Friday, October 26, 2007

I Meet Crazy Aunt Purl

I've never attended a book signing before and after my sister's disaster with a local romance writer (ask her about it sometime) I was not interested in attending one ever. And it seems a little like legal stalking, but I had to make an exception.

I've gotta tell you that I was pretty weirded out about going to a book signing for someone I've been e-mailing with for the last couple of years. But in the end, I wanted to meet Crazy Aunt Purl in person and I'm awfully glad I did because she is just as funny in person as she is online. If you are one of the ten people who haven't read her "knitting" blog, by all means take some time right now to do so. We'll wait. There is a button just to the right of this post. She is the only one I know whose knitting blog contains less actual knitting than this one, so even my family members reading this will enjoy it. Especially the females.

Having never attended a book signing I was unaware of the protocol involved. Now being a veteran attendee I feel as though I can give unsolicited advice to any of you that might be thinking about attending a book signing in the near future:
  1. Do not go straight from a work event that involved adult beverages and no food
  2. Do not wear high heels because you are coming straight from work even your most comfy pair
  3. Do take half a day off so that you can stake out a good seat aprox. 4 hours before the book signing (I did not do this and yet still do not regret it, but apparently this is what the veteran book signing people and author stalkers do)
  4. Do not piss off the 22-year-old from the book store who controls the line. Even though it is clear from his introduction that he has not read the book or understood anything about the author. Even though he is wearing a velvet jacket and has long unwashed hair and braces on his teeth.
  5. Do not piss off those around you when dissed by the velvet jacket wearing line control guy whom you have told that you could well do a complete Marie Osmond right there while waiting in the heat because your blood sugar is dropping due to #1.
Actually I think the three women around me thought I was funny and in the end Velvet Jacket realized that he should probably let the people who had attended the entire reading standing up get into line before he had a whole pack of crabby, low-blood sugar women (some of whom are packing pointy sticks) on his hands. I don't like to be a credit hog, but I do think that my argument that the people who had been sitting there since 3:00 with their big knitting baskets might just be the people with the most time on their hands, may have turned the line tide.

Anyhow, I got Laurie to sign my book. When she saw what I wanted her to write she exclaimed, "You are THAT Kate?!" and jumped up to give me a hug. And remind me that she does indeed have an encyclopedic knowledge of all things Gilligans Island, but will only use this knowledge for good.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


I've put a link in yesterday's post to see RC on t.v. Apparently he was on the local ABC affiliate today and was interviewed by two newspapers too. Can an RC drinking game be far behind? I don't think so.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Various & Sundry

This weekend was terrific. I bowled for Shriner's Childrens Hospitals on Saturday without completely humiliating myself. Any time I can engage in anything that takes physical coordination without falling, tripping, slipping or generally looking foolish, I count it in the win column. Many don't think of bowling as a sport, but I'm all for calling it a sport. In fact, I'm all for anything I can do while drinking beer and still call a sport. So bowling, bocce ball, golf, fishing, right up there with my favorite sports of all time. My right leg is super sore still, but I had a great time. (Yes, I'm old and falling apart. Bowling hurts for two days afterwards. Sad but true).

Speaking of sports, as a long time Sox fan, I'm really really happy about them getting in the Series again. I didn't think I'd ever actually see them win a World Series in my lifetime, but now there is a real chance they could win two in my lifetime!!! Downside is the playing in Colorado thing. Games that happen in Mountain time are generally going to last past my bedtime. This could be problematic.

Of course the World Series is a great time to knit. Or crochet. I don't know what has gotten into me, but I'm crocheting a couple of afghans right now.

Today's most exciting news? RC was on the news today. You may be asking the first thing I asked when I found out my brother was going to be on the news, "Oh good God, what did he do?" He didn't drive his boat down mainstreet wearing nothing but a smile while smoking a cigar, did he? He didn't do his famous Fat Bald Guy dance in front a fire after drinking and fall in, did he? (As RC always says, "What's funnier than a fat guy dancing the robot? A BALD fat guy dancing the robot.")
"No, no, no," my sister replied, "The quints in St. Cloud."
"Oh God, he's the father and his wife murdered him."
"NO!" my sister is just way over me now, "The mom works for him."

This was interesting since he's always telling me how all his employees in his small town are 112- year-old women. Now this quint story is sounding interesting! Turns out that at least one employee is of childbearing years and they interviewed him about it on the news. He's very smart, articulate, and he showed well on t.v. Plus he was wearing his pumpkin halloween tie so he was looking pretty dapper too. If they post the video on the KARE 11 website, I'll link it here.

This is totally going to blow his image as a guy imitating the flying monkeys from "Wizard of Oz" while wearing a felted bag on his head. Sorry RC. Feel free to make outrageous comments to restore your street cred in knitting blog land. Okay, let's face it. Being the bad boy of my knitting blog makes you a pretty lame bad boy anyway.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Susan and the Turkey (or how I came to knit socks)

It's been well documented here that I have absolutely no interest in knitting socks. I wear high heels nearly every day. I'm not really the colorful sock type. I don't have a handknit sock kinda life. I loathe double pointed needles. I hate knitting two of anything. Sleeves drive me crazy because I have to knit two.

So why did I knit socks? Because my sister, Susan, wanted to knit socks. Susan is a quilter who occasionally veers off the piecing path to knit, crochet, and scrapbook. There is a woman in her (now our) office that I talked into trying knitting a few years ago and has become a very prolific sock knitter. I don't know if this woman even owns socks she didn't knit herself at this point. My sister has been fascinated by these cute colorful socks and told me several times she'd like to learn. I thought taking a class together would be a great way to spend time together and I knew that sock knitting would be the best way to tempt my sister into taking a class with me.

We will be lucky if they invite us back to take a class again. Mostly because we are nuts. It was really the turkey's fault that we were standing in the parking lot the first night laughing like escaped mental patients. Let me say first that until a couple years ago I had never even seen a wild turkey let alone wild turkeys walking along city streets. Okay, suburban streets but still. Lately I keep seeing turkeys. Not like, I'm seeing dancing purple elephants, but turkeys. Real turkeys.

Amazing Threads, my favorite knit shop ever, is in a complex of new office condo/townhouses. You've probably seen them, they are springing up everywhere. Buy your office/store space instead of leasing without having to be Trump buying a gigantic office tower? So I'm pulling into the complex the first night and I am struck by the sight of a cop with his lights flashing parked next to (you guessed it) a wild turkey. I drove around the corner and parked in front of the shop, which faces the other direction so there was no way to see the turkey being pulled over! Upon entering the shop I saw my sister shopping for her yarn and needles for the class and told her that I had just seen a turkey pulled over. She immediately thought I had been drinking.

The class was great, we learned to cast on and start knitting on two circular needles. I've got to admit I've tried to teach myself this technique before unsuccessfully and once I saw how the technique works it was one of those "duh" moments (how could I not have gotten this before?). We were relatively well behaved. I didn't even let on that I came into the class pretty sure that sock knitting was a big waste of time.

After class we walked out to our cars and stood talking, my sister standing with her back to the street. Over her shoulder I see the turkey walking along the boulevard!! Interrupting my sister mid-sentence, I exclaim loudly, "There it is!", startling her into grabbing my arm and replying, "What, what, where, where?!" Of course by this time the turkey is behind a bush and she once again thinks I'm nuts. I told her to wait and watch.

Quietly, like kids in a game of hide-and-seek, we waited and watched. When the turkey appears from behind the bush I point, "See, see I told you there was a turkey". To which my sister replied loudly and quickly (and I believe these words will be forever entered into family lore), "Shoot it!!"

What?! Shoot it? With the shotgun in my knitting bag? Oh yeah, that's right I don't own a shotgun and if I did I would be highly unlikely to have it in my sock knitting bag. When she realized the absurdity of what she had just said, she got the giggles. Which gave me the giggles. Which made us both have to pee. Which made us laugh harder. So here we are standing in front of the knitting shop laughing like loons, telling each other to stop because we are going to have an accident. I'm surprised they want us back at the shop. Ever.

So that is how I came to knit socks and nearly embarrassed myself at my favorite yarn shop to the point of not being able to go back there. (I mean seriously I do spend plenty of money there and Bobbie is really nice and laid back but I've gotta believe she would frown on people peeing their pants in front of her store.) The whole thing is (and I don't get to say this very often in my family) ALL MY SISTER'S FAULT.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Never Say Never

Hello. I'm back. I think. After 2 years of being absolutely miserable in my professional life, I've returned to the company I left in 2005. I'd been there for 16 years before leaving. I learned a ton in the two years of misery but I'm glad to be back. I'm hoping that I've overall gotten my groove back and can once again blog on a regular basis! (BTW, I think I'm working in the same building as Chaos' mom but so far no actual spotting has occurred.)

This should tell you just how wacky my life has been lately. I broke my hard and fast no sock knitting policy.
My first socks! Knit with Shi Bui on two circular needles from KnitPicks. The yarn was wonderful to knit with. This doesn't make me a convert by any means. I'm still unconvinced that I want to spend a ton of time knitting socks, but I must say they do make a nice airplane project. I'm not giving you the whole leg shot because I haven't seen a leg shot of socks that didn't make the wearer's calves look enormous and my psyche is not up to huge calves right now.

Yes, I do have one remaining source of angst. My weight. Since January I've gained 15 pounds. I tried Weight Watchers, lost 7 pounds and realized I don't want to live in a cookie-free world the rest of my life. So I'm on an exercise program. It's only week 3 so no earth-shattering results yet, but I'll keep you posted.

Tomorrow: How I came to knit a pair of socks and learned the importance of "packin' heat" in your knitting bag.