Monthly Archives: July 2007

Pollyanna and the Random Weirdness of Humans

Lyda here. Beginning to come down from the high of my wonderful week at school. My second son “Chuck Norris” is leaving soon for New York, where he will probably forget all about his second mom (although not about the Resident Sith Master, his best friend and fellow zombie slayer).

So, to cheer myself up, some Random Weirdness. ‘Cause what’s a week without Random Weirdness?

1) For my mom, who would have loved this: Town Puts Geese on the Pill and this: the Goose Whisperer.

2) For my dad, ’cause he was born in China and he would have laughed at this: “Panda poop to be recycled into souvenirs”

3) For Laurie: Yaks!

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And BABY YAKS!!

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Because the only thing better than yaks are baby yaks!

4) For Marin, today’s history lesson: August 1, 1876: Colorado becomes 38th state. New state is knitters stronghold, refuses to file down Pointy Mountains, citing need for stash protection.

5) August 1, 1981: MTV broadcasts for the first time. The first video shown was “Video Killed the Radio Star” by the Buggles. Ironic much? Whatev.

6) For Jennifer: Happy Lughnasadh and Happy Lammas ! Ha! I remembered this year. So there. (She knows why I should remember every year, and laughs at me because I usually don’t. Ah, good times, good times.) I told you to read our blog! Now you’re famous and you don’t even know it!

7) For Anglophiles: Happy Yorkshire Day!

8) For the Seattle contigent of my family: Men in Kilts!

9) Fast Times at Ridgemont High hits the big 2-5. “When it comes to making out, whenever possible, put on side one of ‘Led Zeppelin 4.’” Works for me. “Hey bud, let’s party!”

10) This summer makes it 30 years of Star Wars! Thank you, George Lucas, for giving us light sabers, R2D2, Yoda, and Princess Leia. Plus the eye candy of Han Solo, young Obi Wan, Mace Windu, and of course (this one’s for Anna-Liza):

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May the Force be with you!

Pollyanna Rainbow Sunshine and zombies, wizards, and Bruce – oh my!

Lyda here again. I promise, no spoilers or plot points on Harry Potter, in case you haven’t finished it.

I finished Harry Potter #7 Sunday morning. All I will say is: I want to read it again, and I hope J.K. Rowling writes something else. The Resident Sith Master and I decided that we will read the whole series yet again. I think we did this after #6 too. He’s already almost done with #1 again, for the third or maybe fourth time. Second son “Chuck Norris” is reading his way through the series too. [There, that’s all the stuff about Harry. You can relax.]

The problem with something so popular is the worry that someone will tell me before I experience it for myself. The problem with the end of a series is… well, it’s the end. I know I can read the books again, and see the movies again, but it’s still a bit sad to know that there won’t be any more on their way.

Thank goodness Terry Pratchett shows no sign of stopping! If you haven’t checked out his Discworld series or his other many books – well, good grief, get on it! He’s writing more as we speak! He averages two books a year (the man obviously doesn’t sleep); you are sure to find one to your liking. Personally, I love the Discworld stories centering on Sam Vimes and the ones about the witches, Granny Weatherwax et. al., but they are all good. My brother the Gorgeous-Funny-and-Available Engineer (going to be in Ohio this fall getting his Ph.D. – Ohio gals, don’t miss your chance!) sent me “The Truth” many years ago, and I’ve been hooked ever since. Don’t start with “The Color of Magic” the first Discworld book, though. Start with one of the newest books; you can always go back and read the others. You can read the Discworld books out of order; he writes them so you won’t be lost if you pick one up at random. And don’t miss his children’s books (which are great for adults as well as kids) and other books, which are fantastic too.

We rented three movies this weekend. “Chuck Norris” was gone part of the weekend, so the Sith Master and I watched “Die Hard 3” together. He’d seen #4 (in theaters now) but none of the others. We wanted to get Die Hard 1 & 2 also, but someone beat us to it.

So, Bruce Willis. Sweaty and occasionally with shirt off. Great for me. Blowing things up and being funny. Great for son (and me too). And Samuel Jackson – bonus! Although he forgot his light saber

We also rented “V for Vendetta.” I’d never seen it before. I recommend it. Not for the littles though. Action and intense story with a good script, and yes, a message but a good one. How does Natalie Portman look so good with a shaved head? Bone structure, it’s all bone structure. Sigh.

And we also got “Shaun of the Dead,” billed as “A romantic comedy. With Zombies.” It’s a cult classic and where the zombies come lurchin’  into this post. I was concerned that it would be too scary for me, but the guys reassured me and they were right (of course). Ya’ll, this is so funny! A couple of scenes where it got a bit bloody, and one where it got gory for a few seconds (but still funny), but mostly good lurchin’ zombie fun. How many movies have zombies AND lots of drinking AND character development? Well, not enough, I say. This is second son’s favorite movie, and I can see why.

And that concludes our book and movie reviews for today. See, no spoilers.

Tomorrow: possibly more knitting.

But don’t hold your breath.

Pollyanna stalks the cyber jungle

I was wandering the web and found this knit blog: Sarah’s Threads. She has a journal part, which is a blog, and also a craft part with projects and stuff. She knits, she crochets, she spins, she cross-stitches… It is apparently not safe to leave fiber of any kind in her general vicinity because she will turn it into something cool right before your eyes. Be warned. Also, I like her site because she has lots of unfinished projects. ’Cause I don’t want to be all alone in my unfinishedness… Not that I am but still, the more the merrier here in Incomplete Project Land. (And she’s got a cute toddler and two adorable dogs, so there are bonus cute photos.)

I have also (and long overdue, sorry about that, Jane!) added a link to Jane’s Jots. Yes, the very Jane of the Bumpy Scarf and its pattern fame. Ya’ll go leave her a comment or two. Okay, Jane, you’re famous now. Go write more posts! (“Pollyanna Annoys Fellow Knitters, Gets Stabbed by dpns – film at 11.”)

Of course, ya’ll know that I’ve been stalking Laurie aka Crazy Aunt Purl since this whole thing started. She was my first stalk on the Inner-netting, ya’ll. I became obsessed and read her entire blog, from the beginning to present day, in about a week and a half. Not at work, though. Really. (Go buy her book. It’s okay, I’ll wait. You know she’d buy yours.) The other Pollyanna actually met Laurie, but I’m waiting for the restraining order to expire   bidding my time. Some day I’m going to be in LA on a Wednesday night and I’ll surprise her at her Bitch ‘n Stitch. Or else I’ll lure her into Orange County. Oh Laurie! We’ve got cashmere!

Marin aka AntiM was my second cyber-stalking victim. ‘Course, she lives on the other side of that mountain range so she’s safe from in-person stalking. (Stupid pointy mountains!)

And I love Red’s blog. And Frank’s. And Franklin’s, which he shares with Delores who is a sheep after my own heart and spangles [go buy something from his shop, it’s awesome!]. And…

So, do you have a blog? Do you have a favorite that we don’t have on our blogroll?

Pollyanna Rainbow Sunshine and the Global Warming Scarf

Lyda here. Yes, this post contains actual knitting news! (Yes, this is a knitting and quilting blog. No, there’s no quilting progress to report. Why do you ask?)

I broke down yesterday and fell off the no-yarn-buying-until-my-finances-can-handle-it wagon. I know ya’ll will understand.

I got really tired of knitting with nasty scratchy awful acrylic yarn, which was all I had left so I was knitting with it out of desperation. I don’t know what it is I’m knitting with this; I was just sort of keeping my hand in. I’m thinking it’s going to be a really scratchy blanket – which is pointless. Who wants a scratchy blanket? (Do ya’ll have any ideas to use up this scratchy yarn? Would it be softer if it was felted? Should I just make squares to scrub the floor with? What?)

So it was either get more yarn or frog the scarf (again!) and do it over at half of the width (half the number of stitches – yes, I’m learning the lingo). And this yarn has been abused enough – not only did it get tinked a lot during it’s various knitting incarnations (including one as the Bumpy Scarf), it has been frogged completely three times already! Frogging again might be more than mere yarn can stand.

You see why I had to get more yarn. Really. My reasons for spending money on yarn are perfectly, well, reasonable. I know ya’ll will agree.

Besides, I like it at this width. And now I have enough yarn to finish it at this width and also add fringe, which I have decided it needs. It is going to be a really long, really warm scarf. It’s a thick soft yarn, and with that and the width and length, it will be appropriate for tossing on on the way out of the igloo.

In fact, this scarf could warm the whole Inuit village. This scarf is going to contribute to global warming, ya’ll. So I’ve now named it the Global Warming Scarf. (Not that I don’t take global warming seriously, ’cause I do. But serious is not the same as “having my rather-bizarre sense of humor surgically removed.” But I digress…)

The scarf (when finished; experts are predicting sometime in 2022) will be way too warm for Southern California. I’m going to have to send it to someone who lives where there is a lot of that white stuff on the ground… what do ya’ll call that? Oh yeah, snow.

Besides, the yarn-buying was not my fault! Yesterday I innocently drove off on my way to procure much-needed groceries – and the car went to Michael’s instead! No, ya’ll. Really. It was the car. It is totally enabling my fiber habit!

Does my car need to join FA-Anon? FA = Fiber Anonoymous. Don’t pretend you’ve never been slipped a pamplet by a well-meaning relative. At least I know none of you will stage an intervention on me. [Unless you are after my stash. Trust me, I have no stash. Yet! But I digress again…] And my car is white and named Obi Wan, so you know that it is working for the Light Side of the Force.

So, since my car drove me there, I had to get out and look, didn’t I? What can just looking hurt? And buying another one or two skeins of yarn to finish the Global Warming Scarf, well, completion is a good thing, right? Otherwise I’m wasting precious fiber resources. Besides, the yarn was actually on sale – that’s right – Michael’s was having a yarn sale! (Be afraid, be very afraid!)

I knew I was doomed as soon as I saw the sale.

I managed to restrain myself somewhat. While I did get more three skeins of yarn for the Global Warming Scarf, I managed to resist the blandishments of most of the rest of the sale yarn. A lot of it was yarn with fringe and pompoms and other cool stuff, which was intriguing but I thought would be more difficult in my beginner knitter-ness.

So, did I just walk away at that point, with the completion-of-scarf yarn and nothing else?

Well… about that…

There was this yarn on sale, ribbon yarn in verigated rainbow colors – Lion Brand “Incredible” in the “City Lights” colorway (updated – thanks Anna-Liza) And the ball band has a picture of a cute scarf that ends with the ribbony yarn hanging down… and the directions are on the back of the band… and I know this young girl who would love this scarf and totally needs it. And it only takes two skeins. And the yarn was ON SALE for two dollars a skein, ya’ll! ON SALE!

“The sun was in my eyes. Friends came in from out of town. IT WASN’T MY FAULT!” (Oh, John, I miss you so much!)

I was weak. I bought the ribbon yarn too. I bought 3 skeins of it. Two for the scarf, one to put in my stash pile. Which isn’t a stash pile at all, if you don’t count the nasty acrylic yarn which I don’t. This skein will be the beginning of my stash. (I have to have something to leave Anna-Liza in the codecil to my will, ya’ll.) And I bought size 13 circular needles, because that’s the size it says I’ll need to make this scarf, and I didn’t have any needles that size. (This purchase brings me total number of sets of needle up to three. Pity me.) And I always do what the yarn ball tells me to do…

And anyway, this scarf will probably be a birthday or Yule present for the 9-year-0ld girl I mentioned, Diva-In-Training, who is actually the Resident Sith Master’s half-sister and extremely cool in her own right, and thus a recipient of gifts from me at fairly random intervals. Diva-In-Training is destined to either be an opera star or take over the world. So, it is a good idea to knit her something. I could end up with box seats, ya’ll. Or maybe Nebraska.

Nebraska would be cold enough for lots of knitted stuff.

Although the ribbon scarf could also be a present for the sister of my second son, “Chuck Norris,” who would also love it. Hmm… maybe I need to make two of these scarves. Uh-oh…

Fortunately for the bank account, the store was closing in five minutes, so I didn’t have time to talk myself into buying some of the really soft wonderful baby yarn which was not on sale. (“Why do I want to knit baby stuff? I don’t know anyone who’s expecting. But it’s so soft. And baby stuff is so cute. And I could donate what I make. That would be good, there are lots of babies  who could use soft warm hats and sweaters and…” Ya’ll see the danger I was in.)

So, saved by the bell once again. And then the car agreed to take me to the grocery store, so we now have food too.

And that was my weekend. That and laundry, movies, and Harry Potter. More on that later.

I knew ya’ll would want to hear about the yarn first.

Pollyanna Rainbow Sunshine Lives Chaos Theory

Hey, Anna-Liza here.

Wow, that was some tribute Lyda wrote–she must still be blissed out from the weeklong intensive. Thanks, babe! Back atcha! (I bet it was the Cynthia Heimel reference that clued you in).

I have this very serious post in my head, but haven’t had a chance to work on it yet. Chaos reigns at Pollyanna of the Rocky Mountains’ place.

Darlin’ K is a freelance engineer. If you know anyone who is a freelance anything, you know that “freelance” and “reliable income” are not even in the same universe, most of the time. He got a request to do a contract job for the City of Denver — hello reliable income! At least for the duration of the contract. Unfortunately, it also means he’ll spend three hours a day commuting (by express bus), which means I’ll need to get the kids to their respective daytime activities and pick them up as well, which means … well, an entirely disrupted rearranged schedule. We’ll all have to get up a lot earlier, and the kids will have to be at daycare/day camp a lot earlier in order for me to get a full workday in.

Of course, my priorities being straight, my first thoughts on receiving this news were “when will I knit and/or blog?” Well, to be truthful, my first thought was “Yay, money!”, second thought was “With how much of a sleep deficit can I remain functional?”, and then I thought about knitting/blogging.

The answers are: “Yay, money!”, “I can’t manage without getting more sleep than I’ve been getting lately,” and therefore “Knitting and blogging? What are those?” So communication from me will be even spottier, I’m sorry to say. I’ll do my best, but I’m afraid Lyda’s going to have to woman the ship without a lot of help for just a bit.

This Denver job, I should mention, is on top of the rehearsals for the fire show he’s doing with the Boulder Fringe Festival, which are more frequent as the performance draws nearer. And trying to maintain at least minimal contact with friends and family, and get half of the garage turned into a new office for him. I thought we were doing a piss-poor minimal job with housework before–it’s going to be bare-survival level at least through the end of August! There’s a reason we’re entertaining our friends up at the cabin and not at our house! (Well, in addition to the fact that it’s cooler at 8,000 feet, and there’s trees and rocks and no cell phone coverage).

I should add, in fairness, that the housework is not my burden alone–Darlin’ K carries his fair share. It’s just that he’ll be away from home 11 to 13 hours a day, even when he has no rehearsal, so on a strictly practical level, I’ll have to pick up some of the slack. And I won’t have much capacity for more slack-picking-up really, with the extra kid-shuttling and all that. So please, whatever you do, don’t drop by the house unexpectedly unless you’re whisking all of us off to a place with a playground, a cool place to sit, and wine. Or you’re a maid service doing charity work.

I have made some knitting progress. The second cabled sock, well, I had to rip back some because I hadn’t made the heel flap long enough, but now I’ve turned the heel and picked up the gusset stitches again. I’ve gotten the cuff done on the first Tofutsies sock (couldn’t resist the colors and the soft cottony feel). Mr. R’s bucket hat is pretty close to done–I’ve gotten to the point on the crown where I’m going to have to switch to DPNs. Now I just have to find my size 5 DPNs! I used to have two sets–can’t lay my hand on either one right now. I’ll need to cast on Mr. B’s hat right away, or he’ll feel slighted … so not one stitch of progress on the Lace Wrap. At this point, I’ll be happy if I have it done by the end of September, which is probably about the earliest I’d want to wear it. Not sure what I’m going to do about blocking it–there is no place at all in my house that’s a safe place to do it. I’ll probably have to take it to the Knitting Sprite’s place or a friend’s house without mobile children. No progress on the Backyard Leaves scarf, either, but I’ve called a halt to that one until the Lace Wrap is complete. So the knitting news is mainly the non-knitting news; drat!

So, with all that on the needles and even less time to knit than I’m used to having, why do I have this urge to cast on not one, but two projects? A new sweater for me (and Eris is also still stuck without her sleeves … oh, wait. I bet that’s where the size 5 DPNs are) and a (laceweight) lace shawl! (The Lace Wrap is worsted weight). I have clearly gone way, way, way over the edge now, and I can’t see that I’ll ever find a way back.

Someday people will talk in whispers about the day I was found, sitting wrapped in 50 different kinds of yarn with a litter of knitting magazines and books piled around me, muttering about rosewood sock needles and blocking boards and alpaca.

Pollyanna Loves Pollyanna!

No, not in an icky way-too-into-myself kinda way…. 

Lyda here. Let me ‘splain.

‘kay, I was stalking  catching up with Laurie and I read some of the comments on her Tuesday post. I always read every. single. one. of her posts without fail, but I don’t always read all the comments, ’cause she gets four million of them every time. And I’ve got others to stalk. [I’m generous with my stalkin’, ya’ll. But I digress…]

So, I’m reading the comments and making notes (great movie/tv/book suggestions!)…

And I start reading a comment…

And I’m thinking, wow, this is a great comment…

What great suggestions…

What a great funny insightful comment this is…

Why, it sounds just like Anna-Liza…

beat 

Yup. 

So this one’s for you, Anna-Liza.

I love that I know you so well that I recognize your voice from a two-sentence post on another blog. I love that you also still surprise me every time we talk.

I love that I am still learning from you, not just movies and books, but all kinds of things. I love that we can talk about quantum physics and then laugh about men IN THE SAME BREATH.

I love everything about you but the fact that you live so far away.

Stupid stupid mountains. All tall and hard to walk across…

I may be stalking Laurie and Marin.

But never forget I stalked you first.

And I’ll always be your most rabid fan. 

No matter how far away you live.

I know that some day 40 or 50 years from now, we will be sitting side by side in our rocking chairs, knitting in hand.

And we’ll still have so much to talk about and laugh about…

And you will still surprise me, and you’ll still be teaching me…

Possibly how to knit socks. By then I’ll be over my sock terror, right?

And ya’ll thought there wasn’t any knitting in this post!

Pollyanna Rainbow Sunshine Stumbles Back from school

Hi, Lyda here. Finally…

I survived my 6-day lab for school. But it’s so worth it and if you haven’t checked out the University of Santa Monica website, do it now. (I’ll wait… gives me a chance for a nap…)

Right now, I’m pretty spacey from all the learning and the spiritual high and the hugs. I’m tellin’ ya’ll, if you want to get lots of hugs, sign right up! The folks in my class are so yummy – loving on the inside and gorgeous on the outside, each and every one a 10+. (And the menz hugged me and kissed my cheek! MENZ!!!)

Something else was making me spacey too… oh yeah, lack of sleep, right. Intense 12-hour classes do take their toll.  Yesterday it was 7 hours with no meal breaks –  okay we had a 20-minute snack break. I WENT WITHOUT LUNCH, YA’LL. Alert the media! 

And since I’m not crazy enough to get on the LA freeway at 5 pm on a weekday – I went to dinner with some classmates. Turns out there were 20 of us – the restaurant was awesome about handling such a big group unexpectedly and the food was great. El Cholo Mexican Restaurant on Wilshire (near 10th or 11th Street). The food was awesome, they told me the drinks were great (the margueritas looked good, ya’ll, but I had to drive), and the pretty waitress was a saint. So go there and enjoy. But maybe don’t tell them the happy noisy people sent you. [When I got there, I told them I was looking for the people with the big smiles. The waiter said, “Oh, upstairs.” That’s us – the Smiley People!] 

Friday I had a late lunch/early dinner with a classmate at a pub… I’ve got the name here somewhere… hmm… I’ll figure it out and add it later… It had traditional English/Irish food and beverages (my friend had never heard of bangers and mash! I weep for our educational system… but I digress…).  There were a few pool tables and a foozball table, and wallpaper that looked like a library of books in the hallway to the bathrooms. Best of all, they had wonderful comfortable couches and chairs. If I lived in Santa Monica, it would totally be my local. Would be a great Drunken Knitters meeting spot. Or even non-drunken KIP – they were very cool with us not drinking (on our way to class, ain’t we good girls?).

I told Mary Mary, the friend/classmate who put me up for the week, that it was the best bed-and-breakfast I ever stayed at (not that I’ve stayed at many… or even one… but I digress…). Lovely woman, lovely home, delicious to only ride a few minutes to and from class each day. And I slept in her son’s room, with posters of young men surfing and skateboarding and playing volleyball. It was fun being in all that Teenage Guy energy for the week.

Last night, drove home after dinner and hugged Tommy the Sith apprentice cat as much as he could stand. I really missed that kitty, evil or not.

This morning I went out and viewed the devistation that is my garden now. I think the boys forgot to water it. I watered it of course, but I fear it is too late for the herbs. Hey, they fed the cat. And the house was clean and tidy.

But best of all, best of everything all week:

This morning my very own Resident Sith Master and “Chuck Norris” came tumbling out from the Sith Master’s dad’s car… They didn’t even seem to mind that I hugged them for five minutes each.

And then I was late to work because I was talking to them… oh well, one must have one’s priorities.

 Must go collapse now… more later… and I promise to tell you about the party too…

zzzzzzzzzzz