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November 2006

memphis, knitting and Moon Pies


It is hard not to love a Festival that tosses both a bottle of Tennessee's finest whiskey and a Moon Pie in your goody bag. A recent post by my partner in Memphis mischief has inspired me to get my act together. She is pictured below and the picture was snapped just before she caught the mass of knitterly folk assembled behind her with the Ann cam.


While I don't want to make the whole adventure sound like a big ol' love-in, I did realize that Ann is one of those people who I felt like I'd known my entire life despite the fact that we'd just met. When that happens, it's like the universe is just giving you a sign that all is well.

The same can be said of Dr. Karen Purdy, who could not have been a better host/partner in handknits, and her sister Kris, who has a sharp sense of humor and sharper taste in shoes. Dr. P is the source of the Folk Shawls book, which didn't suit her knitting tastes but suits mine remarkably well. While I appreciate the gift, my yarn budget is going to be stretched mighty thin.

The assembled whack of knitters at Sleep-out Louie's:


I indulged in deep fried dill pickles (spears, not the chips). I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed them. I'd forgotten how addictive the silly things are.

And then there is the must discussed Glow-in-the-yarn, which a bunch of us snuck off to the bathroom with to see how bright the glow is. I couldn't find the ballband nor could I call up Dorothy in my local knitting group to find out where she'd gotten it. It's called Nightlights and can be ordered online from Woolstock Knit Shop.

My Hallowig is almost done, FYI. Pictures will follow.

Anyway, after stuffing myself with queso and more fried foods at a great Mexican place, I fell into a small coma.

Once I pulled out of it, on to the Arcade, where I rediscovered the joy that is a Southern biscuit.


On my way back to the trolley stop -- Memphis' trolley system has grown in wonderful ways since I was there last -- I paid my respects.


The Lorraine Motel.


The National Civil Rights Museum was closed at that hour on a Sunday morning but just standing in front of the motel and in the greenspace that fronts it is more than enough.

Speaking of more ... there is some TK. Now, tho, to sleep.

shameless self promotion, part 253 in a series

The box for my dead Mac has arrived. Today it will go to the people who can patch it back up and return it to my loving arms. Godspeed.

New column up at Austinmama about my love for another household appliance. Who else is with me?

Thanks to all who came to the reading last night. I had a fine time and hope y'all did as well.

Mim, the talented designer responsible for the Icarus pattern, gave my humble work a shout out on her site. And now that I have seen her site, it's all I can do to not purchase every last shawl pattern she has (especially that Seraphim jobby) and dive right in. It's a sickness, I tell you.

And the truly sick thing is that I'm not much of a shawl person -- but seem to love knittin' 'em. Go figure.

Speaking of, through a wonderful, kismet-laden turn of events, I wound up with a copy of Folk Shawls and am already plotting. How I came to have this book is one of those stories I keep threatening y'all with. It'll have to keep waiting, tho, until I can get to my pictures. Hopefully I can steal away with the Hub's computer this evening, since he needs it back right now and must go to work.

As should I. Papers to grade. Woo. It's good paper-grading-tea-drinking weather, tho, so I have that working for me.

scrambling around like eggs in a pan

There will be more on Memphis soon. Just not now. Now is reserved for coming back up to speed on the daily routine and the pesky jobs.

There are stories. There are pictures. Some of the pictures even have stories -- but all of that must wait.

Two things, while there is waiting:

1) If you are in Oneonta, please come to my reading tonight at 7 pm at the Red Dragon Theatre, which is in Hunt Union.

2) The coffee incident, from this weekend's Daily Star, presented for your enjoyment.

And the third thing (yes, I didn't mention there would be a third thing, but it is worth saying):

3) Always find the knitters. The knitters will show you a good time.


"All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go..."

By the time you read this, I should be in Newark, on my way to Memphis, where I will drown my technological sorrows in good company, good books, good food and good knitting. Maybe not all at once, mind, but there should be some goodness.

Oh, yeah, and I'll be reading at noon on Saturday. Freakin' out a little bit about this one. It's fortunate that I've written a book about being crazy. It really sets the bar low in terms of what people expect.

Also, because I keep thinking that I've posted this info then come to realize that I haven't -- if you are in Oneonta on Monday, Oct. 16, come to the Hunt Union at 7pm. I'll be doing a reading/signing/interpretive dance for all y'all's enjoyment.

Right. Onward. Newark. Wee.

we soldier on

Scott this morning described me as forlorn. That is sadly accurate.

Still, Project Runway was on last night and that can improve even the most bleak of moods. As can the blogs on Bravo, which are always good, but Rucker really stepped up in his descriptions of the great Tim Gunn:

  1. The man consistently wants to help carry 80-pound production cases while wearing fully pressed suit and shinned dress shoes despite being, what we refer to as, “talent.” (I carry your bags, Tim. That’s what I get paid to do.)
  2. He’s an efficient packer and his one small bag makes your bag look like it was packed in the dark by a group of kindergarteners.

For the record, in Memphis this weekend, my bag will more resemble the latter rather than the former. Speaking of, the most amusing tidbit of info is that my computer will be shipped to ... wait for it ... Memphis to be fixed.

Email still touch-and-go and completely dependent on the arrangement of the planets. Just FYI.

I do suspect that I'm going to get a heck of a lot of non-computer related stuff (like, say, cleaning) that I wouldn't otherwise. This will all be very character building.

life is random and unfair

This morning was my morning to finally relax a tiny bit because I'd gotten a lot of writing (and various life) stuff done yesterday. As I was opeing documents that I needed to alter slightly and print for class, my computer locked up.

Odd, I thought, my computer never locks up.

When I tried to restart, I got this weird little three bell tone, then nothing. So I tried again. Same thing. And again -- this time with a heart full of horror and disbelief -- nothing.

So I called tech support, who told me that I'd have to take it to my nearest authorized Apple Store, which is in Albany. And I explained where Albany is in relation to where I am. And they are sending a box in which I am to pack the remains and return to them. It is, of  course, fantasitcally expensive but I can't see any other way. It would still be expensive if I drove it up to the Apple Store and had to pay them to look at it.

Of course, this comes on the heels of having to have $1000ish worth of work done on the car. Just when we were starting to get caught up...fart.

Right now, I am in shock. It's like someone hacked out a piece of my brain. Fortunately, I'd backed up most of my files within the last few months -- but I susepect there will be lost data. As well as some lost pictures, it now dawns on me. Gah!

But the biggest deal now is that I feel completely cut off from the world. *sob*

I can still check email and whatnot via the Hub's machine whenever said machine and I are in the same room. But there will be some lag. If you really need me for somethin', call.

I am going to continue running about in a panic.


Over the weekend, I decided to take some fun fur and some ping pong balls and reinact the miracle that was the birth of my children. I did it drug-free this time.


I kid.

The girl and I decided to make a monster wreath in honor of this most wonderful time of the year.


Next time, I will brush the cheese doodle dust off of her face before snapping the picture.


Given the amount of pre-schooler help I had with this project, I think it turned out right scary. Next time around, I'll stuff it more and make it smaller. Not that there's going to be a next time. One is enough.


What do you think? Bow or no bow?


I may also add some teeth or screaming villagers or other frightening accessories.

shamless self promotion

New column up at Bookslut about the "new" Robert Heinlein.

Also in the shameless commerce folder -- the schedule for the Southern Festival of Books has been announced. The fates have been kind enough to not put my reading opposite Garrison Keillor's, which is now known as the Gallipoli spot. So if you happen to be in Memphis on Saturday, please say howdy. After my bit, I plan to see Mz Ann Shayne, then to parts unknown to hang with knitters.

More on this later, I'm sure.

That is all.

spiced tea!

Ms Ayun triggered a flashback this morning with her recipe for Spice Tea. Our moms must be about the same age because I remember this bevvy being de riguer at every last party my folks ever hosted in the '70s. I'd totally forgotten how much the smell of this stuff conjures of scents of my mom's Shalimar perfume mixed with that of the candle that went under her silver tea urn, which was full of this stuff. It was the odor of adults doing adult things, which made no sense to someone who was still in single digits and was forced to go to bed early.

Must go buy Tang...


"People tend to look at successful writers, writers who are getting their books published and maybe even doing well financially, and think that they sit down at their desks every morning feeling like a million dollars, feeling great about who they are and how much talent they have and what a great story they have to tell; that they take in a few deep breaths, push back their sleeves, roll their necks a few times to get all the cricks out, and dive in, typing full formed passages as fast as a court reporter. But this is just the fantasy of the uninitiated."

-- "Shitty First Drafts" from Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott.

Today has been a day of shitty first drafts. And second drafts. And thoughts of taking up a trade like welding, perhaps.

Thanks to one and all for the kudos on the post and the shawl. I wish you could feel it. The shawl, that is, not the post. The yarn is just so, so soft and alpaca-y. Yum.