Saturday, December 20, 2008

10 10 10 10 for everything everything everything everything

1) WINTER. My love of winter is over. It only took a few weeks for the charm to wear off. If winter were a person I'd punch it. O, tropical District of Columbia, with your handsome 40 degree winter days! Oh, my Lord in Heaven, it is cold. Those of you reading from DC will remember me saying that, in Ohio, the sun doesn't come out from November to March. We're in the middle of that now. It's awful.

2) KNITTING. It's good weather for knitting, though. I've started (yet another) Irish Hiking Scarf. Again, in Baby Alpaca Chunky. This one is for my dad. He requested exactly this for his Christmas present, which made my life a lot easier because I never know what to get him. Plus, I can pretty much do Irish Hiking Scarves in my sleep at this point.

3) FROGGING. My My So Called Scarf is getting frogged because I did it on a stupid 10.5 needle. Fact: You need to use an 11. That little millimeter is the difference between awesome and stupid. Goddammit. I was all, MSCS, it's cool! And then Cabbage and Brax started doing them too, on the correct needles, and theirs were SO MUCH PRETTIER than mine that I almost set them on fire. So I'm seriously bitter about the MSCS.

4) WORKING. Brax and I are working really hard lately. I was thinking the other day about last year, that golden, golden period last year, when I absolutely hated my job, but I only had one. Just the one job. Sure, it was a huge struggle to get out of bed in the morning, yeah, but it was just the one job. The whole thing isn't a problem except on Fridays and Saturdays, when we have to juggle both our serving jobs and the shop, and at least one of us will end up working til 2AM. Them's the breaks!

5) DRINKING. We're responding to the stress in the usual way: going out. Alcohol has been involved. For one thing, my ol' man has been out of town on business (Hah!). I think it's pretty funny that whenever he goes out of town I act like I'm 19, considering the fact that he does not constrain my actions in any way when he is around. He's kind of rad that way and, given my priorities, I wouldn't be with him if he wasn't. Still, whenever he goes out of town I kick it, hard. The other thing is, people are starting to drift into town for the holidays. Party time! The third thing is, there is karaoke every night of the week in this crazy town. I'm running out of songs to sing, and am open to suggestions. In case you're wondering what my nights look like, here's me and Brax and Cabbage rocking "Goodbye Earl."

6) COLD AND FLU SEASON. The past week has been pretty fun, but the result of all that fun is that I'm freaking sick. Some kind of cold or flu or somethin'. If this post is incredibly disjointed and stupid sounding, it is because my brain is NOT WORKING. I feel all cracked out. There is no such thing as enough sleep. The Science Pirate was just here and gave me some cough drop things that made me feel a lot better, but I am, regardless, dying to get back in bed.

7) KITTEN. It doesn't help that this is waiting for me in bed:

Mr. Rochester is a little devil. He'll suck you right into his web of snuggling. He'll also attack your face while you're asleep. He's getting along with the other cats. Cat harmony has been pretty much restored. Lucy even gives him a bath sometimes.

8) I BLOGGED ABOUT A BLOG. Hey, good news for you nine-to-fivers who are tryin' to kill time 'til happy hour: we have a new blog friend. Our nice cowboy band friends, the Rodeo, have a blog now. Only two posts, and the author (Mason. Remember Mason?) already fell and hurt himself. Here at Wine Lips, we call that good blogging.

9) EXHAUSTION. I think I have exhausted my supply of nonsense to blog about. Happy holidays, guys! Stay warm, eat pie!


Saturday, December 6, 2008

Mr. Rochester!

First snow! Well, the first real snow. Here is how I know I'm really, for really real, back in the midwest.

I love it. I know I'll hate it by February, but shoot, I hate everything in February, so PFFFFFT. The bad thing is, it's hurting business 'cause the traffic is bad and no one wants to go out in it if they don't have to. They're all staying home wearing sweaters and drinking tea. Obviously they should be here buying yarn from me, right? Speaking of which, for those of you who are curious, the big opening went really well, and so far so good with the shop! Still, tell your friends, ok?

Here's the really big news for the day:

This morning I asked Matt, who was out "running errands," to bring me a coffee at the shop on his way home. So he comes inside, hands me the coffee, and says, "AND...I have an early Christmas present for you."

I said, "Early Christmas present?! Why, cause it's snowing?!"

Then he goes outside, and comes back in with........!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


He is my early Christmas present and he is six weeks old and I named him Mr. Rochester, Chester for short. Tiny baby Chester! He is totally chill about not knowing what the hell is going on. Poor kid had been a lost stray momless baby, and then was living with a good Samaritan for a while, and the good Samaritan give him to Matt, and Matt took him to the vet, and the vet poked him and shined lights on him and stuck him with needles, and then Matt tied a ribbon on him and gave him to me, and I pawed at him and cuddled him and wouldn't put him down. So he has had a rough life so far. But he is sort of like "Whatever" about it. He's not asking for any special treatment. He's too cool for all y'all's nonsense. Mr. Rochester is a total badass despite weighing less than a hank of Cascade 220 and having a nerdy English literature name.

Sister and Lucy haven't met him yet. They are quarantined in the basement while he gets acclimated. Matt gave them tuna in an effort to make them associate Chester with delicious tuna.

Oh, hey, City of Columbus, I'd like to tell you that I've been sitting in my shop looking out my giant front windows at the street all day and you are doing a TERRIBLE JOB of keeping the roads clear. You're gettin' my goat here.

People keep sliding around and getting stuck, and I haven't seen a single snow plow. This is getting ridiculous! I mean jeeze, this is High Street. It's the first road you should plow. What the hell?

Hey, wear a scarf, guys, it's cold out there!


Friday, November 28, 2008



Well, man oh man, it's been a lot of work to get here, but here we are!

The shop is opening Monday, Dec 1. Brax and I are really, really excited about it! Here is what it looks like right now:

Yes, we've still got a lot of work to do. But trust me, tagging yarn and putting it on shelves is like a trip to the Fireworks, Candy, and Puppydog Store after months of dealing with the bank, painting, installing flooring, figuring out tax procedures, and getting UPS to actually give us our packages.

Here is the deal with the shop, except with even more information this time:

3165 N. High St
Columbus, OH

Opening day is Monday, December 1! Hours: 11AM-7PM every day except Tuesday. We're closed Tuesday.

Mr. Cabbage is being Mr. Rad and putting together our website for us, but it's not done yet. It's .

Please Be Our Friend!
You can be our friend on MySpace (!
And you can be our friend on Ravelry

There's even a Ravelry group waiting for anyone who wants to be a WonderKnitter.

The Credits
We had a Women's Studies professor in college that used to always talk about the "myth of independence," meaning that people in America always think they can do things on their own, when in reality no one does anything on their own. Here are the credits:

Grandma for the collateral
Mom for everything
Dad for the handymen
Ali for the truck
Topher, Juan, Josh, Matt, and Ali for the free labor
Brandon for the computer and the website
Erin for the designs
Cabbage for the enthusiasm and promotion
Karida for custom yarn and teaching me to self promote
Goodies and families for believing we could do it

Wine Lips
I will keep posting on this blog because I love this blog, but we can try and keep the shop stuff separate, ok? Like, maybe if something really cool is going on at the shop, I'll link to it or something, but this is not going to be the WonderKnit blog. I blog because I like to write, and I want this blog to keep being a place where I can come write.

Brax and I started this blog when we were both in the middle of our own crappy journeys. The last two years, we have blogged and blogged about how we wished we were living in the same city, close to our families and old friends, and doing something creative and fulfilling with our time. Now things have come full circle, and we're both back where we started. It's all very "What-I-was-looking-for-was-in-my-own-backyard" etc, like in Wizard of Oz. It is cheezy, but it is part of what we learned. And of course, now that we're here there is a whole set of new challenges for us. But I have to say, challenges are easier to face from out these new windows.

I guess now that we're in this new place, this new old place, the blog has to change. We don't need to correspond, cause we see each other every day. We don't need to bitch about our jobs, because we made our own jobs, and they are what we make them. (We might bitch about our on-the-side serving jobs occasionally, I guess. But other than the occasional jerky customer, serving is a good gig.) We are busier and more engaged with our lives, so we will probably post less. I don't know! We will take it one day at a time, and see where we end up.

The point is, WonderKnit stuff will be taken care of elsewhere, Wine Lips will keep being a place where we come and complain and talk about yarn and recover from our hangovers, and we hope you'll keep thinking we're funny.

See you Monday!


Monday, November 24, 2008

Jeans. Again. Sigh.

Hey Brax,
Right now I think you're gettin' ready to head to Monday night karaoke. Not me, not tonight. I need to rest and stuff. Also I really can't afford to have one of those dirty Pabst Blue Ribbon hangovers tomorrow, since we need to bustass on the shop.

My mom told my Aunt Jean about our blog and she read it (hi, Aunt Jean!), and then she e mailed me to tell me not to flush Puff's down the toilet because it will mess up the plumbing. I know, man, I was desperate! Anyway, Aunt Jean, as soon as I posted that blog about the kleenex, Brax came over and dropped off a roll each of paper towels and TP, so I'm good.

Tonight I went shopping for jeans. The whole thing pretty much got my goat.

I hate shopping. Nothing makes you feel worse about yourself than shopping. First I tried on about 700 pairs of jeans in the Junior's department. See, I was told I should check Juniors, because they have odd numbered sizes, and I've been having a lot of trouble with the even numbers. I used to be an 8. Then I was a 10. 8. 10. 8. 10. NEITHER!!!!! Now I'm kind of a 9. I do not understand these fluctuations. My lifestyle is pretty steady. My theory is that my weight is affected by stress.

I don't even have a scale, you guys. My target weight is NOT BUYING JEANS.

So anyway, I was shopping for jeans and I was in Juniors, and whenever I'm in that department I'm A) afraid of knocking over a skinny teenager with my ass and B) sort of afraid the popular girls will make fun of me. So I tried on all these pants and found two that were ok, but man, they sure are making jeans ride low. Is this what the young girls are wearing?

So I headed over to the women's department and found these jeans that fit me perfectly except they were mom jeans. They came up to my neck and ballooned out around my thighs. I kind of wanted to shoot those jeans with a gun. If only I'd had a gun in my handbag.

In the end I bought two pairs of jeans, from the Junior's department, one a size 9 and one a size 11 (Why? How? Hate pants.) but I'm not really in love with them and I may take them back.

After the jeans I headed to the bra department and I do not even want to talk to you about it.

All I know is that I meandered around the bra department for a really long time trying to find the Playtex Thank Goodness It Fits Bra, which has half sizes. Everywhere I looked, all I could see were all these signs that said "full figured." I know that it is hard for girls with big 'uns. I want y'all to be able to find nice bras. I like that there are lots of "full figured" bras, clearly labeled. I just want equal treatment! I want to see the giant sign that says TITLESS. Then I could just waltz in and grab my little half-sizer and get the hell out.

Here's the problem, though, when you finally find the Titless bras, they're all padded to oblivion. Padded to full figured. Que? I just want a holster for my girls, you guys. I don't want a whole microfiber fake girls setup.

It was just really stressful. And the moral of the story is, I hate shopping when I need something. Shopping is only fun when you are bored and have some extra money and decide to pop in to see what's on sale. Shopping for something is pretty much the worst.

Ok, I am going to go watch Charlie Brown Christmas now.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

crappy crap

Things that are hard today include:

Being out of toilet paper and paper towels, reappropriating Kleenex for these purposes.
Being out of vegetables.
The light keeps changing in my office as the sun travels across the sky and this makes it difficult to take photographs of knitted things.
Turns out my washer doesn't do "hot" loads. I don't know why I imagined it would.
I made a really involved budget spreadsheet for the shop and then Excel crashed and lost it.
I seem to be really tired.
I overslept.
Accomplishing things is hard!
Ummm.....I have a bunch of crap to do. That's the main thing. It is stressing me out.
I should probably stop listing all the things that are bugging me and instead actually do some know, finish things.
My bathroom cabinet is really messy and there is all kinds of crap just crammed in there. Any time I take something out, it causes a chain reaction resulting in stuff falling out of the cabinet. This happened earlier today. I got out my hair dryer and it caused an eyeshadow to fall out and break and now there is fine, sparkley orange powder all over the floor, which paper towels would be just ideal for.
Sister really wants to sit on my laptop, and I feel like I am rejecting her love because I keep putting her on the floor.

OK. OK. Stopping. Working. Right.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

"TAILS" from serving, ha ha ha!


Sorry about the blogging hiatus. I have no excuse.

So, I've been up to all sorts of stuff. As you know, Bruce and I are opening a store! We are SO excited about it, and are looking forward to having our own grown up business to run ourselves! (by "run" I mean "sit around in and knit all day," of course)

In the meantime, I've been waiting tables for money. I sort of hate my job, because no one comes into my restaurant. I usually end up wasting about 25% of my tips on the parking meter, if you know what I mean. But that doesn't mean it hasn't provided plenty of entertainment and good stories!

The other night, I was closing the restaurant, which meant I showed up and immediately cut the other server because it was so slow. Gradually, I accumulated 3 tables over the next hour and a half, one of which was starting to get a little drunk off of those alcoholic coffee drinks we serve. Anyway, I was bringing out an irish coffee to one of them, and the words "can I get you anything else right now?" had barely left my lips when I saw something fall from the drop ceiling, barely miss hitting a girl on the face, and land on the floor.
The girl looked down and gasped, "oh my god! oh my god!" Still standing at the table, I couldn't even begin to imagine what had happened, until I saw a MOUSE scurry away from the table, round a corner, and disappear into the dining room.
For real. A BABY MOUSE almost landed on my table. I immediately apologized, and rushed off to inform the manager, a bartender who had been promoted to "bartender/manager" about 3 weeks ago. He likes to listen to Radiohead on his IPOD while he's working, thus making an already-depressing job that much more unbearable. When I told him about the mouse I had witnessed taking a dive into the dining room, he stammered and kept asking me if I was "sure." I gave up trying to get him to actually "manage" the situation, and went over to my table again to apologize profusely on behalf of the restaurant, promising that I would do anything within my power to resolve the situation.
Thankfully, my table was super cool about it all. Even though everyone else in the restaurant asked for their check about 30 seconds after the word "mouse" was first uttered, they stayed, eventually CATCHING the mouse and humanely setting it free outside. This valient effort earned them a free bucket of beer on top of their already-comped check, and they left me a really nice tip.

In conclusion, I would like to add that while the GM of the restaurant showed up, she did very little to help the situation, save from comping my table's bill. When I told her about the mouse, she ran around the dining room looking for it, crowing about how it must be "sad" and "miss its family," and loudly providing our guests with the insight that "we share the earth with all its animals, after all." When she caught me rolling my eyes at her gauche behavior, she said, "ha ha, Karen is so scared of the little mouse!" No, she and I just have wildly differing views on sanitation . I told her she was lucky the health inspector wasn't there, hoping that she would grasp the severity of the situation (or at least the need to bring in an exterminator), but she ignored me.

I hate having more managerial experience and skill than my boss.
Anyway, I'm sorry for the long lapse, and I hope to share many more Serving Horror Stories with you all soon!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

List of Excellence

Hey dudes! Here's some stuff!

1) Our friend Katie graduated! I'm SO proud of her. She's amazing. She just figured out what she wanted and went for it and did it. That is so great, and I know she's going to be a big giant success. A Chef Success. Chefcess.

Here is the picture I took of her actually accepting her diploma.

She's the short one...see, I was so busy jumping up and down that I put my camera on manual focus. I'm pretty much awesome.

Here she is at her graduation party, with an apple and her cute mom. If you think I'm proud, you should see this lady. These parents were about to burst. Chef KT! You win!

2) The morning after KT's graduation party I woke up with a bunch of bruises on my legs and I have no clue how I got them. I probably got them in some really awesome way. Also I remember walking, in a tizzy, up to a friend of mine, holding my handbag up by a broken strap and exclaiming "My handbag broke!! What! What a crappy handbag!!! Can you believe that!" And he took it from me and handed it back fixed saying, "It wasn't broken, Libby. It snaps on and off." Well la di dah. Obviously I am ready to be a big mature business owner.

3) Lucy watches television when there is an animal on the teevee. Only animals. Even when the sound is off! How does she know? What do they look like to her? How? What?

4) The shop is coming along all fastlike. Brax and I are working really hard on it and we should have it open real soon. We'll tell you a date as soon as we know for sure. Sorry about the lack of precision on this--we just want to be able to open the doors the very minute we're ready.

5) Amazing potato cheddar soup!

a buncha potatoes
1 carrot
1 stalk celery
1 stick of butter
a couple cups grated cheddar

This recipe goes like most of my soup recipes. Katie is probably going to read this and be like, "Bruce, you're doing it wrong," since she is a big chef now and all. But this is how I do it, and I think it's delicious!

Put all the chopped up veg in the soup pot and put in just enough water to cover it. Add salt to taste. For me this is a bunch of salt. Let it boil for maybe 30 minutes. Then take out a few cups of the soup and put it in the blender and puree it. Put it back in the pot. OK. Then make a roux. (A roux is when you take some of the hot broth and put it in a bowl with a couple tablespoons of flour and make a smooth paste out of it.) Put the roux in the broth. Stir it on in! Stir in the butter. Then add in the cheese, a little at a time. Sprinkle, stir, sprinkle, stir, until it's all incorporated. Delicious! Really, really healthy low fat food. Perfect for vegans.

That's all for now!

Friday, November 7, 2008


Well, I'm going to go ahead and make the big announcement:

Brax and I are opening a yarn shop. YEAH!

What you need to know:

It's called WonderKnit
It's located at 3165 N. High street in Columbus.
Our hours will be 11 AM to 7 PM Wednesday-Monday. Closed Tuesday.
Theoretical Opening Day: Late November, 2008!

We had hoped to open up in September or October at the latest, but then the banks crashed and the world ended and we couldn't get a loan. After months of speculation and doubt and frustration, it's finally happening, and we'll be opening in the next 2 weeks. Wow.

We've got it painted up all pretty in there, and put down flooring, and everything is shiny and pretty, and the yarn is rolling in. We want it to be the friendliest, coolest yarn store, where everyone feels welcome to hang out and knit. Once things are more settled down we'll probably do some sort of rad opening party, with special guest Karida.

Everyone get excited, everyone come buy some yarn and help a blogger out.

We couldn't have done any of this without my mom, my dad, and especially my loan-cosignin' grandma, so I am feeling pretty lucky at this moment.

So that is the Big News, the Big Secret Project we alluded to a couple of times. Exact opening day will be confirmed here and elsewhere. Hope we'll see you in the shop soon!

Monday, November 3, 2008


We are so Important here! This is the only time ever that we get to feel important. This state is nuts.

Here is my favorite part of this article:

Diane McDonald, an occupational therapist, is voting for McCain even though she thinks Obama is "articulate, intelligent, unwavering."

"So why don't you vote for him?" Hawkins said.

"Because it doesn't mean I believe in his politics," McDonald said. "A lot of women have gotten in trouble because of men like that."

Coast to coast, LA to Chicago, western male
Across the north and south, to Key Largo, love for sale

Face to face, each classic case
We shadow box and double cross
Yet need the chase

A license to love, insurance to hold
Melts all your memories and change into gold
His eyes are like angels but his heart is cold

No need to ask
He's a smooth operator

Don't trust a smooooth operator, ladies! He'll take your Flower and skip town, and America will be left wandering around like Delta Dawn in her bedroom slippers with a faded rose pinned to her dress, waiting, always waiting, for that Smooth Dark Stranger to return.

In Franklin County the Obama people are out in much greater force than the McCain people. Franklin county is one of the only counties Kerry won. WE TOLD YOU SO, OHIO.

In Butler County, where my parents live, the McCain people and the local GOP are hammering pretty hard. The other day when we were there there were two different anti Obama robocalls in a row. It seems like a waste of money to me, since Butler County is where all the crazy maniacs live--McCain is going to win Butler no matter what. I guess they're trying to energize their voters--not about McCain, but against Obama. Even so, there is much greater support for Obama than I've ever seen for a democrat in Butler County. The man knows how to reach people, I tell ya what.

This reminds me of a story: in 2004 the Butler County GOP people sent out such a constant stream of big glossy swiftboat crap that my enraged father taped a big note to the mailbox that said, "Dear Mail Carrier, please do not deliver ANY ITEMS from GEORGE BUSH or the REPUBLICAN PARTY to this address. Thank you."

The mail lady wrote a note back that said she had to deliver whatever was addressed to him and fitted with appropriate postage. Poor Steve.

Man, all this talk about Butler County has me craving a Richard's Pizza! Mmmmmmmmmmm, Richard's Pizza.......

Go vote, everyone!

Saturday, November 1, 2008


I'm sitting here at 2 AM with a glass of wine listening to the Dixie Chicks on repeat. It doesn't sound like a recipe for awesome, does it? Well, shit, I don't wanna talk about it, let's talk about something else.

1) Tinker, tinker. I've been tinkering around with this Manos I mentioned in my previous post. My So Called Scarf? I know I said I was anti. I lied, it's a really nice pattern.

2) On Thursday afternoon Brax and I arrived at my house, still smacking our wine lips from an evening at my parents' house. (We practiced some new songs with my mom, for our Andrews Sisters band. Those of you who find yourselves on the Thanksgiving drunk dial list get ready, we've got some excellent selections for you this year. Remember, let voice mail get it.) Also, woods-walking, naturally:

Anyway, we arrived at my house, and in the door was a big fat envelope, and in the envelope was:

The proof! The proof, the proof! The book proof, which Karida and I must look over very closely, and make any changes we want, because this is the last call for changes on the drunk knitting book. It has pictures in it and everything. There is even a picture of me and Karida in it, and we don't look stupid either. They put make up on us and stuff, so we look pretty stylish. Karida called me up and we dorked out over it for a while.

3) No Good Nick recently posted about the Book It! program from the 80's. Do you all remember this? You got pizza for reading books. PFFFFFFFFFFFT. I WOULD BE SO FREAKING FAT IF THIS WERE STILL TRUE.

My house, like Nick's, was always full of books, and my mom let me read whatever I wanted. The only book I remember my mom telling me not to read was Little Birds by Anias Nin, which I, of course, read the very second she left the room. I definitely read things that were over my head (I read the Catcher in the Rye when I was 11, and Possessing the Secret of Joy when I was 13. These were over my head.). It didn't do me any harm, and I'm a firm believer of letting kids read whatever they want.

I still read like a madwoman. When I went to Monticello last year I was all twitchy because I wanted to read Thomas Jefferson's books, which were, of course, behind glass. The tour guide was like, "Well, here's his books! That guy sure liked to read. Now if you'll all follow me into the bedroom..." So I didn't really even get to look at them very much. Dang, I like books.

This is why I can't get behind Kindle.

Things Kindle can't do
-have a book smell
-have old notations written in it
-sit on a shelf and tell you about the person who owns it
-be a time capsule (I stick things in books and joyfully rediscover them years later)
-have "Fannie Roberts on her Birthday, from Aunt Bev, March 12, 1946." written on the inside cover.
-get dog-eared and well loved.

Nick made a list of books he's read in the last 3 months, and I don't have that kind of time, but I figure I'll follow his lead. Here's a smattering of stuff I've read recently.

Wuthering Heights Emily Bronte Yeah, yeah. I'll never get sick of it. Over and over and over and over, I will read Wuthering Heights. I'll read it a million times and never totally get it, and I'll notice something new every time. I love this book.

The City of Dreaming Books Walter Moess This book was pretty freaking weird. The imagery was pretty brilliant, though, and I appreciate the creativity of a fellow bibliophile. The illustrations are completely charming.

The Mists of Avalon Marion Zimmer Bradley is vast and beautiful and cobwebby. Reminds one of one's feminist roots. Reminds one to deconstruct the framework of mythology, love, power, religion.

The Twilight Saga (Stephanie Meyer) Questionable in so many (many. many.) ways, and yet I read the entire series in 2 weeks. Reminds one that sometimes a story is a story and maybe you should stop thinking about it so much and just focus on wanting to bone the vampire.

Metamorphosis (Franz Kafka) Maybe Kafka is over my head? Exoskeleton.

The Portable Dorothy Parker I cannot stop with this book. I carry it around with me like I'm 16 and it's my goth girl journal. I love Dorothy Parker so much. If I could go back in time, I'd go straight to the Algonquin Round Table for a highball wearing a low-waisted dress and a fox fur scarf. Dottie and I would get drunk and be snarky to everyone and then we'd go out and act bad in high society. I'd explain that she should stop trying to kill herself because I'm from the future and know that she'll never actually manage it. It would be rad!

That was fun! Maybe I'll blog about books more.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

cowboys and whiskey and scarves

I'm going to go ahead and end my blogging hiatus. It didn't last long. I like blogging. I don't know when Brax will be back, so you will all just have to be content with me for now. I'm feeling kind of like a douche because a lot has been happening around here and I have no photos of any of it. We'll start with this weekend, when the Rodeo came to town.

On Wednesday evening, I got a call from my friend Mason (remember Mason?), who is on tour with his band. Mason is one of my favorites and I never see him because he lives roughly 3000 miles away from the Heart of it All. So he says to me, he says, "we don't have a show for Saturday night, how 'bout we book something in Columbus on the fly?" And I said, "You're crazy, let's make some calls!"

And so we made it happen, and I ended up housing a van load of Stetson hats.

Can we talk for a minute about these cowboys? They rolled into town, spent a wild night, and were gone before dawn the next morning, like a bunch of black hat desperadoes. Like thieves in the night. Incredibly polite thieves in the night. I mean wouldn't believe the multitude of hat tips and thank yous I got from these boys. It was as if they thought going to a great show, drinking beer, hosting the party, and being surrounded by a herd of cool men was really a pain for me and not, in fact, my ideal night. That's kind of a list of my favorite things. I just wanted to pinch all their cheeks.

Anyway, if you haven't listened to them you should check them out (you can do this both on myspace and on itunes), and if they're hitting your city at all on their tour you really oughta go. Brent Amaker and the Rodeo is now part of the mandate for drunk knitters, like Pabst and Baby Alpaca Chunky and a relaxed attitude towards dropped stitches.

So after our hangovers cleared, which took a long time, Brax and I decided we'd go ahead and hit karaoke Monday, where darling Karaoke Pat and the crowd of regulars are so remarkably supportive of my new penchant for Whitney Houston ballads. And so I am hungover again today.

Knitting news:

Rainy Day Scarf. The pattern is free on Ravelry. It's good. It's easy, but if you want to knit it drunk you ABSOLUTELY need a row counter. Trust me. I learned this the hard way.

I also got some black Manos.

This is also going to become a scarf. I'm on a handspun scarf kick. Nobody is more shocked than I am about this.

OK, there is more to tell, but I have to leave for work in six minutes and yes, I'm sitting here in my underwear, so more later.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Hey, we'll be back in a minute. We're busy and can't blog very much right now. Give us a week or two. Thanks for staying with us!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

fall is knittin' season

So I'm about to knit something out of this Llamajama that I got at MDSW. What will I do?!! This morning when I woke up I thought, hey, I think I've got like 900 yards of that stuff! That was a huge hank! It was at least 800 yards, I'll make a shrug, I will. But then I got out the yarn and found that it was only 274 yards. Chuh. Then I realized that it really made no sense at all for it to be NINE HUNDRED YARDS and I'm completely insane.

It looks like that. I've got limited experience with hand dyes and variegates because, generally speaking, they're not my style. I like solids. I'm not a fussy person, I'm a clean-lines person. I've always appreciated the beauty of multicolored yarns, though, and now I'm thinking I might like to wear some. So anyway, I don't know what to make. What would you make with 274 yards of hand dyed worsted wool? Do not say My-so-called-scarf because I don't wanna. It's too obvious, you see. (I'm dying to make a crazy-ass tam with a GIANT pom-pom on top, but I don't think I want it to be pink. I think this tam I have in my head will be quite crazy enough in neutral colors.) Anyway, you guys think it over and let me know what you think I should make.

On another note, I've officially gone batshit nuts for fall! FALL! Here's my chrysanthemums. Thriving! They need to be put in the ground. They are too big for these pots.

I went sort of nuts at the farmers market, as usual, and got a boatload of gourds and tiny pumpkins and stuff. They're all over the house. I went nuts with squash, also as usual. I've got three butternuts, and one of those funny blue ones, and I already cooked an acorn and a carnival. Tuesday night I made pumpkin bread! Delicious.

Here are some pictures from our trip to the pumpkin patch. It was pretty great. For one thing, we drove 30 minutes east and were suddenly smack in the middle of McCain country.

Woah....time for us insular urban liberals to freak out! We are used to being the undisputed majority in our neck of the woods. It's good for us to be reminded that everybody doesn't agree with us.

Anyway, we picked some pumpkins.

and we carved them!

Yes, you do see a meticulously carved Obama logo pumpkin. My husband is pretty funny.


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Good Morrow!


Brax and I went to the Ohio Renaissance Festival! I don't need to hear about how the renaissance festival is nerdy or whatever. It's fun! IT'S FUN! We totally loved it. For one thing, people being total dorks and dressing up in costumes and living out a big fantasy every weekend is awesome to me. It's the kind of thing I like. I read novels for an average of two hours a day--it's the same thing except I don't have to do any work or talk to other people or put on an outfit, so these ren fest people are go-getters comparatively.

For another thing, The costumes are awesome! Most of them are handmade. There are craftspeople all over the place at the ren fest. Weavers, knitters, tailors, sculptors, embroiderers, painters, silversmiths, people who make essential oils and incense, people who blow glass and cut crystal and practice old-fashioned black smithing, people who handmake furniture and carve stone and make stained glass art, people who make dulcimers from scratch. We loved it!

Here is the weaver's loom.

There was a lady selling knitted stuff and quilts. And fleece blankets, which was weird.
The same lady made this crazy ass thing:

I can't decide if I love it or fear it, but I do know that it is definitely funny.

Brax and I went through the labyrinth.

It didn't take us very long because we are so smart.

Here is the glass blower in his glass blowing studio:

He was being very nice about answering questions about his craft.

Here's the queen:

Here's this horse all dolled up for the joust:

Here's our classic 1500's lunch:

Here are these humorous gravestones:

Wives talk too much!!!

Teenage boys jerk off too much!!!

Anyway, we went to the Renaissance Festival and we had fun, the end!

more soup


The best use for a Crock Pot is this:

Before you go out and tear up the town and embarrass yourself with Demon Rum, put soup in the crock pot..

Either you'll come home at 3 AM wasted and be like, SOUP!!!!! Or you'll wake up the next day at noon all hungover and wanting to die, and if you are like me, your first thought will be "Hungry. Don't want to cook. No money, also don't want to get dressed and go anywhere. How food?" Then you'll stumble downstairs and be like, SOUUUUP!!!! Either way, it is genius.

The soup I am eating today is is squash and sweet potatoe. (Yes, potatoe. Bringin' back Dan Quayle!)

Bruce and Dan's Squash and Sweet Potatoe Soup

1 Winter Squash...Butternut, or Acorn, or whatever.
2 Sweet potatoes
1 white onion
1 Carrot
2 stalks celery (smellery)
half a stick of butter
Salt, pepper, nutmeg

Chop it all up and put it all in the slow cooker. Cook on low for 7 hours. I like to take half of it out after it's cooked and put it in the magic bullet, so it's partially pureed but still has some chunks. Related: I really want an immersion blender.

OK so I ate soup and I've been writing this post for something like 4 hours because I'm easily distracted and stupidly hungover.


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Oh man

Fresh autumn apples and bittersweet, speeding through the White Castle drive through.


Oh. Man. So after you left my house last night (BTW, my favorite part of last night was when Tome came in from the kitchen with his wine in a little teacup and said "I'd like everyone to note that I'm drinking my wine from a mug." And you said, "TOME! Did you take that off a HOOK? Those are decorative, Tome.")...anyway, after you left my house at the ass crack of no time, I went to sleep. Four hours later, I was awakened by, the sound of someone messing with the gate outside. After about 15 minutes I was like, man, they're really messin' around with the gate. Are they removing it? What the hell? And then I realized that it wasn't the gate, it was 4 ladders being run up the side of my neighbor's house. There are men fixing the gutters which were damaged when the tree fell on the house. At 9 AM. On Saturday. Oh my God. So then I was like, well, maybe I can still sleep. WRONG! So loud. Plus I kept thinking that they could somehow see in my window and see me laying in bed with the cats all hungover in my underwear.

What really made me get up, though, was that I realized that I had, in my Jameson Amazingness last night, left my car in the short north in a metered spot, and they had started checking meters over an hour ago. So I was like fuuuuuuuck. I thought I'd just ride my bike up there and throw it in the back of the car and drive home. Then I remembered that Matt's bike was already in the car. Two bikes don't fit, buddy. OK. So I thought, I'll just ride my bike up there, take Matt's bike out of the car and lock it up, put my bike in the car, and drive home and get Matt's bike later, since he's out of town and won't need it for a couple days, but I will need to ride mine, also my bike is too pretty to be abandoned in the short north all alone. Oh my god, was that a sentence? Maybe I'm still drunk.

So that's what I did. I rode on up there. And OH MY GOD IT IS GAME DAY. Why were there so many OSU football people on the bike trail? Why? Walking. Walking in their red sweatshirts. Ambling across the path carrying plastic cups. I would pass them and, in an effort to not hit their drunk-at-10AM asses, I'd ding my little bell. (I love my little bell. Ding! Ding! Bruce comin' through! Ding!) They just acted confused though. Where is that bell coming from? Hey, ring it some more! Haha, why is that girl ringing a bell? I think they didn't know that it was a bike trail they were on. Anyway, then it got worse because I actually had to ride past the freaking 'Shoe. But whatever, I made it. I made it to my car, and it was still there but it had a little ticket on it. Oh well. Then I went to the Super Food Mart and got a Cherry Coke, an orange soda, and some orange juice.

Lucy hates the workmen. She wants them to stop.

I am really confused right now. I'm going back to bed!


Thursday, September 25, 2008



Seriously, what is the deal with all the bad luck going around? It really Gets My Goat!

Okay everyone. Here is a (probably incomplete) list of the crazy stupid stuff that has been happening.

  1. Our dear friend Cabbage wrecked her scooter and broke her wrist. Terrible fate for a knitter!!

  2. Hurricane Ike hit Columbus, OH, followed by a week without power.

  3. On Saturday, Libby's cat Sister had a seizure and had to be rushed to the e-vet's.

  4. While monitoring Sister to make sure she doesn't have another seizure, Libby smacked her head, resulting in a concussion.

  5. I woke up Monday morning somehow having pulled my back/neck in my sleep and couldn't turn my head.

  6. The same day, I left the apartment and returned to find that my door was hanging open, so my cats had gotten out. Oscar was just hanging out in the hallway, but Fred took about a half hour to find. I wandered around the neighborhood for a half hour tearfully calling his name before I thought to check the basement.

  7. The next day, I realized that in my haste to find the cat, I had somehow lost my purse. My purse contained my wallet and my beloved half-finished cable scarf on my beloved 26" addi turbo 7.

  8. That same weekend, our friend Tome went to Cleveland. Upon checking into a hotel, he realized he had left his wallet in Columbus. His mother overnighted it to him, and he proceeded to lose it at a bar the next evening.

Apparently, our friend group has a poltergeist that is stealing our wallets, fucking with our cats, smacking our heads, and so forth. Fortunately, most of the above problems turned out to be mere annoyances. Having no lights for a week sucked, but it really broke Bruce and I of our embarrassing daytime TV habit and got us reading and biking more. All the cats have been fine since their harrowing ordeals, and I think Fred's disappearence made me WAY less stressed out about losing my wallet. Now if only I could find my birth certificate so I can replace my license.....

In conclusion, I think we all need to just laugh about our terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad week. And maybe move our trash cans out of our luck corners.


Monday, September 22, 2008



Sunday, September 21, 2008

My weekend



I had an eventful weekend.

We went to the vet.

Sister had a seizure, but she seems fine now.

It was scary. I was petrified. The vet is running tests. But I'm getting the impression that some cats just have seizures. Anyway, I'll let you all know when the tests come back.

So when we got back from the vet, I was sitting at the foot of the stairs and I stood up really fast and slammed my head into the end of the banister and WOOOAH BAM I saw stars and I fell over and blacked out for a sec. Then I sort of automatically got up and kept moving and went to work. After I'd been at work for about 2 hours I realized that I was sleepy, headachy, nauseous, woozy, and I didn't understand why jokes were funny. I was like, huh, maybe I have a concussion.

So I have a minor concussion, is what I'm saying. Now, I've waited tables drunk. I've waited tables angry, tired, and sad. I've waited tables when I was so burnt out on waitressing that I thought I couldn't possibly serve another stupid table or I'd scream. I've waited tables so hungover that if you were wondering why it took so long to get your refills, it's cause I had to go barf real fast.

Waiting tables with a minor concussion beats 'em all. Don't do it, you guys. If you have a concussion, go home sick.

I took Tylenol and got lots of rest. I woke up every 2 hours to make sure I was still lucid. I was. As lucid as usual, anyway. I still feel funny--my head hurts and I'm tired. I was well enough to go to the market and the park this morning, though. (although I spent the rest of the day on the couch.) There was a sidewalk chalk art fair last weekend and a lot of the pictures are still there.

We bought veggies.

and sat in the park, near the good doctor Lincoln Goodale.

Dr. Goodale gave free medical treatment to the poor and left a bunch of his land to the city to be made into an excellent urban park. If it weren't for him we wouldn't have the park, and without the park I wouldn't have anywhere to take a nice walk before work and pet dogs, and where would we have Comfest? Dr. Goodale was rad and I'd drink to him if I had a drink, which I don't, because I am pretty sure I shouldn't drink with the concussion.

The only other thing I have to say is this: remember when I said I hated the following things:

1. Lion Brand Yarn
2. Wooden needles
3. Straight needles

Remember that? Well, Dumbledore tells Harry in book 2 that even the wisest of us must sometimes eat our words.

It's a throw. Out of Lion Brand Thick and Quick. On bamboo straight needles (US 13). I don't know, it is all just totally practical, and the yarn is about as nice as 80% acrylic can possibly be, and it is fast, cheap, warm, and machine washable. Also I only have a US 13 addi in a 16 incher, which is obviously not long enough. I had these fatso bamboo ones though, which I had hanging in my office for decoration. It's fine. Easy peasy. I've always been more practical than snobby, and here again my practicality has won out. It's nice. I like it!

OK, that's all.


We're back!!

I have no idea if this made the national news or not, but the Midwest actually got a hard hit from the tail end of hurricane Ike. Brax and I have been without power since Sunday. We got a windstorm like you wouldn’t believe. It only rained for a minute, that’s the kicker. It rained for, like, a nanosecond, and it winded for about 8 years. We had 80 MPH winds here in Ohio. I know that some of you live in places where real hurricanes happen, and that doesn’t seem like a big deal to you, but to us it was like Armageddon. The big giant tree in my back yard got pulled up by the roots and landed balanced perilously on my house and my neighbors’ house. Trees were down all over the city! Many roads were impassable, all the stoplights were out. We finally got our power back at around 2 this morning. Plenty of people are still in the dark, though.

Fortunately for us, Topher and the Science Pirate, who live right up the street, got power back that first night, so we were able to keep our food there, and charge our phones, and I was able to go over there to blow dry my hair, which, I am not even kidding, was the main reason I missed electricity. (I have heard people say “Libby’s hair is so smooth and sleek.” No, it is not! Libby’s hair is psychotic and wavy and frizzy and puffy if she doesn’t blow dry it. And it’s too short to put in a ponytail. I am utterly dependent on the blow dryer. Don’t tell, like, Barbara Kingsolver and Gloria Steinem, I’m sure they’d be disappointed in me. I am reminded of the time on Oprah where Oprah had the audience answer the question “what modern invention can’t you live without?” and the number one answer was “hairspray.” I thought those women were really stupid and shallow at the time.)

Yes, by the end I had decided that I was fine without power EXCEPT for the fridge, the hair dryer, and a single lamp. (We have a gas stove, fortunately.) If I could have those things, I’d be OK. I didn’t actually miss TV at all, and I felt sort of liberated by being barred from the internet. At night, I put about 10 tea lights in a clear glass pie pan with a little bit of water in the bottom, and that was plenty of light to read by. I picked up my lonesome, dusty, too-good-for-me guitar for the first time in about 4 months (PS my fingers hurt). We played board games. I talked to my neighbors more than usual. Brax and the boys and I rode our bikes all over town. I had an excellent excuse to eat in restaurants twice a day. I got a day off work and a free bottle of wine for coming in when the power was out only to be sent home. I knitted on a blanket. I wrote. It was cool. (That’s not to say I wasn’t relieved when the power came back on. We weren’t equipped. We were running out of candles.)

My parents, on the other hand, had NO RUNNING WATER. Because they have well water, and the water gets from the well to their house via an electric pump. They had to rent a room at the Motel and shower there every day. Also all the crazy-militia-prepare-for-the-apocalypse folks in my hometown went batshit when the windstorm came, and they all bought all the gas and all the ice and all the milk and bread and batteries and flashlights and probably bullets too. So you couldn’t get any of those things in my hometown for days. Like, my mom needed to go to the airport and she said to me “I have no idea where I’m going to get the gas.” Seriously. I think this is very funny. What did they think was going to happen? They raided the I.G.A. and then they went home and hunkered down for a siege. Sometimes I miss that crazy place.

A lot of people out in the ‘burbs were, according to the newspaper, VERY ANGRY about how long it was taking to get their power back. That sort of got my goat. The newspaper quoted a lady from Hilliard saying that she was so angry that she was going to deduct the cost of the meat in her freezer from her electric bill. I was like, oh, you’re entitled to electricity, princess? You’re lucky to have meat to lose! You’re lucky to have a freaking freezer! For one thing, how about instead of getting pissed about it, you be grateful that you don’t live in Galveston and therefore your house didn’t just get leveled and you didn’t lose any loved ones. For another, I am sure it really sucks to have to talk to your family. For a third, shit happens. If this is the worst thing that ever happens to you, you will be lucky indeed. For a fourth, the electric company is working really hard and doing their best, and we just don’t have the infrastructure to deal with 80 MPH winds. And finally, for the fifth thing, many people would be ASTONISHED by your freezer full of meat, because they only get to eat meat on special occasions and they don’t have household freezers, and meat doesn’t come from a grocery store, it comes from a goat that they have raised from a kid and when they kill it that’s all they get til they get another goat, so what I’m saying is, you are so completely unaware of your privilege that I’d like to meet you in person so I could smack you.

I think sometimes you can tell when people have never lived anywhere different or met anyone from a different culture or maybe even never watched PBS. Anyway, the moral of the story is, when something that happens in other places all the time happens in a place where it has never happened before, everyone flips their lid, and I ride around on my high horse laughing at them.

Anyway, we're back.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008



This is neat! You can read scans of all the old newspaper articles about Jack the Ripper. It's the kind of nerdy thing I really like. If I still worked in an office, I probably would have spent half my day doing it.


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

every seeeeeeecond of the night! I live another life!

I am so into Heart right now. I started listening to them because I wanted to do "What About Love" at karaoke, which I did last night, and it was an excellent choice, and now I am in the Unstoppable Heart Zone. I think I'll do "These Dreams" next week.

Here we are at karaoke last night. So much fun! For one thing, I discovered whiskey and shared my new knowledge with Brax, and so obviously we were AMAZING all night.

See, I was at work, and there was Jameson. And I said, "I don't like whiskey! I never drink liquor. I'm nervous about this Jameson." And one of the chefs, a wise young man, said, "just drink it, it'll be fine. You might barf."

So heeding that excellent advice, I drank the whiskey and then I was AMAZING for the rest of that night. So last night Brax and I both got a shot of Jameson early in the night, and we sipped these shots and were happy. Also, it was a slow night so we both got to sing 4 times. Sweet!

So I'm on a knitting hiatus. NO KNITTING FOR 2 WEEKS. Except tonight when I will do some minimal book knitting at KPH. But other than that, no knitting for 2 weeks. Also: no holding my coffee cup in my right hand, no carrying heavy glass water pitchers at work, no writing for more than 30 minutes, reduced typing, and no chopping veggies (BTW, this product will change your life if your wrist hurts and you want to chop things. It will change your life even if your wrist doesn't hurt.).

Gotta let the ol' girl heal. It SUCKS, man. But winter is coming and I need to be all healed up so I can make scarves and sweaters and hats and mittens. And maybe socks, now that Cabbage taught me that it's ok to just make stockinette stitch socks, despite what the lace sock mafia tells you. Don't let them get to you, guys, there's nothin' wrong with a st st sock.

So instead of knitting or writing (i.e. my two favorite things) I've! I made this really excellent lentil soup yesterday.

Here is the recipie!

Bruce's Delicious Easy-Ass Crock Pot Lentil Soup
makes a zillion servings

1 lb dry lentils
2 medium carrots
2 medium potatoes
3 stalks celery
1 large onion
1 clove garlic, smashed
6 cups vegetable stock or water (I used a little of both)
bay leaves
salt and pepper

Chop up all the veggies using your Vidalia Chop Wizard. Wow, that was fast! Now throw everything in the Crock Pot. Cook on high for 3 hours. Eat.

You guys, this soup was seriously delicious. I love making soup. I love using my crock pot, too. My mom was asking me the other day if it wasn't pointless for me to have a gigantic awesome crock pot since I was a vegetarian, and I had to explain to her about soup. Also delicious beans and dips and stuff. But mostly soup. I'm going to do mushroom soup next. I've never made mushroom soup before and I bet it will be fun and also the jam.

Today is the first really autumnal day, and so it is good soup weather. I'm enjoying the chill in the air.

This blog post made my hungry. I'm going to go eat some soup now.


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Fall! Just around the corner!

Okay, Bruce!

I totally meant to post some pictures of the exciting times I've been having, but I left my camera over at Juan's house during cupcake night. Sorry! You're stuck looking at this clock I bought. (boy is the lighting terrible!)

I sure love this clock. It's a little slow, though (which has gotten me in trouble). I got it at the antique store next to the vegetarian cafe down the street. God, I love living in Columbus again! Mostly, I have been just puttering around my house, working on the secretproject, and dicking around with friends.
I also got to go to the Craftin' Outlaws craft fair! It was totally amazing. Of course, I didn't take any pictures of the actual fair, but here is a bag I bought:
Get it? It's hippoes! They are saying Hip Hop! How very clever.

Okay, I really do wish I had some more news for you. Sorry about that! I'm looking forward to fall very much. We're going to have a special feast to celebrate the equinox! Also, we are going to amp up the secretproject and be very busy. I'm mostly excited to do fall sorts of things, like the Corn Maze, the Pumpkin Festival, and the Rennaisance Festival!
In short, I'm excited for fall! So that means it should quit being 90 degrees all the time.
Brax to the max