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April 2006
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June 2006

"Vulvar and vaginal nips and tucks represent the fastest-growing segment of plastic surgery, according to Dr. V. Leroy Young, who chairs the Emerging Trends Task Force of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

The techniques have been practiced for more than half a century to repair childbirth-related injuries. But a decade ago a handful of West Coast surgeons for the first time promoted the procedures to improve sexual function and to prettify women's genital organs...."

You know, there are some stories that simply boggle one's mind. This recent Houston Press story about a doctor who makes her living doing plastic surgery on vulvas simply has to be read to be believed. And one you get to the end, you'll simply be unable to wrap your head around the whole thing. But it does touch on several interesting points about American culture, from pr0n to capitalism to shame. It's a doozy.

From the ridiculous to the sublime...

As a palate cleanser, some sensible advice from Dr. Parker on how to raise a 21st century child who is above average.

crafts today, something else tomorrow

By this time Tuesday, I will have finished up all of the grading for Spring 2006 for my gig at SUCO. This does not include the inevitable round of griping by students about same -- but they've made their beds and I'm disinclined to acquiesce to their requests. Unless I can't do math, which is different than the usual "because of this class my GPA is a .07" rubbish.

What will remain is closing the books on my Spring 2006 at Hartwick because they are on a different schedule entirely. But by Memorial Day, if not much, much before, this madness, too, shall end.

Because of this and the fact that I'm a goober, I still haven't completed my bag for the Sew? I Knit! challenge of the month, even though we were all given a lovely deadline. The pieces I've cut are still on the table next to the sewing machine. Nothing has changed in any substantial way. It will -- just not now.

I have been admiring the bag folks have gotten done and must, must, must get me one of these Weekender bags. Like Yaiann's. Or Steph's. Or Elli's.

First I should finish what I've started, tho, eh?

That doesn't stop me from eyeballing this:


And starting that subtle thought process where I convince myself that I could get it done in my lifetime. It's a sickness.

In knitting news, I totally stole this link from Whip-up -- but I am in love with Felieke van der Leest's work.

Like this hat:


And this sweater:


And this, um, giraffe:


'til Tuesday.


"Will It Knit?
Crepe Paper Streamers Yes if you're careful.
Caution Tape Yes.
Masking Tape No and it was stupid to try."

-- From Mason-Dixon Knitting by Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne, the book based on the blog. Said book was a gift from Trish in honor of our extendo-birthday plan. Thanks!

And now that I have been enabled, I can finally plot and plan my Mitered Square Blanket (no-sew variety). There is also a knitalong for the book's patterns. I don't plan to join, mostly because I have enough to worry about, but it looks like a great place to troll for color combos.

And speaking of trolls (and, by implication, related mythical woodland creatures), I must get my hands on some of this gnome fabric to make something for Cory, who we have long called the Gnome. Thoughts on what I should make?

I smell like a julep

Is anyone else really underwhelmed by the most recent Interweave Knits? I know summer issues are difficult because it's not the season for snuggly handknits but the mag has done OK with this issue in the past. This one, tho, is very meh. Only one pattern speaks to me -- the Icarus Shawl, which will be for a fellow knitter -- and the rest I am completely indifferent about, save the Wedgewood Blouse, which I intensely dislike. (In the interest of self-disclosure -- I've never been a big fan of Norah Gaughan's designs. Briefly, Grumperina made me reconsider, since she is working on a Gaughan sweater and I tend to like the things that Ms Grump works on. I am still not won over.) Also, the news and views bits have already made the rounds of the knit blogs, which makes it seem like Interweave is late to the party. Maybe it's just impossible to keep up with the speed of the internet when you are a quarterly. Hard to say.

I do like the pub in general, but this issue won't be one that I thumb through when looking for inspiration.

In other news, the mint war wages on. There is a new wrinkle -- not with the mint, tho I am starting to wonder if napalm is indeed against the Geneva conventions. Mooch has taken to coming outside with me for the single purpose of teasing the big black lab next door. Most cats would have the sense to run away from a barking dog. Not our Moocher. He gets right next to the chain link fence and taunts the pup, securing the the knowledge that the pup is trapped and can only bark. Which he does. With abandon. I'm half-tempted to fling Mooch over the fence just to see what happens. I suspect that would be wrong. Satisfying, but wrong.

And the neighbor, who seems to be a college student of some ilk, came out this afternoon to see what all the hoopla was about. "Wow," she said, after I explained that it really would be OK if her dog ate the cat. "He's really big."

Yes, yes, he is.

actual knitting content: the Shedir

Before the knitting, this history of dance. I suspect that this has already circled the interwebs and is just now getting to me. It is still darned funny -- although not the funniest six minutes ever, as the subtitle alleges. But funny enough to require a click.

The Shedir:

I hesitate to post pixs of this, mostly because it was a gift to mark a fairly serious cancer-related thing, which, fortunately turned out to be not so serious, but is still personal and not something for me to blab on about. I do, however, loooooove the way this hat turned out and would like to at least show off some pixs.

And, once again, my pride stomps the crap out of my candor. Let this be a warning to you all.

The pattern is from the knitty '04 breast cancer issue. Here's what the designer, the girl from auntie aka Jenna aka she-who-designed-rogue-and-eris had to say about it.

It's a challening little pattern but rewarding, especially since I wanted to broaden my cabling skills. Oddly enough, the thought of fairisle or intarsia makes me woozy. A gazillion wee little cables, however, are a right good time.

The end results, as modeled by some tupperware because there was no available human head in the house:



The tech specs, for thems that care. The yarn is Rowan Calmer in a shade called "Lucky," which seemed fitting. It only took one skein but there was barely enough left over to tie a decent bow. All said, it took about a week once I got the hang of it. I'd do it again -- but hope I never know anyone who needs one to cover a chemo-bald head.

if I had a hammer

If I had a time machine, I wouldn't do anything big with it. No spying on Jesus. No poisoning Hitler. All I would do -- and I can't see how it would alter the fabric of the space-time continuum so you might as well just give me the time machine already -- is travel back to the day that the previous owner of my house thought it would be a fine idea to plant mint in the back yard.

I am now on a mission to kill it all, lest it continue taking over what little yard we actually have. Frickin' mint.

I must admit, however, that it smells awfully yummy when you rip it out by its evil, evil roots. Yummy...and eeeevil.

Because a deadline that I'd actually managed to forget about has reared its nasty little head (which looks a lot like mint, come to think of it), the long knitting post I had planned will have to wait.

In lieu, two links:

First, what I plan to do with my kids' old clothes when I have some free time. Stop laughing. Stop it.

Second, from the folks who bring you Cook's Illustrated, a site about stopping junk food in schools. Don't get me wrong -- I'm not anti-junk food and enjoy a good ding-dong every now and again. But I don't think your average kid should have unlimited access to it.


Since 8 a.m. today, I have had the theme song from Clifford the Big Red Dog stuck in my head. Curse you Emily Elizabeth. Curse you to hell.

My newest online addiction is the wonders that are The Fabulist and Notcot, despite the fact that I will never be hip enough to buy any of the great design objects that they link to. Like, for instance, this octopus necklace, which I covet, and these which I don't covet but am fascinated by. The one product I could use, however, is the origami beer label, since I am a lable picker from way back and would love the chance to cover a bar top with more than wet flakes of paper and 10,000 tears.

I suspect that my label picking tendencies explain why I like knitting so much. Gives my hands something to do. And now that NY State has banned smoking in pretty much every public place, I no longer have to worry about yarn that smells like cigs. Plus, the pointy sticks cut down on the skanky guy factor, which hasn't been a huge issue for me but is a massive irritation when it happens. With apologies, I guess, to all you irritating skanky bar guys out there.

Off to work. Deadlines are killing me. Ha!

the boy -- latest stats

For those scoring at home, the boy recently had his nine month check up and the updated info is this:

Weight: 20 lbs 1.1 oz., which puts him in the 50th percentile
Height: 30", which puts him in the 97th percentile

The more eagle-eyed will notice that he is tall and skinny. I will let you know that this has very little to do with my side of the family and everything to do with the Hub's.

Other than that -- he is in fine health (knocking wood and stuff) and into smashing toys together with great abandon. He seems to be a strawberry blonde. And, um, goofy.

So, there it is. Alert the media.