Tuesday, March 21, 2006

blogging is the new ceramics

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest came out and suddenly it was okay to talk about the Nut House, and the nature of things that go on there. The landscape has changed, of course, and now most crazy people wander the streets of New York and Los Angeles, but there was a time, a very very long time, when losing your mind in America meant some well-meaning friend, relative, or state official would sign you into a facility for some shock treatment and strait jacket action. That doesn’t sound so nice, but the good part is that once they’d calmed your crazy, they’d set you loose on the rec room where you could sit around in a sweet sweet daze engaging in the craft of your choice. I can’t say why without doing some actual research, but the craft of choice for most certified people was ceramics. People worked themselves into a tranquil frenzy making those handy little mosaic plates to set hot pots on without burning the counter. They made ashtrays and vases -- things whimsical and utilitarian and having seen the handiwork of a few nutty folks myself I am qualified to say this, quite pretty too. And so it is no wonder that when I think of the Funny Farm, I eschew the dark vision of post brain-fucked Jack Nicholson in favor of the extra sitting in the background whipping up a nice lopsided candy dish.

This is the Age of Zoloft and I say it’s a damn shame. It’s a cold thing to be handed a slip of paper with a prescription scribbled in Latin and not also be given the warm comfort of time to sit in the sun and make stuff. Or, in my case, to make stuff and talk about it, which is why I come here and why, when I’m done, I go around other people’s blogs to see what they’re making out of yarn, and out of life.

I have yet to go down the pill road because I’m crazy enough to think I can handle my crazy on my own (if you knew half the things I’m up to these days, you’d know how crazy that is). Maybe the end will prove me wrong, but for now coming here and sharing the truth of my life feels like a better place to start. It ain’t ceramics, but it’s close.

So picture me sitting in the corner of a sunny room, wearing a bath robe and fuzzy slippers in the middle of the day, tinkering with tiny glass tiles as I offer this: The husband formerly known as The Bubba and I now find ourselves on new soil, I believe it’s called shaky ground. I am searching, searching, searching, for a different way of being in the world and I have already found myself going in circles, running up dead end streets, stumbling out into traffic. But whether I like it or not, and believe me when I say I don’t, this is what my life is, this is where I am, and I am grateful to have a space to hold it up to the light and not hide from it.

Friday, March 17, 2006

an affair of the heart

Here it is, the project that just might restore my faith in fiber. What is it, you ask? You'll know when you see me sporting it around. La la la. In these photos, it's hanging out in a stumble-bum town outside Vegas. I think it had more fun than I did. If anybody can guess what it is before I post finished pics next week -- not just what kind of garment it is, but the name of the pattern, too -- I'll send you a little prize.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

every little bit hurts

Of course once I got a digicam, my computer went on the fritz. Had to send it back to Dell. Thank goddess for extended warranties. In the meantime, I've dusted off the old desktop and after a day of installing system updates, I've magically made it online. The odd thing is that this machine seems so ancient, but now that I've done the math, I realize we got it in the summer of 2003. That, my friend, is how fast technology is a-changin'.

Anyhow, notes from the whup ass path.

I went after Lake Erie with a vengeance (a big thanks to everyone who commented, just the boost I needed) and added a whopping 2.5 inches to the thing. That's 2-3 hours of work, so I could feel worse. The problem is that session took place on Tuesday and every time I've looked at it since then, I've felt my intestines rise up in my throat. After much consideration, I've decided I've been paradigm blocked, as my first boss out of college was fond of saying (never mind that there aren't many paradigms one could choose in filing CPR cards and typing nursing certificates).

A reframing is in order here. My new plan of attack is to consider the yarn, not the scarf
itself. In other words, I'm knitting up the ball in the picture and after that, I'm taking Ellen's advice and blocking like there's no tomorrow. If it doesn't come out long enough, my dad can seam it and wear it as a muff. Speaking of Dad, there he is in the background photo, next to my mother and a baby who shall remain nameless. The amount of remaining yarn is about 3/4 of a skein of Cascade 220 Heathers. I usually wet myself when I think of all that yardage for the price, but skein 3, 660 yards, on the same scarf is, to say the least, no longer appealing.

I did say I am out to reconcile my relationship with knitting and while Lake Erie hasn't prompted me to sing along with Peaches & Herb -- "Reunited and it feels so good/Reunited 'cause we understood/There's one perfect fit and sugar this one is it..." -- I have been working on a little sumthin' sumthin' that's got me feeling swoony again. What I haven't figured out is how to upload a picture in under 30 minutes via my current means, so I'll post a visual tomorrow.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

look who stayed for dinner

Major life changes are underway for me. The kind that already have me whirling like a dervish, wondering where I'll stop, hoping it's a place of grace. At a time like this, a girl needs a friend, and I am on a mission to make amends with an old one.

Starting Monday, I'm going to open up a can of whup-ass on my UFOs. I've considered moving on without them, but the Bad Voice started screaming at me, You're a bum! You never finish what you start! You're so fickle! Who do you think you are, wasting all that money?! So everything I've started is either going to get frogged or finished, so me and knitting can make love like we used to do.

First on the list is the dreaded Lake Erie Scarf (look at it, laying there trying to act all blameless and innocent). Yes, my father's birthday was January 29th. Yes, I've been working on the scarf since mid-January. Hell yes, I'm bored with it. Which is why I've only managed about two man hours on it this month. If anyone ever opens his trenchcoat and says to you, Psst, I got your reversible cable knitting patterns right here, run. This scarf eats yarn like a starving baby sucking on a teat. You knit and you knit and you knit and learn that it is indeed possible for time to go in reverse. Every time you work on it, it seems to get shorter. But next week, one of us is going down. And it ain't gonna be me.

Friday, March 10, 2006

what happened in vegas

And so I was in Vegas last week, visiting a certain someone and seeing his show. Before I went, I got a new digital camera, so here is a visual expression of the trip:

Out behind the hotel, I stopped, framed the image I wanted, pushed the button. When I looked at the photograph, it wasn't at all what I expected. I almost deleted it in favor of a tidier, prettier version, but it crossed my mind that perhaps it holds some kind of lesson.

Not much else I can say, except that life is hard and sometimes you see a new vision that forces you in a direction you never anticipated.