Friday, August 31, 2007

How about Eye Bran instead of Eye Candy?

Thanks for the creep-support comments. Sorry so many of you can sympathize from personal experience.

It's been too busy to post but I have hope: we recently got highspeed internet at home. I sincerely plan to do all posting from home now, especially with the semester starting and work getting busier for those of us in the student services field.

I do not really have anything that falls in the delight-the-eye category. But for some reason, I enjoyed this photo from our August vacation. The boys' feet in a lighthouse:

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Creepy Guys

I am in full out wrath mode toward creepy guys and the f-d up guy culture that creates creepy guys.

Because of creepy guy on my bus I am now taking alternate transportation to and from work. This alternate transportation includes some healthier options (biking, for example). And a some speedier options (again, biking, and also driving). That is not the point.

The point is that I loved my bus routine and now I'm not doing it because creepy guy was asking way too many personal questions, telling me narratives of his "works in progress" all of which had to do with women not being sexually satisfied by their husbands and going on quests for great sex, suggesting I stop by his apartment sometime to see his paintings and, while looking for a "card" with his address on it in his wallet, inadvertently revealing to me that his wallet photo case contains pictures of women in lingere.

What makes me more angry is that I feel the need to defend myself, to say "I did nothing to bring this on." And I didn't. I rode the bus. That was it. Oh, and I didn't say "get the fuck away" when he sat next to me. But otherwise, I just rode my route, knitting or reading happily.

That I even feel I need to say something about my own culpability says to me there is some expectation -- perhaps only in my own mind, but I suspect culturally -- that if I'm being harassed, I must have somehow invited it. Which makes me really afraid of ever being raped. If creepy bus encounters must somehow be my fault, what about full-on physical assualt?

And then I feel guilty (though it doesn't stop me from doing it -- I'm not a martyr after all) about the fact that my socio-economic position provides other options for me. I can (I hope) escape creepy guy by using my car. What about other women he might harass for whom the bus is their only transportation? What about other women the world over who can't escape disturbed, low-life, unstable, misogynist, creepy fucking guys?

And all any of us is doing is trying to live our lives for Pete's sake.


Friday, August 24, 2007

Knitting Blah-Blah*

Just a few knitting-related observations and rants I wanted to plunk down before the weekend.

1. Knitter's Magazine, Fall 2007? Yuck. Already dropped at the freebie exchange rack at the library.

2. 'Tis the season for knitblogger weddings. Congratulations Moon Tea, Yarn Overboard, Ellen, Philosoknitter...who am I missing?

3. I bought tweedy yarn. Thanks for the suggestions, folks. After a feel-the-yarn session, the intended recipient decided wool was not so scratchy after all, and that he would like a wool sweater. I kept grabbing increasingly rougher hanks saying, "What about this? Put it down your shirt. Could you stand THIS?" He kept saying yes. So I ordered Cascade 128 Tweed (thanks for the tip, C.). I can only assume (having worked with Cascade 220) this will be much softer than Lopi.

4. FOs in the works (is that an oxymoronic sentence?). Probably another week.

*Oblique reference to Queen's Radio Ga Ga.


Thursday, August 23, 2007

Hey, it's Franklin...

...comin' over to breastfeed.

Last night I met with clients who wanted to review breastfeeding before their baby is born. I had all my handouts and books ready to take when I remembered I usually demonstrate breastfeeding holds with a doll.

Of course, because I am not often asked to talk specifically about breastfeeding, "usually" refers to a handful of times I've covered the topic. How I have had doll-in-hand on these rare occasions is now a bafflement to me. For there is nary a human baby model of any shape or size anywhere in my house.

We have a few 8-inch-high Rescue Heroes, an Ugly Doll and a life-sized bear cub. None seemed remotely appropriate (indeed a few were downright creepy) to put near a breast.

But then I spied gentle, thoughtful Franklin. Franklin is SO about family and feelings. He's curious and honest. Really, who wouldn't take him to the breast?

My clients chuckled through the session, but were able to practice the various breastfeeding holds. Franklin even got a gentle burping from the father-to-be, though he also cautioned that if his child was remotely green, there would be some explaining to do.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Meme alert (8 Secrets About Me)

Navelgazing Midwife tagged me (I'm flattered!).

Rules: People who are tagged need to write in their own blog these rules & the eight things. At the end of the your blog post, tag six people and list their (blog) names. Leave a comment on their blog telling them they've been tagged and encourage them to read your blog.

1. I have never smoked anything. Not even one cigarette, not even a puff.
2. I have always wanted to show up at a job interview in my 1986 prom dress (Gunnie Sax, southern belle era) just to see folks' reactions.
3. If I could sing well I would be pursuing a career on Broadway (there is the theatrical in me).
4. I scream very loudly if startled. Just ask my spouse (my parents, my sons, our newspaper delivery man...). ED: I just screamed right now: lightening hit close to our building and the thunder was sudden and very loud!
5. My maternal grandfather was an old-school Baptist minister in Alabama.
6. I am atheist.
7. I was a big skinny-dipper in college: the Red Cedar River, the fountain pools in front of the library, various apartment swimming pools (so I was a trespasser, too).
8. I take a 10 mg. daily dose of Lexapro (for anxiety); it works beautifully. Hypochondriacs of the world take heart!

SIX people?!! That's a lot. O.K., let me see:

Brown Berry
Doula Matt
The Little Red Hen
Sandy D.
Radical Doula
A Little Bit of Suburbia


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

If this is baby/breastfeeding friendly...

...I don't want to see hostile!

A friend who recently had a premature baby at the local university hospital shared this story with me.

Her son was in the NICU and on tube feeding. While the mother worked to bringin her milk, she asked that her son be given breastmilk instead of formula. My friend was told that the hospital does not work with any of the area milk banks, so banked milk was not an option.

Then one of the sympathetic NICU nurses told my friend that if she could get her doctor to write a prescription for banked milk that she could then label as her own and bring in, they could use it.

My friend talked with her pediatrician who eagerly wrote the prescription. She called the nearest milk bank (100 miles away!). In the course of their intake questions, they learned that her baby was at the university hospital. They said they could not give her their milk because they knew the hospital would not use it.

So thanks to the hospital's policies, my friend's newborn preemie, had to have formula instead of breast milk.

This is a hospital that touts itself as both baby-friendly and breastfeeding-friendly. It may have crossed paths with the wrong woman. My friend vows to return with a vengeance once her baby is older and see if she can't motivate some change on the banked milk policy. If anyone could do it, she could.


Monday, August 20, 2007

Dr. Wonderful

Need a little cheer and hope on this (at least in Michigan) dark and rainy Monday morning?

Check out Navelgazing Midwife's account of a fabulous hospital birth and the doctor who let the mother birth her way.


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Not Likin' the Sound of THIS

"[Vince] Vaughn has set in development 'Male Doula,' a high-concept comedy based on his idea..."

No, no, no no no, no NO! It's not that a high concept comedy about birth can't be made (though I have yet to see one). It's not even that male doulas couldn't be made funny. I'm guessing they could. Birth could even be portrayed accurately AND humorously at the same time.

But I gotta say, Vince Vaughn does not strike me as the guy to do it. Instead, what about:

--Steve Martin
--Will Ferrell
--Cuba Gooding, Jr.
--Chevy Chase
--Rowan Atkinson

Who else? Who would you cast as a comic Male Doula (again, assuming such a role could actually be written well enough to be funny)?

Labels: ,

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Yarn Suggestions?

I have a problem. I "owe" someone a sweater (more about that when I finish it; I'm getting the better end of the deal). That someone has identified a cabled pullover pattern that he likes. Because the pattern (Snorri) was in the Best of Lopi book, he even chose a harn he liked (medium brown tweed, an excellent choice).

All was well. I was searching the internet for the best prices. Then I remembered this man's wife commenting that he never wore anything she knit for him because it itched. DANGER WIL ROBINSON. I e-mailed him and received confirmation that he wanted the sweater made of something soft, something that wouldn't require him to wear a turtleneck under it.

Knitfriends, I have been searching to no avail. Do you have suggestions for yarn I could use that fits these qualifications:
  • Bulky (3.5 sts/in)
  • Tweedy
  • Soft (cotton or cotton blend preferred, though perhaps a merino could work?)
  • Good stitch definition for cables

I plan on taking this list to my favorite LYS for consultation, too, but I'm limited there by what they stock (e.g. no Lopi). I'd appreciate any suggestions you have for substitutions. Oh -- and because this will be my first outing with cables, I'm not comfortable resizing the repeats and patterns to accomodate smaller-gauge yarn (which would open up my options greatly, I realize).


Monday, August 13, 2007

My week of R&R

I'm just back from a stellar week in northern Michigan. I'll be back on the posting wagon soon as I get my other (work, laundry, doula client) ducks in a row.

In the meantime, have some fun with names at the Baby Name Wizard Blog. If you, too, have a fascination with people's names, historical and present, you will enjoy the site.

For example, did you know that in 1906 and 1956, most boys' names ended in the letters D,E,N,S and Y. But in 2006 only one of those letters was the popular ending, with 4 times as many names represented than any other. To learn what that letter is, check here.


Friday, August 03, 2007

Clementine Shawlette

Two days ago I bound off the Clementine Shawlette. I have yet to block it, but was eager to post photos, so here they are.

Pattern: Clementine Shawlette, Interweave Knits, Spring, 2007. Designed by one of my personal favorites, Michele Rose Orne.

Yarn: 1 skein Briar Rose Fibers' Sea Pearl (50% Merino, 50% tencel).

Needles: size 4 Bryspun circular.

Modifications: None.

Notes/Thoughts: Like everyone else who's knit this, I agree it's a great starter pattern for lace. I easily memorized the 3 different rows of patterning and found them easy to repeat. Still, there was counting involved, so I couldn't do it absent-mindedly.

I love the yarn. Sea Pearl has a pretty sheen, a soft drape, and felt so nice on my fingers. One skein was the perfect length (I have maybe 5 yards left) and perfect weight for the project. These photos don't do justice to the color, a mix of grey-blues, sea-green-teal and plum. So pretty yet subtle.

And unlike with Clapotis, I can actually imagine wearing this little shawl.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

A Cautionary Tale

THIS was on my desk when I arrived at work this morning.

It could have something to do with my taking a half day's vacation last week to hit our LYS's summer sale. And then buying several potential sweaters' worth of yarn (which I neither mentioned nor photographed for posting due to my third pet peeve listed in Monday's post). And then foolishly assuming my Muggle colleagues would understand that half-off yarn MUST BE ACQUIRED when the opportunity presents, even if the cost approximates an iPod Nano.