term ‘witch’,
but potAYto potAHto, right?
her book the intentional spinner is an invaluable, wee tome,
a must have for anyone who takes their fiber arts seriously.
(for real. go buy it now)
she’s also the artist in residence at the rainforest arts center in forks, washington. or rather,
last month the place burnt down,
taking all her fiber, wheels, and looms with it.
and one can’t really be an artist in residence if, well,
there’s no residence in which to be an artist.
including my good friend tina newton,
the maniacal brain behind blue moon fiber arts.
in order to help raise money for judith,
tina is auctioning off a day with her (and the chickens) in the blue moon dye barn.
this, my lovelies, is the treat of all treats. just imagine it:
a barn is tucked away just outside of portland oregan in the hilly hamlet of scappoose. in the middle of the woods, you see the chimney smoke and hear the of the ladies of the barn, a faint cackling as they dye up some lucky bitch’s sock yarn order. you also hear the gentle clucking of chickens and cheeping of chicks in the distance as tina takes your hand and shows you the magic happiness that is yarn, dye, and vinegar, a joy that has as yet been missing from your life. eight hours later, you walk away with an armful of yarn and a few extra points on the the ‘nice’ side of santa’s list for helping a fellow fiber artist get back on her feet.
(ok so the actual details can be found here, but my version sounds better and is equally accurate)
you have less than a day and a half to place your bids.
this is a serious auction, bitches; they’re not fucking around.
but if you’re looking for a once in a lifetime experience,
and i can guarantee you it will be,
then bid away, bitches!
if a day with tina is out of your budget, check out this website for other ways to help.
December 2, 2012
yesterday was quite a ride.
i thought the fact that i gave myself a month of planning this time around would make it less stressful. it wasn’t. if anything, it just meant more pressure to do well, to at least match last year’s total (with vain hopes of far surpassing it) it’s like adding a part time job to one’s life. i will say, however, it’s given me an insight into the world of fundraising, promotion, cross-promotion, business, and all that kind of stuff.
i mean, it wasn’t as tough as last year in that i didn’t have to ‘cold call’ people to help, and i have enough friend in the biz that i knew at least i’d get some great prizes to donate. but it was interesting to see who’ll actually return your email, and who won’t, who’ll tell you ‘no, we’re not interested in helping’ and who just ignores you completely, who won’t respond to your email, but then still help promote on the day without even letting you know! it was also interesting to see who’s voice prompted the most traffic, whose readers are the most generous, and which kinds of people are the ones who care the most.
i’m way into tracking my stats
and there were some interesting ones this time around.
this year there was a lot of international support,
with donations made from people in the u.s., canada, the uk, sweden, and the federated states of micronesia!
(i admit to having to look that up.
they’re islands near australia)
this year, more than 7% of visitors made a donation whereas
only 2.5% of people who visited the site made a donation last year.
but that number is tempered by the fact that
i got roughly 45% less traffic to the site this year,
even with all the extra promotion people provided.
(maybe because it was a saturday?)
but! there were 50% more people that actually make a donation.
last year i had a lot of $100+ donations,
whereas this year i had many between $1-$10.
most of those people were either on a tight budget,
but a good 5% of donations came from people who were unemployed!
$10 from a person with no income? that’s generosity!
this year, almost every single email included an apology for not being able to donate more, even if they were donating over $100. all of those apologies came from women. the mind reels.
last year, an official count from the pittsburgh aids task force confirmed that we raised $4,765.00 with around $100 going to other hiv testing centers as well, making a grand total of ~$4865.00.
this year, based on the numbers people gave me in their emails, pledges for matching donations from people’s employers, and a couple donations going to other hiv testing centers we raised, $4979.40 (the 40¢ cracks me up). while i wanted to make it to a solid $5000.00, i still beat last year’s number! and got a lot more people involved.
what matters is that we raised enough money to pay for roughly 122 rapid hiv tests. that’s the only number i care about.
not too shabby for day’s work, eh?
now i’m off to consult the random number generator, and email the winners. keep your eyes on your inboxes, bitches!
edit: all winners have been notified. have you checked your inbox? thanks to everyone who donated!