Archive for May, 2009

Who Is That Masked Knitter?

Posted in The Soap Box with tags , , , , , , on May 31, 2009 by Ms. Ex

I have an odd assortment of friends and acquaintances, and it is ever more apparent to me as I read the variety of posts from friends on Twitter and Facebook.

I have attachment parenting friends, cloth diapering friends, Christian friends, liberal friends, libertarian friends, far right wing friends and far out friends.  Some are republican, some democrat, some are Gemini and some couldn’t care less.  I have dared post on political things only once, and I sort of hedged my bets by not stating my position clearly.

I often steer clear of issues because I know one or another of my readers, possibly even my friends, will balk or be surprised or will try to argue me out of my beliefs, or someone will hurl insults and I’m just a damn lousy catcher.

But I’m kind of tired of pretending to be nothing, or something that will make everyone happy, and I’ve decided to let the record straight on some stuff that I’ve been too awkward proud to admit.

For what it’s worth:

1. I sometimes feed my kids McDonald’s.

2. I grocery shop at Walmart. Often.

3. I have spanked my children.  By accident.  Once.  Okay, those last two things are lies, but it was only in desperation and I never imagined I could ever do that.  I’m ashamed of it, because I believe it shows an unwillingness to find a better, more compassionate way of doing things. It shows impatience and laziness on my part.  But I did it.

4. I am a Libertarian.  Straight up, yo.  I want the government to have as little to do with me as possible.  “Establish justice and provide for the common defense” is pretty much where I draw the line.  

5. I belong to all kinds of birth advocacy groups and almost everyone in them believes that government funded health care is the way to go. I completely disagree. I’m pretty sure School House Rock didn’t sing about health care (see above quote).

6. I believe in taking care of the people around you so the government doesn’t have to provide charity at the point of a loaded tax gun, but I also believe in personal responsibility.  

7. I believe this list is getting way too serious, so I’ll throw in a knock knock joke.  You start.

I’m waiting…

Forget it.

8.  I believe in medication for mental problems.  Lots of it.  But not for everybody.  Just for me.

9. I co-sleep with my two sons.  Their mattress is on the floor beside our bed, but they always end up with us.  Sometimes we play musical beds and if one of us gets too crowded we go to the little bed.  I really want to get rid of our furniture and just put mattresses all over the floor, but the huz won’t let me.

11.  I don’t recycle glass and metal.

There, I said it.  Let the onslaught of vicious, opinionated people begin.


For My Adoring Fans

Posted in Why you should maybe rethink the whole reproducing thing, Writing with tags , , on May 29, 2009 by Ms. Ex

I’ve been doing this blog thing for a while now.  Believe it or not, I existed before I was “discovered” by Ram Ventkaartakarawhatever.  But since his comment, I find myself deluged by well-meaning but crazed visitors.

So in the interest of holding their (and your) interest – I bring you a resurrected post from the early days.  Way back in August of 2008.


Hell Desk II: The NOT Resolute Desk

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on May 27, 2009 by Ms. Ex

Hey, look – I’m famous!  Or at least, popular.  Or maybe just interesting in a “how unfortunate” kind of way.

But my work space was featured on my friend Fundamental Jelly’s blog, complete with fun explanations, amusing insults, and general frivolity.  Go on over and join the melee.

Facebook Interview With Barely Knit Together

Posted in People Are Idiots with tags , , , , , , , on May 25, 2009 by Ms. Ex

That’s right folks – the long awaited interview has been granted at last.  The reclusive, eccentric Ms. Barely Knit (the appellation she prefers) has agreed to sit down with us in a very posh cafe, provided we foot the bill and bring a couple of bottles of wine, a Chinese parasol, the “Which brand ball peen hammer are you?” app,  and a few other things, which…um…well, we might describe in detail at a later date.

While we don’t really understand all of her requirements and were unfamiliar with the particular devices she was looking for, we were so thrilled to have the opportunity, we complied in full.

FB:  So, BKT, may we call you that?

BKT:  Of course you can.  Except on Mondays.  And cloudy days.  And any day I’m feeling blue.  And only if your name is Fundamental Jelly or Alan Truitt.  

FB:  Okay.  Let’s get started.  First we’d like to know what inspires you.  What makes you tick?  How did you become so insightful an observer of the human condition, besides being…you know…human.

BKT: Um…

FB:  Oh!  Haha! Sorry, wrong script.  That’s the NY Times interview, they must have left their questions behind.  Here we go:  What five things would you want with you if zombies were attacking?

BKT:  That’s more like it.  I would want a bottle of 18 year old scotch, a boggle game, binoculars, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, and a Mauser 1934 pocket pistol.  So I can enjoy myself, and see the zombies coming far enough ahead that I can take myself out.

FB:  Okay, wonderful.  Now, what are your most unusual habits?

BKT:  Loving Big Band & swing music, dancing the Jitterbug and the Charleston, listening to Prairie Home Companion on NPR, and having to always put the pillowcases on so the tag on the pillow goes in first.  Oh, and there’s the whole “setting the microwave timer to a pleasing number” thing.

FB: Fascinating!  You really are every bit as odd as you make yourself out to be.  How do you choose the tags for your posts?

BKT:  Well, I confess to stealing some of them from my pal Fundamental Jelly.  Others I just grab willy nilly from the recesses of my geek brain.  Klein Bottles, for instance, are a shape that…

FB:  YES!  Okay, then.  Well, looks like we’re all finished here!  Now we will open up the interview to random interlopers.  Any questions you’d like to ask Ms. Barely Knit?  Fire away!

We’ll be busy practicing misspelling, poor grammar and meaningless questions for our next series of Facebook Quizzes!

Why My Confidence Does Suffer So: 15%

Posted in People Are Idiots, The Soap Box with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 24, 2009 by Ms. Ex


she tries to get things
out of men
that she can’t get
because she’s not
15% prettier

-Richard Brautigan

Somehow I came across this delightful site the other day, and I sat transfixed while clicking on photos of celebrities before and after Photoshopping them into fantasy land.  Just click on Portfolio, then on each photo.  When it pops up, it’s retouched and reverts to the original when you mouse over it.

No one is named, but it’s obvious who some of them are, and I found myself shocked and wondering, “Can you really make Halle Berry and Penelope Cruz more gorgeous?”

Yes.  Yes, you can.

You can make someone who’s a little tubby (in a cute way) a bit tighter and narrower (witness the girl in the purple shirt leaning against the door); you can take someone who has that “rode hard and put up wet” look and make her look thirty-something and wide awake (the pink sweatered hag).

And as a little aside, what’s up with Julia Stiles’s shirt?  I swear to Oz (props, Tannerleah) I hate that if I wore a shirt like that, which has the potential – nay, the probablility – of showing boobage, it would totally be fine, but if I should, say, discreetly sneak a boob out to feed a kid, air raid sirens would sound and everyone would start to vomit from the Oh! Offensive!! 

I confess I’ve longed for the ability to Photoshop my body in real life, in ways that the 30 Day Shred just can’t manage.  But also, I have more important things to worry about.  There was a time that my body and face could get me what I wanted; now I’m stuck relying on my brain, and it turns out, that might be a pretty effective means of getting where I need to be.

Anyway, maybe it should make me feel better about things like my freckles and my less-than-spectacular figure.  I guess I didn’t believe that it’s a never ending thing, this quest for perfect beauty.

And maybe the Brautigan poem isn’t really me, after all.


Fiber Friday: End of An Era

Posted in Cloth Diapering, Fiber Friday, Motherhood with tags , , , , , , on May 22, 2009 by Ms. Ex

I have been purging lately.  Not the good kind, wherein you lose a lot of weight but still get to enjoy the foods you love.  The other, messier kind.  The house purge.

We have so much stuff, and I have been so crazy (no, really – like bats in the belfry, toys in the attic, though in our house it’s rats in the attic and toys all over the damn place), that there is nothing but chaos all around us.

I might have mentioned my little pet OCD project.  I stumbled into it quite by accident, but we love each other and I think it’s for keeps.  Coupled with my ADD it’s like a torrid romance, without the sex, though sex is in the running for the next object of my affection.  I jump from obssession to obssession, and before I know it I have enough supplies to keep an army in yarn, fabric, paper crafting, recycled sweaters, rock climbing gear or cigarrettes for at least a decade.  

My major hesitation is the baby stuff.  I’m parting with the clothes in a fairly light-hearted manner, with only a few tears and gut-wrenching sob sessions,  and a mere two huge boxes of  “must keep” items.  Because, you know, they’ll never make such adorable clothing for babies again and I might someday have grandchildren.

No, the real problem is cloth diapers.

As I said in an earlier post, I love them.  I covet, crave, and fondle them.  I have truckloads of fabric out of which I sew them.  My last five years has been spent accumulating, experimenting and creating.  Most of my knitting has been longies and shorties for – you guessed it – diaper covers.

As I pack away the rarely-used items and try to figure out what to do with all the raw material, I find myself wondering who I will be when we move out of this stage.  Since no more babies are in the works (do you HEAR ME UTERUS??) what will I do with the fabric?  Will I continue to make and sell on Etsy for other people’s babies?  Or is it really time to find some other obssession?

I am so sad to be done.  So sad that some day my baby boys will not kiss me squishily on the mouth.  Sad that the snuggles in bed in the morning will pass away.  Sad that there will be no more toothless smiles in my future, except perhaps my own.  I want to want to be done – but I will always ache just a little in my heart that who I am, what I do, is constantly being redefined.  Soon, I will no longer be the mother of toddlers.  In no time at all, I will be the mother of men and a woman.

For whatever reason, this cloth diapering thing has been the symbol of this season of my life.  As I fold them and decide where they should go, I think of all the work, all the washing and care that goes into parenting.  The drudgery, the cuteness,  the raw need a baby has for his mother.

Part of me feel ready for whatever is ahead, ready to let the babies grow up and not need me quite so much, or at least not in the same ways.

And part of me wants to always have a baby to love and to love me right back, in that simple, sweet way babies have.

P.S.  Wanna buy some diaper fabric?

Therapy Thursday (A Little Early): Parade Your Shame

Posted in Embarrassing Moments, People Are Idiots with tags , , , on May 20, 2009 by Ms. Ex

I have been picked on by some “people” lately about some songs I posted that may or may not be devoid of musical value.

I gotta say, I’m not terribly impressed by someone who feels the need to point out the weaknesses in someone else’s tastes.  Intimidated, perhaps, but not impressed.

It’s like saying you love the movie Eraserhead.  Yes, everyone knows David Lynch is a genius but that thing is the most unwatchable movie ever made.  I could only sit through it twice.

So instead of lying and telling you I only ever listened to The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, and The Beatles in the 80’s and Weezer, Green Day, and the Pixies in the 90’s, I’m going to air my shame and tell you some of the songs that I love that are completely void of any talent or otherwise redeeming quality.  I just like ’em, dammit.

1.  Buck Cherry “Crazy Bitch”  (For all my sweet, innocent, mommy type readers – this is a NOT nice song.  Consider yourself warned.)

2.  L.L. Cool J “Jingling Baby” (Ok, actually I like the entire album.  So sue me.)

3.  Public Enemy “One Million Bottle Bags” (maybe I don’t need to defend this one)

4.  Anything by Prince (This technically doesn’t count since he’s a musical genius.)

5.  The Offspring “Self Esteem” 

6.  Beastie Boys “Girls” (I think I might be painting myself as a misogynist, here.)

7. That song from the end of “Breakfast Club” – you know the one. “Hey, hey hey hey.”  It’s Simple Minds “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” and I guess it’s all about timing.

Now for the true embarrassments:

8.  Kenny Rogers “Ruby Don’t Take Your Love to Town”

9.  Hank Williams, Jr. “Family Tradition”

10. Abba “Dancing Queen”

11. Mighty Mighty Bosstones “The Impression That I Get”

12.  Psychedelic Furs “Pretty In Pink”

13.  Hootie and the Blowfish “I Only Wanna Be With You” (I know – this is the worst one)

14. Cyndi Lauper “Time After Time” (again, the timing)

15.  The whole album by the Clash “Combat Rock”  (It was the first record album I asked for and owned.  Even before I got my James Taylor album.  No, I’m not kidding.  I told you I have problems.)

But I’m trying not to care what anyone thinks.  I like these songs and I should be secure enough to shout it from the rooftops.

Now it’s your turn.  Tell me the song you love that you would be embarrassed to admit is in your iTunes (that’s where I found my list).

Don’t be shy.  Got some Liberacci?  Some Andrea Bocelli?  How about a little polka music?  My grandfather’s favorite tune was the Fat Lady Polka.  They played it at his 50th anniversary party.

Top it.  I triple dog dare you.