Friday, June 23, 2006


  • 1 25' x 40' Stage Backdrop with a lovely daytime seascape, complete with cliffs
  • 1 25' x 40' Stage Backdrop with a deep dark moonlit seascape, minus the moon reflection, which I'll paint before it goes on stage
  • 1 6' x 4' plywood portrait of a bloated and formidable Queen Victoria - sketched, to be painted upon my return
  • 1 full size drawing of a 16' x 12' gothic ruin on plywood, to be cut out by the carpenter and painted while I am gone
  • 1 set of instructions to my painting crew for painting said ruins AND the 18' diameter round raked stage (instructions from the director = "rocky-sandy")
  • Plans for 1 wedding shower for a little sister, to take place over lunch the day before the wedding
  • 1 person scheduled to come and feed and love my little Kouros while I am away for 10 days (never done this before- longest we've been away from him is 4 days. I don't know if it'll be worse for me or him)
  • 1 Bridesmaid dress, altered to fit so I no longer have to put one of my arms into the bodice with me to keep it on
Well, imaginary friends, I'm off to the motherland. To Minnesota- to go to a restaurant my nieces call Space Alien's to celebrate their birthdays- to celebrate my 7th wedding anniversary- to celebrate the wedding of my little sister- to celebrate the engagement of my Godmother- and to get some goddam sleep! I am freaking exhausted from getting all that shit done, people! I need a break!

I may check in from time to time depending on schedule and access. Both the in-laws and the parents are internet equipped, but they don't know about my secret life here with y'all. And I'll definitely post pictures when I get back. Minnesota is beautiful in the summer. If you don't get carried off by the mosquitoes. And as long as it's not 95 degrees. Everyone have a fabulous week and a half!

P.S. Jenny! I'll be there tomorrow! You know where to find me! Woo hoo!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Bad Blogger and Community Theatre Drama

Hi, imaginary friends! Remember when I used to post regularly? Remember that? That was cool. That was before I became completely consumed with set painting. I'm very, very tired. For the most part, I work all day, eat supper, go paint, come home and go to bed.

By the way, here's the current progress on the clapotis. I don't like how the new purple makes the variegated purple look dingy. I'm not sure how I feel about it, but I need to just keep working on it. It's my therapy at the end of a long day, you know.

I had an issue with an over-eager helper, with whom I've worked before. He's a very nice older man, but sometimes he makes me CRAZY! He questions everything, and while I didn't think he meant it, his questions come off as vaguely insulting. Anyway, he came in to paint during the afternoon one day, and painted the clouds in a very different manner than I had asked. I was fit to be tied, and that night when we all were in working I said it wouldn't work and he had to paint over it. He was very hurt, and I felt bad. I told him I was sorry to make him paint over his lovely clouds, but they weren't right for this backdrop. He milked it for a while, and then we moved on. It bothered me, though, because I've got a lot to get painted, and while I know how attached you get to things you've painted, he went in the exact opposite direction of what I asked. Where, in the words "streaky cirrus clouds with yellow reflected light" do you get the idea that fluffy cumulus thunderheads is ok? I was really tired of having my authority questioned. I realize he's old enough to be my father and he's been painting for much longer than I have, but I'm in charge. Period.

I called him, told him I felt bad about what happened and appreciated his abilities and his desire to help, but in the end, my sketches are what have been oked by the director. He can't take it personally when he comes up with an idea and I say "no, we're going to do it this way." I felt better after that. I've got a lot to get painted, and I can't be preoccupied with soothing bruised egoes.

The part that gets me is that yesterday he mentioned, just in passing, that he knew what he had painted was not what I had asked for, but he thought I might change my mind on the style once I saw the sky. It took a few minutes for me to process that. Then it made me MAD. So we're still painting this backdrop that I had hoped to complete this weekend because you thought you might force me into changing my mind? I can't believe that was something he felt ok about telling me, like it was some sort of explanation I would think was acceptable. It's community theatre, everyone gets to help. But, still, I AM IN CHARGE!

You know, I'm a friendly person. I work well with others, but when it comes to painting and stuff, I like to work alone. I LOVE to work alone. It takes some effort for me to orgainze work for other people to do. When I run up against resistance like this, I'm inclined to just stop calling people to come in. Ugh.

I thought venting would make me feel better, but I feel like I'm just stewing over the same issues. I'm going to let it go for now. The good news is, he's out of town for 2 weeks starting Saturday.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

A trend in my household

Kouros has some issues, I think. I'm not certain, but I think maybe his mother ran off too early or maybe he's going through some teen angst or something, but he's awfully bitey and chewy. I give you....

Exhibit A: The rubber band we use to keep the cabinets closed. Since Kouros never gets fed*, he takes it upon himself to climb into cabinets trying to get to his kibble. It's one of those broccoli rubber bands. If you're wondering about the other pieces, he swallowed them. I found them, um, when I was cleaning out his bathroom.

Exhibit B: Those little inner-ties on my bathrobe that keep it closed since that outer belt does next to nothing on that front. It's a bit hard to tell what's going on in this picture, but one tie is much shorter than the other. And it has a ragged, frayed end. With holes.

Exhibit C: A tank top that I quite liked. You may notice that not only is the strap on the left bitten in half, there's a big chunk missing. Yes, I found that one in the litterbox, too. I once had a red tank top, too, but it suffered the same fate. I found little kitty nun-chuks in the litter box. You can picture them perfectly, can't you?

So I guess there should have been no surprise when, in a matter of 30 seconds flat, Kouros reduced the striped sperm toy to this:

Then he just got up and walked away with a very satisfied air.

* No cats were harmed in the making of this blog entry. Kouros is actually well fed and the vet thinks he could use a bit of a diet. He gets fed promptly at 6 and 6 every day. Even if that means sitting on Susan's bedside table and pulling her hair out with his teeth to make certain he is fed ON TIME.

Thoughts on my Hyperactive Hands

Originally, I meant for this blog to be a knitting blog, and nothing else. I would show pictures of what I've done and have it be somewhat anonymous and I'd be so disciplined and I wouldn't whine or use bad language or tell dirty jokes. But almost immediately I strayed to discussing work, my art, my fat cat and anything else I could think of. If you read this blog regularly, you already know discipline is something I'm sorely lacking. The thing is, I like having this little spot of exhibitionism to express myself. I don't like restrictions put on me, even when I'm the one trying to put the restrictions on myself. [Just an aside - usually in my most upsetting, frustrating dreams, my movement is restricted in some way or another. I once had a dream where I couldn't move out of a stick straight position, but I needed to get somewhere, so I rolled like a log through snow and across roads. I don't like being caged.]

So, I think the scope of my blog needs to broaden a bit, don't you? I think originally I had decided someday I'd have a art site where I could be a very professional artiste and all that (I'll wear black turtlenecks and stuff). And maybe I will, but I think my own little blog can be whatever the hell I want it to be, and I can show whatever the hell I want to show. My hyperactive hands are busy at so many different things (woo woo!), so I think it all works. Don't worry- I wasn't planning on talking about THOSE things I may or may not do with my hands. That's private. Or maybe it's not, but I'll only post things about THAT in the comments for BLARM! Ha ha!

In honor of the new inclusiveness in this blog, I'm very pleased to share one of the pieces I'm proudest of. I took drawing last year, and I really got into this piece. I would simply disappear for hours and my sole reason for being was to try to replicate the textures in this still life with my pencil. The picture isn't perfect, but I'm at work, and I don't have access to the better photos I took. I think I snapped this one quickly to send off to the parents right after I finished it.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Things I like right now

Since I was so crabby a few days ago, I'm going to focus on the positive. And I'm not going to talk about how I don't have enough yarn for the Clap so I'm gradually bringing in a solid band in the center to make up for all the yarn I don't have. Again, it's night, no good pictures. That'll come sometime before the damn thing is finished.

But like I said, I'm totally not going to talk about it. I'm going to tell you about things I like right now, so we can all feel happy and warm and fuzzy.

1. My new painting place - I have the most wonderful place to paint the sets! It's dry! It has natural light coming in through so many windows! It doesn't have 50 years of machine shop grime and oil on the floor! I love it so much! If I wanted to, I could roll around naked in it and I wouldn't risk my health. Just my dignity. It's downtown.

2. MirrorMask - What a delightfully bizarre movie! We're watching it right now (with a pause because Carl's Dad called) and it's unlike anything I've seen. I like the little eyeballs with spider legs that the come out of the shadows sent by the dark queen. See? Bizarre!

3. Bon Appetit magazine- They had several menus in this month's issue for entertaining. We had some friends over for food and games on Saturday and Carl, the fantastic man, made the Greek Meze menu. To DIE for!

4. Can I put my new painting space again? I love it that much!

5. BLARM! - A podcast I just started listening to, hosted by WankerGirl. If you listen to Chub Creek, then you know all about it, becuase Dave has been gushing about it for a couple of episodes now. And, I have to say, I love the show. I've listened to half a dozen episodes now, and it cracks me up to no end. If you're not into discussion of farts, burps, poo, porn or sticking things up your bum, you may not enjoy it so much, although that just a portion of the show. It's really funny. I love the episode where she podcasts from the bathtub.

6. Choose the left - Another podcast I've just started listening to, hosted by Jake and Erin. They're a divorced couple who've maintained their friendship and do a hilarious podcast. I'm so amazed by people who can be friends with their exes. I don't speak to anyone I ever dated except Carl. Erin and Jake often leave audio comments on BLARM!, which is where I heard about their show.

7. Chocolate - I just love it. We all do. If we just passed the chocolate all around, the world would be a better place. I think I need to make a point of consuming some chocolate every day. And, it helps you recover from dementor attacks.

8. Deirdre Flint - In the final podcast of series 2 of Cast-On, Brenda played a song by Deirdre called Bellydancer and it was wonderful! All about loving your own body and how the belly dancing class helped counter the magazine ads and movie stars. She sings comedic songs (the Boob Fairy) and has a very light hearted feel to her music, but this song was so touching. I want to listen to it over and over again!

Thursday, June 08, 2006


I finished something! Well, I "finished" something.

Hey, wait, Kouros, come back. I want to show the nice people the toy I made for you. Bring it back!

I "finished" the cat plaything from Stitch n Bitch Nation with the two balls (oblong, in my case) connected by icord.

Kouros, there's no need to be rude. That's a less than pleasant view. Just let me show the people the toy, please!

If by finished you mean I made the i-cord part short because I was sick to death of working with red heart and only after I was done did I find the needle I'd been looking for to do the icord on in the first place. And if by finished you mean I didn't attach the second ball to the other end because the night before I tossed it to see if Kouros liked to play with it and he chased it around to some mystical place and now I can't find it anymore. Then yes, I've finished something. The point is, I've done all I'm going to do on this particular cat plaything.

I have one question. Is it just me, or does it look like a striped sperm?

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Crabby little post

Aw hell, I can't believe it's already Wednesday. I've been too busy to get much time on the computer for fun, and when I am, I've been trying to catch up on email.

I've already dropped 3 stitches (intentionally) in the Clap. It's too dark to take a picture right now. I'll have to get to it later. And I think I'm going to run short on yarn, shorter than I expected, so that's lame.

My weekend was less than fun. It was great to see my Dad, but it was emotionally taxing otherwise. Grandpa was fairly unpleasant, and my Grandma was mostly frantic the whole time.

Monday I went down to the warehouse where I do scene painting to find a new leak in the ceiling - there are a lot of leaks, and I had the backdrop arranged to be out of the wet areas- but the new one was RIGHT ABOVE THE BACKDROP. It was sitting in standing water in some spots. I propped it up on anything I could find. We had a rescue mission last night, and it was mostly dry where I had propped it up. Everything is still up in the air as to where I'm going to paint this- and the other we have on order- 25' x 40' backdrop. So I can't paint anything yet.

And to the crazy people who try to clean the Netflix DVDs with sandpaper, CUT IT OUT! The last 2 DVDs we've had started skipping because of scratches or Coca Cola or something on the disc.

Wow. What an unpleasant, whining little brat. I apologize. Forgive me, and I'll have some cute Kitty pictures tomorrow or something.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Weekend away

I'm leaving for a visit to my grandparents this weekend. They only recently got cable, so needless to say, I'll be without access to all my imaginary friends and the tools to blogstalk them. It's too bad, because, it's when I'm there that I usually need the escape.

Remember George's parents in Seinfeld? Yeah, you get the idea. At least they were that way, until Grandpa had a heart attack and a stroke and many many other health problems to follow in the past 3 1/2 years. Now, they're sort of nice to each other, and it's weird. I can tell Grammie is terrified to be alone, despite the fact that before his heart attack, she'd freely admit she married him to get out of her father's house. It used to seem they were just waiting each other out, and they seemed to barely stand one another and it was horrible to be around. I don't know if the panicked desperation with which she tries to keep him alive is much better. Especially since most of her fear comes out as constant direction and nagging, while he, in all his passive-aggressive glory, does the opposite of what she's saying.

Oh well, at least my Dad will be there. He's got more experience with diffusing situations. He's a psychologist- any wonder? Carl will be going with me, too. So really, it'll be ok. It just takes a toll, for so many reasons. Including the mixed emotions of being there while my grandfather declines.

Oh yes, I'll be bringing some knitting therapy. I should make mad progress on the clapotis.
Have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Pirates in my Pants?

I sat through the read-through Tuesday night in a stifflingly hot circle of folding chairs. Oh, and I use the term "read-through" lightly. Yeah, they read the 7 spoken lines all right, but for the musical numbers, we listened to the recording from the show I had watched on DVD the night before. Did I mention that the entire second act is nearly all singing? Linda Ronstadt was not any better the second time through. She's a fine pop singer, don't get me wrong, but she didn't really have the vocal range for Mabel. Me, I couldn't do it at all, so maybe I should keep my untrained mouth shut. I had to be there to support and cast + crew bonding, blah blah blah... I might have felt differently if I hadn't watched the show the night before. A bit repetitious, you know.

Anyhoo, in the sweltering heat, after I couldn't draw any longer and the sweat from my hands was making my watercolor pencils run, I took out the clapotis and knitted. If you knit a little of your experience at the time into what you're working on, my clapotis now has a bunch of sweaty pirates forever worked into the fabric. Arrrrrrgh! [you know, like the pirate says] I worried by the end that it might felt, or that I would get delirious from the heat and miss a kbl, so I stopped about 15 minutes before the end of rehearsal.

Only two people asked me about what I was doing- the producer, who knits herself, and the costumer. I think they both asked because they were sitting on either side of me, and I managed to poke each of them with my needles. Did I mention we were sitting close together in a stifflingly hot circle?

It was my first time sitting in a semi-public place knitting. I have no stitch and bitch group here, and the times I've knitted with other people, we were always at someone's house. I could, I suppose, go down to the LYS and knit with the ladies down there. They get together Friday nights, though, and on Fridays I like to plop down on my couch without pants and knit while watching anime or something. One usually has to wear pants in public. Even if it is Friday night.

Ok, so I want a knitting group! A lot! Perhaps it's time I venture down to the shop and take a class. Or sit in on a Friday night group. They've mentioned that they have an open evening on Fridays. Pardon me while I get all ageist here, but I'd be the youngest by a good 15-20. And I have a potty mouth. And I didn't buy all my yarn there. Why do I hesitate? I've read over and over how vastly different people connect over knitting. So what's my deal?