not dead

July 11, 2014

i find it difficult to know where to begin, exactly.
or perhaps, more accurately, how to begin again.
in lieu of any real effort or explanation
i’ll simply write a post as if
i haven’t been largely absent from the blogosphere.

this past wednesday,
on the invitation of a peripheral friend
of a dude was i was dating earlier this year
(note the ever-present past tense)
i went to a knitting group.

i know i know.
you require evidence.

ici. IMG_2563

i found myself uncommonly shy
which, for anyone who really knows me
is in general keeping with my character.
the lukewarm reception of a member of my high school class
that i hadn’t seen since graduation didn’t really make for the most auspicious of starts. though i take comfort in the fact that,
of the two of us,
i’ve aged better.
(i wonder if she still plays the french horn)

i won’t go into details of the evening
as they are largely what one would expect of a knitting group:
a group of giddy women, happy to escape their quotidian, conventional lives with a perhaps higher degree of nerdery than one sees in the general population.

i’m not really sure this group is for me.
the number of new mothers and percentage of group members currently at various stages of gestation means the focus of conversation is largely…limited we’ll say.*

there’s also much drinking and
as i’m a rather fastidious knitter,
i don’t really care to drink when i knit
as it affects one’s gauge.

but even if this group is not for me.
knitting is.

and i miss it.

i don’t see how my life
in its current formation
can accommodate this particular hobby,
at least with any kind of regularity.
and please, no one even mention
my poor disused matchless.

but somehow
i think i must.

my goal in life
is to create a life
of which i can be proud.
i’m not sure i’m doing that
if i’m daily denying myself
one of my life’s few joys.


at least i get good coffee on a regular basis.

i’m not sure if anyone’s left out there
(and if you are, do leave a comment; it encourages!)
but if you miss me at all
much of my online life
has moved to instagram.
there’s a lot of coffee art and dyke graffiti,
but if you want to stalk my life,
take a look

until next time, bitches.

*the only credit i’ll demand is for ignoring the woman who explained that she circumcised her son, not for religious or health reasons (spurious enough though those are) but because “everyone else in her family is”. setting aside the fact that she’s apparently seen the genitalia of all her male relatives, the fact that she was willing to mutilate her son for the sake of aesthetic conformity created in me such a violent sense of disgust and repulsion that there is no word i know of in the english language powerful enough to describe it. i later fixed her knitting which, i think, points to my general superiority, if not as a human being, at least in manners.

34 Responses to “not dead”

  1. cauchy09 Says:

    You are a prince.

    That is all.


  2. Lestersmama Says:

    Please do continue – both with the blogging and the knitting. Your perspective is interesting to me and I’m too old for Instagram. (Although I do follow you on Twitter.)

    Has anyone admitted to having the Clockwork? I’d like to show it around England when I go in September.

  3. Lynae Says:

    I miss you!!

  4. Kathy Popoff Says:

    Miss you! Fond thoughts.

  5. Sally at Rivendale Farms Says:

    I’ve missed you here. Very much.

  6. lollyknits Says:

    Followed on Instagram! I love your blog, definitely don’t stop writing. How am I going to get my regular dose of snarky sass otherwise?

  7. Bonnie Says:

    I’m glad you posted! I hope you can find some time for knitting. I count knitting as therapy. I need it for good mental health.

  8. Yarnyoldkim Says:

    Ain’t no fun being the lone swinging dick in that group of women. Conversations about babies and pregnancy and conventional life is a yawn. Let’s talk about food, farts, poop, vaginas, wool, fiber, bad outfits, beards, and men in skirts.

  9. Yarnyoldkim Says:

    correction: ARE boring not IS

  10. astrbear Says:

    You are a generous soul, to fix that woman’s knitting. Blog when the spirit moves you, we’ll be here.

  11. kathibonham Says:

    Even though I am a middle-aged woman, and fit the demographic of most of the yarn store knitting groups in my area, I still don’t feel comfortable going. I never feel like I really fit in. I guess that is the life of an introvert. Rule the world! – From home!

    Pop in and give us a clue on your life whenever you can. It’s the only way we can lurk on you (especially if I don’t use Instagram). Hope all is well.

  12. I also feel uncomfortable in groups where pregnancy, kids and the like are the primary topic of discussion. You are not alone! And you’ve certainly got readers excited to see that you’re back 🙂

  13. Martha Says:

    Ok i must say this. Glad to hear from you. Yes constant baby talk is tiresome…. And share my conversation w my then 15 yo son, uncircumcised, why didn’t I do this when it is so popular still, and I told him when I was his age and realized this was done to babies, under limited physical comfort, I said to myself…I WOULD NEVER LET THIS BARBARIC ACT BE COMPLETED, on my just produced perfect baby boy. And I didn’t. There are those of us out there….

  14. Nancy Paris Says:

    Dear Steven,
    Oh, how I have wondered how you are doing. I hope the school thing is going well. I worry about you in academia.

    Curiously, yesterday when I was with my exercise lady, that song by Crosby, Stills, etc , that starts with “Almost cut my hair . . .” came on and I instantly thought of you. (It was the part about letting your freak flag fly).

    Rest assured that you blew all of the knitting groups minds when you helped that woman out of a knitting jam. They are all thinking how annoying it is that a YOUNG, MAN is such an amazing knitter. (wait. i might be thinking of me)

    I miss you. You hit on so many sore spots. The women who think that everyone cares about their children (not). I’ll stop there because I can sense the bristles starting to stiffen with even that mild statement.

    I’ll try to do Instagram. I gotta go look up quotidian.

  15. eclecticitee Says:

    Welcome back!

  16. Carol Piskoti Says:

    It’s great to see you back. I know how it is to knit with a group of people who knit, but don’t really knit (get what I mean?). My group will do dishcloths forever, but I got them into a KAL that almost killed them and they finally said it was hard, but they learned a lot of new things! They want to KAL something else now and I’m so happy they are out of their box! I also knit with an outstanding knitter ~ so that makes up for it. You have to enjoy who you knit with, otherwise, why go? Keep knitting.

  17. Val Says:

    I don’t do instagram. The blogs are my escape when my little ones are asleep (yes, I’m one of those with kids!) and I’ve miss your humour and creativity. Welcome back!

  18. Sheila Sabin Says:

    Young man, I hope you know that your regular readers do miss your posts. Very much. At the same time, this reader cannot even begin to understand the work load entailed in being a PhD candidate. I do remember that lots of us put side out hobbies when we went to college-whether sports, music, crafts, or other things. There just wasn’t enough time, or so we thought.
    As much as I enjoy your posts, I hope you use whatever spare time you have to knit…You enjoy it so much. You have always knit just wonderfully complicated and beautiful items, at least to me. Because, you see, I came to knitting at a time in my life when I didn’t really have enough time. Enough time to sort out diagrams and complicated knitting instructions, so I make simple things, enjoying it immensely, knowing that one day I will have the time to sit and figure out the hard knitting=the lace, fair isle, etc. Perhaps if you choose something a little less in need to total concentration, you will decide you can still knit? Blocks of a blanket, dishcloths, simple scarves and shawls, socks-things you can pick up and knit on easily when waiting for whatever you wait for-the water to boil for pasta, the bus, your order at a restaurant, when you have office hours for your students. Yes, I dare you to knit while you advise your students!
    As for the group, I hope you won’t judge it based on one visit. We all go to them for ourselves and we often forget the need to welcome the newbies, That girl from hs could be just as shy as you. You might be just what they need to liven them up!
    By the way, I didn’t circumcise my son when he was born. I hope he forgives me.

  19. Hope Says:

    Nice to hear from you. Sometimes you have to make an appt with yourself for the activities you love. Put some time in your calendar for knitting. You won’t regret it.

  20. Gina Says:

    ditto astrbears comment.

  21. Elsa Says:

    I consider one of my greater successes at activism to be the time I dissuaded my coworker from mutilating his son “so they would look like one another.” Although the damage was already done, the fact that you didn’t table-flip her shit is still an impressive display of restraint. And good on you for knitting, even a little. I feel the same way about my spinning wheel.

  22. Audry Says:

    I hope you find a knit group that works better for you. Unless you are in a season of life that involves babies, it’s rather difficult to be around a large group of people who’s conversation only seems to revolve around… well, babies.

  23. Kerry Says:

    So nice to see a post from you! Nice job on fixing the idiots knitting. I think I would have had an accident with a pair of very sharp scissors. I still think parenting is something people should have to qualify for. In NY a fishing license is required but any asshole can have a child. WTF??? Climbing off my soapbox now and hoping to see you post more often!!!

  24. Chancy Says:

    I missed your blogging. And I agree with the sentiment that sometimes you have to force yourself to make time for the things you love otherwise life becomes nothing but work.

  25. bossyfemme Says:

    I’m commenting, for encouragement. I hope you find some knitting time! AND a good knitting group.

  26. Alicia Says:

    Glad to hear that you are still alive. Please keep up the blogging…

  27. Anita Says:

    I check your blog quite often in hopes that you will have posted something. Our lives are completely different and I so enjoy reading about yours. 🙂

  28. Dena Says:

    I’ve missed you!

  29. Sarah Says:

    I’m still here.

    I have a friend at your school, working on her doctorate. I like to pretend that the two of you are friends.

    Keep knitting. For the love of wool, keep knitting!

  30. Evelyne Says:

    As a fellow knitter and academic, I always appreciate the content of your blog. I thank you for what you choose to share.

  31. Bobbie in AK Says:


    It’s so good to see your post! I’m always checking in with your blog. :o)
    No matter how busy you get, I encourage you to not let go of the things that make you happy and sane. I know knitting has saved me a time or two. We miss you!!

  32. woolydaisy Says:

    keep bloggin! love it! and miss you if you were part of our fiber trash girls-what can i say? youd hit the fun meter in a big way! i finally got a a quickie blog post up about the california clockwork visit! better late than never right!

    cheers steven, im off to this years retreat woot!

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