30 March 2006

What a few gigs and rams and all of that computer crap will get you.

My dear friend, Carrie, is meeting her internet boyfriend from Virginia today. This has been a long anticipated event. The two of them met by being online pen pals. The thing I like about this guys is that, if it were possible, I think he is actually more sarcastic than Carrie, and he seems to have a great sense of humor.
For instance, the dude was in a very serious car accident a year ago, and has since been somewhat disabled. Like, for a long time, he walked with a limp. But he doesn't mind that Sara constantly gives him a hard time about this. He also gets teased a lot for being a hill billy (though he claims the real hill billies come from West Virginia.....is there a difference?)
Anyway, he arrived in town today, and Sara and I are waiting with baited breath to hear how the interaction between the two is going.
This is agonizing, people.
Really agonizing.
Like, all we have been able to do all day here in our suite at work is make jokes about them and giggle like school girls.
We are awaiting a report back. A kind of report that comes on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 being "He is hideous and I could not possibly be attracted to him if he were the last man EVER" and 10 being "I am going to jump him right now in the airport."
We have heard nothing.
The goal was at least a "7." Rumor has it that we are currently at a 6.5.
This is too much suspense for me.
Thusly, Sara and I for the past hour or so have taken to sending intermittent text message to Carrie with such mature messages as "Pube Pizza" or "Got Limp?"
As we speak, we are trying to get Carrie away from the boy from Virginia so that we can get the real scoop.
Other than that, projects abide. Kind of like the dude abides (if you've seen the Big Lebowski--my favorite funny movie). I have about 10 inches or so left on Tubey and only one ball of yarn left. This is probably going to lead to a trip to Yarn Renaissance, but what am I going to do. I can't walk around in a sweater that doesn't cover The Girls.
I have also been looking into the bathroom renovation project. I have discovered how to gain momentum for a new project---you just have to go shopping. Then your desire for new stuff will outweigh your desire to not work. At least that's how it operates for me. But not for my husband. So, I have to figure out a way to tempt him into this project.
Here is tactic one: a really awesome sink and vanity like these:
I have also been researching how to put a window back into a wall where Former Homeowner Idiots removed one. I really want to throw an old stained-glass window into the space where the window used to be in the bathroom. And I want to put in cork flooring, and refinish the clawfoot tub we got on cleanup week last year, and get new faucets, and paint this awesome color called "Pecan Pie." How can you not love a color named pecan pie?
If anyone has any advice or know-how on the window situation, I'd appreciate hearing it.
I have also been researching skylight installation which, believe it or not, in theory, is supposed to be easier than putting in a window.
I love getting excited about projects because it falls under the category of Accomplishing Things. And I love being productive.
Truthfully, though, there is only ONE thing that is going on in our house these days. Most people would be ashamed to admit this, but I am not. My husband and I are completely, totally, 100% addicted to the new Battlestar Galactica TV show. We own season one and watched it in one week. The other day I was lucky enough to rent all three DVD's of Season 2.0 (first half) in the movie store.
So, this is how it goes. I leave work early and scream home to find my husband already has the dogs fed and supper ready. We do not even talk or say hello--he simply hands the food to me, and we retreat to the upper regions of our house, remotes in hand, to begin the next episode. This show is sooooooooooooooooo fantastic. I love the ideas and conflicts and politics and philosophy and religious questions it brings forth. I love the actors and actresses (especially a burgeoning love affair between on Lee Adama and one Kara Thrace).
{After reading that last sentence, I realize how truly, truly I am a complete and total Sci-Fi geek.}
It is nice to know that my husband is as obsessed with this show as I am. At least I am not alone.
Apparently things are going quite well with Carrie and the boy toy. Very well in fact. Which makes me smile. That infatuational stage of a relationship can be soooooo fun.
I wish you all lots of infatuational love gazes and making out with your better halves and a glorious Thursday afternoon.

28 March 2006

Is that actually a word???!!!

I just wrote the word "fridge" on a piece of paper. And then I stood there and stared at it, completely flabbergasted that this is actually considered a word.
Say it once--it's weird! Write it down--it becomes even more bizarre.
Do you ever have moments like these where you just realize the existence of something--a word, a body part, your own existence?
One time I was in the middle of a conversation with some friends when I noticed my forearm. It was like for the first time, I realized that I had a forearm, and that this particular forearm was my forearm. And I literally stopped and exclaimed, "This is my arm!"
When I was little I used to stay awake at night wondering at my own existence. It went something like this:
I exist.
Right now I exist.
And, I know that I exist.
What would it be like to not exist?
Would I know that I wasn't existing?
Why did God make me exist?
Will I always know that I exist?
I must exist, because I can ponder existing?
It is scary.
I hope gravy doesn't break, and we all go flying off of the surface of earth into space.

Most of my ponderings end somewhere like gravity breaking or something burning down while I am asleep inside of it. Or with aliens abducting me.

Anyway, I have a thing about words. Some words are fun words. Some words are bad words--not in that they are vulgar to the general population, but that they are vulgar for me. I have a list of words that I try not to allow to be said in my presence. It is a long list, but here are some of the words. These words are on the list because they, in my mind, are gross and violating to either say or write or hear or all of the above.
1. Purse. This is the worst one.
2. This one I can't even type. Women's undergarment.
3. moist
4. This is too much for me already. I have to stop and take a rest.

There are other words that I really, really like. Some are names. Like "Orin" which really isn't a word, it is a sound. How can you name someone a sound? Just say the name "Orin" once and look at how stupid your lips and face look in the mirror when you say it, and you will see why it is ridiculous.

I don't like the word belly. But I do like the word bellybutton. This is because I really like bellybuttons. I can actually turn mine inside out.

Some words I don't like because they are difficult to pronounce without straining your mouth--like "mime." It takes a lot of work to say "mime."

I like any word that is an adjective used to describe something of noteworthiness. Such as "glorious" or "resplendent," if you will.

I like any word or phrase that it seems like a British person would say to be pretentious, such as "executive."

So, all this to say that I think that "fridge" is an absolutely ridiculous word.

Sara and I were discussing blogs, and we have come to a conclusion. The blog is a sacred space for the blogger where the blogger herself can write her feelings and anything else she has to say without having to explain them or justify them to anyone else. Meaning, you should read this at your own risk.

For example, if I want to write about crazy love encounters with my husband, my parents will just have to deal with that.

I, of course, will write in code to protect the innocent.

But what fun is a blog if you can't really blog it out???!!!

I wish you all a day of realizations and weird words.

27 March 2006

10 cans of paint and a crochety back later, I have birthed the Behemoth!

I did it. I completed a project. One that I have been working on since January--and with help at times--to complete. I finally got our upstairs painted.
I feel like I need a new back, though. I found myself being very glad this weekend that my mother was a gymnastics instructor and taught me to contort myself into all manner of positions and backbends and such, because this is what was required to complete the project. We really only have a 1/2 story in our upstairs in an already small house. Naturally, things are cramped and there is not a lot of room to work with. Thus the three months it took me to complete this project. I could only do one small wall at a time b/c that is all the room I had to move that wall's furniture out of the way.
But, it is done, and it looks fantastic, in my opinion, done in the colors you would find in a robbin's egg--so that bluish teal, light brown, and dark brown.
Why does there always have to be an except?
Except that we still are going to put in skylights. So, I guess it is not completely done.
One of the benefits to completion of this project was further and unplanned purging in the form of three huge bags of books that we don't need and another entire bookshelf full of books that we need to read and then pass along. A whole bookcase. Isn't this insane? In a world where most people are below the poverty level and starving, my biggest dilemna is what to do with all of my stuff--pretty amazing. At any rate, we have a nice combination of classics, spiritual books, and obligatory reading to do for the next year without spending a penny!
I got the paints for this project from a chemical and synthetic free household good place called Bioshield paints.
I used their Casein Milk Paint, and it has a very dull, almost sort of adobe finish to it. I think it looks sort of messy but sort of natural, so I am okay with it, though I wouldn't use it for every room. The colors, though, are fantastic and brilliant. And the paint is not going to be outgassing toxic chemicals into my house for the next 50 years either, which counts for a ton in my book. This probably outweighs every other factor.
Tonight we have knitting at Kiersten's house. Kiersten is married to Chris. Chris has to be the most random individual I have ever, ever met (which I love). They are in our young couple's Bible study. The other night in the midst of a deep discussion about perserverence in marriage and the benefits of "sticking it out," Chris says,
"This is totally unrelated, but I have been thinking about it for awhile now, and I just feel like if I say it, it will go away."
The room waits, pensive, wondering what he is going to say but still thinking in the back of their minds that it might have some connection to our discussion...
"I think the idea for Yoda from Star Wars was taken from the face of a cat like that."
(Josh & Wendy, the hosts, have Persian cat named Linx who has a great smashed-in face).
This is Chris.
On Sunday, we sat behind Chris and Kiersten in church. All of a sudden, Husband elbows me,
"Chris is eating a Twinkie or something."
And yes, while this girl was giving her testimony in church about having been bulimic, Chris is eating a twinkie or crackers or something out of a small package, and undoubtedly containing rampant amounts of hydrogenated oils.
I find this ABSOLUTELY hysterical.
By the way, they are from Texas, and this winter they almost froze to death. Sometimes Kiersten would wear multiple pairs of pants just to say warm. Poor Texans in North Dakota.
This is why I love Chris & Kiersten. They are this young couple, comparatively speaking, but they really have a lot of life and a lot of love for each other and are in it for the long haul. I think this is admirable beings as most of their peers are spending time drinking themselves to death, and instead, these two are sacrificially loving each other by providing for their family with part-time jobs and going to class and still being married and managing to find time for each other.
And for today's Shoe Update:
Current conditions in the house are that all shoes have been located and accounted for. No future shoe-nappings in the forecast.
Tonight my BFF Jodi (by the way, I have a lot of BFF just like I have a lot of my most favorite thing evers) and her new baby, her sister and her sister's new baby, and their mom, Carol, are coming to visit me on their way through town. My sister is coming down from Grand Forks to hang out with us. With all of this German Russian-ness in the room, the only thing I feel appropriate to make is Kuchen. Specifically, deep dish kuchen to die for. I hope to post the recipe in the next few days so you all can partake. And hopefully I will have an extra one to bring to knitting along with the ribbed-for-her-pleasure Tubey 2.0 sweater that is taking FOREVERRRRRRRR to complete.
But, I will eventually birth that project, too. Wish I knew when my due date was.

24 March 2006

Poindexter and Projects

When I was little, I never really played with Barbie. I mean, I liked Barbie's clothes, but after Barbie and Ken make out for a few seconds, Barbie kind of lost her mystique for me. I would rather be reinacting the latest episode of Thundercats or Shera, Princess of Power with my brother.
The only Barbie thing I ever did play was a Barbie board game at my Momo and Fafa's house. It was all about Barbie in high school. Which of four clubs was she going to be in? Which of four dresses was she going to wear? And the big question--which of four boys was going to ask her to the prom?
It was always totally mortifying to get Poindexter as your date. Poindexter was the dork--the nerd--the ugly guy.
It's funny how your tastes change, because now when I look at that game, I think that Poindexter is the hot one.
I bring up Barbie because of Barbie shoes. That's what I have decided to call the bow monostrosities I received on my car hood yesterday. And yes, I am wearing them. I made myself like them by making myself realize that they are just like Barbie shoes (and about as comfortable, I might add). I am wearing them to spite Heather. Because I am proving that I actually like the shoes. Please give me more shoes to like.
And besides, I had to wear them because I still can't find my real black shoes. And I have no reserves due to the recent purging.
Enough about shoes. On to projects.
My current project in the world of textiles is knitting a sweater. It is an awesome sweater off of knitty.com called Tubey. I am knitting it out of 50% wool/50% llama (Tina, come get some ham!) in this gorgeous teal/purple/red/blue/green color. I hit a major road block yesterday which just happened to coincide with some pretty bad PMS (I had a near meltdown--sorry Dana!) when trying to begin attaching the two tubes. Or rather, to start knitting the second tube onto the first tube. This sounds simple, right? Well, it's not. When you're not an analytical, linear thinker, it is not simple. Because patterns are confusing. They use abbreviations and words that don't really make sense.
Like when someone says the "right" side of something--what do you think of? I think "right" as in "right or left." But, the crazy people that write patterns mean "right" as in "right side and wrong side."
My question is--why can't they just say inside, outside, right and left??!! This is much more simple.
Anyway, after nearly an hour of completely circular conversation and circular needle dilemnas, Dana managed to help me get myself straightened out, my yarn straightened out, and my brain straightened out, so that I can continue on with Tubey 2.0. Hopefully I will be done soon so I can wear it before it gets warm.
After this I have to read a book. I think I am going to finish A Tree Grows in Brooklyn which I have had from Dana for about 6 months.
After that, I will whip up some embroidery pillow cases and days of the week kitchen towels--hopefully some of which will be ready in time for my sister-in-law's wedding in May.
The rule is that I have to alternate project with book, and that I am not allowed to buy new projects or new books until everything I currently possess is finished. This is an offshoot of the purging and is also a quest to be content with what I have.
Hebrews 13:5
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."
One exciting thing is that my fiber goddess friend, Athena, has invited me to a meeting of the Northern Plains Fiber Guild where I will get to practice my spinning and sit around knitting.
At this point I am sure I sound like a complete ninny to all of you, but you need to understand that spinning and knitting is all a part of my quest towards self-sufficiency and towards preserving lost and dying arts.
So, there will be spinners and dyers and felters and knitters and needlework people. It should be pretty interesting.
House projects persist in our house, too, which we are renovating. Hopefully this weekend I will finally birth the continual painting project that has been going on in our upstairs for several months. And hopefully my husband and friend will install the sump pump and seal up the basement so that our house doesn't float away with the rest of Fargo when it floods this spring.
Finally, to all of you ladies, I encourage you this weekend to experience your inner-Diva. Do something fun and lavish for yourself--and for another diva. And if you really want to go the full nine yards--get yourself one of these:
I'm telling you, it's the best thing EVER for a woman to have. I use it, and I will never go back to cotton cigars and skateboards!
Happy weekend and happy trails to all of you!

23 March 2006

Black Shoes and Blue Skies

The shoe insanity continues.
If you have no idea what I'm speaking of, read my previous entries.
My black shoe is still missing. Gone. I have looked everywhere. It no longer exists. I am accusing my friends, Dana and Heather. They both plead innocence. The only thing I can get out of them is that Dana says that the shoe felt like "going to the city."
Is that supposed to be some kind of a clue??!!!
So, until I can find the other black shoe, I am stuck wearing my sparkly, green shoes. Which is no bad thing, either.
But today, another shoe thing happened.
I was innocently walking to my car to go to the eyedoctor at noon today, when I spied something very odd on the hood of my car. As I got close, I realized that it was a pair of black velvet wedge shoes with a huge bow on them. Yes, people. Someone had thrown a pair of shoes onto my car hood. And even worse, some designer thought it was a good idea to start putting huge bows back onto shoes.
I am shocked. And I am laughing. And I am feeling torn because these shoes have a great wedge heel but a disgusting bow. And they are a size too big.
So, these shoes just might show up again sometime. For now they live in the passenger seat in my car. I am trying to decide if I can find a way to like them and make them fit.
Here's something that annoys me: people who decide to have a visiting session very loudly right in my immediate work area--to the point where I cannot hear myself think or my phone ring or the sound of my fingers clattering across the keys. I do not relate to extreme extroverts. I think they should all be put on an island together so they can all extrovert together and leave the rest of us in peace.
Anyway, aside from loud people and shoe incidences, things are looking up here in good ol' North Dakota. Because today I can clearly see something I have been noticing for a few weeks--the color of the sky is changing. To blue. Slowly. This means spring is here.
If you don't live in a northern climate, you cannot possibly understand that weight of a statement like this. Spring is like a religion here. Seriously, I understand why a person could be a pagan and worship nature--when you have been stuck in a wood box all winter with only white to look at, and suddenly the sky changes, the wind changes, the ground changes, the animals change, and it is spring.
About this time in the area where I grew up, aka the most beautiful place on earth--SW North Dakota (you scoff, you disbelievers, but you have no idea), my mom and sister and I would often walk out onto the prairie to pick crocuses. It's weird. Everything else is the same color of dry crusty brown grassness, but every now and then, here and there, you will find this most wonderful little optimistic splash of purple. We would pick bags and bags of those things. I found out recently that they are actually called pasqueflower, and that they are a symbol of both the resurrection and the trinity. I love symbols. To commemorate this memory, when my husband and I renovated our living room this winter and put in a fireplace, I added some pasqueflower accent tiles. Maybe that was just me subliminally wanting the liberty of the prairies full of the mirth of these flowers.
All I need to have now is the smell of spring in the air....and I will be completely free.

22 March 2006

Speaking of stupid drivers....and good music

Well, as if by magic, this morning I saw another stupid car message on the way to work. But this one had its own private little satisfaction for me.
The car message said "One little piece of whoop'ass."
By the way, I wasn't aware that was the correct spelling of "whoop'ass."
The thing that was so great about this car, was that it obviously was lying, because the side of the car showed an obvious huge dent from a side-swiping indicent. A bad one. So, I guess the car lost that fight. Not as much whoop'ass as he thought, eh?!
That's what you get for leaving stupid messages on your car.
I only have one message on my car. It is a license plate holder that says the name of The Employer. The only thing I've ever gotten for this is a free travel mug. But it is a lot better than a lesson.
Today amidst the paper and files and numbers at work I have been pondering music. Specifically, I have been pondering the ability that music has to hold memories. For instance, right now, I am listening to this band called "Low." They are from Duluth, MN. Their music is so lulling and mellow and sometimes so slow that you can hear the frequency pulsations in the notes they are playing. And I love that. The memory this CD (Long Division) http://www.chairkickers.com/discography.html holds for me is of my husband's birthday last year (he was born on September 11th, poor boy) when we stayed at the Hotel Donaldson. They had this CD in the room, and we listened to it pretty much the entire time we were there. That is except for the long afternoon spent on the rooftop bar/prairie grass garden.
Really, there is nothing more sublime in late summer than spending an entire day lounging in a chair on a roof in downtown Fargo amidst tall prairie grasses with my beloved and drinking wine.
Pretty much nothing is better than that.
So, this is "Low." Give them a listen.
Other CD's have memories in them, too. Like Sigur Ros' http://www.sigur-ros.co.uk/band/disco/agaetis.php
I am just putting the link b/c there is no hope in spelling it right.
This album is full of the memory of finding out that my grandpa had died, and spending all night in my boyfriend's (how husband's) bed listening to this album and sobbing and sobbing and sobbing. It is extremely cathartic and relaxing and perfect for a release.
My entire college career could be summed up by any and all CD's by The Counting Crows.
Summertime on the farm growing up--that is the Black Crowes album "Shake your Money Maker." The Black Crowes are summertime music as is pretty much anything by the likes of Lynard Skyard or Creedence Clearwater Revival.
No Doubt's album "Return of Saturn" embodies my trip to Romania, oddly enough.
Lionel Richie's music is synonymous with Sunday mornings growing up. For some reason my Dad loved to listen to Lionel Richie and/or the Rocky soundtrack before church.
I could go on for forever. Some music is synonymous with people. Some with events. Some with seasons of life. Some with places. Put a old CD in, and you have an instant walk down memory lane. It is the perfect neumonic device.
If you have any great music memories--chime in!
By the way, speaking of comments, I finally got one. From my husband posing as an imposter (specifically, as a guy we grew with who has an enormous head and who my parents wanted me to marry). I guess he is doing this in the hopes that he can cut himself loose from the idea that he has any responsibility for the insane amounts of coats that he has.
He claims that my story about the coats is extremely exaggerated. I asked him why. He said, "Because they weren't 20 of the same kind of coat."
I replied, "What do you mean--they were the same color and material."
"But they weren't the same.....{smirk}"
"Because they were different lengths by a few inches....?"
At this point, the husband knew he was beaten in this argument. So, do you want to know how he retaliated? He took our poor, little meowcifer kitty who was lounging nicely next to us on the couch and made the cat pretend to hump my back.
Is this the response of a sane individual?
It is the response of a coat addict.

21 March 2006

Red Neck Sitings and Why I Hate NASCAR

"Big Pipes Save Lives."
Yes, this is the huge message I just saw emblazened on a RNTD--Red Neck Transportation Device. Normally I would call it a truck or a pick-up--but can we really call it that when it has tires that are more the size of those required for mining equipment?
So about Red Necks. And Nascar. And snowmobiling for that matter.
These are all things that I find really irritating.
Now, I know what you're all thinking. I am a horrible, judgmental, close-minded, snobbish individual.
Well, I am a snob.
But what you need to know is that I am a small town farm girl. I know my roots. I will admit that when I hear the song "Red Neck Woman" there is a very small (albeit miniscule) part of me that revels in the thrashy trashiness of it. I love the song "Wide Open Spaces." That song became almost a mantra for me during a certain part of my life.
But people, I will never have a bumper sticker on my truck that says something about the size of my pipes or engine or wheels or male parts....I will never have a Dale Ernhardt sticker on my car....I will not wear a snowmobiling coat made out of colors that were NOT invented by God.
Why? Because these things, in my mind, and in my experience, can be associated with extreme red-neckness.
First of all, if you like NASCAR, I am sorry. I personally cannot get excited about a "sport" in which people drive around in cars in circles at high speeds. Now, I understand that the cars are very high tech and that the drivers are skilled, but to me, sport implies some level of athletic prowess--some level of interest.
For me NASCAR falls into the category of sports that are not sports along with golf, bowling, curling, pool.
I guess what bugs me most about all of these things is that most people in this country could tell you information about a driver of Nascar more easily than they could tell you current events or discuss something truly important to life.
Obsession with these pastimes has gotten out of hand. Because they are no longer pastimes. They are lifestyles.
I mean it. Some people have a NASCAR lifestyle. It is how they define themselves. So, you have a truck with #23 on it, an entire family clad in NASCAR gear from the socks to the coat to the sweatshirt to the cap and God only knows what else. A family who centers their vacations on going to see the "Race." To see if "Their" driver will do well, as if they own or even know that driver or that driver has anything to do with them.
I just find it really bizarre.
This is extremely similar to my Strong Hatred of All Sports. But that is another day, another blog.
I guess the question is, why would anyone choose to define their life by something like this? Or by an irritating bumper sticker?
And the even great question is--how do we define our lives? By something that really matters? By something with eternal significance? By something that has a positive impact? Or by something fleeting--that is gone in a moment--that has no lasting worth.
OK. I will quit with the preaching. I know I am really no better than the NASCAR people.
That does not make NASCARness any less annoying. Or any more excusable.

20 March 2006

How things go in spurts.

Do you ever notice how things go in spurts? Deaths, interests, times when you do things and then times when you don't?
I am still in the purging spurt. This weekend I managed to clean out jewelry and craft supplies and sewing supplies and knitting supplies.
I hate the word "crafty" by the way. It implies that I spent my freetime making applique sweatshirts or making wood crafts of geese wearing bonnets.
I do not do this, people. Gross.
Anyway, I continue to purge because it continues to make me feel more free from the encumbrances of "things." I think we have a disease of things in this country.
What's wrong with her? Her cell phone is permanently connected to her ear, she can't walk in those fancy shoes, and we can't get her to leave the mall?!
Well, sir, she has Things.
Anyway, I am also in a Getting Caught up on Things spurt. Not things like above, things as in things I need to do.
Leading to an eye appointment. Leading also to bringing the pets (all three) to the vet this morning.
My boss just got back from Vegas. I asked if he came back broke. I think I lost more money at the vet than he did in Vegas (yeah, about $200. At the vet. For animals that do little more than make poop. But I love them.)
I like the Getting Caught up on Things phase. It leads to being productive. If there is one thing in life that I LOVE it is being productive.
{Truthfully, I would rather be at home being productive more often that I would like to be out with people. Hopefully this will wear off once I am productive, purge, and get caught up on things.
Then I will be in a social spurt.}
Speaking of getting caught up on things, we did a lot of catching up on things with Guy I almost Married and BFF from College this weekend. Things went amazingly, surprisingly well. We all actually had a fantastic time. I found myself being really glad that I had the guts to forgive them and try to get over the trauma of the relationships. Because it is hard, very hard, to find friends that one can connect with on any kind of a deep level. Usually, people are either too distracted, to hostile, or too guarded to have a reasonable discussion about anything. But this weekend was filled to two full days of interesting discussion--especially theological discussions--which is something I thoroughly enjoy and find edifying. So, it is worth it to forgive. Something I will try to remember.
The weekend was also filled with lots of wine, champagne, and eating, namely at all of our favorite places in town. It was fun to show big city people around here and let them see for themselves that Fargo can actually be a pretty hip place. And I was very thankful for Husband who took the entire potentially awkward and traumatizing social situation in a stride and was a glorious host, making all feel at ease.
Finally, I am in a knitting spurt. Because I had to make The Rule for 2006. The Rule is that I am not allowed to do another knitting project until I read a book. Because I have two problems: 1) way too many books in my possession that remain unread and 2) a penchance to buy yarn for projects I don't have time to complete. So, I will alternate between book and tactile project. Since I recently finished a fantastic book, I am now on to finish a project that I have been working on for some time: Tubey. You can see this sweater pattern on www.knitty.com Tubey is this fantastic sweater that is basically two tubes--one for your arms and one for your torso. And yes, they are connected (there was some confusion on this point for one strange, sporty boy). I am knitting it out of this glorious 50/50 blend of wool and llama. Yes, llama. For all of you Napoleon Dynamite fans out there, I am knitting with Tina. Happily. Tina is the most beautiful teal/purple/blue/red/green soft yarn EVER!!! I love this wool. This weekend, during all of the philosophical, political, and theological discussions in front of the fire with wine, I managed to actually get very close to completing Tubey 1.2 aka Tube One.
Hopefully tonight at Knitty Naughties (which is at my place), I will be able to finish Tube One and move on to Tube two. The thrill of anticipation of completing a projects is so fun--especially something as sizeable as a sweater. And I have to get it done before spring.
Nevermind that today is the first day of spring. This is North Dakota. We don't get spring until May. Two more months of sweater weather! No groundhog required.

17 March 2006

Purging and Purifying

The last few years of my life....maybe more like the last year and ongoing, have been about purging and purifying. We have been renovating our house and purging it of unwanted drabness. We have also spent countless hours going through boxes, closets, drawers, garages, in an attempt to organize, simplify, and get rid of everything that is not essential to life. I love the feeling that comes with a well-organized and simplified area. It's almost addictive. We've gotten rid of so many clothes, books, knick-knacks, miscellaneous stuff, that I feel I should almost have an empty house. But I don't.
The purging has not been limited to only our house. We have also been doing a colon and total-body three-month cleanse from drnatura.com. You should all check it out. It is an amazing thing. Husband and I started this cleanse after a three-day Green Tea cleanse (courtesy of Dana). We are a little cleanse-happy--but we like the way it makes us feel--clean! We started eating mostly organic food most of the time. We do not use body care products with synthetic materials. Everything must be as close to the way God made it as possible.
I love going through paper piles and getting rid of paper clutter. I think that paper clutter is the worst of all. I think that we have finally devised a system to banish paper clutter altogether. And, I am not going to follow the "rules" and keep three years of all kinds of ridiculous documents. Why--when I can get them all electronically anyway?
Sometimes it is hard to part with things even if you don't need them. Like say, coats. If you're my husband. My husband as of last summer had about 15 vintage coats that were almost totally identical to one another. And they were taking up a good portion of one of the only closets we possess. While I was getting ready for a rummage sale with BFF I had to have The Coat Negotiation, leading to the Coat Armistice with husband. The discussion went something like this: "Husband, you have 15 of the same coat." "They aren't the same! I like them!" "Well, take these two for example--they are the same color, lined with the same material..." "This one is longer."
People--the coat is like 2 millimeters longer.
"What about this one? It fits your Uncle Tim. Uncle Tim weights three hundred pounds, is seven feet tall, and looks like a cross between Hulk Hogan and Paul Bunyan."
"But it's my Uncle Tim's coat."
"Put it on!"
Husband dons coat. Husband disappears completely.
"You have to get rid of this coat."
In the end, we compromised (The Coat Armistice), and husband got rid of MOST like coats and even a few belonging to relatives.
I understand, though, because I have a vintage dress fettish. I also have a hard time letting go.
Hopefully by the beginning of summer, the entire house, garage, yard, closets, everything will be completely enema-ized and we will be free of unnecessary possessions. I love that goal.
This goal has not been merely limited to environment and body. This has also been about a cleansing of mind and soul. Of old attitudes (the meal does NOT actually have to revolve around a meat and potato???). Of old relationships.
Because, people, this weekend, The Guy I Almost Married is coming to stay with us. With his pregnant wife. Who was my best friend in college.
This takes some cleansing of the soul and some hard core letting go. I challenge any of you to handle this well.
I am not going to go into the twists and turns of the relationship with Guy I Almost Married, but suffice it to say that it was very complicated and very spiritual and very close to me. It is reason number 3 that I moved away from the big city (#1 being getting back together with Husband at that time Boyfriend and #2 being constantly sexually harrassed by creeps on the street). This relationship destroyed me in every single way for over four years.
It's funny, though, how one day God just brings healing for it and allows you to begin the forgiveness and healing process. And you realize that you'd rather have these people that you love in your life in some form than not at all. And priorities change and things change and most things are different.
This might sound weird to you. But I am the same girl that had two of my X's sing at my wedding--one Guy I Almost Married with Best Friend from College(they sang a duet, people, at our wedding, thank you) and one Boyfriend and Tormenter from early life, also with his girlfriend who I love! My personal philosophy is that when you have a deep connection with someone--someone who has made a profound impact on you personally and spiritually, that you do not just throw that relationship away because it doesn't meet your definitions of "perfect" anymore.
So, more purging--of desires, of anger, of bitterness, of shame, of hopes. This is all required.
So, this is my quest for the next year. To get rid of clutter. To read books I own but haven't read and then pass them on. To clean my body. To loose the clutter of extra weight both physically and spiritually. To allow God to continue the sanctification and purification of me that is so, so needed. To continue to surrender to Him and allow Him to do this.
I leave you with 2 Corinthians 7:1:
"Since we have these promises dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God."

16 March 2006

I have made all of my friends into insane people.

Well, here I am, post hair cut. I can verify that I lost at least one pound in hair. Lindsay worked her magic, I didn't learn anything disturbing about my husband's past, and it didn't cost as much as I thought it would. Yeah for new hair!
Along with being hair-cut paranoid, I have several other quirks. One of those quirks is that I love to hide random objects. Examples: hiding an empty apple cider jug in the guest toilet at a friends' house during Bible study. Hiding shoes sitting in an entry way. Hiding my mom's undies in various places throughout the house in an attempt to mortify her. Or making a gigantic chain of undies by tying all bras, underthings, and nylons together, stretching this chain across the bedroom door my parent's bedroom, and attempting to make a trap out of it.
I blame my Momo for this. Momo is my crazy Swedish grandma on my mom's side. She also has a fettish for hiding things and playing tricks on people. Especially when those tricks are only funny to her. She gets a kick out of life--and I love that!
Awhile back our bible study was doing the 5 Love Languages book by Gary Chapman. Everyone else was responsibly socializing after the study in the kitchen. Not me and my husband. We were socializing in the closet. Which lead to a funny idea--why don't I hide ONE of each pair of shoes of everyone there around the house in various places. Which I did. And then husband and I made a speedy exit.
Several minutes later I get a call from BFF. "What did you do with the shoes????!!!" Very angry tone, though I could tell it was put on. So, naturally, I explained that hiding shoes is my love language. Or a subset of my love language of "Hiding Things." And refused to disclose the location of said shoes.
People, this is not one of the love languages. The five love languages are physical touch, words of affirmation, quality time, giving of gifts, and ......crap. I can't remember the last one. But, it is not Hiding Things.
As I said, I have quirks.
Well, it has been threatened for some time that they all would get back at me for doing such a scandalous thing as expressing my undying affection by hiding their shoes.
I thought it was forgotten.
Until now. Until last night.
I arrive home after a full night of bellydance practice, exhausted. I can't see out of my eyes properly. And I see something strange and blue emanating from the light fixture. It is a fuzzy screen duster for the computer. How did it get here, I wonder? Maybe the dog? No, that is too high for the dog....
I accuse the husband. Obviously he is being silly, and I will have none of it. Husband tries to act innocent, but I do not relent. What else has he done, I ask?
Then I realize, there has been a perpetrator in our midst. Shoes are missing. One shoe from several pairs in fact.
I am laughing. Hysterically. Husband is hugging me. Suddenly, husband notices something else...
I have a bird cage in my dining room that contains a knitted uterus. Yes, a knitted uterus. Get over it. It is a symbol about how I feel about bearing offspring.
The uterus was accompanied. By a shoe. One shoe. A black shoe.
I am muttering....and laughing.
But I am tired, and it is time for bed, and the Perpetrator probably didn't have time to do anything else.
Husband and I go through the nightly ritual of brushing teeth, shaving, sharing extremely small, extremely cramped bathroom. I get in the shower AFTER I turn on the water. And I scream. Because hanging from my shampoo holder is one of my brand new suede shoes. Which, for some miracle, has not been adulterated by the waterous spray from the shower head.
I hand the shoe to the husband. Husband can only shake his head despondently at this point. He feels defeated. I am still laughing.
Time for bed. Finally. Except that I am not alone in my bed. There is a sharp bird candle holder next to my pillow. Hello candleholder.
What else lurkes in the formerly sacrisanct confines of my home, I can only wonder. But one thing is for sure: I really have made my friends insane. One only has to look to these examples--the hiding of the objects and the list of birthday presents--to see that not all is well.

15 March 2006

Hair cuts and desk gongs

Today I am getting my hair cut. This may not seem like a big deal to all of you out there, but apparently, my hair is a big deal. Because my hair is big.
Ever since I was young, on at least weekly intervals, usually a complete stranger will approach me, touch my hair (the equivalent, in my mind to a complete stranger touching your belly when you are a prego--something i despise), and tell me something truly insightful like "You have a lot of hair."
No kidding. Really? I didn't know that? I mean, it's not like I brush it every morning. It's not like I don't already know that it takes three days to dry fully after washing. It's not like I know that when I cut it short it turns into a fro or a bell-shaped heavenly body that cannot be controlled.
But, then I met my hairdresser. You see, up until a few years ago I swore I would never get my hair cut. I only ever got it trimmed. Because once, when I was young, I had a traumatic haircut experience. This is the bell-shaped heavenly body that I speak of. I will never do that again. Much like the spiral perm I once got. But that is another subject.
So I went to the hair cut store one day when I just couldn't take it anymore. I was sick of my hair getting caught in my armpits without my noticing and then being neatly ripped from my scalp every time I moved. I was sick of having a cloud of hair. I couldn't take it any more. There are all kinds of girls who get to have cute hair cuts or straight, reasonable hair. Why couldn't I be one of them.
Enter Lindsay. Strangely, I knew Lindsay in some meaning of the term "know" because she is from the town that is next to my home town and because she played basketball with my sister. In Mott terms, this is "know." Basically, she knew who I was. So, Lindsay worked her magic. I mean it. You guys, she made my hair thin. And then she made it short. And she died it a reasonable color. And she made me look cute in a reasonable haircut.
Sidenote: I really hate short hair, though. I will NEVER have short hair. That is a safe never.
Anyway, my hair cut trips to Lindsay are interesting for an entirely different reason, though. I always get to get caught up on the Mott-Regent area gossip and also get to hear all the news of the younger generation of the SW ND diaspora that now lives in Fargo. And, sometimes I get to hear things from Lindsay that I was never supposed to hear.
Like the time that she told me that my husband's friends had made him a "Free Bill" T-shirt one time when I went on vacation. This is when our marriage was less than savory in the earlier days. But again, that is another column.
So, going to see Lindsay is always scintillating. I am sure that today will be no exception.
Onto the more important subject at hand: desk gongs. My friend, Heather, got me a glorious package of interesting things for my birthday (which was on Monday). Here is a list of the things in the package (that I can recall offhand--it was a big package):
a glorious book on cosmetic making
a felted pair (because everyone needs a felted pair)
a huge jug of clear hair gel--Lusti brand
cream tea from Adagio teas (www.adagio.com)
a small, perverted Christmas instrument (more on that later)
a huge egg covered in sand
a desk gong.
Yes, people, these are the friends I hang out with. If you think I am demented.....well, maybe I am demented, and it is beginnning to affect those around me.
So, the desk gong. The desk gong is about three inches high and comes with its own mallet and own instruction book. And it is right now sitting on my desk next to my phone.
I am thinking of all of the uses for my desk gong. Like when I answer the phone "Alerus Mortgage Solutions, how can I help you {gong}?"
Or my boss comes to talk to me, and I announce his arrival {gong}.
WhenI want the annoying part-time receptionist to shut up {gong gong gong gong gong gong gong gong gong gong gong}
Every time I get an email {gong}
The list goes on and on, though I think my suite mate, Sara, will kill me if I over-use the gong. I am happy about it nonetheless, because it adds a bit of whimsy to this otherwise very bland existence of bank work.
By the way, noticed that my year sign is Sheep. This is ironic because my family used to own sheep--a love/hate thing for me. Does anyone have any idea what the hell it means to have Sheep be your year sign????
I don't believe in that stuff anyway.
I will end with a deep quote today from a book I recently read:
"Worship is what we give our hearts to in return for the promise of life."
Food for thought. Now, I am going to go get some real food for breakfast.

14 March 2006

The Final Frontier

Well. I suddenly find myself in 2006 cast into the depths of the technical revolution (where everyone else has been for several decades). My husband and I got cell phones. I figured out what a blog was. And, now I have my very, very own.
Welcome. This is the home of me--Organic Flailing. What does this mean? This is the place for me to flail all of my various ideas and creative pursuits in whatever fashion I deem fit. It will not be neat or even linear. But it will be real.