Archive for facebook

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!


Fiber Friday Giveaway: The Dark Side Has Cookies. And T-Shirts.

Posted in Fiber Friday, Giveaway with tags , , , , , , , on March 27, 2009 by Ms. Ex

Welcome to another Fiber Friday giveaway here in the nuthouse.   On Facebook recently, I came across  an old friend

an acquaintance

a guy I used to play baseball with when I was a tomboy kid but I really just did cartwheels in the outfield so I shouldn’t remind him but see, his dad was the coach and what six year old can hit a ball into the outfield?  so I was totally bored out there

someone I went to school with.  When you grow up where we did, you apparently either stay here forever and become one of them or you get a wicked case of ‘weird sense of humor.’  When you are lucky like me, you get to stay and you get the humor, and it all  just serves to alienate you from your community.  Thank goodness for the influx of people from Charlottesville and such or I wouldn’t have any friends.  Except Melissa, of course, but our town is big enough for more than one eccentric.

Anyhows, I should first warn you that this guy’s sense of humor is just a wee bit naughty, or possibly very naughty, so if you have delicate sensibilities, you should just go read someone else’s blog today.  Seriously.  I don’t need you hatin’ on the Barely Knit.

Here is what Ken has to say about his shirts:

NakedGringo is a new and exciting brand of tropically-inspired t-shirts. Established just one mile from the blue-green waters of the Atlantic ocean in Fort Lauderdale, Gringo draws his inspiration from the characters he sees at the beach, the conversations he overhears at local brew houses and coffee shops, and of course from his own twisted imagination.
Every design featured on is a limited edition, wearable conversation piece.  Only 100 shirts are printed of each design. Divide that by the various sizes and chances are likely that no one is going to have the same shirt as you.
Gringo also produces original designs and prints for local restaurants, bars, events, sports teams,and charities. These designs are not offered for sale via the website, but you can always spot the fashionably uninhibited when you see the trademarked “original PalmPrint by Gringo” logo.
I hope you have as much fun wearing your NakedGringo t-shirt as you do when you take it off!

I couldn’t have said it better myself.  Ahem.

Ken let me know that he has a cool new design for women coming out, as well as a breast cancer awareness shirt in the works.  He has sizes small, medium, large and extra large, and if you win, I’m sure he can work with you on what you want.  Or maybe, just maybe – you can wait long enough to see your own design on your shirt.

He let me know he is always on the lookout for new design ideas, so this is the giveaway dealy-o:  leave a comment with an idea for a t-shirt.  It can be anything, no holds barred (obviously, he’s not squeamish).  If he likes your idea, I will hook you guys up (in the old fashioned way, trust me) and maybe he can add your design to his collection.

His site is new still and he only has a few designs up, but you can see more at Naked Mafia.  Do you sense a theme here, folks?  It is mighty hot down there, you know.

Don’t worry if you can’t think of any design ideas.  Just leave a comment and I’ll add you to the drawing.  The winner of a t-shirt (your choice of style and size) will be chosen at random.  The contest ends at 8 PM EST on Tuesday, March 31, and I will post the winner the following day.

Halt! Who Goes There?

Posted in Mental Stability, Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , , , , , on March 12, 2009 by Ms. Ex

People are following me.

And I let them.

In fact, maybe I want them too.  That’s sort of why I’m writing this – to figure out my motivations.  Because I’ve had conversations with someone about this and the question of motivation always comes up.  Frankly, I think he’s a little obsessive, but what do I really know?

I’m not very good at assessing motives, at least at first.  My own, I mean.  Facebook was originally a way for me to spy on my daughter.  I confess, I didn’t really understand how the whole thing worked when I opened my account a few years ago, but I figured I would be able to see something of her profile.  I am her mother after all.

I have since learned the ugly truth of the matter, which is that the only way to see anything about a person, besides who they hang out with, is to let them be your friend.

I am running into similar issues now with Twitter.  Don’t get me wrong – I love Twitter.  I might love it a bit *too* much, just like I do every other shiny new technological toy that comes out.  The thing is, there is a line between building a useful community and farming one’s self out for page views.

In fact, I just started being followed by a fellow on Twitter whose profile said he was out to demonstrate how having a large community is actually less beneficial than a small one.  I sent him a Tweet saying I sort of agree with him, so I’m sure he’ll understand if I don’t follow back.  For some reason, he dropped me shortly thereafter.

I wasn’t trying to be rude.  I was actually trying to be funny, and I might have clicked on that follow button anyway, if I liked his response to my tweet.  Oh well.

As for Facebook, I had certain unwritten, unclarified rules about whom from my past I could comfortably add as a friend.  I mean, I need to be able to answer all those quizzes and not get called out for, er, stretching the truth, right?  And I’m finding that some of those on the not-so-comfortable  list are finding me.

And maybe I was stretching the truth right there, too.  Maybe I just feel ashamed for even wanting people to see that I am really writing now, but that I’m still me.  That I haven’t really made much progress in the last twenty years.  That maybe, I’m just now figuring out what the problems actually are.

What I like about the blogging community is just that – the community.  Most people I’ve come across in this world of moms and writers and damn funny women are so helpful.  I can tweet them a question, and I get a really thoughtful response.  But I also feel a sense of – who am I to be asking a question of this person that I don’t even know?  And I also want to guard my time.  I am all too aware of how easy it is to get sucked away by the internet black hole.  And it’s not like I’m flush in excess time, you know?

For now, I will let those questionable Facebook friend requests linger on my home page.  I might end up just adding everyone, since I already have quite the unweildy lot.  But please don’t be offended if I keep my community just the tiniest bit gated.

The Real Mom Quiz

Posted in Homemaking Made Easy, Motherhood, Why you should maybe rethink the whole reproducing thing with tags , , , , on February 17, 2009 by Ms. Ex

Disclosure:  I occasionally, in a fit of mindlessness, click on those ridiculous quizzes from Facebook.  Go ahead, mock me.  You’ve all done it too and I know it.

Yesterday, there was one purporting to tell me what kind of mommy I am.  From five questions.

I don’t think anyone should be pigeonholed into some arbitrary category of parenting by a mere five questions, so I’ve decided to develop a much more scientific quiz for my amusement your edification.  Complete the following statements with the choice that most fits you.

1.  The only reason I would allow my 18 month old to continue to squish his hands around in the puddle of glue he spilled on the train table is:

A.  I am busy paying bills

B.  I didn’t  see him doing it

C.  I would never, EVER leave a bottle of glue out where a child could get to it.

D.  I am blogging and just need five more minutes.

2.  My child likes to fish his waffles out of the toaster on the floor with the hook from my tea strainer ball.  I:

A.  Tell him it’s dangerous and not to do it anymore.

B.  Wonder why he’s so quiet in there…

C.  Your toaster is on the FLOOR??

D.  Unplug the toaster and tell him he can only do it when mommy’s right there.

3.  My four year old starts saying “Damn” on a frighteningly regular basis.  I:

A.  Explain to him that some words are not nice and we shouldn’t use them.

B.  Convince myself he’s saying “Dan” and that it’s all just a cute misunderstanding.

C.  Refuse to leave the house for fear of being mortified by this foul-mouthed child.

D.  Try really hard not to laugh, then tell everyone that all words are just tools and if we don’t pay attention to it he’ll get over the novelty of it.

4.  My little ones decide it is TONS of fun to slide down my back from my bed to theirs and crash into the pillows and blankets.  I:

A.  Hmmm…I’m not sure I understand what you’re saying.

B.  Uh, I’m on Facebook, not horsing around on the bed.

C.  OMG!  Your children sleep in the same room as you?!

D.  Laugh hysterically and think that this bed arrangement is the coolest thing ever.

5.  I am trying to write a quiz for my blog, and my kid keeps saying, “Mommy come in here and play the tickle game with me!”  I:

A.  Say, “I am working, sweetie, and I need just a few more minutes.  Then I will come in and play.”

B.  Shout, “For the last time, I’ll come in there when I’m ready!”

C.  I don’t have time for that sort of thing.  There are cupcakes to make for the PTA bake sale and then the Junior League meeting is tonight!

D.  Say, “Here is the $200 wireless keyboard.  Come in here and you can sit on the floor and write just like mommy!”  And decide that maybe five questions is enough, after all.

Scoring:  If you answered A, B, or D for any of the questions, or any combination of them, or if your answers would change around among those choices depending on the day (or time of month), congratulations – you are a real mom.

If you answered C for any question:  you are definitely reading the wrong blog.

Wooly Bully: Watch it Now, Watch It!

Posted in Cloth Diapering, Fiber Friday, Knitting, Motherhood with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 23, 2009 by Ms. Ex

It’s Fiber Friday again, and as I promised, I am about to send you down rabbit holes aplenty and I guarantee you will never change a cloth diaper again because you will be too busy clicking around the fabulous sites for eco-minded moms.

If you are new to cloth diapering in general Green Mountain Diapers is an easy site to navigate and is written in a welcoming way.  They are very good at making you feel that you can easily manage this whole cloth diapering thing.  While they are an on-line store carrying a huge variety of diapering supplies, they also offer simple, clear help for all aspects of using cloth.  Best of all, they understand real world problems like the difference between breastfeeding poop and solid food poop.  Did I mention practicality?  Amen.

By the way, they aren’t giving me any kickbacks, though I wouldn’t mind some free samples.  Ya hear me out there??  Check out their FAQ section, and also look for the link to the lanolizing video.

Another site that is full of great info plus excellent reviews of the various products is diaper pin.  If you just don’t know which kind of diapers to buy, check out the review section.  They also have many helpful tips and simple instructions for laundering all kinds of cloth and covers.

If you are frugal like me, check out Diaper Swappers.  They have bunches of forums for buying, selling, or trading all things to do with cloth, and some things that don’t.  They even sometimes run group buys so you can get your hands on yummy wool yarn for cheap.  Just hang out and click around for a while, and you’ll start to understand how the whole things works.  Or maybe you are not like me, and you already understand the Internets.  Bully for you.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, the moment you’ve all been waiting for.  The knitty gritty:  wool links.

For those of you who are new to wool and have questions, or who are seasoned veterans and have experience to share, the wool soaker group on Yahoo! is a great resource, not to mention a fun place to hang with other cloth-diapering moms.  One thing, though: it will make you joyfully squander most of the attention you used to give to your home and children.  And if you start to see women from the group* in the news and you tell someone, “Hey, that’s a friend of mine!” it might be time to expand your horizons.

If you want to make your own recycled sweater longies, here and here are two free patterns with great photos to guide you.  I prefer the style of the DIY one (the second link), because the thighs are more roomy.  They are so simple to make.

If you are not a seamstress or crafty person, recycled longies and knitted ones from WAHMs (Work at Home Moms, if you are new to the acronym world) can be found used on the Diaper Swappers site or new on Etsy.  You can search by title and tags on etsy, which means you can narrow your search by things like color, which is pretty cool.  You can look for items made from recycled fabric from sweaters, or hand knit longies and soakers.  You could search for say, longies heart.  And you might come up with something adorable like this (yes, I am shameless).  Support handmade, be kind to the planet, and get some groovy gear for your favorite babe.

If you still haven’t gone to bed even though it’s two in the morning, here are a few more fun links to keep you going until the baby wakes up in a couple of hours.  They are in no particular order, and simply add to the basic information you now have in your arsenal.  Have fun, and don’t forget to eat.

An eBay guide for Wool Diaper Covers (take or leave the ‘scientific’ info on antibacterialism and self-cleansing; it doesn’t detract from the value of the article)

The Diaper Hyena on wool (includes some purchasing links)

Tiny Birds Organics wool (I LOVE her stuff – so adorable.  And I know from experience that the wool fabric she uses is the softest stuff around.  She offers many different products, but also has great info)

A couple of final notes:  a wool cover is great, but is really only as good as the diaper underneath.  If you have a heavy wetter, you will need to boost the absorbency of your diapers with a doubler, or use a more absorbent diaper to start with.  Sometimes compression wicking can occur when your baby is wet and the wool cover is pressed tightly to the diaper (think tight car seat straps or baby pressed against you in a sling or carrier).  Generally this just means that the cover will feel damp and any clothing over it can get damp.  If your baby is wearing wool as clothing and cover, I find that this dampness evaporates fairly quickly once the baby is out in the open air.  Just prepare for this possibility by putting a layer between you and the baby in a front carrier or having an extra absorbent diaper on him.

To felt or not to felt:  felting is the process of matting the wool fibers together and making a tougher, thicker fabric.  It also shrinks the fabric (you remember that cute sweater you accidentally washed on hot water?  now it’s felted).  For an extremely heavy wetter, sometimes a felted cover is the best option, but the wool loses its stretch when felted, so the fabric will feel stiffer and be less flexible.  One alternative to felting is using a double layer of wool, an extra wool soaker sewn into the crotch, or only felting slightly.  I can often get just enough extra thickness to the wool but still maintain its flexibility by keeping an eye on it while I machine wash it in hot water.  I remove it when I am happy with the thickness.  Of course, this should be done before you cut your pattern.  Shrinkage and all.

Thank you for joining me for another exciting episode of Fiber Friday.  I have no idea what our topic will be for next week.  Hope you like surprises!

*Emma Kwasnica (whose name I became familiar with from the wool soaker group) was photographed tandem nursing her two wee ones, and Facebook subsequently deleted her account, ostensibly because of those photos.  The whole story and a letter from her can be read here.


Posted in People Are Idiots with tags , , , , , on January 12, 2009 by Ms. Ex

Ugh.  I finally found a suitable replacement for MySpace, where some *cough* obsessional *cough* issues with jealousy were seriously cramping my style, and then I hear Facebook keeps deleting photos of breastfeeding women with their babies.


Oh yeah, I forgot.  Breasts are the puritanical equivalent of the way HAIR is in some cultures, which I will not name in the interest of judiciousness.  And y’all know I’m nothing if not sensitive and careful with my speech.

Anyway, since men are apparently unable to control themselves in the presence of HAIR or NIPPLES, we must suffer the consequences of posting such photos.  Of course, maybe universal health care will cover Brazilians, and, I don’t know – nipple melanin removal?

As soon as I have a solution to this problem, I will be sure to let you know.

But I will say this:

If you don’t like to see women breastfeeding their babies?  STOP LOOKING!

And for your viewing pleasure, this guy has a healthy attitude about nipples (how refreshing).