Wednesday, October 14, 2009

And I was just going to dress up like a witch ...

I love Halloween. I always wear my pumpkin sweater on Halloween, unless I wear the one with the witch hitting the wall on her broom -- depends on how formal the occasion is, ya know?

But I usually confine my celebration to putting a pumpkin on the porch and buying a big bowl of candy, preferably candy that I won't want to eat. Kit Kats are good for that ... NO CANDY CORN!

But here's a church in North Carolina that really knows how to throw a Halloween party!

You've just got to love a religious body that thinks that burning the works of Mother Theresa will improve the world, don't you? Even Oral Roberts and Billy Graham are too wicked for these folks!

In case you're looking for something a little less ... frickin' weird ... you can knit your cat a witch hat. (I can tell you right now: No self-respecting pug would wear this hat, and most cats have too much dignity, but maybe ... I dunno ... an American Girl doll?)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Stamp of the Chump

There's no secret to it--where men are concerned, I'm not a good judge of character. At least when it comes to spouses. My past track record speaks to this and needs no embellishment. If my heart and ... er, other parts of my body ... are involved, I can't pick 'em.

But that's only men who appeal to the ... love ... part of life.

I'm actually usually pretty good when it comes to men who don't spark any feelings of lust or love. In matters of hiring and firing and just plain sizing men up ... I'm a champ. I can spot a con man a mile away.

Even Mr. Pug agrees, although he might take issue with my statement about men and love. (Maybe I'm getting better? After all, we're still together after all these years ....)

Anyway, when he and I were in business together, we frequently disagreed about men we'd meet during the course of business. He'd introduce me to someone he wanted to hire, or someone who wanted to sell us something, and sometimes all the hairs on my body would stand up and I'd know ... he's a louse. "Get rid of him!" I'd shout. "Show him the door."

Usually Mr. P would tell me I was crazy ... until a later date when he'd admit, "whoops, hon, you were right ... I should have listened to you."

I'm also a champ when it comes to looking over my friends' and relations' spouses. When their ... love radar, let's call it ... would get in the way, I could check out the guy and know right away that the guy was a jerk. Not that anyone ever listened to me, because I'm known for my own crappy love radar when it comes to my own life. Poor judgement all the way ....

But this week, I've come to realize that my doctor radar is fatally flawed, too. At least, my Ob/Gyn Radar. Who knew? For awhile, I thought maybe it was just coincidence that there had been some ... er, failures of choice ... in my medical background. This week, all the evidence is in, and I'm Officially Unable to Select a Medical Professional.

Let's examine the evidence:

  • 1971 - The wonderful Ob/Gyn who delivered oldest daughter is dying of heart disease, can't see me through pregnancy #2. He refers me to Bad Doctor #1. BD #1 comes with great references, is reputed to be Ethel Kennedy's doctor, has delivered some of her many children. I meet him, he has the personality of a speculum but not as warm, but seems competent. No sense of humor, but maybe that's not absolutely necessary. Then he shows up for Jennifer's delivery about an hour late, and drunk as a lord. Let's just say that no one that drunk should be trusted with a needle and thread. And less than a year later, he drives  his Mercedes to Key Bridge, the connector between Arlington, VA and DC. Somewhere in the middle, he gets out and dives off the bridge, a suicide. Maybe he finally realized he was missing a personality!

  • 1983 - Okay, I've recovered from the fact that I picked a really crappy Ob/Gyn. But now, I have a guy that I pretty much like. BD #2 is  Iranian, and darkly handsome -- sort of like the hot Persian guys I used to meet at Dupont Circle in my wild youth or like the Shah before we knew he was torturing people -- and has a better personality than BD #1. In fact, he's actually kinda cute, which is probably a major warning sign in a doctor that you only see when you're wearing stirrups. Sometime that year he murders his wife, wraps her body in a quilt from their bed, and puts her body into the trunk of their Mercedes, and parks her and the car at Dulles Airport. Okay, another warning sign.

  • 2001 - I move to Atlanta. After a few years of HMO doctors, I'm on my own again. Someone from the office recommends a doctor in Marietta and I start going to him. Again, no spark, but by now I've figured out -- I just want a doctor who can do a Pap Test, not a friend. But I'm vaguely uncomfortable with BD #3's office -- what's the deal with all the weepy women? Why do they all come with someone to drive them home? Whoops! I seem to have stumbled into someplace I don't want to be. Drop him ... and wonder if I might have misjudged him. Maybe he was really okay ... maybe  .....   Until this week, when I learn that he's the jerk who got out of his Mercedes on I-285 and punched a female motorist in the face in a burst of gynecological road rage. 

So, here's the point. This really points to a serious failure in my ability to find a good doctor. Why do I keep picking jerks? Or is the Mercedes the common factor?

From now on, I'm checking out the parking lot. If the doc drives a German car, and it's not a Beetle, he's off the list.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Weekend with Candace

Every year the knitting guild brings in at least one "superstar" teacher for a weekend of classes and hopefully some fun. We've had some incredible people and some who were ... let us say, less than incredible ones. It's not an easy task to find someone who will challenge our most experienced knitters and not intimidate our less experienced ones.

It's also not easy to find a teacher with a variety of skills and techniques to teach. For instance, I'm a Sockie. I love socks ... every variety. But a weekend of just socks would only appeal to a very few of our members.  Likewise, a weekend of all-lace. I'd be happy, but others, not so much. So, a teacher who's a "one-trick wonder" won't do.

Let's see. What else? Well, it helps if s/he has a book or two under her belt, or designs that  folks are familiar with. But not everybody who can write a book or design a pattern can teach.

Which brings me to: Candace Eisner Strick. We had the MOST fun with her this weekend. She's an author, teacher, designer, yarn dyer, fiberista all tied up in one package. With a sense of humor. Here she is demonstrating a rather unique technique she called the "crotch cast-on."

Well, don't hold that against her! We didn't. We laughed and hooted and hollered and generally had a great time, while learning Austrian Twisted Stitches and the other eight of her favorite cast-ons and cast-offs. And she brought her fabulous yarns and patterns (check out her website for the incredible yarns she calls Merging Colors).

And I guess that's the essence of a perfect knitting weekend--knit with friends, laugh a little, learn a lot. And, now that we've met her, Candace is a good friend!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

New Sock OTN

No, I haven't finished the other socks I'm knitting, the Zauberball ones -- why would you ask? And no, none of the others either. 

Stop criticizing my ability to complete a project--now you're just being ugly, as we say here in the South.* 

Anyway, here are Early Spring Socks, a Crystal Palace pattern by Janice Kang. The lacy pattern is easy to memorize and to read your knitting and that's a good thing.

You can get the pattern free on Ravelry and you'll see a much better picture of the lacy pattern.

But these socks are ... drumroll, please! ... Malabrigo Sock in the Botticelli colorway. Soft merino with wonderful stitch definition. 

I defy any of you to turn down a chance to knit with Malabrigo. And, besides, they're my "home in the bed" socks to knit rather than my "take them anywhere in my purse" socks. And anyone who doesn't know the difference just isn't a sock knitter.

* I love it when I can adopt a Southern expression and pretend I'm a Southerner. Like when you tell a friend about how another friend wore a dress that was just plumb fugly--like Scarlett O'Hara on crack-- and you end the description with, "bless her heart."  And I have learned over my eight years here in Gawga that you don't press down on the accelerator, you "mash" it, just like you do with the elevator button.