Archive for June, 2008
Nut and Berry Colored Wool…
The Chihuahua and I are learning to knit. Real wool, real needles!
Earlier this year I purchased four skeins of a roughly spun, richly dyed wool, a pair of wooden needles, and the book “Stitch and Bitch” (I kid you not!). Perfect for the Arctic Chihuahua!
What was I thinking you might wonder…I’d been thinking that in work meetings, I’d wasted a lot of indelible black ink on doodling, tattooing my arms as they leaned into the doodles, and upon my shirts. It was time to switch to another media.
It took me a while, as new ventures often do. Sometime about two weeks ago, I finally plucked the knitting lot up and took it to work. You know, like ‘Take Your Daughter To Work Day?” I was looking forward to this new turn of events. Come to find out knitting is more like bringing a chaotic teenager to high tea.
More than one of my esteemed colleagues watched incredulously as I manipulated my new and unlikely appendages for the first time. Fingers, wool, needles, all entangled like so much kudzu on a chain link fence.
“That doesn’t look like any knitting I’ve ever seen!,” my boss told me. My colleagues agreed and also laughed.
Stubbornly, I struggled trying my best to recall the instructions which, naturally, I’d left at home. Undaunted, I kept at it, working up to a decent clip, so I thought. Chortles continued to fill every lull in an otherwise dull meeting. Laugh away! My knitting clicked. Yarn the color of nuts and berries spilled out along my arms, in a spongy carpet. Needles waved like Elm twigs from the ulna and the radius…you remember Edward Scissorhands? Same concept, lighter souls.
That was about two weeks ago. Today, I carried the project into a five day training. Confidently I pulled out my wool, possibly a new dog blanket for Gidget, and resumed the soft clicking of wooden needles. My Inupiaq colleagues however were born with knitting needles in hand (which come to think of it must have been traumatic for their mothers)! Before you know it, whispers began drifting from each corner of the room. Everything seemed to be quite in order, no class clowns here. I looked around again.
“Don’t tell her, she’ll probably cry,” came a tease meant for me to hear.
“OK” I said with a feeble smile and clear voice, feeling dismayed inside all the while. “Teach me!.” Now there is a win-win dare if ever there was one! They’d been laughing at me.
From a corner formerly filled with giggling, a colleague emboldened, approached to take the project into her own capable hands. She made a couple of swift twists, needles, wool and all. Patiently once more for me to see, then she simply returned to her seat.
Tonight, it is raining out. As vehicles pass the open window, I hear a familiar splash of wheels moving along down the road. The sound vanishes. My work for the day is done. In this moment of contemplation just before bedtime, I review the day and all that filled it. It is a miracle indeed. Today, in embarrassment’s earliest moments, with nothing more than a pair of wooden sticks, bare and clumsy fingers, a bit of colorful wool, we stepped forward to dare, to weave and to teach. In some small way, with these seemingly inconsequential twists of fate and wool, the gift of the ewe and the gift of each other, we put one more stitch into the most luscious blanket ever gifted to dog or to dreams…
Here’s to knitters everywhere, alert or sleeping soundly.
Jennifer and Gidget, The Arctic Chihuahua
I get emails on a regular basis from friends and family who have partners, who are in the dating scene, or who attend events with friends. Living “outside” of the Arctic gives a certain convenient proximity to any number of potential mates. Somedays (usually before I’ve had my first cup of coffee) this chatter about proximity gets me to longing for my own someone special. You know the one. The one who loves you when you wake up in the morning, hair all akimbo, teeth unbrushed. The one who loves you even in your srubbiest but most comfortable jammies, loves you even as you fumble to let the dog out. For me today, that special someone is Gidget, The Arctic Chihuahua herself. She doesn’t care what my hair looks like on any particular day, and she certainly doesn’t brush her OWN teeth before coffee. She doesn’t want to date me either.
One of the advantages of online dating, is that you can be far away from the person you are getting to know. In my case, this would be VERY far away. This is an advantage over proximity. Online I can give the very false impression I am at all moments a hot and desirable woman.
Let’s get real! I live in the Arctic where nothing is hot. But I’m ready just in case. I already have on the scrubby and comfortable jammies and haven’t brushed my teeth yet. I’m just waiting for that special someone to happen along with our breakfast.
This morning, I got to thinking, which can be a dangerous thing in and of itself (remember this is before coffee), I conspired to send myself, sans fireworks and certainly sans the dog, into the universe to see what The Chihuahua drags in. Hopefully it won’t be a kibble she’s been hiding all winter.
Let’s try something different…no disappointments! I’ll tell you the worst and over time you decide what you think is the best.
I live very far away from you. I am self-absorbed, initially timid and shy, chatty, anxious and nervous. Intense, serious, somber. Cold, untender, impulsive, reckless, clingy, cloying and saccharin. Slow intellectually and verbally, passive dependent and passive aggressive, depressive.
I do not like Hawaiian slide guitar, country songs in minor keys, screaming heavy metal or “It’s heaven to be dead” religious songs. I do not like disco, aerobics or jazzercise. I do not like to run unless it’s up the stairs for fun or exercise. I am afraid of being hit in the face with a baseball and enjoy watching the game. I do not play tennis, racketball or regular golf. I’ve seen more Stanley Cup Finals on TV than I’ve seen “Sex and the City“ episodes. I like regular pedicures.
I do not like pulp romantic novels or seek out the funny papers. I like “Pulp Fiction,” “My Life as a Dog”,“George and Gracie“(also on radio), “Crusader Rabbit” and the Weather Channel Storm Watch but have never seen “Jaws” or “The Exorcist.” I use work to procrastinate life and I use life to procrastinate work. I am a lousy masseuse. I’d rather have a snake for a pet then ride a horse. I kill houseplants.
Please don’t laugh too often at my DVDs of 1920’s Russian film comedies. I cry every time I read Tillie Olson’s “I Stand Here Ironing.” I am technically obese but choose “a few extra pounds” because everyone else does and I could lose the weight ” anytime I want to.” I have bad skin, jowls and a turkey neck. I have many crows’ feet wrinkles. I squint. I hate to wear my glasses, abuse them dreadfully when I can find them. I have a straight, thin mouth and poor teeth. I highlight books. I am furry all over including my face. I can sleep hours in a bathtub full of water. I am frumpy. I still have a Christmas wreath on my wall because I like it.
I can sleep with the light on. I would rather take a walk at -50F then do the dishes every day, rather fold laundry than pay bills, rather do heavy work in the garden then cook, rather cook than fix my hair up. Maybe I have that last one backwards.
I am allergic to mangos, don’t eat peanut butter. My family is more functional than most. I might be in denial about that. I’ve been told I’m extremely patient though sometimes steam comes out my ears and I can’t speak. I can’t tell a joke. Sarcasm confuses me. I’d rather follow then lead…until I’d rather lead then follow. I snore. I steal blankets and pens.
I don’t listen. I get jealous easily until I remember I am wonderful but not yet queen of the universe.
My speech is slow and tangles up. My 3# Chihuahua does not “speak” at all, she begs for human food and sits on command… when she wants to. She’s ill mannered and expected to live for a very long time.
I’m stubborn, my mother calls it persevering. My mother loves me, bless her heart. I need clothes hampers within easy tossing distance of where ever I am when I take a shower. I am too generous and stingy. I drive too slowly forwards and too fastly backwards. Same with reciting the alphabet. I cannot add more than four digits in my head.
I don’t always do what I say I will and don’t talk about my plans. I’ve been known to fart on occasion. I get sick about once a year and my nose runs…a lot…or worse.
I was born, small, naked with very red, dry skin.
Any questions? Your turn…