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Sweater Quest: The Podcast + a couple of other things including the hippie

* Chapter 9 is now live. One more chapter to go...

* The random number generator picked commenter Carol as the winner. Carol, can you email me and we'll figure out some kinda prize?

 * Slowly, slowly I'm working out the e-book kinks. It's less fun than you might imagine. However, a note: the e-book can also be downloaded in .doc and .pdf forms that you can read on your computer if you don't have an e-reader. Go here. And the cover art still looks like this: 


I repost because I love it.

* A little bit more about Austin. Yes, I was rear-ended by a hippie in a duct-taped pick-up truck - that also had a couple of bald tires. Yes, I am fine. Yes, it was a weird end to less that ideal day.

The drive from Houston to Austin was lovely. I like a good road trip - and the 290 route is intriguing if you don't live in that sort of scrubby flatland. Bugs the size of your hand make for good scenery, as long as you can admire them from behind glass.

I'm not being at all sarcastic. I really do love that sort of thing.

It got weird once I got to the hotel and was given a room that was still occupied. That sorted, I went to Threadgill's, where lunch was exactly what I wanted it to be. (For those curious, butter beans, grits and sweet potato fries with a lemonade.) I bought a t-shirt, just because. I read the Chronicle while I ate. That plus the drive around the old 'hood, which was pretty much that end of Lamar, made my heart all warm. 


(Hyde Park Theater, where I spent many an hour back in the day.)

And then I started my trek to the Knitting Nest, which was a lot farther down S. Congress than I'd thought. And no one was there, because I was terribly early, which happens a lot when I go from Eastern time to Central time. 


(yarn bombed tree outside of the Knitting Nest)

Long story short, due to the lack of folk interested in talking to me at the Nest,* I crashed the men's knitting circle that was also there. 


This is Doug Upchurch who runs White Bear Fibers.


Steven is on the right and needs to start his own Starmore.**

Despite the friendliness of these gentlemen, I had the start of a good funk going by the time I left. I blame no one but myself for the self-pity cycle that followed. The fertilizer was my own brain, which kept up a steady stream about how most of the people I knew here were gone and this place no longer enchanted me, in fact, actively didn't want me around, was full of cool hipsters and I am an old frumpy get the idea. I had a good ol' wallow going.

I stopped at Book People on my way back, because I'd almost finished Patchett's State of Wonder*** and had nothing else to read. As I was leaving Book People, fat drops of rain started pelting down. "Huh," I thought to myself. "No one in Texas can drive in the rain. I should wait it out."

Reader, that is not what I did. 

In full-woe-mode, I pulled out onto Lamar. I made it to 24th street, where I stopped at the light and noticed the guy behind me wasn't.


(note duct tape around his front window)

After leaping out of the truck to make sure I was OK, the next words out of his mouth were "we need to get our story straight." 

While we waited for the cops (and there were two more relatively unrelated if very similar accidents behind us), hippie dude proceeded to tell me about his premonition, man, that he should just pull over and wait the rain out. And on, like he was asking for my forgiveness. Which I wasn't inclined to give. 


(those two dents are the sum total of the damage to my rental car.)

The police showed up. We filled out paperwork. He took my pen. I drove to Central Market to get dinner and a beer. 

Because everything is all about me, I took it as a sign from the universe that the self-pity pissed it off. Well played, universe.

I woke up the next morning, early, and drove back to Houston. I watched the sun rise over 290.


And then, many hours later, I was home.


* Other than the aforementioned BRNNR and Kat.

** Enabler? Moi?

*** Read it.

up with figs, the dude does not abide

Once upon a time, Lisa and Adrienne worked for the same alternative newsweekly. Now, both spend their respective lives mining their creative souls and leading hermit-like lives. And so an idea was hatched. Every week, one would send the other a sketch—either in illustration or word form—and the other would make a companion to the sketch. The result would be posted on both their blogs every week, just for grins. Even if the result isn't award-worthy, the exercise makes both minds more nimble. Hopefully.

The dude does not abide

Taken directly from my facebook feed....

Adrienne Martini

Dear Austin; The message that you are done with me has been received loud and, in fact, clear. Not only was the signing a complete bust (with the exception of finally meeting in person the lovely Wayne Alan Brenner and his delightful bride Katherine Kiger), I got rear-ended (not code) by an old bearded hippie dude driving a truck literally held together with duct tape.

Sunday at 7:33pm ·  Like 

 Adrienne Martini I'm fine, btw. I thank all the stars in the state that liquor laws let you buy beer by the bottle at the grocery store. The clerk must have though I was a relapsing alcoholic, tho.

Sunday at 7:34pm · Like

Adrienne Martini Especially when you buy beer based on whether or not it has a screw cap.

Sunday at 7:34pm · Like · 1 person

 Adrienne Martini And hippie dude stole the pen I lent him to fill out the cop's paperwork.

Sunday at 7:36pm · Like


Text ©Adrienne Martini; illustration ©Lisa Horstman. Until the end of time. Or something.

so that was a hoot and a half

I'm gonna hold the "many things" post for next Tuesday, largely because it isn't many things if your list only has one thing on it. And one thing doesn't really make a post.

Plus - I'd like to tell you about Houston.*

Houston tends to be the butt of jokes when one lives in Austin. "Jokes" is the wrong word. It's more that Houston is used as a worst case scenario, like "if you think you've had a bad day, you could have had it in Houston, which would be much, much worse."**

I made the mistake of incorporating that into my worldview. I am here to say that I was full of cow pies. Houston is delightful.

Look at these knitters:


And these: 


And there was a bunch in the middle, who I didn't realize didn't get in either shot. They were equally lovely.

From my perspective, the talk went well. There was laughing and questions. Plus, there were cupcakes. It's always more fun with cupcakes.

In between, I ate as much Tex-Mex as I could hold. I had at least one Shiner Bock, which I pine for, and an obscenely big (and obscenely delicious) watermelon margarita.  


Marilee, Brine, Roddie, Theresa (who took the picture above), Dianna, Mary Lee, Anna Marie and all of the Knit at Night Knitters were most wonderful.

Plus, there was yarn.


It's a colorway (named "Jane" in memory of one of the founders of the guild) dyed by Mama Llama for the guild's 15th anniversary. Tucked into our place settings were bamboo double points, just in case we should want to start something right there. A few did, in fact, and I can't wait to see what they come up with.

The next morning, I took off for Austin. I also took two pictures at a convenience store near the turn-off for College Station. I had to wait to take them because my glasses immediately fogged up when I went from my well air conditioned rental car into the East Texas July.


This is one way to tell you're not in the North anymore.


This is the other.

I made it to Austin in good time, took myself out to lunch at Threadgill's, which I miss even more now, and drove down Congress. Then it got, as the Austin Chamber of Commerce says, weird.


* Austin will in another post. First, I have to send the paperwork to the Department of Public Safety.

** If you are a New Yorker, insert New Jersey for Houston. Or if you are a Tennessean, insert Alabama. You get the idea.

this is just to say

A full update (with pictures, because I remembered to take some but did not remember the cable that goes from my camera to the computer) will be on the way later in the week, provided I don't get stranded someplace without internet access. Given the last 12 hours, that seems probable. Let us all cross our fingers.

In short, tho, Houston was stunning and fabulous and fun. Austin? Um. It's been weird. And not in cool, hip way. 

I'll explain it all properly soonish. Provided nothing else weird happens. 

Do you hear that ominous music? No? Just me?


qotd, on hate

"What struck me with him, and with many of the conservatives I'd heard since the election, was his overblown, almost egocentric take on political outrage, his certainty that no one else had quite experienced it before. What, then, had I felt during the Bush-Cheney years? Was that somehow secondary? 'Don't tell me I don't know how to hate,' I wanted to say. Then I stopped and asked myself, Do you really want that to be your message? Think you can out-hate me, asshole? I was fucking hating people before you were even born!"

-- "Standing By" by David Sedaris in the Aug. 7, 2010 New Yorker.

many things make a post

* Mary Roach on pooping.

* I kinda wish I'd never discovered this site.

* Here. Have a perspective check.

* An author's prayer. (And if you haven't read The Magicians yet, you should.)

* How the NPR voices look .

* Want.

* Not that any of us need a guide for this, really, but how to land your kid in therapy.

(Just a note: I'm going to be a little thin on the ground this week, what with getting ready to show off The Sweater in Houston and Austin, not to mention getting the house put back together after two weeks of bedlam and painting (the dining room, not art). So, a question: what's the part of this summer that you are most looking forward to? And what is the part you are dreading? Leave a comment on this post and there just might be a prize (picked at random).)

qotd, truth.

Miss Tick sniffed. "You could say this advice is priceless," she said. "Are you listening?"

"Yes," said Tiffany.

"Good. Now... if you trust in yourself..."


"... and believe in your dreams..."


"... and follow your star... " Miss Tick went on.


"... you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren't so lazy. Good-bye."


-- Terry Pratchett, Wee Free Men, which I can't recommend enough.