Saturday, September 30, 2006


I really should be writing something with more substance (because honestly, there is plenty of blog fodder over here), but it seems like that would be a bit taxing right now. And I just can't do it.

So instead of giving y'all the silent treatment, let me entertain you instead with an introduction to someone.

I was on my way to grab a quick nosh of Vietnamese Spring Rolls yesterday, when I walked by a shop window and spotted my new friend hanging out with all of his buddies.

His name is Cap.Hook and he's a VooDooBaby. I chose him (in particular) to come with me, because, well...we share a common feature. And it's not that his head is primarilly filled with yarn. Although there is that, too.

It was very difficult not to bring home several of his playmates to keep him company. Especially Heighwei Rob and Melenco. And SuperBoy, well, he definitely needs to be introduced to TheMIG because they have so much in common.

Cap.Hook's tag reads:

El Capitan must be workin' the mojo, because he'd not even been with me a full 24 hours when I'd received a phone call announcing that I'd won a prize in a raffle. It's only a booty of $10 worth of free produce from my local Farmer's Market, but hey...

it's not a bad start ;-)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


It was a hard day, and I'm exhausted.

The videographer phoned yesterday afternoon to ask if I had any questions, and I laid out for her how I was feeling, in basically the same way I had laid it out here yesterday. She was very down to earth, seemed understanding, and she helped me to feel a little less uncomfortable with the process. So that was good.

Still, I tossed and turned all night, and finally just got out of bed at 5:14am with jangly nerves, a desire to wash dishes, annnnnd (you fiber freaks will love this) a burning need to hide some of the stash.

I know. It was definitely a Yarn Harlot "the muggles will never understand" kind of moment. But there I was, at 5:27am, looking around my house thinking, "Holy crap. I'm a total knitting knerd. And they are soooo not gonna get it."

I keep a fair amount of yarn and works in progress displayed around the house in open baskets. It inspires me just to have it about. It's pretty and colorful and it takes the place of the flowers that I can't always afford to buy (only to just watch them wilt and die anyhow...yarn doesn't just blossoms into something more beautiful....hopefully). Besides, I have no choice but to display it. I don't have closet space. LOL

So you see, yarn isn't really "stash" in my house. It's more like home decor.

And this moring, before the sun even had a chance to come up, there I was. Dashing about hiding it. Under the bed (where, not so oddly enough, there is more yarn hiding in plastic bins). Because I could not possibly have some non-understanding/non-knitting person come in here and see the yarn artfully arranged about the house and then deem me some sort of freak (even though we all know I'm a freak anyhow, and even though we also all know for a fact that there are larger stashes out there than mine, and yours might be one of them---hahaha).

and Rabbitch, trolling through your old posts looking for your stash photos brought me to tears laughing just now, so thank you...I mean, vole wang brulee...lordy LOL..thanks. I hope I can one day make it up to you one day even with just a wee little chuckle

Anyhow...the back to the videographer. She showed at 6:45am, and off we went. I completed more tasks than I would normally put together in a single day, and I rested less in between them than I normally would, too. But I really wasn't in the mood to make a second day out of this if I could help it. It was just draining. I was already running on fumes sleep-wise, I was doing more stuff that usual, and I was also spending a whole lot of energy trying to not tap into the stressful undercurrent running through me. I was pretty sure that if I allowed that to happen that I would just emote all over the place and crumple up into some weeping heep. Which I did not do. Which was good. But it ended up being like the proverbial finger stuck in the damn. And once the video lady left, the finger unfortunately got pulled out during a miscommunication with TheMIG over the phone. So I broke down into weeping heep that emotionally vomitted all over him instead...which was not good. I suck. And He's still wonderful enough to be on his way over over here and give me hugs and comfort anyhow. Not sure how the hell I got so lucky to have Him in my life...but I'm a thankful girl.

Thanks for all the well wishes yesterday peoples, and I'll be back soon...but I might need a day or two to recover.

Monday, September 25, 2006

what i'd really rather be doing today...but can't...and why

* Replying to the comments you guys have been leaving for the past week or so (please know that I read them, I love them, and that you guys have brought me LOTS of smiles).

* Blogging: Posting for you about yesterday's fun at the Folsom Street Fair; showing some new yarn porn, and my knitting progress; writing about what's been eating at me lately, since now I'm a bit more removed from things and can write about it without it sounding so pity-pot-ish; writing about some interesting observations about how my life and my knitting parallel each other.

* Actually doing the knitting thing.

* I should stop listing...because this list could go on forever. Honestly I'd rather be doing anything else today than what I have to do.

Today I have to get ready for tomorrow.

I have some legal action pending as the result of my accident. Mediation has been bumped forward to late November. One of the things my attorney has been pushing for is a video of me that would somehow be used for the mediation and/or trial. What he wants is a "Day in the Life of TheAmpuT" video to filmed, which he believes would be helpful for the case.

Tomorrow someone is supposed to come over at the crack of dawn and follow me through my daily routine.

It's totally wigging me out.

Most of the aforementioned pity-pot crap is linked to my not being satisfied with where my life is currently. Particularly (but not soley) the state of my home life. I am very uncomfortable with TheShanty I live in over here. The more time goes by (with decreased abilites for things like yard-work and cleaning a home that is primarily not accessable), the more I watch my home life become white-trash (and I hate that term, but I can't come up with anything else at the moment, and I hate that it feels so fitting, which is why I can't think of any other decriptive). There was a time when I could hire some help to do the things I couldn't do. But those days are long gone, and my fiscal life no longer supports that.

Ask my friends how long it's been since they've actually come to my home as opposed to meeting me for coffee somewhere. I don't even feel comfortable having friends visit, let alone having some stranger come over to capture my life as a Kodak Moment, one which will potentially be used to judge me. Literally.

Save your typing, because I have already had it explained to me many times over that this is exactly what needs to be captured on film....what things have shifted for me in the last couple of years. That I should not be scrambling to get things in order for tomorrow's visit. That I should be showing exactly what my life has become. As TheMIG said (and I might be paraphrasing), "Every appearance of Stuart Little is worth another million." LOLOL

This is very hard for me to do. And that's an understatement. It is completely anxiety inducing.

So now today I need to scramble and do enough around here so that I don't feel as ashamed of my life as I actually am, but I need to leave just enough to show the reality that I AM ashamed of my life and why. It's pretty demented.

And it's exactly why I'd rather be uploading pictures of skin+leather from yesterday's Folsom Street Fair**.
Far more enjoyable, I ass-ure you.

**ummm, I might not go surfing that link if I had kidlets in the room or modest sensibilites ;-)

Sunday, September 24, 2006


I went to bed last night thinking about yesterday's blog post, and said to myself, "Oh, lordy. I've done it again. They're gonna read that and think I'm serious." We've had this happen before. Where the twisted sense of humor that spurts so freely from my mouth never quite oozes out onto the written page in quite the same way.

I woke up this morning dreading the comments and emails I realized I might have inspired...ones angry with me for doubting god or my faith and/or seeking to inspire. I was happy to see that Sara and the PurloinedLetter got it (yay), but let me clarify once more for any of you that are new here and aren't into surfing back into archives:

b) but I'm a little strange
c) does it help you to understand if I explain again that I make and wear shirts that say things like "25% off!" and "lucky for me he's an ass man"?
d) I'm not a professional writer, and I don't always capture irony or sarcasm well (but I am a professional chef and I make a mean steak au poivre).
e) I am not very religious, but I AM deeply spiritual, and I DO believe that my physical circumstances are a divined part of my path. I'm not quite sure what this all means yet, though. Oh, and hey...if you are listening up there? A little insight prior to being on the death-bed with my retrospect would be grand :-)

Saturday, September 23, 2006

drumroll please

Sorry I didn't get to do the drawing last last night, but I was somewhere special! Ms.Erin has a special "in", and took MyFk and I to see Savion Glover perform "Classic Savion" at Zellerbach (a treat of the kind we aren't normally able to afford, as of late). The show was great, and the company was even better. Thank You!! *kiss kiss*

So the raffle. MyFK did the honors. And the winner is....

Wheelchair Dancer! Send me an email girlie.
And thanks to all who entered :-)

more amazing links.

The parent website was sniffed out by TheMIG, but it was your Resident Stumpmeister here who spotted the link to:

"Why God Won't Heal Amputees <--The Most Important Question We Can Ask About God"

Here's a sampling:

* It is not that God sometimes answers the prayers of amputees, and sometimes does not. Instead, in this situation there is a very clear line. God never answers the prayers of amputees. It would appear, to an unbiased observer, that God is singling out amputees and purposefully ignoring them.

* The reason God cures thousands of cancers, infections, etc. each day but never intervenes with amputees is because it is not God's will to do that. It is not part of God's plan. This explanation seems a little odd. Amputees really do seem to be getting the short end of God's plan if this is the case.

*...but I think we can agree that there is something very odd about the way that our perfect, all-loving God treats amputees. No matter how many people pray. No matter how sincere those people are. No matter how much they believe. No matter how devout and deserving the recipient. Nothing happens when we pray for amputated limbs. God never regenerates lost limbs through prayer....

Yah, God.

It's not like you don't have the limb regeneration thing figured out. MyFK's gecko is growing a new tail, and you've decided to bless starfish with the same talent.

Whazzup wit dat??

Friday, September 22, 2006

from today's in-box

We Have a Sexy New Web Site
We're Inviting You Over!!

Fearless!! Fun!! Fabulous!!
Handknitting Patterns!!

Catarina Bonet Designs

If you have been missing the blog You Knit What?? as much as I have, and would like to bask in the glow of a warm sentimental yourself a favor.

Click, and go get yer fug.

me, that's who!

From one of my absolute favorite little corners of the internet, explodingdog :

who needs legs?

I think that might even be me back there in the green shirt. Sort of wanting a leg but kind of hiding at the same time.

There's been quite an absence of prosthetic talk around here...have you noticed? Last I wrote of it, I'd been detailing my trials and tribulations regarding the new socket, and the non-matching parts, remember?

I don't think I've written a thing about my prosthesis since.
There's been nothing to report.
I've hardly worn the leg.
It's been kind of standing there propped up in a corner of the bedroom serving no purpose whatsoever. It's not even been made useful as a coat rack.

After I got that new socket back in May, every time I put the leg on, I broke out in this odd looking rash that made my residual limb look polka-dotted. And if I walked around long enough (like 3-4 hours), it would create an open sore (sorry, don't mean to gross you out) on my bumm that took at least a week to heal before I was able to wear the leg again and comfortably be able to bear weight on it.

This is not my prosthetist's fault. Sockets always need a little tweaking, and he's totally up for fixing things when they aren't quite right. But I never called him. I decided that I didn't have time to deal with any of this crap over the summer with all of the hours of rehearsals and performing and touring, especially since I dance without the prosthesis anyhow. But I promised myself I'd get things sorted out when the run of the show was over. I think I returned from touring around August 8th or something, and hellooooo, we're now nearing the end of September and up until a few days ago, I still hadn't done a thing.

You see, it is just way too easy for me to get by without my prosthesis.
I don't miss her at all.
Quite frankly, she is a pain in the ass (literally), and I have had way too much time away from her to know that although she is nice to have around, she is not entirely neccessary.
But she's a pricey little princess to be left sitting in the corner collecting dust, and honestly, I really would like to make things with her work out. Even if I don't end up using her all day every day, it would be grand to have her as another mobility option, say for things like "swabbing the decks with me peg leg" (bwahaha, Sara). I mean, just close your eyes and try to picture me mopping the kitchen floor in a wheelchair leaving little tire track doughnuts everywhere. Kinda pointless, eh? Anyhow, at the very least, she should at least make herself show that she's worth her $30K pricetag (I know, don't choke).

And let us not forget the other very important reason to wear the leg. I have been working on hand-knit socks with custom dyed sock yarn gifted to me to match my fake leg, remember!

That photo was taken yesterday when I dropped MyFK off at school. See??!! How cute is that!! I have an ensemble! The leg at least needs to be worn as an accessory to the socks and the scarf, no??

Ok, so here's bringing things up to speed. I put on the leg for the first time in awhile on Wednesday. I wore the leg that night for maybe 3-1/2 hours, most of which was spent just sitting at Stitch-N-Bitch. I wore it again yesterday for mabye a total of 4 hours, with walking time maybe being a total of 20-25 minutes. I now have the spots on my leg and the sore on my butt, and that was my plan...'cuz the leg doc really needs to see this. I have an appointment with him in an hour...and actually....I gotta go.

Make me tell you how it went, because if you don't hear back about it, it does not mean that all is well and good and quiet on the western front.

It means that the princess is back in the corner wearing a dunce cap.

Thanks all for the blogiversary wishes! I don't have the time to respond to all of them individually, but they did give me warm fuzzies, and the pirate ones just cracked me up.

Drawing tonight at 8pm Pacific, so get your name in there if you still want to ;-)

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


It was not so very long ago that I had to ask TheMIG what a blog was.
Because I didn’t know.
And now here I am, 1-year and some 150-or-so posts later.

~we shall now commence with the celebrating~

And in honor of International Talk Like A Pirate Day (thanks Inky for the heads up LOL):
‘Tis me blogiversary.
We be celebratin.
'Send me yer good wishes an' I'll put yer name in a hat, matey.

Thar be one prize an' one winner.

Here’s the deal:
Leave a comment. Please note that "a comment" is not plural. Don't make me regret this.
Your name will go into a hat. Or something hat-esque.
Drawing on Friday.
One lucky winner.

The prize? First, you will win something that is not for you. I will make a small monetary donation (in your name or anonymously) to support the thing that you keep telling yourself you know you should be contributing to...and then you don't (ie your favorite world cause, a pbs station, a podcast you love, your favorite local get the idea).

Once we get that taken care of, then I'll send you a little "something-something" for yourself. I can't say exactly what that is until I see who wins. People come to this blog for different reasons. If you are here for the gimpin' it might be an AmpuTeeHee shirt...if you're here for the knittin', maybe some yarn...or maybe I'll send a book you've been coveting...see what I mean?

Ok. Go.

Monday, September 18, 2006

trigger finger

Ha. The blogiversary is not today, Monday.
It's the 19th. Tomorrow.

Friday, September 15, 2006

by jove, i think she's got it

Not me. I aint got it. Kerry's got it.
Kerry read my earlier plight about not wanting to knit StrangeLittleMama's gorgeous gifted sock yarn into something girlie frou-frou. Remember the ruffles?

It IS very pretty, I know...but I wanted something with some bite. Something with some sharp angles and a punk-rock feel to it. Kerry recommended Jaywalkers.

I'd seen the pattern before, and I'd even seen a pair knit up, but I thought I remembered reports that the fabric didn't have much stretch, so I bypassed the pattern. I was thinking the socks would get baggy and droopy when I wore them on the leg with the prosthesis.

Boy, what a mistake to wait so long before trying.

Now THAT'S what I'm talkin'bout!!
EXACTLY what I was looking for, and it seems to have plenty of stretch. I'm loving it.

Thanks Kerry!!

I also started TheMIG's socks in the olive Trekking XXL. I gave up on the tubular cast-on, though. Well, I wouldn't say that I totally gave up. I was able to do the tubular cast-on (in the round, and into a 2x2 rib) while practicing with larger yarn and size US#6 needles. But as soon as I tried to do it with sock yarn and US#1's (ie: thread with toothpicks), I caved in.

I'm sure that attempting the actual tubular cast-on for the sock at 11pm when I was so tired I couldn't even see straight probably didn't really help matters much. But whatever.

Here it is. Regular ol' vanilla sock. And I'm loving the yarn.


I have been a very busy girl this week.

I'd been taking a big dump on the pity-pot, when along came anxiety and depression to hand me the toilet paper. Once I saw them coming my way, I figured I'd better shit-or-get-off-the-pot, because nothing good comes when those two are around together.

So I got busy (but only while still crying over the poopy stuff).

This week I:

* Wrote the letter to Walter Reed Military Hospital to start the wheels turning for "Single Socks for Soldiers" (thanks Mouse for the name). If they accept, this will be a program where knitters can donate their single socks to amputee vets. Full pairs will be welcome as some amputees like to play dress up with their fake legs, and I'm willing to collect gloves and mittens, too.

* I rejoined LITA (Love Is The Answer), and organization that matches volunteers up with a friend who is in a convelescent hospital that needs a visitor. It's a one-on-one relationship, and you visit weekly. I had a friend back in my early 20's until she passed. I'm meeting with the director next week to get a new buddy.

* I checked out my options with the disability department to see if I am eligible for funding to use towards vocational rehabiliation. I am pouring over the paperwork whilst happily knitting socks. It looks promising.

* I went and applied for a card from the library a few cities much larger than the what's available in my neighborhood. I checked out books on cd to listen to while knitting, some new middle eastern music that I might use when I teach bellydance class or perform, and some knitting books, including A History of Handknitting which I have been wanting to flip through for a very long time.

My one year blog-iversary is Monday.
Stay tuned. I'm cooking up something special ;-)

Monday, September 11, 2006

things to make you smile on an otherwise somber day

I know that on this anniversary I should be offering, at the very least, a moment of silence here on my blog, but that won't happen for two reasons.

First, because I've decided to take back this day for my (blogless) friend Lisa as it is her birthday and she is older than 5.

Second, because I can never stop babbling when I'm sad (it's a nervous habit), so I might as well just let it all out right here. Perhaps in the process, one of us will get a giggle and it will lighten up our day a bit.

Hot Dawg.

This dude was trying to beat the heat on Main Street at the Harlot's book signing.

There is a menagerie living at Shanty de AmpuT (now, really...I can't honestly be calling it Chez AmpuT or Hacienda de AmpuT...that would not be accurate). Anyhow, this tiny abode is occupied by: two humans, two dogs, one cat, one gecko, and up to forty crickets (for the gecko).

And lately we've had some visitors.

We have racoons come at night, we had a snake in the yard a couple of weeks ago, and last Friday I got (blurry--he's fast) pictures of our newest tribe member, Stuart Little:

Stuart likes dog food. Just the perfect yummy morsel.
You'd think the snake or the cat would have gotten to Stuart before I got him with my camera. I think they are all in cahouts.

This is part of the clan at TheMIG's Maisonette. Lately TheMIG's been coming home at night, opening the doors to air the place out, and this little dude...

...just strolls right in and helps himself to cat food. That's a pic of him outside right after getting the boot.

I think he's cute. TheMIG says he's ugly and looks like a big rat. But he's owned rats before. So I'm not sure what that means.

More photos from Harlot Day. At the yarn shop I fell in love with these hand-turned wooded needle cases.

Each one was a unique in shape, and there were silver or goldtone options. Of course, I cut off the label in the photo, so I can't recall who made them. But that's cool, because if I ever have the dough to spring for one, I'd like to buy it from the store to support them anyhow.

Ok, so the best part of the packaging was the back label.

A ladder???? This seems something like Engrish, only from what I could tell, it's made in the USA.
So what does one call that?

Here's what I knit for myself while hanging out at the booksigning:

One should probably show up at a Harlot event with a sock to work on, but I have no socks on the needles right now *gasp!*. Instead I brought along the lovely celery colored yarn Rebecca had sent me for the Secret Pal swap, and paired it with some companion off-white I had picked up from Skein Lane at a discount (they are closing). Then I made this simple cowl. Simple simple. Like really simple. Simple so that I could pay full attention to Stephanie and not screw anything up.

I'm going to have to title this, "Cowl-Scowl in Green, With Splotchy Red Eyes". Yesterday sucked, and I'm not sure if I'll ever write about it because today is a bit better, and I'm not sure I want to revisit it. But let's for now just advise y'all that I am definitely having a mini-depression.

ChicKnits Cowl
Yarn: Debbie Bliss, Alpaca Silk, 1 skein each colors #25007 and #25002
Needles: Denise Circulars, US#8
Pattern: My Favorite Cowl, Chic Knits
Modifications: I made it two-tone.

I'm on a mission right now to knit things to keep me warm this winter. I am determined to do anything I can to keep my energy bill below the $200 a month it was last year. That being my goal, I'm knitting up stuff to keep me cozy. Stumpwarmers (in progress, btw), fingerless gloves, hats and then things for the neck and shoulders that might work better than scarves and shawls. I love scarves, but I hate when I get tangled up in them or when they get wet when I'm doing housework or washing dishes. Which isn't often. But I want to be warm when I do it.

Anyhow, so the cowl concept is great. I'm thinking about making something like a Loopy Velez Cowl from Stitch N Bitch, too.

The cowl photos were taken before I blocked it, which I've just done because it was curling up way too much. It's drying now. And I have enough leftover yarn to make a hat too, which is about halfway done right now.

This yarn is so soft, it's makes me giddy...

Comments on Comments:

Mouse writes: The first thing that cracked me up though is what Muggles must have thought of the sign that says "Harlot here today" and then all of you sitting there waiting for "the Harlot" to talk.
Ya' know, I hadn't even thought of that! Even funnier to ponder is what the City of Los Altos must have said to the store owner when she applied for permits to have a Harlot give a public speech. Hahaha.
On that note, the owner mentioned that the city required her to by a $1 million insurance policy to cover the event. Like ya' never know if someone is going to trip and fall on their pointy sticks or if someone is going to get knocked down wrestling for sock yarn LOL.

John emails: I forgot to ask in my earlier comment. Did you get to hold the sock?
No. Although I'm sure I could have if I asked (she seemed like a very accommodating proof that knitting definitely fosters patience). If you look in one of the photos, you can see The Sock's blue dpn's sticking out next to a beer, and I'm pretty sure that's her current shawl on the table in front of me. I was humbled in her presence and fondled nothing. I didn't even tell her that I had a blog or that I'm a huge fan, so there will be no honorable mention. When I realized it was 8:30pm and that there were 11 more waves of people behind me, and that they were estimating each wave to be 20-30 minutes...well, like I said...I felt like I'd already used up my time with the two books to be signed. I just kinda got in and out.

Last but not least:

I caught a bit of the Do It Yourself Network's show Knitty Gritty this morning, and they had on designer MK Carroll (remember the lady of the knitted womb?). MK showed how to make a sushi toilet paper roll cover with a shushi-mat tank cover. Cuuuuute....



.....while looking up the womb link, I found out
The Fall '06 issue of KNITTY IS UP!

SOooooo now I gotta go LOL..........

Sunday, September 10, 2006


It's now 25 hours Post-Harlot and I have no idea where my BlogFairy is hiding out. I need her. She helps me write. Maybe she stayed at the book signing. If you see her, please tell her that I'm stuck-on-stupid over here, and to get her butt back home. Meanwhile, I'll try to keep my prattling to a minimum as I share a photo shoot of yesterday's visitation by the lovely Yarn Harlot.

I said it in person to them, but I'll say it again: Thank you Full Thread Ahead for hosting! I know what it takes to pull off a large event. Been there. Done that. It's a lot of work, and ya' did gooood.

The event was fun and organized. (Queen) Hollis, the store owner, was an absolute treat and a fine example of what it takes to be a business owner (and why I will probably never be one). Hollis seemed unflappable. I'd have been a bitchy stress-bucket. Her family and friends were helping, and her staff seemed wonderful, too.

The store carried some really wonderful items I'd never seen before...books, gadgets, handcrafted shawl pins, and a yarn line I'd never seen before called Cherry Tree Hill, which I fondled lovingly forever. It was gorgeous. If I wasn't already broke when I got there, I would have been by the time I left. I made it out of there for under $10 with a new pair of dpn's for socks, and a pair of US#17 cherry wood needles that were marked down to three bucks.

Here's a partial photo of the tribe. I haven't figured out the wide-angle/panorama option on my camera yet, but we were spread farther and wider and several people were waiting in the shade. There was an estimated 350 people there. It actually was the parking lot that was blocked off for the event, not the whole street. Apparently it would have cost more in permits for a full street closure...but the parking lot worked out great. Hollis said the City of Los Altos was very supportive and that she'd love to do events like this again.

So many people. So. Many. Bloggers.
There were name tags available that said, "Hi My Blog is..." and I was blown away by how many there were! I wanted to run around read all the name tags, but it seemed like an awkward and goofy thing to do. I did recognize a couple of names that I passed by, but I had wished there was some sort of roster of all the url's so I could then stay up surfin' and exercising my clicker-finger all night.

I also ran into Rita, another amputee knitter. I shouted out that we were a matching set, but she decided we weren't since we're both missing the same leg. Then she asked me if I was the "TeeHee" amputee, and said that she had sent me an email but I never responded (which sent me into deep reflection and has consequently caused me to spring into action, btw...because there are SEVERAL of you out there I owe replies to).

Anyhow, let me tell you how this shin-dig was set up, You could show up anytime after 2pm to get a pass for the book signing. Then you could leave, and come back at 4:00 to grab a chair/mark your territory. Stephanie would talk from 5:30-6:30, book signing afterwards and if you had a high number, you could leave between the talk and the singing. This made for a lot of time to stroll downtown. And eat. And sit. And knit. And eat again. And chat. And shop...which is all fine by me....but it made a lot of time for TheMIG to read his new physics book.

That's right. TheMIG came along. I was surprised he wanted to come...I'm (pretty sure) I gave him an accurate description of the timeline plus what he was in for (this would be like me going to some hi-tech convention only worse...if I was at a tech convention, nobody would talk to me and the last thing I'd be getting is people thinking I was so cute and sweet for being there). But along he came. And he sat through Stephanie's speech and laughed quite a few times, because could you not. Knitter or muggle, this woman is just plain funny. I think she even cracked herself up a few times.

Anyhow, when it came to book signing time, I was to be in the 4th out of 15 waves, with 30 people per wave...gah! I got to her around 8:30, so she must have been there a loooong time. I don't know how she does it. I asked her if her right arm was bigger than her left and she told me, "Not yet," in a tone that I could never begin to describe but had me cracking up.

As soon as I sat next to her and thought about how tired she must be (I mean, just read her blog...she's a jet setter in a time warp), I felt like a twit for having brought not one, but two books up for her to sign (and I wasn't the only one who did that, either). I left the store feeling very poopy about that. But then I got into the car, and I opened the books to see what she had written, and in the second book that she'd signed for me it read:

To [TheAmpuT]~

Obsesssion is normal.

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

Friday, September 08, 2006

harlot hits california

Alrighty...who else but me is making the pilgrimage to The Yarn Harlot 's book signing tomorrow at Full Thread Ahead ?

I know someone will be there, because the hosts announced in a recent email:
We'll begin setting up seating at 3:30 pm (when the city lets us close the street)

Yes. That says: close the street.
Apparently the rsvp's first outgrew store capacity. Next, I believe, the owners obtained permission from the city to use the store parking lot as a larger event space. But now it would appear that they are closing down the whole street. LOL

And yet, I haven't talke to one East Bay knitter that is trekking over there.

If you are going, and are interested in carpooling or hooking up to chat once we get there, pop me an email. Or just look for me. Normally I'd say, "I'll be the one in the t-shirt that says....(blahblahblah)," but really. We all know I have other identifying features. Just look. You'll find me ;-)

Thursday, September 07, 2006

a calm in the storm

Steve Irwin is no longer on the planet and Storm got the boot from RockstarSupernova. Back to being bummed.

Ok. I didn't think she'd actually win. Based on the original Supernova tunes I've heard so far (which I haven't really cared for, and no I'm not just saying that because I'm a sore sport), they probably need a different front person. Storm is awesome, but she probably would not have been the best fit. Her stage presence has the potential to swallow up the whole damn band, and she's probably not "Ladylike" enough for Mr.Gilbey Clark anyhow. I have to give her kudos for being highly professional throughout the entire competition. See?...even bad girls can be good ;-)
Even though I wasn't sure she'd win, I DID think she'd at least make it to the final four/last week/final show and that I'd at least have a really good reason to follow the series through to the end. Now I don't care. My run with prime time is over.

Although I might have to tune in again just to see if Dilana does something different to pimp up her crutches next week. She tore a calf muscles and she went on stage with crutches that were gussied up with fake flowers. Crafty.

I'm prone to monthly migraines, and today is my day. Staring at the screen will not improve the situation. I'm outta here.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

ok, so maybe i'm bi-polar

The pendulum has swung kiddies, and where I was once feeling poopy, I am now totally giddy.

Last night's Rockstar Supernova has effectively (momentarily) lifted me out of my funk.

Yeah, yeah. Shut up. I watch Rockstar Supernova (it's something I've been too embarrassed to admit to, but screw it).

Now, listen. I don't normally watch "that kind" of televison. Yes, I DO watch TV....PBS, Nova, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, stand-up comedy, The Discovery Channel, The Independent Film Channel....those are all big time faves over here. But I most definitely do NOT watch reality tv shows or contest type programs like this. Ever. Fine for you, if you do. But I don't.

Until this one.

But I have two good reasons....

One, there is a contestant on the show that I've been a fan of for about 5 years now. Her name is Storm, and she started off in San Francisco as the front woman in the band "Storm & HDM" ("Storm and Her Dirty Mouth"....gotta love that). The band had a split, and she moved to Portland. Her new band is "The Balls."** They come back to play in the SF Bay Area regularly, and I have gone every chance I could swing it, because she ROCKS. I have all the cd's and mp3's, and even a Balls t-shirt, too. See? Total groupie LOL.

Storm is this rockin' 6-foot tall blonde bombshell with a hard edge and an awesome vocal range. Her band has an impressively twisted way of mashing up classics (for example, they mashed Iron Butterfly's "InAGaddaDaVida" with Abba's "Take a Chance on Me," and voila--AbbaGaddaDaVida). She's also got some cool original tunes (go here and check out anything..."I Want You To Die" is actually a personal favorite of mine, good for a serious giggle if you have a warped sense of humor. I sure do.)

Storm has had a slow start on the TV show, in my opinion. She normally has an impressively diverse (but often raunchy and risque) stage presence, so most of her personality has not quite made an appearance on prime-time. It's ummm...probably not suitable for younger audiences *giggle*. I think she's been figuring out how to be a little bit more PG-13 and still be herself.

She's had a few rough weeks on the show because she's been getting doled out songs to cover that she can't quite get her "Storm Stink" all over. But the last few shows she's been getting tunes that she can sink her teeth into, and last night she performed an original.

Anyhow, I've been watching her for weeks now on the boob-tube, and damn...she is KICKING ASS.

As a huge fan, I'm so excited for her. Even if she doesn't get the gig with Supernova, she's totally getting a ton of publicity out of this, so WooHoo!

Except now I probably wont be able to ever see her again for $10 in a dive bar. Drag.

**The Balls website has most of it's content temporarily removed. Supernova contest rules. But I swear she doesn't always look like last night's strung out leftovers (only sometimes! *grin*. And aint we all been there? If not, you missed a party..) There's no photo gallery up right now to showcase her different "sides." Over the years I've seen her pull off both pig-tails and ball gowns, and just about everything in between. My kind of gal ;-)

The second reason that watching this has been so much fun is that MyFK, who's quite the rocker, has totally been tracking the series, too (although now that school is back in session, he has to watch it the next day and can't vote. poo.) Anyhow, since the contestants perform cover tunes each week, MyFK has been very interested in hearing the originals so that he can compare. And I have almost all of them.

(that is only a small portion of the wall o'music here)

For weeks now, our house has been filled with The Beatles, Hendrix, David Bowie, Nirvana, Johnny Cash, TheWho, Queen, Stone Temple Pilots, Aerosmith, Blondie, The Pretenders, The Cars, The Talking Heads, Jeff Buckley....the list goes on and on. We've also busted out the originating bands of Supernova and Rockstar's host, Dave we've also had a few rounds of Motley Crue, Jane's Addiction, Guns 'N Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Heart (no requests for Metallica yet for some reason. Sorry Jason). I know it's the not the normal "family listening hour," but I'm pretty glad I'm not being asked to tune in Radio Disney (and I'd do it if I had to, but I'd probably have lock-jaw from gritting my teeth too much).

Every once in awhile my little music enthusiast shuts his door and plays "rock star" in his room, belting it out really loud, thinking I can't hear him (but I can, and it's damn cute...he'd probably kill me if I recorded him LOL).

In a week or two my little rocker is starting electric guitar lessons. His dad is setting him up to take classes with this dude, who teaches many a kidlet here in the Bay Area.

After visiting his website, I was thinking, "Holy Crap, this sure does seem like overkill." But I've asked around, read some parent boards, and actually the guy is supposed to be great with kids. MyFK has a friend about the same age who has been taking classes, and so he tagged along to check a lesson out. He's excited.

Last night I read this article from Guitar Player Magazine, and think I understand now why this instructor must be so great with kids. Things like, "There’s no 'I think you can'....[it's] 'Oh yes you will, and here we go.' Encouraging to the last, the very personable Doppler is entirely confident of your success, and he addresses you like you’re a valued guest in his studio—think Mr. Rogers with a half-stack."

Mr.Rogers with a half-stack. I'm down with that.

Now someone pass me the earplugs, please.

it's a rambler...

Oooooooh this post is way. too. long. (what else is new)
So here's an index: Photo Gallery, More Crikey Feelings, Fiber Goodies, the Drop Spindle Class, my weekend Swatch-O-Rama, Swag in My Mailbox, and Googleness.
Take whatcha want...leave the rest.

Photo Gallery: Frozen Beer Sculpture

Neato, but....Ooops.

Crikey (part 2)

I couldn't say much more than that yesterday. I was too shocked and full of grief.

M-H, reader from Australia, commented about Steve Irwin being a primary representation of her country...and I do understand your point, M-H. I've known a few Australians in my time, and you are correct--none of them were like Irwin, and none of them told me they were going to throw a couple of shrimp on the barb-ee, either (although one did call me a Shiela). My point though, is that I never found myself watching The Crocodile Hunter and then proclaiming all Aussies to be wired-up daredevils (Australian Rules Football had already done that for me...hahaha).

Seriously, tell you the truth, in the beginning, I couldn't even stand watching The Crocodile Hunter. I found him annoyingly hyper and his antics totally insane. But MyFK was really into his show (a reptile freak lives here en Mi Casa), the show was educational and engaging, and at least Irwin wasn't advocating that kids go "try this at home." So I watched along with my kid. And I watched episode after episode of him rescuing animals out of barbed wire fences and such....and episodes where I learned something about conservation efforts and endangered species...episodes about the passing of his own doggie that he'd had for so many years...episodes about the birth of his kids...

...and I ended up becoming really quite fond of the guy.

I'm just very sad about the news, and I'm really feeling it for his wife and kids. When Kurt Cobain knocked himself off, I was angry for a week. When Fred Astaire died, I cried for four days. Steve Irwin? I'm just flat out heartsick about it. And I think it might last awhile.
Such a loss.

And There Is No Good Segue

Fiber Gift

Ms. Erin, my bud and organizer of our Local SnB brought along some presents for me last week.... some washed fleece, a bit of camel/alpaca blend to play with, and some Blue Face Leicester top that she dyed a gorgeous purple.

Thank you!! It will go to good use mama, because yesterday I went to...

The Spinning Class

So I went to that "Intro to Spinning" class yesterday. It was only an hour long, and I still haven't quite decided if I had a good time or not yet. I think I did. Mostly.
What I can tell you for sure, is:

a) The owner/instructor was very skilled at teaching the beginning steps. She was relaxed, knowledgeable, understandable and entertaining.

b) I left having enough informtion to be able to spin a single (or at least be able to practice that at home for awhile).

(lookeee Rebecca, that's your wool!!)

c) I did not get a good sense of what to do next with the singles. There was brief mention that somehow the yarn must come off the spindle and that something must be done to set the yarn. I asked about plying and was told that not everything could be taught in 1 hour (fair enough) and that these and other topics were discussed in on-going classes (also fair enough). Except the on-going classes seem to be (I might be wrong) geared more towards spinning with a wheel and I refuse to be sucked in. Yet.

d) I felt very uncomfortable with the owner's method of up-selling at the end of the class. Not the presence of the upselling itself...I was fully prepared for that, and I'm not insulted by that. She is a business woman. No sweat. She had a suggested shopping list of the class spindle ($16), a book ($10), and (at least $10 worth) of fiber (and hey, feel free to buy more). But the suggestion came along with a sales pitch that was something pretty close to,"....and it's a really good spindle. It's only $16. Every once in awhile I have someone come in here for the class, and they say they can't even afford to buy the spindle right away. I mean really *tsk tsk*, I just don't get it. What are they DOING here then?"

Hmmmm. Wellllll....taking the class they just paid for maybe??
Maybe they decided that after the little taste they got, that the spindle really isn't for them? Maybe they already have the supplies at home (like I do--all of them)? Or maybe, just maybe, they really CAN'T afford it right now? I know I don't always have $16 to spend on my hobbies (sad, but true). But no need to make me feel like shit about it (think a button of mine got pushed? sheesh).

Anyhow, I had budgeted in $20 of fun-money for myself when I registered for the class a few weeks ago, so that I could buy something if I wanted to...and about mid-class (before the pitch) I decided I wanted to buy the spindle that I was working with. I could tell that the class spindle was much easier for me to work with than the spindle I had at home.

Except by the end of the class I felt like an insulted pauper, and I didn't really want to spend my money there.

And yet, I bought the spindle from her anyhow. *sigh*
Why? Well, because in the 1 hour I was there, I did learn at least one thing for sure:
Spinning is like crack.
And I had. to. have. that. spindle.
Every time I tried to walk out without it, I started twitching.
I got it home and found myself spinning way past midnight,like a frickin' addict doing the, "Oh....just one more!" thing.

Gah. I've been bitten.
Enough to even let go of my scruples. Enough to lose my backbone. I am weak. Spinning is evil.


I didn't do a whole lot of actual project knitting this weekend. I swatched.

Yes, I actually DO swatch. And I usually wash the swatch, too. No, I'm not some retentive nutjob. I usually hate prepwork of any kind. My home is lacking a fresh coat of paint because I can't stand the drudgery of prepping the walls.

I swatch because nothing pisses me off more than a finished item that gets stuffed in a drawer because I was a slacker and didn't take the time to simply check guage first. Yes, it is the process part of knitting that brings me the most joy...and yes, I could rip out the ill-fitting garment and re-knit it (wheee! more knitting time!!!). But, Thank you. I also happen to be part product oreiented knitter. Achieving a poor fit at the end of my "process" pisses me off enough to spoil the peace I gained during the knitting. Yes, buddhist monks make gorgeous sand mandalas and at the end, blow them's a lesson in impermanence. But I assure you, I would not be feeling very spiritual if I were to go to the sweater shelf and have unworn handknits sneering back at me.

So. I swatch.

First I worked up the Albequeque Sky yarn gifted to me from Carole, aka StrangeLittleMama. I've swatched many many times and still don't quite have what I want. I'm wanting to showcase the self-stripy-ness she dyed into this skein, so I've been playing with different types of chevron patterns. I did three swatches, and thought I settled on the "Ridged Fan" (pulled from Sensational Knitted Socks). I cast-on, and it looks really pretty...

...but it's not what I wan't. It's a wee bit too girly for the statement I want to make with this yarn. This yarn is feeling too punk rock for frou-frou. I'm going to try again with a chevron that is more zig-zaggy and angular.

Next, I swatched my first skein of Trekking XXL, destined to be BoySocks for TheMIG (he's been asking for something office suitable). It took 3 different needle sizes to get the fabric that I wanted. They will be plain ol' stockinette socks, except I want to try a tubular cast on for these...and I'm still figuring out how to do that. I'm going to test it out on some remnant yarn this evening.

And last but not least, I swatched for my project in the Black Bunny Hop.

Yup, I've joined a KAL (Knit ALong). I'm not normally the type, but for Carol's yarn, I just couldn't resist. You use a BlackBunnyFiber's yarn, and make whatever you want, on your own clock. That's my kind of KAL. And Carol was quick to point out the irony that your very own AmpuT here will be "hopping" along...teehee!!

I had just finished the lace socks in BBF when the Hop started, so got out the Purple Pansies I had waiting in my stash to make some sort of pajama shorts/stump cozy sort of thing. I took my measurements, did the math, and cast-on last night, so more about that soon.

Actually, now that I think about it, I guess I DID get a project onto the needles over the weekend....a second Branching Out scarf in Silky Wool. I don't often knit something twice, but after I finished the blue one, I realized that a black one would be a really nice thing to have. I often wear black bottoms with solid colored tops, and a small black scarf will be a great addition. It will also look cute with any one of my kazillion black t-shirts.

Speaking of T-Shirts

Today's mail call....something new for my collection from T-Shirt Hell.

Check out the receipt:


Google Hit of The Week:

peformance artist torturing themselves during peformances

(hahahaha--I'm not sure why I think that is so damn funny, but I do.)

Monday, September 04, 2006

more mourning