Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Magician

Noticed this on Matty's sidebar. I am ridiculously fond of on-line tests that offer identity assessments. Check it out: a half-naked man with wings. And what a package.

I am the Magician

Skill, wisdom, adaptation. Craft, cunning, depending on dignity.

Eleoquent and charismatic both verbally and in writing,
you are clever, witty, inventive and persuasive.

The Magician is the male power of creation, creation by willpower and desire. In that ancient sense, it is the ability to make things so just by speaking them aloud. Reflecting this is the fact that the Magician is represented by Mercury. He represents the gift of tongues, a smooth talker, a salesman. Also clever with the slight of hand and a medicine man - either a real doctor or someone trying to sell you snake oil.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

More Magnetic Poetry

Found the serial killer poem made from the children's set:
I saw and
I told my friend and
my dog where she is
eating mud and
dreaming of red
so if you fly
they will follow
(1997 - children's set)
The word "will" is made from "wing+I+I." Some would say that's cheating, but I liked making words out of other words, and I'd let myself do it once per poem.

I also found this poem, which I'd forgotten about:


whisper hands
say the heart and
tell the mud in to man

cry inside

imagine that god
asks the sky to follow
the stars and moon down
in dark rain
(1997 - children's set)
"God" is made from "go+ed." I really like the line "tell the mud into man."

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Magnetic Poetry

I'm starting to pack up my office, and this means taking down the various magnetic poems I have stuck around. (My tendency is to make poems out of the various kits and leave them in place).

These first two were poems I wrote with the words that came with a metal mug. The mug would get too hot to hold, so I moved the poems onto a filing cabinet.
"On the metal cup"
my head is void
my language iron
& bitter ice
morning's gift
is the dream of magic
and the elaborate
whisper of caffeine
(Feb 1998)

"On the metal cup II"
I like my
winter brewed
black with freshly
ground desire and
poured steaming
into sweet dry
(Feb 1999)
This one was made using an abbreviated children's set. I was inspired by the juxtaposition of the words before you separate them, and I've hyphenated the words that are stuck together.
"A Leave-'em-Together Experiment"
laugh s
or whispers funny dream-candy
and if you-ask me
I have-want ed only [on+fly]
when we are together
Year's ago, S. and I were challenging ourselves to write disturbing poems using the children's set. Mine was about a serial killer; S.'s was about identity theft and ennui. I'll have to hunt for those.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Some Christmas Knitting

Actually, there was one command Christmas gift for family. Mom wanted felted clogs for Logan. I made him a pretend pair two years ago as a novelty gift (they matched the ones I made for his mom). But it's time for him to have a real pair of his own.

I was trying to adapt the adult size pattern, when it occurred to me: maybe someone had already done the work to create a kid's version. Huzzah. And the result:

I put the compact disc case in there for scale. Aren't they adorable? They knit up quickly, and felted very fast. The upper is some Lopi I bought at Halcyon, the bottom is "lilla lovikka (Alafoss Lopi)" -- which looks like someone found a warehouse full of Lopi and stuck a different label on it.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

No Christmas Knitting

Granny Mary said she marked "CHRISTMAS KNITTING BEGINS NOW" over the first week in June on next year's calendar. Lots of other knitting bloggers are scrambling to complete projects. I don't really do lots of gift knitting for Christmas. Last year, I did try to save up socks, not giving them to the recipient until Christmas, but I didn't get a lot of joy out of that -- I mostly forgot which socks I intended for which person. I prefer to knit things, and then I give them to people when I've finished. So sorry, family, this year you're only getting (as David Sedaris says) "things of real value."

But I did plan to knit socks for my co-workers this year. I figured that my time with them was coming to an end soon, and I wanted to let them know how much I appreciated their support during the 10 months I was the agency's Interim Director (and to wish the new boss the best of luck). Things started off well: I sent them an email in late July asking for shoe sizes, and knocked off two pair pretty quickly. But then Sock Wars got in the way, one colleague left for a new job, and my attention got drawn into other projects (and into identifying my own next job).

Our Christmas party was Thursday. Three people got completed pairs of socks, the other two got yarn and a promise.

Not many pictures, alas. Vince got the green Opal socks, Bobbi the Widdershins that gave me math anxiety. Stephen got a pair of fibonnaci socks (like these, but in shades of green and shorter because I ran out of yarn). Karl isn't getting socks, but a pair of fingerless mittens adapted from the "Medallion Mitts" pattern in Knitting with Balls (I'd nearly finished one, but it was knitting up too small, so I'm going to try an adaptation that includes a gusset for the thumb).

Joel will get these -- made from Mountain Colors merino that I got from Stash Fairy. I added ribbing across the top of the foot because they were knitting up a bit too big. And I decided to try the slip stitch technique, normally used on the heel flap of top-down socks, to reinforce my usual short-row heel. I'm not pleased with the result. Not unhappy enough to rip back and do it over, but I probably won't do this again. Nice experiment to try, though.

This is likely to be my last post this weekend, so merry Christmas to those of you who celebrate it, and happy long weekend to those who don't.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Breathing in, I know that I am breathing in

Breathing in, I know that I am breathing in.
Breathing out, I know that I am breathing out.
This mindfulness moment is brought to you by Thich Nhat Hanh, and I offer it as an explanation for why I've been so quiet. Like Ken said yesterday, it's been busy lately. I've had some interviews for a few new jobs, and while this is exciting, it's also scary. I've done a pretty good job not freaking out about it, but this involves doing nothing in my life that feels like stress. Even some knitting has felt like stress, because I feel pressure to Get These Things Done On Time. I hadn't even done any holiday shopping until today, the point at which continuing to not do any shopping was more stressful than hitting the mall.

So therefore I have nothing to write about.

Interviews are done. Both jobs seem great. I'm worried about how I'll choose between them if forced to. But meanwhile, I'll keep breathing and deal with that if only if I have to.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

More untrue things I believe

If you sit on the lap of someone dressed as Santa Claus and ask for something, you'll get it.

I realize that I held this unexamined belief around 12 years ago. I was a children's librarian, and it was the day of the library's Santa Visit. One of our maintenance guys was Santa, and they were testing the camera by taking pictures with the staff on Santa's lap. When Santa asked what I wanted, I was about to reel off my standard joking answer -- "Three bedroom house with attached two car garage" -- when it hit me that the only way I was going to get one of those was if a relative died, and I was struck dumb, suddenly afraid of uttering the selfish curse that would kill off a loved one.

When I was a teenager, I knew prayer didn't work. And I knew long before that that there was no magic. I've known practically all my life that the men dressed up as Santa weren't the real Santa. But somehow, I'd kept believing that the universe will give you what you want if you ask a Santa for it.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Untrue things I believe

My dad makes it snow for my birthday.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Last shots fired

Sock Wars ended the Friday after Thanksgiving. A newbie assassin and slow post to Australia kept me alive to the end of the game. The survivors are supposed to be finishing the socks we're working on, so maybe I'll end up with Socks of Doom eventually. Here is the pair I finished for Taffy, my fourth and final victim.

Sock Wars had its moments. If it happens again, I probably won't join, but I'm glad I was part of it this year. If nothing else, I gained an appreciation for K3P3/K1P1 ribbing, and got lots of practice with traditional top-down construction. Now it's back to my toe-up ways.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Kristin Chenoweth


Kristin Chenoweth is going to play the Madeleine Kahn role in a stage musical adaptation of Young Frankenstein. And this spring, there will be a sitcom pilot with Chenoweth and Nathan Lane playing sitcom hosts à la Regis and Kelly. (Please please PLEASE let it not suck).

More about Chenoweth's current life and career is in the "New York Times" today.

Yeah, my love of Kristin Chenoweth turns me into a shrieking queen. (So does the impending opening of Dreamgirls, by the way; I'm pretty sure it's not going to live up to expectation). OK, if I were a real fan, I suppose that I wouldn't have stopped watching "West Wing" in its last season, and that I wouldn't prefer to have my eyes gouged out than go see "Deck the Halls."