October 23, 2013
i write at least two rhinebeck posts;
one about my time at the festival, itself,
and the other dedicated to “nips with steven”.
this year was a little different,
and so there will be just this one post.
shall we start with the nips?
ann hanson is always willing to oblige,
especially for art (bitch took at least a two finger gulp! mad props, ann)
my four-time rhinebeck partner in crime, andrea, took nip number two.
then it was you-von
who clearly enjoyed her nip.
a woman who is apparently a “somebody” in the knitting world
but whose name i forgot to write down . . .
is revealed to be stefanie japel after a bit of internet stalking.
val of the incomparable duo “flo and val” from butler, pa.
(seriously, you wish you knew these women)
laura chau, a nips with steven virgin.
(who looked at me like as if i were a crazy person but still participated)
and this is where nips with steven ends.
during laura’s nip, sonya alerted me that security had spotted me and the jig was up. though i tried to evade them as nonchalantly as possible, even happening upon an old friend with whom i hoped to hide innocently in the joy of our reunion, security very nicely escorted me out of the fairgrounds to deposit “my alcohol” in my car. thank christ val had given me her spare key or who know where i would’ve been.
i would have been fine with the whole thing,
since i guess i was technically breaking the rules,
but then it got back to me that they were gloating all over the fairgrounds that they had a caught me “chugging my whiskey.”
dudes, it’s not like you solved a murder.
you ruined our fun and censored my art.
the very least you can do
is be accurate.
i hadn’t taken a single nip.
while i wasn’t quite ballsy enough to try to sneak the bottle back in,
i refused to be deterred! and thus began:
“virgin nips with steven!”
which began with amy, a.k.a. boogie a.k.a. spunky eclectic(bitch has more names than prince)
followed by stacie, (whose husband, d, totally bailed on the hot pepper challenge this year)
and (canadian) erica a.k.a. weetsie
who is strikingly beautiful in person
and whose mild accent i find completely (and unusually) endearing.
then i encountered this guy whose handsomeness put me into some kind of stuttering fugue state wherein i lost all ability to be charming or articulate.
apparently, some time later, i took this shot
i love heather’s semi-literal take on the piece,
“exposing” herself by lifting her knitting.
so that’s it for nips.
i’m not sure if i’ll do it again next year,
but if i do, perhaps i can enlist some lookouts.
after nips with steven,
the hot pepper challenge is the most important of my rhinebeck traditions. this year, the ghost chili was supplanted by the black scorpion chili as the hottest in the world.
1. somehow, andrea and i both decided (independently) to chew on one side of our mouths only, thus minimizing the area affected and proving we are now both pros at this.
2. both of our gums and inner cheeks went numb on the side where we chewed the sample (a tostitos scoop filled with hot sauce for those of you who’re wondering).
3. one of my teeth experienced a shooting pain for about five minutes after the encounter. this worried me.
4. for the next hour, both andrea and i felt a bit . . . unsettled. as if, somehow, the black scorpion chili hot sauce were a drug.
we did not feel normal for some time.
5. while, later on, neither of us had the “sting ring” associated with eating spicy foods, we did each experience an immediate need to use the loo in the middle of the night. while i can’t say the pepper was responsible, i could “sense” it was included in the process.
the rest of rhinebeck was just icing on the cake:
this dude and his tiara.
the purple wizard whose name we found out this year is ed
(apparently, he’s legit. we always thought he just showed up in his wizard digs and walked around for shits and giggles)
beth hansenfreshly dyed and dealing nicely with a completely incompetent little girl.
i ended day one with my second rhinebeck celebrity sighting.
this time is was scott cohen of gilmore girls fame.
while he’s no uma thurman, a celebrity is a celebrity. (a big thank you to the twitterverse for a) confirming that i wasn’t crazy and this was in fact a celebrity while b) supplying the name)
before leaving for day two,
the day for last minute shopping and lunch,
we got a little silly. what follows will demonstrate
how much fun we have in the cool kids house and confirm for you
that you’re completely jealous you weren’t there with us.
rhinebeck has become a pilgrimage,
the one time of year when i have no responsibilities,
can hang with people who make me laugh, and simply enjoy being for a spell. it’s a necessary restorative and, though difficult, i find a way to make going possible. and i couldn’t be more grateful
to spend the weekend with these sickos.
July 18, 2013
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.
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.
coffee at ristretto roasters
which was the only coffee i had in portland that lived up to the hype
(this mocha was not fucking around)
there were a couple trips to grand central bakery
where 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.
this group was outside powell’s where i had a pretty amazing haul
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.
(note: apparently, shetlands are in this year)
(the aforementioned shrimp sandwich)
we ran into beth hansen of hansen crafts
she 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 stopped by black trillium fibre studio‘s booth,
one of the only booths i thought worthy of documenting, really.
the 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.
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!
(sorry for the shitty photo)
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.
(sorry angela, not the best photo, i know, but better than the other one)
the next day,
tina took the misses newton, heidi dog, and me to the beach
before which we hit up this joint,
pacific way bakery & caféwhich, was fucking amazing…last year.
but made us a but queasy this time around.
and our waitress?
then we returned for more chicken time, but with a twist.
i 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 ______.
the whole tripped was capped off
by an amazing meal at cocotte bar & bistro
a meal totally worth live tweeting. which i did.
(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,
tina’s guest room
is a close second.
she’s the kindest host.
i even get my own bathroom.
*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.