The Life and Times of Florence Knitingale

Friday, August 31, 2007

If I Was a Horse, They'd Shoot Me

My doctors call it "cervical facet syndrome". I work in the medical field and therefore have extensive knowledge of important medical facts so I feel safe in saying that this probably translates to "your neck is really effed up and we don't particularly know why it did that and it sucks to be you." Or something like that. Anyway, I spent a chunk of yesterday letting a medical type person slide a little thin needle into the joint between my 2nd and 3rd cervical vertabra and fill it full of medicine guaranteed to hurt like hell and make me dizzy and off-balance so I look drunk and have the headache as if I was drunk but didn't actually get to sit with my friends in a bar and throw down beverages with dangerous sounding names. Modern medicine is a miracle, isn't it?

Okay, yes, it will help the pain once it absorbs and I quit running into things. And yes, it will help my popularity if I quit whining. But the upshot is that I laid around a lot when I got home after the shish-kebabing (oddly, they prefer I refer to it as facet injections...but I think I can safely say I know how chicken satay feels at this point) and therefore had time for all sorts of weird thoughts. For instance:

Have you ever noticed how much the media lies to you? Not the serious stuff--that's fodder for a different sort of post. I mean the stuff like in the movies where the hot young couple showers together and it's all steamy and soapy and romantic and it just looks so wonderful and tempting. But they never show the truth of each of you standing with about 1/4 of your body actually in the warm water, your tushie freezing, soap drying on the part of you that you can't get far enough under the water to rinse, and one or both of you getting an elbow in the eye while the other one tries to wash their hair in the scant teaspoon of hot water that's made it to their head.

The movies also like to show the busy career woman, returning home at the end of a long day in a perfect suit with undamaged nylons, clicking across the entryway in high heels while she opens the mail with a perfectly glossed fingernail. Her hair is perfect, and her make-up is unsmudged. When I finally straggle in the door, I usually find that my scrub pants have managed to get a knot in the drawstring so that I have to dance frantically while trying to untie them before I pee myself, my hair looks like I was dragged through a hedge backwards, the mail has spilled out of my armloads of crap and, if I'm really lucky, it's landed on some rodent body-part that the cats left for me. If I gird my loins and pick it up anyway, it will be a flyer telling me that I can save money on hearing aids this month at ACME Hearing Aids, Inc. The woman in the movie will curl up prettily on the couch while nibbling on a salad and sipping at wine. I will suck down a few gummi bears and try to convince myself that I really can make something appetizing from a half a cup of freezer-burned corn and a box of pizza rolls. The only wine in the place will be me, whining because once again the house failed to self clean while I was gone.

In one famous movie, a man blindfolded his girlfriend and led her to the fridge and drizzled all kinds of sexy food on her and fed her things and it was terribly erotic. At my house, it would probably be a bit more pedestrian. For one thing, the time it would take to warm up the honey and get the crystals out of it so it could actually be drizzled or poured would likely kill the mood. For another, it just isn't all that sexy to have to stop and sniff inside containers to see if the food inside has reached any sort of toxic state. And for a third, I just don't have a lot of sexy food. It's hard to look hot with a bag of granola and a sugar free pudding cup. And don't forget those pizza rolls.

In the movies, the heroine always cries very prettily--one perfect tear sliding down her expertly made up cheek. She is more beautiful than ever and the hero cannot resist her. If I cry, I acquire a clown nose, I make graceless, hiccuping noises, and I'm likely to leave snot on the perfectly tailored suit sleeve of the hero. And I'll look like an albino rabbit after a night in a smoke-filled room for about 7 hours.

Bathtubs in movies are always huge--more than large enough to accomodate a stretched out and lovely woman with stragically placed bubbles that last for hours. There are candles and flowers and a glass of wine. Her hair is piled loosely on her head and, when she takes it down, it will tumble down her back in a waterfull of soft curls. In my world, every indoor bathtub I've ever gotten into has left me the choice of warm feet or warm upper body but not both. The bubble bath lasts about 5 minutes before dissolving into a greasy bathtub ring that defies every drop of elbow grease I can summon, my hair is yanked back in a hot pink scrunchie that makes me look like an aging Cabbage Patch doll, and the one time I tried the candle thing, the cat knocked it into the bathwater and nicely doused my leg with liquid wax into the bargain (yes, you can get a free legwax at Chez Knitingale, but you can't be picky about which three inches of leg).

New moms in the movies are made up and have lovely hair and look prettily tired. New moms in real life are generally dressed in spit up, look like they've gone two rounds with a brick wall, and have no idea what time it is. Children in movies are precocious and clever and always say innocently witty things. Children in real life test their mother's patience the same way you test spaghetti--by throwing it viciously against a wall one strand at a time. They do lovely things like announce the new name they learned for their genitalia while you're waiting in line at the bank, become "boneless" and fall whining to the ground when they don't want to do what you want them to anymore, and turn that cunningly planned outfit into a walking disaster within five minutes of putting it on in a perfectly clean, dry room.

Oh, and no one ever goes shopping in the movies without purchasing a baguette. I don't know why this is, but watch next time--see if there isn't one of them sticking out the top of an unwrinkled paper bag (I guess movie people don't drop the grocery bag in the parking lot and roll half the oranges under the car, either).

See, weird thoughts. I'm going to go lay on some ice for my neck and a heating pad for my back. In theory, it should rain somewhere around my shoulder blades when that cool front reaches the warm one.

I'm going to start crocheting edging on the squares and maybe sewing some together this weekend. There will be miner's blankets. I won't look like Michelle Pfeiffer while I'm doing it...but there you are. Another Hollywood lie.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Photos and Owner's Manuals

This is what compassion looks like:There are 16 squares there, plus I have one on the needles (a slipped garter pattern that is lovely and also as slow to knit as if I'd dipped my needles in honey before I started), so only 163.5 to go. And, if that number sounds too daunting, consider this: each blanket will have 3o one of them is more than halfway done. How much do you guys rock? (It's a lot, in case you weren't sure on that one.)

This, on the other hand, is what boredom must look like:

These are Mr. K's feet, propped up on the office chair. I have no idea whatsoever why he took not one, but two photos of his feet (they're pretty much alike--I figured that if you've seen one, you've seen 'em both), but it was on the media card when I went to download the photos. I've always wondered what men do when they're alone in their manly places (shop, home office). I figured it had to do with scratching or something...but it seems to have more to do with feet. Or photos. Or photos of feet. Am I the only one who thinks men should have come with some sort of owner's manual?

I know, men say that women should come with manuals, but I don't know why. It's not like they ever read the manuals anyway. In my experience, they sort of start with "Oh, I don't need that thing", progress through "What the hell...?" and finally snatch the thing up in an irritated fashion so that they can point out "look at the dumbass way they said to put this together." At this point, it's no good pointing out that, dumbass or no, the one pictured in the manual at least stands upright/has wheels on opposite corners of the downward facing side/has fewer than half the bolts and screws leftover/is not making any sort of strange and threatening noise/has not fallen on and crushed a cat/looks in some vague way like the thing it was supposed to be. If you do, the man will simply wave his hand and point out that "it's supposed to look like this and manuals are for sissies." (For the record, this is not a good time to point out that a sissy with uncrushed cats, a pile of leftover screws that could fit in one hand, and a wheeled device that can actually roll is probably a happy person and may not mind being a sissy. This observation is strangely unwelcome to most men.) Apparently, it is important not to be told how you're screwing something up until it's actually screwed up. A full experience, and all that.

I, for one, would dearly love a book that started thusly:

"Congratulations on your purchase of a model 1961A Man. With proper care and maintanence, your man should give you many years of enjoyment. Some things to consider:

Care and Feeding: Men require a steady diet of things you purchased for yourself and were looking forward to, things you don't have in the house, things that will give them gas, and things that will dirty the largest number of pots, pans and dishes. If none of these things are available, large slabs of red meat may be substituted, or startlingly unhealthy fare from establishments that sell food of the 'Call your Cardiologist Before Consuming' type (such as the new dipping pizza from Pizza Hut, that comes with marinara, garlic sauce, and ranch dressing--because four pounds of bread and cheese with greasy meat was WAY too healthy and really needed a good slug of salad dressing to dunk it in).

Your man will not require clean clothes most of the time and, if he does, he has a built-in clean-clothes detector, also known as the 'sniff the pits of the shirt and if you don't pass out it's okay to wear' feature. Additionally, he is quite likely to become attached to his clothing. Even if his underwear is a strange and disturbing shade of gray, is so thin you could read through it, has elastic so worn out that the leg and waist openings are all roughly the same tired size, or are just so damned old that they consist primarily of a waistband and an idea, DO NOT THROW THEM OUT. Doing so will overload the circuits of your man and it is not guaranteed that he can be repaired. Do not attempt to substitute new underwear, as the man can be severely traumatized by the sensation of clean, soft cloth against his body. Major systems failure is not out of the question.

Your new man will require only about 50% of the bed. Unfortunately, it will be the center 50%. You will need to find a way to sleep in the 25% on either side of him. If you can sleep with an elbow in your face, even better. Likewise, he will require the same center 50% of the blanket, but only in the winter. In the summer, he can be relied upon to pile it generously on top of you, causing you to wake up gasping in a puddle of sweat the size of Lake Erie.

Your man comes equipped with one or more remote controls. They do not operate him, but everything with which he comes into contact. Do not attempt to remove the remote control from his hand. Doing so will lead to a serious short that will cause him to stare blankly at the TV until the remote is replaced. This particular model will need to channel surf during every commercial break, but only long enough to cause you to miss an essential portion of the show you were watching when he forgets what channel it was on and can't get back to it. It is tempting to hide the remote at this time; if you do so, be prepared for your man to assume a fetal position and whimper quietly until it is returned.

The 1961A man comes with many skills and talents. He was not, however, programmed with the ability to bridge the gap between sink and dishwasher. For all intents and purposes, this gap is a black hole to your man, terrifying to him on a primal level. Do not attempt to force your man across that hole. It will not be pretty.

The man in general has very good eyesight, especially for things like tool stores, gnat-sized damage done by any of the cats to any piece of furniture, anything at all done to any vehicle that he drives, and the last cookie in the house. There are a number of gaps in his vision, however--specifically crumbs, toothpaste globs in the sink, whiskers on any bathroom surface, shoes in the middle of the floor, half-empty milk glasses in the living room, and the calendar where the birthdays of his relativese are posted. He is physically incapable of seeing any of these objects and there is no place in his field of vision where that improves. You will need to allow for this."

Hmmm...this could be promising. Any other suggestions? What needs to be in the "Man Owners Manual"? At least you know we'll read it.

Happy knitting, and look again at that picture of compassion. That's all you. You're making this possible.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Things You Can Learn at the Fair

Mr. K and I took a small break yesterday to go a local fair--a smaller one, in that we only had to wait in traffic about 25 minutes and could see the fairgrounds from our parking space. Our state has a larger fair where neither of these things would be remotely possible--to avoid slamming our heads repeatedly into the dashboard in frustration, we avoid that fair.

In any case, fairs can be terribly educational if you seek the opportunities, and I was able to experience the following learning moments:
  • Our fairs have decided recently to ban trans fats from fair food. Now it's perfectly healthy to eat a mound of curly fries as big as a size 10.5 shoe box, 12 onion rings the size of frisbees, fried dough spread with a softball-sized wad of butter and lovingly sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar and, for the fearless, a deep fried Snickers bar.
  • Those of us who prefer to keep our arteries at least slightly open and pliable may choose from cotton candy in terrifying colors, or water. Oh, and you can also get an apple...if you want to scrape the caramel made of cream and butter and sugar off.
  • Children love most of the above mentioned foods. They also love the giant, spinny rides that toss them about like rag dolls. The combination should come with a warning label, a barf bag, and a 12-foot clearance zone.
  • Cows have a pregnancy about as long as humans. However, their infants can stand within moments of birth, come find food when they want it (both breast milk and solids), and do not require changing or potty training. This seems patently unfair.
  • A petite 12-year-old girl showing a largish jersey cow, should be certain ahead of time that either the cow is cooperative, or the judge is patient...and that she herself has no objection to being led around the ring on the cow's timetable.
  • Sneakers are more comfortable for walking through several barns and other assorted buildings; boots are more likely to keep pants hems out of cow and horse dung. It's a toss up--non-mutilated toes or crap-free hems. (I voted for the toes were unimpressed)
  • People look at you funny if you press your face for too long against the case with the cake competition winners. Especially if you drool down the glass.
  • If you can imagine doing it, there is a competition for it. Including the layering of soup ingredients in a glass jar. Also trail mix--you can take home a blue ribbon for putting pretzels, m&m's, raisins, and cheerios in a jar with a lid. I sometimes wonder if we've lowered our standards for skill and excellence in this country....just a tad.
  • The sheep barn is a bad place for a knitter who does not live on a farm and whose husband is not the slightest bit interested in making it so she does.
  • Mr. K is not remotely swayed by the argument that goats eat wild blackberry bushes (terribly invasive plants in this neck of the woods) and could, if the correct breed, also provide cashmere--a win for everyone.
  • Men do not always see perfect logic when it is presented to them.
  • Men are also perfectly capable of holding one of the free kittens at the feed store near the parking lot without actually taking it home. I think this terribly odd.
  • Men do not necessarily see sheep as "yarn on the hoof" no matter how clearly it is pointed out to them. Neither do they see them as "an investment in years of hobby time and warm garments".
  • Karaoke anywhere is a dreadful invention. Karaoke at a state fair where everyone is hopped up on sugar and easily convinced of their country-and-western prowess is just plain mean.
  • It is possible to convince people to buy nearly anything if you demonstrate it at the fair and throw in a free one for the first 20 buyers. They'll be all the way home before they realize they didn't actually need one, let alone two.
  • Demonstrators of such treasures are not receptive to questions like "But, if it'll last forever....why do I need two of them?"
  • As long as there are fairs, there will always be an endless supply of cheap jewelry, rubber shoes in mind-altering colors, hats with fake dreadlocks hanging out the back, sheepskin car seat covers, and clothes made of cheap cotton that will absolutely positively fit the nearest barbie doll after one washing. And people to purchase them.
  • Children will always think it's a great deal to spend $23 "winning" an ugly stuffed animal they wouldn't have given $5 of their hard-earned allowance for.

I do love the fair, though. I make fun, but you notice I'm there every single year for the privilege of petting horses with feet the size of dinner plates (we have Clydesdales at our fairs) and oohing and aahing at the cows and bunnies and sheep and so on. Oh, and so I can look at the knitting and claim, once again, that I will definitely enter next year because I can knit as well as most of these entrants. I won't do it...but I'll say it.

Speaking of knitting:

Current total miners blanket square count: 5 1/3. Still needed: 174 2/3. I'm going to buy some more yarn today. And rent some movies to knit by.

Friday, August 24, 2007

A Picture Worth a Million Words

Look what was waiting in my mailbox today:

Yep. An envelope full of love and support and caring from Jean in Surrey. It is soft and lovely and, if you look at the color pattern, it almost brings to mind the English countryside--the blues above the greens and all. And it is most assuredly a gift from Jean's heart, and I am grateful and touched beyond belief. Jean, you are a star.

Now, with the 3 and a half that I've got (Jean, you put me to shame with how fast you turned this out--and you're even knitting on smaller needles than I am!), that makes.....175.5 squares to go. Totally manageable. I don't even have to put my head between my knees to keep from fainting when I look at the number. Which is odd because, as I believe I've mentioned, I couldn't organize a booze-up in a saloon that just got a whiskey delivery so you'd think I'd be unglued. But, as amazing and brilliant and talented as I know you all to be, I suspect even that is just the tip of the iceberg. I don't doubt that we'll make this happen. Not for a minute.

Judy, I'm beyond thrilled that your knitting group wants to make squares, too. I started this whole thing before the untimely and tragic deaths of three rescuers, but I had thought that if I received enough squares, I would try to put together blankets for those families as well. For now, I'm playing it by ear, but I'd love to be able to do it. Mr. K says he figures any day now he'll come home and find a giant UPS truck backed up to the porch with mountains of wool showering down out of the back.

And there's a problem with this because.....?

Kathleen, thank you for offering the stitch markers--I'd be thrilled with that, too. Only thing is....I'm supposed to be offering prizes to you guys. I think expecting you to make your own prizes smacks of the same sort of chutzpah that allows my cats to knead energetically on my bladder at 3:00am and then look surprised and duck when I wake up and try to pet them. That said, if you want to share your talent and help in that way, I will humbly thank you and accept....and I'll even make sure you don't win back your own gift!

I must go back to the needles and get some more squares made. But before I do, I offer this photo of Gracie--I THOUGHT someone had been adjusting the pedals on the bike for shorter legs!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Moose Burps

Well, and other stuff, too. Business first: I don't think I can say thank you enough for all the wonderful comments and all the knitting you folks are doing for the blanket project. I've never taken on anything this big before, but, like I told someone recently, I have access to great goodness and generousity. This is a huge gift.

To the person who asked if there was anything else that she could do to help--you're such a sweetheart! If you lived near me, be assured I'd be drafting you for the stitching together. As it is, though, the support and the squares are perfect. Absolutely perfect.

To the wonderful person who offered hand-dyed yarn as a giveaway for my drawing.....I'm speechless. What a tremendous offer. If you want to donate for that purpose, I'd be thrilled. And thank you again and again and again. Oh, and Mr. K said that I should perhaps put people's names in the drawings once for every square they donate. That way, the people who send the most squares have the best chance of getting a prize out of the deal. Consider it done.

Amy is still knitting, and has purchased her first two skeins of Cascade 220. Unfortunately, she bought it at a larger store where no one was able to wind it for her, or even tell her it needed to be wound. Oops. She is now the proud owner of a largish lavender knot with knitting on one end. I offered to wind the other ball for her, but she's determined to figure it out for herself. This conversation all took place at lunchtime, as we were sitting in the waiting room with several muggle co-workers. I forget, sometimes, that we seem a bit alien to muggles....when I realized what had happened, I picked up the other hank, untwisted it to show her how to open it into a simple skein for winding, and then quickly twisted it back into the figure 8 hank. Then I looked up to see half a dozen people staring at me, as one of them begged "Do that again!"

Okay, so about these moose burps. I swear to all that's woolen (and you know I take that seriously) that I'm not making this up. An article came out of Norway with this as an opening line:

"A grown moose belches out methane gas equivalent to 2,100 kilograms (4,630 pounds) of carbon dioxide a year, contributing to global warming, Norwegian researchers said Wednesday. " It goes on to say that there are about 140,000 moose roaming Norway's forests, which apparently results in an estimated 294,000,000 kilograms of CO2 per year.

That's a lot of moose burps. What I wanna know is:
  • Someone apparently decided to make a serious study....of moose burps. Who in the world.....? I'm trying to picture a young scholar, trying to finish school in a hurry in order to save the world from belching moose...and you know, I'm having a tough time with that.
  • How does one go about making a study of moose burps? Did this aforementioned scholar just follow them around for a long while and listen really hard? Did he finally get tired of it and start leaving out buckets of beer in the hope of getting them all belching? How exactly did this work?
  • Most likely the scientist in question had a grant for this. Can you just see the grant application? "I would like to consider the impact of moose burps on global warming by following them around for a year and listening to them burp. I'll need money for beer."
  • I would think this person might have used recording equipment, since you can't be present for every single moose burp when there are over 100,000 moose (which does beg the question about how many burp at one time....and what the global impact might be of...say...50,000 of them all burping at once. I was wondering where all these hurricanes were coming from...). So, does that mean that some scientist somewhere has a whole collection of tapes of moose belches? I'll bet he hosts some interesting parties. "Oh, wait until you hear this one--you'll notice it's a bit deeper and more rumbling than the last 74,000. This particular moose drank most of the beer."

What really startled me, though, was halfway through the article where a professor at a university there is quoted as saying that "this is no reason to kill the moose."


Was this an option? Was someone really thinking that burping should be a capital offense for a moose? Man, they're tough in Norway. I'd better tell my husband. I don't think he'd be safe over there.

Happy knitting, all. I'll post pictures of squares as they come in, and start keeping a count on the sidebar of how many I have (assuming I can make blogger do what I want it to do, instead of what I tell it to do....a big if). In the interim, be careful if you go to Norway. Watch out for slightly crazed looking scientists with recording equipment. Oh, and don't drink the beer.

p.s. Please don't send me hate mail from Norway--I know Norway is a wonderful country and I would love to visit, honest. And I won't burp.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I Have Won Another One to the Wooly Side

This lovely young lady:

is Amy. I work with her, and she is every bit as charming and lovely as she appears--more so, if the truth be known. Note the dimple you could sharpen a pencil in. I am deeply envious of that dimple. She pretty much always seems to exude as much joy as she does in this photo, which I think is an awesome quality, and which almost makes me feel badly for what I've done to her. Almost.

I was knitting during my lunch break the other day and she asked me what I was making. (See? I can't be held responsible for natural curiousity, now can I?) So I told her about the blankie project and, true to form, Amy didn't even hesitate before saying: "I want to make a square!" followed shortly by "I want to learn to knit!", which should probably come before the square, I admit. But you have to love her enthusiasm.

So, at lunch yesterday I met her in the waiting room (we close at lunch time--honestly, we didn't go out and shove patients off the chairs or anything) and cast some stitches on with half a ball of yarn I had in my bag (here little girl, come try it--the first one's free....) and showed her how to make a knit stitch. I worked for a minute on my own square, looked up and--she was at the end of the row. Just like that. The girl was born to it. I taught her how to cast on so she could practice at home--that took her just about as long. Today she came in with about 3 inches of garter stitch, at least 6 inches wide with perfect tension and only one hole. The girl is clearly a knitting prodigy...and it's worse than that.

Amy not only knit like crazy last night, is not only planning a foray to the LYS this Saturday, has not only commandeered one of my stitch pattern books (with my blessing--one must offer temptations to win the soul of an undiscovered knitter), has not only planned a project for tonight, her second day of being a discovered knitter, she said she got ready for work this morning, realized she didn't have to leave right away and so.....yup. She sat down to knit.

Oh, she's ours now. I'm excited--I think if I bring about two more over to the dark side, I'll finally get that toaster. 10 more and I get a patio umbrella and a set of matching plastic tumblers. In fairness, I did warn her that the LYS might start sucking down a startling amount of her paycheck. You can't say I didn't tell her.

Speaking of the blankie project, which I sort of was, please take note in the sidebar of the absolutely wonderful button that Monica pdx made for me, and that Marianne kindly put into my blog because I am a dumbass and can only make the computer do what I tell it to--not what I actually want it to. These two ladies completely rock my world, in more ways than I can tell you. If you look close at the button, you'll note that it has a map of Utah, and that the background is knit stitches. Also that there is copper on it, because copper is Utah's state mineral. I totally love it. Please, all of you helping out on this project, feel free to put it on your own blog (just make sure to save it to your own server). I'd love for you to have it.

Further speaking of the blankie project, I am alternating between joyous bursts of complete confidence that this thing will go like gangbusters and that I'll be happily stitching together one of about a gazillion lovely squares that magically arrived in my mailbox while little cartoon birdies sing in the windowsills a la Snow White(we'll forget for the moment the fact that even cartoon birdies would probably be taking a big risk coming that close to Ed--in this fantasy he's a vegetarian with no fondness for frogs or lizards or still-living snakes, which really is a fantasy), and staring in horrified wonder at the three squares I've managed to turn out while imagining how long it's going to take me to make the necessary 172 squares after only receiving 8. Not that I doubt you guys in the slightest--rather, I doubt my own ability to organize even a sexual encounter in a brothel, much less a worldwide knitalong, so these moments of terror are probably somewhat inevitable. This is what I've done thus far (besides chewing my nails to the quick, waking up in a cold sweat when I realize how many people I could disappoint, and willing my hands to knit FASTER, FOR WOOL'S SAKE!!:

You can't tell, but the one on the bottom (which needs blocking really badly) is a pattern of knits and purls that forms rows of hearts. I'm hoping to put one in each blanket to represent all the heart that went into them. The others are different patterns for texture--one garter diagonals against a stockinette background, and the other a moss stitch variant. No. 4 is in progress.

Now, it occured to me to offer some small thanks by having a drawing or two with the names of everyone who sends me at least one square. Problem is, I don't spin or dye wool, and I don't make stitch what to give people? Got it--the lucky winners get a batch of Ms. K's finest baked goodies, from scratch, mailed to their home. You even get to choose your favorite from caramel brownies, cookie-dough brownies, white chocolate macadamia bars, and chocolate raspberry bars. If you don't like any of those, name your favorite. I can probably find a way to do it, and without even getting chocolate on the yarn. Much. (I make no promises, however, about little wool fuzzies in the chocolate, however.)

Happy knitting to all, and thank you about a million more times. You're making my dream come completely doesn't get better than that.

Friday, August 17, 2007


I used to be able to speak I'm just blown away by the love and generousity of all of you. Thank you isn't enough...but it's a start. There are no words to tell you how much I appreciate all of you participating in the miner's blankets with me (see the previous post if you missed it). I called a newspaper in Utah today to see if I could find out where to send the finished blankies; I got the number for city hall, and I ended up talking with a reporter who wants to write about the project in the paper. This thing is bigger than I am, that's for sure.

To answer the questions: Any worsted weight yarn. Any at all. I agree that washable is most logical, but I don't want anyone to have to make any special--and possibly expensive purchases.

I don't have a deadline at present, because I really don't have a sense yet of who all will participate. So if you want to participate, please do. Don't fret about deadlines. I'll keep you all posted as to the progress. If I get too many squares, well, that's the best problem I could hope to have. I'll just make more blankets for the familes of the rescuers.

In a perfect world, I'd love it if people could put a black border (perhaps single crochet?)around their squares, the better to quickly stitch them together with black yarn and have a unified look. If you can't or don't want to, though, no worries. I'll make it work.

You can send the squares to:
Miner Blanket Project
7714 230th Ave NE
Redmond, WA 98053

Any color. Any pattern. Any design. If it's 10 inches in worsted weight, it's perfect. And if you could jot a few words on a piece of paper and pin it to your square, so much the better. You can put your name on it or not, as you choose...but I was thinking how amazing it would feel to receive those blankets and read the loving, caring words of all the people who worked to make it. I would leave the notes pinned to the squares, so the recipients could associate the square with the words.

And I love you people more than I could ever say. I'm off to knit some squares. I'm thinking of a heart pattern I have, in the hopes of putting at least one heart square in every blanket. It seems like all the hearts involved in this--HUGE ones--should be represented.

Did I mention how amazing you are? And did I say thank you?

You are. And thank you again.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

I Have an Idea to Run Past You....

I get these ideas sometimes. Occasionally they're not too bad, often they're crap. For instance, putting expensive plants in the deer buffet cleverly disguised as a bed by my driveway--crap. Making a scrub top that resembles nothing so much as a disco ball--definite crap. Attempting to make a sugar free cake sweetened with fruit juice--well, let's just say it smelled like vomit and leave it at that, shall we?

Today, though, I have a wonderful idea. It has to do with knitting (a good sign) and a bunch of scared families, and half a dozen men trapped at least half a mile under the earth possibly dead, possibly alive, certainly in a terrible situation. I'm talking, of course, about the miners in Utah who have been trapped now for over a week and a half after a collapse blocked their escape. At this point, it's possible that the collapse itself killed them, and it's possible that they're still alive, and everything in between is also quite possible. For some reason, this story haunts me and moves me and tugs at me and won't let me sleep. It's like a little mouse pulling on my sleeve, and I find myself pouring over the internet every day, looking for stories, a glimmer of hope, something. Instead, I find things like the story about the children of one of the miners sleeping on the floor in the school gym every single day since the cave-in, because he doesn't want to sleep in comfort if his father can't. My heart spasms with that one. Or the pictures of the town with handmade signs up all over the place, offering the families support and comfort.

I racked my brains, people, I really did. And I finally got this idea: what if, just--you know--what if a whole bunch of knitters (I know a few of those) were interested in knitting 10 inch squares in any pattern, in any worsted weight wool? And what if, having done this thing, these knitters were to send them to me to stitch together into warm, loving blankets made by caring strangers for people in pain and fear? And what if these blankets were mailed off to Utah, and maybe offered a smidge of comfort to any one of those suffering people? I honestly think the world would be a fraction better in that moment....which is probably why the mouse is tugging even harder at my sleeve and whispering "yes! yes! Do it!!!"

What do you guys think? I'd need a fair few squares. There's only six families, but I'm wanting biggish blankets--how comforting is it to snuggle in a lap robe? I was thinking 6 squares by 5--so 30 squares per blanket for a grand total of 180 squares. I'd make a bunch, too, of course. Oh, and I hope to convince the knitters to add notes pinned to their squares--just words of support and care, nothing fancy. Names only if you want to.

Anyone game? Please let me know. I don't know why this is so important to me....but I've learned to just listen and then go along for the ride in these situations. The mouse is usually right.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Call of the Wild

Wild Thing Number One:
It is apparently BFS season again already. I know this because I came downstairs the other morning, all innocence, to find a spider the size of Wisconsin in my sink. A BFS, if you will. He was perched on the side of the sink, balanced delicately on his enormous hooves and thinking that perhaps I wouldn't notice the eight legs my porcelain had mysteriously sprouted overnight. Mr. K offered this helpful observation: "Oh, it's just a little wolf spider (LITTLE? Dude. This thing is little the way the national deficit is but a trifle. Please.). He probably came up through the drain." CAME UP THROUGH THE DRAIN?????? Which means, of course, that I now have to shower and wash my hair with one eye open at all times, staring ceaselessly at the drain in the floor so as not to suddenly be startled by the sound of hoofbeats as the things stampede into the bathroom and up my leg.

Then again, Mr. K could be wrong. Given the size of the multi-legged bastard (the BFS, not Mr. K who is two-legged and not a bastard at all), it's quite possible he just walked up to the front door, picked the lock, and let himself in. Probably drank all the beer and watched late night TV, too.

Wild Thing Number Two:
I advised the outdoor kitties, Ed among them:

(that's a little beefcake for you, Monica) that it is not only acceptable but actually desirable to keep the rodent population down to some sort of manageable number such that they do not form organized nations with a governing council and a common currency under the house. I did NOT advise them that I would like a live and quite healthy snake to be waiting for me in the garage when I got home. (Since the garage door was closed all day, and since the cat flap is a few inches off the concrete, I feel confident in saying that he had a bit of feline help getting in). He was no more impressed than I was with the situation,or so I gather by his rather desperate attempts to convince me that he was simply a wide crack in the garage floor...that was slowly trying to disappear underneath the car. Is it possible for my cats to like things that aren't creepy crawly? Even better--things that aren't (or weren't recently) alive? I'd be okay with finding dead chocolate pudding or wounded cupcakes in the garage.

Wild Thing Number Three:
Capri pants made entirely out of knitted, mitered squares are probably nature's way of telling us to lay off the sauce while knitting. Or, if you can't lay off the sauce, at least take pictures so we can all giggle in horrified awe. To wit:

This was in the 25th anniversary edition of Vogue Knitting. As if it weren't enough (and I believe that it is), there is this jacket that COULD be lovely, but for.....

.....but for the addition of little knitted mudflaps all around the bottom. 'Cause, you know, that's what I want to wear around my ass: a garment that will make people think of a multi-ton semi-truck. But only if I can spend hundreds of dollars and untold hours making it.

There was also this peculiar garment:

which I think may be a long sleeved bra....with a train. Well, okay--a train for each boob. Look close--the bright blue part that comes down to her thighs isn't part of it. It's just sleeves, boob covers, and two trains. Or sleeves and two trains that function as boob covers, or sleeves and two boob covers designed for the woman who wears a bra size 38Long. Again, friends shouldn't let friends knit drunk.

But, having been dreadfully critical, I confess to being absolutely in LOVE with this:

I suspect that it is YEARS too young for me, and that it would make me appear to be about as womanly and curvy as a 10 year old boy (or a frightened garage snake)...and yet, I love it.

That may very well be the fourth wild thing--Ms. K's good taste, now roaming free range and nowhere remotely within my reach. What can I say? I've been traumatized recently by snakes and hooved spiders. It's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Smoking Pork Butt

I was just cruising around the information superhighway (remember when the internet was called that? I was so computer clueless, I was pretty sure I was driving that particular highway in a 79 Pinto with one brown door) looking for a chocolate truffle cookie recipe I thought I remembered seeing (given the questionable state of my middle aged mind, that could mean anything from "Jasco uniform was having a sale on CHOCOLATE-colored scrubs" to "Oh, look--you can buy that old Star Trek episode, The Trouble with, Tribbles" to "I can't think of anything to blog about...but a TRUFFLE would sure be good right now". Happily, this time it actually meant that I'd seen a recipe for chocolate truffle cookies..but, Dudes. It was a crap shoot.).

Anyway, I came across a website that allowed people to write in and ask a real chef their cooking/baking questions. The questions were all arranged by title, and one of them--I swear--was "Smoking Pork Butt--Help!". It's a measure of my domestic incompetence that my first thought was, of course, "Well, put him OUT, for heaven's sake!". My next one was "I wonder what class of fire extinguisher you use for a smoking pig..." which is probably only a measure of my truly odd mind. We won't even go into what the next thought, "And how did they only manage to set his ass on fire?" means about my culinary skills OR my level of normalcy.

Fortunately for me, I read in the newspaper last night that there is a Baptist college in the deep south that is now offering a degree in Homemaking. Now, lest any of you begin to bristle here, let me say right up front that I believe homemaking to be a valuable and important job, I have deep admiration for those who do it well, and if you keep bristling like that, your hair will stay that way. But here's the thing: the degree is only available to women. Ms. Knitingale was a bit.....surprised. If you understand "surprised" to mean that a flaming pig's ass turning up in the kitchen at that exact moment would not have been any more of a shock.

On the one hand, it's great that they finally acknowledge that there is a wealth of knowledge necessary to run a home well, and that it's a worthy skill. But these people openly say that they offer this degree because women belong in the home, are supposed to provide all these services to the men, and other assorted ass. Flaming or otherwise. Bah. Ms. Knitingale feels certain that she would likely be tossed out of these classes.

For instance, one of the classes is Interior Design. Apparently it is terribly important that the man come home to a lovely home carefully and prettily designed by his wife who has nothing better to do all day once she's done with the laundry, the cleaning, the cooking and the rearing of the children. For whom, by the way, she is supposed to design and sew clothing (another of the classes is in precisely those skills). I think they would not appreciate my insightful comment that "I found two pillowcases in roughly the same color family.. and the curtains in the kitchen match each other. What--that's not enough? Now other crap has to go together, too?"

I think I might also do poorly in the class about planning and presentation of lovely meals, especially when commenting "So now he's too good to eat cold take-out pizza over the sink like the rest of us?" or "Why would I need to cook him dinner? There have to be four different kinds of Pop-Tarts in the cupboard."

There are no Knitingale children, but I am reliably informed that the smaller ones do not particularly care for holding still for long periods, certainly not long enough to pin cunningly designed clothing pieces on them prior to stitching them up cheerily in a beautifully designed living room, most likely while wearing a dress and high heels. In fact, I am also reliably informed that children tend to be sticky and damp much of the time and that stuff dribbles out of them....which makes the whole "home design" idea seem a tad impractical right from the get go. A friend of mine with several children once told me that the only interior designer that made any sense to her while her wee ones were still wee, was either the guy who invented Scotchguard or the guy who invented Hefty bags. Either way, she was excited when she could find the carpet under all the toys and really didn't know if things matched each other or the arrangement "flowed" until the last child graduated high school. By that time, she was really too tired to care.

I also noticed that there where certain gaps in the curriculum. For instance, there was nothing in there about communication or anything else to do with the marital relationship, nothing about money management (apparently that isn't a woman's job in those parts), nothing about simple home repair. Nothing about mixing drinks, either, which is a shame because I feel that many graduates of this program will end up wishing they knew how.

There are a number of "Ms. Knitingale Homemaking Tips", many of which I believe would successfully get me bannned from the entire STATE in which the college resides. Like:
  • Buying carpet the exact color of cat vomit will save you a great deal of heartache and expense over the years. Also, they will be talking about you for YEARS down at Carpet Depot.
  • Cookie dough is your friend. Especially for breakfast. A case can be made for it containing a number of wholesome ingredients in much the same way that a case can be made for purchasing 17 balls of to-die-for cashmere when you already have enough yarn to slipcover Romania.
  • Nudism as a lifestyle sounds offputting...until you think about laundry day. Then, you gotta admit, it has it's perks. Okay, so my boobs don't have anything in the perk department anymore and maybe that's a good argument for keeping them covered....
  • Pet hair on everything just makes life softer and warmer.

I'm going to run out to the mailbox now--I want to see if the college has sent me a request to speak as a guest lecturer for their Homemaking program. After that, I'll be looking for flying, flaming pigs.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

In Case There Was Any Doubt...

I was running late for work this morning. This is not unusual--not because I sleep late, but because I get up early and then am possessed by unruly and unmanageable notion that I can do 1200 things before I have to leave ("I know--I'll wax the driveway! It'll only take a minute...then I can fix the hem on those pants, knit little cozies for the cats to sleep in, and arrange all the spices alphabetically"--it's worth pointing out that I am significantly bubblier in the morning than at any other time and, certainly than anyone has a right to be), and then all of a sudden I had to leave 10 minutes ago.

Today I was frantically trying to fit 20 minutes worth of things I HAD to do in the 30 seconds I'd left in which to do them, and I needed to remember the following things:

Wear pants
Bring purse
Bring keys
Bring lunch
Bring check from insurance company for doctor
Bring water bottle
Bring travel mug of tea
Wear pants (it's worth repeating this one, as it's written right into the rule book at work that we must wear both halves of a set of scrubs)

What I actually ended up with was:
I did wear pants (thankfully)
I brought my purse, but only after nearly leaving without it
I brought my keys because the car wouldn't start without them
I brought my water bottle after snagging it by the handle and whapping myself upside the head with it--and it's always half frozen
I remembered the tea, but spilled half of it in the garage
I did not bring the check for the doctor
I brought my lunch bag, but did not actually put any lunch in it.


I did bring my knitting bag. I didn't have time to knit today, and I knew I wouldn't have time to knit today and I couldn't eat the yarn inside or the pattern and I really needed lunch and more tea and not to have whapped myself upside the head with my half-frozen water bottle but....

I brought the knitting bag.

It's official. Knitting has become more important than food. I'm not a well woman.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

A Veritable Tower of Restraint

Oh, stop giggling! I'm not totally lacking in self-control, even if I am quite severely lacking in the desire to exercise it. This time, though, I really did demonstrate admirable restraint. The fact that it may not last is surely not relevent. See, I walked to Ben Franklin on my lunch hour yesterday (did I mention that location is one thing I love about my job?) in order to buy one of these:

By the way, the Tangled Yoke Cardigan is buring a hole in my knitting bag through which all previously started projects are bound to fall so that I might begin to knit it. I don't see how this can possibly be my fault. Anyway.

I got to the store and found that there was some Anny Blatt angora yarn on sale. Not just on sale. ON SALE. Regularly $21.75 for a 116 yard ball; now $5 for that same 116 yards of bunny goodness. They had pink and black and rich bluey purple and all manner of wonderful colors and still, this is all that followed me home:

Yes, I'm all right and no, I wasn't knocked unconcsious in the yarn store, or felled by a stray water buffalo or coated in locusts at an inopportune moment or even thrown out of the store for petting all the fuzz off the really soft yarns before I could complete my purchase. I just...wasn't quite sure what I would make with that much angora, and I ended up buying what I thought would work for a pair of really wonderful bunny mittens. Since then, I've shaken myself briskly and had a good laugh over the notion that I would actually need to have a plan in order to buy practically free angora and I'm hoping there's still some left when I go back tomorrow. But it does create a few issues in terms of what to make.

I thought about a sweater, naturally--imagine all that soft bunniness next to the skin all day. Mmmmm. (Okay, stop imagining it--you're drooling on the keyboard.) Probem is, angora in my past has proven itself to be nothing so much as a delicate flower, inclined to pill and felt at the merest hint of a stern expression, never mind a cross word, and I'm worried that I would either wear it once and have a felted, pilly bookmark for life, or be afraid to wear it at all.

A cardigan? Well...maybe. But again, it's kind of delicate. I worry that the harsh outside air molecules might bully it, hurt its feelings, generally cause problems. I worry even more that I absolutely hate handwashing and blocking with a passion and garments worn as outerwear seem to have a nasty tendency of needing that sort of thing occasionally.
Scarf? Too done, too easy--and not something I actually ever wear. I know, a knitter who shuns scarves. Don't think it's not a burden.
I pondered (in a moment of insanity brought on by the stroking of angora in a warm room) an angora bra--just briefly. Okay, so quit looking at me like that. There was a whole section in IK on knitted lingerie not that long ago so, while I might be insane, I at least have company (worse, I have company with the power to publish. The mind boggles.). Thing is, I believe that my employers would have a problem with my petting my own boobs all day, even if I did point out the bunny wonder of the garment covering them, so that's right out.
Vest? I don't wear vests at all...I think I was tramatized by the Annie Hall era of clothing, where everyone who was anyone wore layers and layers of menswear, with a mans vest pulled over a long shirt over skinny leggings. It wasn't a good thing. It really wasn't a good thing on me--I was overweight back then, and layers of clothes really did nothing for me at all. I looked like a chubby little man. A cranky, chubby little man, because the other kids made fun of me. No. No vests.

Hats? Ditto. (the "don't wear 'em" part, not the Annie Hall thing.) I hate having hat hair, even if it's angora hat hair. It's quite enough to have weirdly wavey hair at this stage of my life when it always used to be straight...add in standing straight out in the manner of one recently electrocuted and, well. You see how this mightn't end well.

But the darned angora is calling me in a hairy little siren song, and it seems that the pair of mittens or gloves I have loosely in mind just isn't going to feed that particular beast. What to do? A hundred pairs of mittens doesn't seem practical...any ideas out there? Anyone? I mean, besides send it all to you? (nice try, though.)

Don't worry if you can't think of anything, either. I may just spread it all out on the bed and roll around on it....and that would be okay.
Speaking of rolling around, Miss spent some time rolling around in the nip yesterday:

I was kind enough to brush all the bits of nip and grass off her before I took this so that she at least looks slightly respectable, if stoned. If you're wondering about the one eye, it is in fact half brown and half green. This does contribute a bit to her looking like she's completely wasted....but in this case, she really was.

Knit on, friends, and don't forget to help me figure I'm going to make with the angora that I'll buy with or without justification anyway. Not that I know myself well or anything.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

A New Winner

I have often thought of myself as the Queen of Ridiculous. After all, I have a scrub top with the Power Puff Girls on it, I have a one-eyed cat named Gracie who licks peanut butter off my finger (and occasionally tries to bite it in the apparent hope that I will bleed still MORE of the delicious stuff), I frequently (and unintentionally) wear my panties inside out and I have a riding lawn mower that I have christened the Exxon Valdez due to its oil spitting tendencies. Ridiculous. But I have been dethroned. I have found the ultimate ruler of all of the Ridiculous, a level of ridiculous so very high that I am forced to turn in my scepter and bow down to my betters. It started like this:

Mr. K and I have been talking about my eventual reapplication to nursing school. (See, you just knew nursing school had to be involved, didn't you? But wait. They've really outshone their previous efforts.) And, in an uncharacteristic fit of something I've heard termed planning ahead (strange concept, but I'm game) I opted to check the website today to make sure that none of the requirements had changed. Not to be paranoid, but I'm fairly certain that the nursing school application committee, when not reading applications, is holed up with a generous supply of vodka, pens, and paper, working on ways to thwart would-be nursing students. I'm pretty sure there's giggling involved.

Anyway, I figured there might be another class added to the prereqs or something, and I have time now to take the class before the application deadline. Clever, no?

No. Because there is a new requirement but it's this: the three recommendation forms I submitted from doctors with whom I've worked closely will no longer be sufficient. I still need three recommendations, but now at least two of them must be from members of the nursing school faculty. Let me repeat that: in order to get into nursing school, I must have letters of recommendation from people who teach classes that I am not allowed to take unless and until I am accepted into nursing school. Clear? Oh, and they have to rate me in specific areas, such as my leadership abilities, my judgement, my skill at creating and supporting cultural diversity (no, even Ms. K could not make this nonsense up--it's all true), and my self-confidence, among other things. The website did not offer any helpful suggestions as to how I might obtain these recommendations from people who do not know me; neither did it offer a place where I might leave my own suggestions regarding this matter. Just as well. It would have involved some anatomical impossibilities.

So, to celebrate what I am coming to think of as Asshole Day, I've come up with a list of appropriate ways to pay homage to this instance of brilliant thinking. For instance:

From now on, I will only see movies that have been reviewed by people who have never seen them.

I will only eat at restaurants that have been recommended to me by people who have not eaten there.

Allergic to dairy products? Then you're just the person I need to help me choose the best ice cream store in the greater Seattle area.

If you're tone deaf, I have a job for you. Please help me choose some music to buy that you think I'd like.

I'll be asking some vegetarian friends to help me choose between barbecued pork recipes, the Seahawks quarterback to recommend a good manicurist, and a friend of mine who doesn't drive to help me choose my next car. If I knew any non-english speakers, I'd hire them to read my school material for me as well. It would all make about as much sense.

You can help, too. I'm looking for someone to select yarn for me. However, you may not actually see the yarns you're selecting from. You may not feel them, or smell them, or handle them in any way. You may see the label, but be warned that there is no way to be certain that what is on the label is even true. Since they all want to get picked, it's possible that some acrylic could sneak in there and claim to be lambswool. Since you can't touch them, how would you know? There are people out there who have seen all the yarns, and have seen my stash, and know exactly what I like and what I'm knitting next. You may not speak with them. If they offer their opinion, it will be discarded. So, what will it be? Unidentified yarn sample number one? The one that claims to be cashmere? The one that sounds as if it might be blue based on the possibly-false label?

No, I'm not bitter and pissy and thoroughly fed up with all this. Thing is, I don't WANT to be pissy. I love what I do. Nothing feeds me like connecting with a person in a meaningful way, like giving someone that small comfort or support or encouragement or understanding or whatever it is that changes their day for a second or a minute or an hour. None of that, however, will sway the minds of people who place more value than anything on the opinions of people who know nothing about me.

I used to joke that I wouldn't be surprised to find the school requiring a swimsuit competition for nursing school admission. I never thought it would get to the point where that actually sounded marginally better.

All right. I'm off my rant. You may return to your knitting.

But, hey. Thanks for listening. I feel better already.

Friday, August 03, 2007

"It Was Someone Called Abby Normal"

Anyone name that movie quote? Anyone?

ACME Brains, Inc.

Dear Sir:

When I ordered a new brain from your fine company, it was with the hope and understanding that what I received would actually be better than the mush I was currently using. I am disappointed to say that this has not proven to be the case.

I've heard that cars built on Fridays or Mondays tend to be the ones with the most problems, because of employees calling in sick or taking a vacation day to make a 3 day weekend, or showing up hungover, or whatever. This suggests to me that the brain you provided me with was in fact constructed on a Monday, after a three day weekend. With a major holiday in it. During a blizzard. And a hurricane. And every bar in town was giving away free beer. For instance, I don't think a quality brain should result in my repeatedly coming home to find I've been wearing my underwear inside-out all day long. True, it's better than wearing them on the outside...but I think we can all agree that there are higher standards to be set than "puts underwear on first".

I also think that a good brain should have a good autopilot system. If I'm going to trust it to do things for me while I zone out, fantasize about Johnny Depp, or invent new knitting patterns in my head, it really ought to do it correctly--not have me put the serving spoon away in the pencil holder, toss my cell phone in the trash while carefully tucking an empty food wrapper into my purse, or place my knitting bag on the table to take to work about 4 minutes before leaving without it.

Additionally, I know that brains get into "grooves", where they try to apply what's gone before, but really. Just because I always knock on the doors of the exam rooms every time I go in to do anything at all with a patient, does not mean that I want to knock on EVERY door at work, including the one into the storage room, the medicine samples closet, and the one that opens into the waiting room so I can call back patients. Seriously--you should have seen the looks on people's faces. I think they were all trying to figure out who should get up and answer it.

It's terribly embarrassing to have to try to function with what is clearly an inferior brain. When you call a person and they answer the phone, they tend to expect the caller to remember whom they called and why. Generally, "Hello?" when used as a telephone salutation, is not answered with "Ummmm...who did I call?" And then "That's right, I WAS calling, I don't suppose you know what I wanted?"

I also distinctly remember asking for the "remember names" feature, and it is very definitively missing. And tricks like "now, remind me how you spell your name?" only work so far. Just ask the puzzled patient who responded "S - U - S - A - N. I don't think it's unusual...."

I expected to be able to know right from left without feeling for the scar on my left thumb, subtract simple numbers without muttering "...17 - 9 equals 8, had to borrow, 2 becomes 1, 11 - 6 equals 5...." and so on, take the meat out of the freezer on any one of the six occasions I said I was going to, go downstairs to TAKE the meat out of the freezer and not come back up 5 minutes later with a piece of granola bar and the vague feeling that I was supposed to have done something, remember where I bought that awesome, low-fat Kettlecorn BEFORE visiting 9 of the 10 possible options, locate the absolutely perfect sock pattern when I want it and not after I've given up and made something else, and not do things like fax the admin office to tell them I forgot to clock in....when I in fact didn't forget at all. There's only so many times you can do that last one before they start wondering if you should be alone with patients.

I'm enjoying the knitting feature quite a bit, although it does seem to have gotten somewhat stuck in "start" mode. That one, and the yarn buying one as well. Is there a trick I didn't see in the handbook as to how to program it to complete things, and use up the yarn already purchased? It would also be great if it had a catalogue of recipes you can make from frozen meat. It should manage to save valuable information such as "Dr. S just pulled out that drawer and didn't close it" instead of tossing it out until the moment my shin makes contact with that same drawer, or "Mr. K rarely empties his Pepsi cans" before I get the bright idea of tucking one under my arm sideways as I carry it and all the newspapers to the recycle bin (where I put the mop bucket would have come in handy about then, too).

Overall, I am very disappointed with the quality of my brain. If I could remember where I put the phone number--or my phone, for that matter--I'd give you such an earful.

Ms. K