NaBloPoMo Day 4: Memories of Voting

I voted for Michael Dukakis when I was eighteen years old. Shortly after returning to my dorm room that afternoon, the college radio station announced that they were offering three potluck CDs to the first person who could name all three Beastie Boys. Obviously, I won the CDs. (Obviously!) To this day, I associate the 1988 election with the Beastie Boys.

In 1992 I voted for Bill Clinton. After voting, I drove to my part-time job at Olan Mills where one of my co-workers gave me an order of bread sticks from Pizza Hut, a big silly can of Foster’s, and a CD single of “I Will Always Love You.” This set of gifts was unexpected and strange, and I’m still a bit confused about it all.

In 1996 I voted for Bill Clinton. After work that evening, Jeff and I went over to my friend Carole’s house and watched a movie. Before leaving, I called home and was told that a pack of wild dogs had attacked and killed my neighbor’s dog in my parents’ front yard.

In 2000 I voted for Ralph Nader. And I had a migraine. And the production manager where I worked (in Nashville) made fun of the Ralph Nader thing so much that I actually used the migraine to go home early from work simply to avoid the maddening Green Party jokes.

In 2004, my mom came over to watch Meredith so that Jeff and I could go vote for John Kerry. And I’ve never felt so completely positive that my candidate would win. And when he didn’t? I got all lactational and weepy. I don’t want to talk about it.

So, here we are. 2008. I took my place in line at 5:10 this morning, and arrived home just in time to pass the voting baton to Jeff at 6:30. After he voted, he discovered that the battery in the car was dead. A very kind gentleman jumped the car, and Jeff drove it to McDonald’s to grab a coffee. While there, the car died again, and the girls and I were able to rescue him before my biscuit got cold. And by Biscuit, I mean Biscuit. Other noteworthy items of the day? Harper ordered a corn dog for lunch. She didn’t eat it, but she DID order it. (We’ll talk about her resistant eating some other day.) And the car doesn’t matter, and the eating doesn’t matter (today, at least), and the fact that I’m once again feeling the beginning of a migraine doesn’t matter. What matters? Today we’re making history. And I know you’ve heard that at least thirty times already. But, really. Something amazing is about to happen. And I’m feeling sort of giddy and hopeful. And I hope you’re feeling the same way.

Enjoy your evening. Really enjoy it. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

NaBloPoMo Day 3: I despise the phrase Super Fling Boogie, Fly Lady.

Our house is not clean. Seriously. (That’s why you haven’t been invited over for dinner or coffee.)

Our house is very small. We have more stuff than storage space for that stuff. And I know we need to either look inside ourselves for some motivation to release Stuff, or else we need one of those television crews to come over and humiliate us into The Disposing of The Stuff.

We have lived here six years, and we haven’t yet hung anything (except for a few photos here and there) on the walls. Our family room carpet is disgusting, and we haven’t yet been able to find the cash to rework it.

With all of that said, I’m supposed to be making a video of our bedroom sometime in the next seven days. I’ll leave it at that, because the ideas stirred up in your imagination are surely more dazzling (and Marvin Gaye-ish) than what is actually taking place.

I’m feeling surprisingly shamefaced.

I guess I just need you to tell me that your place is a dump, too. Or, better yet, motivate me to step away from the kids, the computer, the knitting, the muffins, the whatever, and Beautify. I dream of entering a fresh-smelling house with zero clutter, clean carpets, and kids who eat anything I put on their plate. Right now I’m 0 for 4. (My mother-in-law just returned my copy of Sink Reflections. That stinkin’ bright pink book has been screaming and following me around the house spiderwalk-style for the past 48 hours.) ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

NaBloPoMo Day 1: Both share the possibility of projectile flight, I suppose.

Flying Fairy

Last night the fairies went flying.

First we bend down really low, and then we fly away!

(Their landings may lack grace, but they more than make up for it with cuteness and vivacity! Hello there! Welcome to my mommy blog where I sometimes post photos of my kids and then I go all verbal about how cute I think they are! I don’t normally choose this path!)

Today found the fairies camped out on the family room couch. According to Meredith’s teacher, there is a puking epidemic making its way through the kindergarten. Meredith is not a puker (do you hear me knocking on wood and setting herbs on fire over here?!), but, where am I going with this?! It’s flipping Day One of NaBloPoMo, and I’m sitting here with three hours left until midnight—drinking my eighth (and final) glass of water for the day (because I’m back on that kick again), watching sour-faced Zellweger in Bridget Jones, and searching for a ridiculous metaphor to splice fairies and vomit.

I’ll be back tomorrow.

And you can’t wait. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Don’t say booze and nudity.

Can you read with your eyes closed?

Okay, then. Close your eyes and picture yourself as a knitter who is trying to finish some knitted gifts before the holidays. Also, it’s snowing and you’re in your pajamas drinking coffee and watching Season Two of Gilmore Girls. Wait! What’s that noise? Oh! Because the mailman has a bit of a crush on you, he’s delivering the mail to your door instead of making you trudge to the box. Okay. Hidden in that stack of bills and holiday cards is an invitation to a late-night knitting party!

What would make that party The Perfect Party? ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

My arm hurts at the injection site. And that is normal. And so am I.

Thanks so much for your laundry advice. (I have never typed that sentence before.) As I sit here at the computer, I can smell the vinegar slapping those towels around in the washer. The spores are screaming! And, I will NEVER be a fan of Marcia Cross. Marcia Cross, you may now enter My Room of Unloved Ladies. Please take a seat next to Ashley Judd. Enjoy the anise cookies. And the Jägermeister.

This week is sort of whirlwindy.

Tonight? Dinner with the friend who once decorated my rehearsal dinner space with gourds. She’s also the friend who introduced me to Dorothy Parker and Fran Lebowitz. In other words: Parker and Lebowitz, and creative with gourds. This is a friend I shall keep.

Tomorrow? I’m filling in for a co-worker’s knitalong! And we’ll be casting on a sweater using the Elizabeth Zimmerman Percentage System. (I’m sure I’ll be telling you more about my job next month during NaBloPoMo. Maybe I’ll do a Day in the Life of a Part-Time Employee thing complete with photos! Wait. Why did 17 of you just leave the room?)

Wednesday? Nothing on the calendar, and Harper wants a pair of Halloween socks to match Meredith’s. I might devote that day to speed knitting some ankle socks. Luckily, her feet are the length of HoHos.

Thursday is going to be good. I’m volunteering at the school to register the kindergarten kids for their mock election, I’m attending Harper’s Fall Pre-School Party, and I’m lunching with Harper’s best friend and her mom at Blueberry Hill. Thursday night? Knitting with the gang and then finishing the party prep for the kindergarten party on Friday.

Friday? Kindergarten party, where I will be playing the role of Head Room Parent! After the party, we’re taking the kids to St. Charles for trick or treating, since our subdivision has pretty much crapped out on Halloween participation.

Also on my To Do list for the week is “String 42.” I just made the list yesterday afternoon, and I have no idea what String 42 means. I recently learned that 42 is the angle of degrees for rainbows. Also, God once sent bears to eat the 42 kids who made fun of a bald guy.

I got my flu shot yesterday, and I am very much looking forward to voting. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Greetings from Putrid Pudding!

So, I just signed on for NaBloPoMo again, and I’m trying to figure out if or how to shake it up a bit this year. I do know that I’m going to be crying on November 4th. And if those tears aren’t of the happy flavor, well, I just might throw in my stinkin’ towel and post stink-eye photos for the remainder of the month.

Speaking of stinkin’ towels (sadly, my transitions lack imagination), I’m currently suffering from a case of the stinking towels. I’m not sure if this stems back to our Feces in the Basement (!) problem or the fact that I sometimes let things sit in the washer too long, but our towels smell like mildew. I dry my face with one, and then I spend the night smelling my soured fetid face. And I dry the kids’ hair with one, and then I send them to the car for the night so I don’t have to breathe in their rancid tresses. And when your friend sends you some incredible soap and then the smell of your supposedly clean towel completely chews up the good scent and spits foul yuck all over you, well, something has to give because it’s starting to affect my mood.

As I type this letter to you, I am using (for the first time ever!) fabric softener laced with Febreze to try to kill the stink on the towels. Think happy thoughts. Also, Dear Jeff: Your underpants (for the first time ever!) are going to be surprisingly soft (and lavender scented!) tomorrow. Let me know if you need me to knit suspenders to hold them up.

So, anyway, yeah. NaBloPoMo. Join me. (I don’t say it enough, but I love reading your words.) Let me know if you’re signing up, and I’ll be your stinky St. Louis friend. (As Wurocher once said, “Everybody needs a stinky St. Louis friend.”) ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

He kissed my cheek before bucketing my noggin.

A few nights ago Ben Folds gently placed a bright pink bucket hat on my head and crowned me Queen of the Shirtless Crab Walk.

But let’s start at the beginning, shall we?

When Jeff and I were shopping for wedding rings, we ended up at a jewelry store in a mall in Nashville, Tennessee. After making our selections (Jeff’s ring is gold with black ridges that remind him of record albums, mine is platinum and has eleven tiny diamonds embedded into the band for no real reason at all), we were asked if we wanted anything engraved onto the rings.

Me: Yes. Put ‘My Only Friend, The End’ inside Jeff’s ring.

Jewelry Store Kid: Seriously?

Me: Yes. If engraving costs less than five dollars.

After our wedding ceremony, it occurred to me that Jeff never answered the question about engraving. I slid the ring off of my finger, expecting (and sort of hoping) to find a fabulous William Gass quote. Instead, I found one word. Ben.

ring

Me: Jeff? Why did you do this?

Jeff: Um, I didn’t do that. Actually, it sort of looks like the engraver screwed up someone else’s ring and then put it back into the case to be sold. Look at the messed up N.

Me (muttering a few expletives, some that begin with an F): I’ll be clearing this up when we get back to Nashville.

Get this. When I returned to the store to clear up the Ben issue, I found that all of the jewelry cases had been removed, and the store had closed down leaving no forwarding address. Interesting. (I immediately took the ring to have it appraised. I have no idea why, other than: What if those aren’t really diamonds?! What if it’s not really platinum?! It seems that everything is fine, except I still have Ben rubbing up against the finger that holds the vein that runs directly to my heart or something.)

Let’s fast forward seven years, shall we? (Seven years that involved purchasing every Ben Folds album and familiarizing the girls with his music to the extent that they can name Gracie in less than three notes.) ((If you follow that link, please know that I have no idea who the people are in that video, and I sort of wish they wouldn’t have interrupted the song with their baby’s first cry. Then again, I tend to be insensitive when the moon is full.))

On Thursday night, Jeff and I took to the streets to see Ben Folds play at The Pageant. And I won’t tell you that I was clearly the oldest person in attendance, because that fact tends to make my eyes well up a bit. So, let’s skip over my realization that several of the kids in line were born when I was already drinking beer. Legally. Wait. Can I just tell you that I heard a girl say “It’s on like Donkey Kong!” as we stood in line to enter the building? She was totally serious about It being On like Donkey Kong! (She had spent nearly two hours in the Big People line, and was slightly distressed about being asked to move to the back of the Under 21 line. When we heard her story and discovered that it was about to be On like Donkey Kong, we quickly surrendered our place in the Under 21 line and went in search of our fellow Big People. I do not regret that move.)

We found our seats, we made out a bit (I might be stretching the truth on that one), and we prepared for the opening act. (Prepared = Continued to sit. We were very lucky to have seats.) Opening act? Missy Higgins. And during her first song I developed one of those I Want to Buy All of Her Albums Right Now crushes. I also want to figure out how to knit the cabled tank she was wearing. But you don’t care about that, do you?

The Ben Folds performance? As expected, it was flawless. Had you been sitting next to me, you would have noticed me giving my cranial approval by cocking my head to the side in that “I’m really feeling this” way, and nodding to the rhythm as if to say “Yes! Uh huh! Uh huh!” over and over again. Let’s see. Do you mind if I simply run down the set list with you? (I know you’re really wanting to get to the part about the shirtless crab walk. I’m getting there. I promise.)

And right now you’re wondering what the Fake Leak thing is, right? I know! Before their latest album was released, Mr. Folds “leaked” songs onto the internet with the same titles as the album tracks. But they weren’t the album songs. SO, the folks who grabbed up the fakes thought they were getting actual album tracks. But they weren’t. And I would say something about getting pleasantly punked, but I’m 38, remember?! (You can find some of the leaks on this site if you fish around a bit.)

By the way, we left after the fake leak version of Frowne Song. If you were at the show, please don’t tell me that we missed a second encore. Please. And please don’t tell me that it contained Philosophy. Seriously. Because I don’t want to know that. (Philosophy was on the CD that Jeff and I gave out to everyone at our wedding reception. And that was Seven Years Ago tomorrow. October 20th. Seven Years. I’ve never held a job for seven years. I’ve never done Anything for seven years. (Except for the Fluid Pudding thing. Fluid Pudding and Jeff. There you go. Cheers.))

When we got home after the show that night, I sat up and watched The Office. And then I fell asleep and had a dream during which I was crab walking around The Pageant without my shirt on. (As I sometimes do. The employees are very patient.) I eventually found myself backstage balancing a bottle of beer in Billy Pancake, and Ben Folds walked up, bent down, kissed my cheek, and placed a bright pink bucket hat on my head. “You are Queen of the Shirtless Crab Walk!” he proclaimed as he tapped my head with his own bottle of beer, which is just as good as slipping an engraved ring containing eleven tiny diamonds onto the finger that holds the vein that runs directly to my heart or something. And it all seemed very Just Another Day in the Life.

If your heart is in your dream, no request is too extreme. When you wish upon a star as dreamers do. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

I know you’ve been wondering about it.

As you know, back in July I auctioned off a shawl to help fund my trip to San Francisco for BlogHer ’08. When the high bidder became the winner, I told her I was going to throw in a pair of handknit socks as a bonus. I then decided to add to the trip fund by selling more socks. (I know. You already know all of this. Sadly, I’ve become that person who tells you the same story 43 times. Outboard motor! Get it?! Out Bored Motor! It’s a joke about a worm! Hey! Do you want to hear a joke about a worm?) The specifics: I sold four adult-sized pairs of socks and seven sock ornaments in a 24 hour period. Those sales along with a freelance writing project purchased my plane ticket to San Francisco. And I still get all smiley with gratitude whenever I think about it.

The sock-knitting frenzy began in July, and I set the goal of knitting one sock per week until the adult-sized socks were completed. As of last week, they have all been finished off and mailed away.

V's Spring Forward
This is the very first pair of BlogHer socks. They went to the (very fun and super nice) woman who won the shawl auction. I was able to deliver them to her at BlogHer, which was a huge deal for me, since she was sort of the reason I was able to attend in the first place! (I would link to her, but I haven’t asked permission. Just know that right now I’m thinking her name really hard. If you are at all psychic, you’ll pick up on it.)

K's Waving Lace
This is a pair of socks I started almost a year ago as a Pay it Forward gift. When I found out that the recipient was going to be at BlogHer and that her birthday was coming up, I finished them and delivered them to her in San Francisco.

Paraphernalia
This is half of a gift pair for the woman who expressed disappointment that I wouldn’t be attending BlogHer. She even volunteered to donate money toward the cause, which sort of set my pants on fire in the I Should Really Try to Make This Happen department. When she found out that I was trying to raise the money, she offered a place for me to sleep at BlogHer. Seriously? Some people are So Unbelievably Kind. (These socks were delivered at BlogHer, too!)

Teri's Teosinte
The very first paid pair of socks were for a friend and former co-worker of mine. They were delivered at the end of August. The yarn? It’s Woolly Boully “Moonflowers” yarn, and it’s SO pretty.

Oreo Monkeys!
The Oreo Monkeys went out at the very end of August, too. Done in Koigu, they’re possibly the softest socks I’ve ever made. And, Bonus: They look like smashed up Oreos.

Boysenberry Monkeys
The Boysenberry Monkeys (also done in Woolly Boully) are on their way to Japan as I type this entry. How fun is that?! Believe me, it’s very fun.

Antique Monkeys
The Antique Monkeys were finished up last week and mailed off to one of my favorite internet friends. They should arrive in her mailbox today.

Sock One!
This afternoon I finished the first of the seven sock ornaments. (They are scheduled for mailing in late November or early December.) After that, I have two more pairs of gift socks, and then I can close the book on The BlogHer Sock Project.

Thanks again to all of my sock people.

And thanks to you for dropping by. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>