Monday, December 28, 2009

Most disturbing conversation I've had today (9 a.m.)

Setting:  Basement/Laundry/Play Dungeon.  I am shuttling things from washer to dryer.  Small Hooligan is taking aim at bad guys that I cannot see and shooting them dead (see previous post re:  weapons).
Me:  Small Hooligan, Could you go get the sheets off your bed and Bring them to me?
SH:  No,  I have to kill some more people.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Weapons make the best gifts

The Hooligan Brothers received some lovely books, also legos, several new games, very soft pajamas, striped socks.
I hate to say this, but whatever.

Much candy was found in the stockings.   Ok, candy is cool.  Also Legos are  worth mentioning, BUT:  Gump (my father) had been busy in his workshop.  He presented them with 3 foot long wooden broadswords.  Mamie (BAD Grandma!!!) brought nerf guns!  YAY!  Santa got carried away and left bows and arrows that shoot mini marshmallows (they seemed somehow wholesome and outdoorsy when I bought them at REI).

Poor old Santa had had a long night of it, with way too many cookies and glasses of scotch left by grateful parents.  He was confused and left the large sized mallows, which the larger Hooligan ripped into right away (if you can't shoot them, eat them). Between the bedhead and the buck teeth,  he resembled nothing so much as a large, sticky chipmunk.

They spent the day ricocheting among legos construction, hand to hand combat with the swords (which are works of art),  and firing nerf darts at anything that moved (squirrels!  the dog!  the chickens!  mom!). At least the bows and arrows will be out of commission until tomorrow when we can buy some little marshmallows.  In between rounds they scarfed candy.  Around noon we dragged them out to hike to the top of Spencer Butte.  We decreed that city parks are weapon free zones and it would be a bummer to have a brand new armament get confiscated by a park ranger.

The smaller Hooligan wants to know why we don't celebrate 12 days of Christmas, like in the song.

Friday, December 25, 2009


Mamie's unofficial title is bad grandma.  I came up with this myself after she (VERY GRACIOUSLY, THANK YOU, I KISS YOUR PROVERBIAL FEET!!!) took care of the hooligan brothers for a weekend.  AND she said they were very polite and well behaved.  As they described what they'd been up to all weekend, I realized that they got A LOT of what is referred to as "screen time."  I mentioned this to Mamie.
She lifted one shoulder in an insouciant manner. "That's what grandmothers are for."
"Did you let them have sugar cereal?"  I asked, "Or did you just cut to the chase and give them ice cream for breakfast? When they want a tattoo, are you going to loan them the money?  Just tell me now.  And you should start a blog and call it BAD GRANDMA."
We like this idea. The header will have a picture of her with my boys plus Senor Cupcake (my 1 yr. old nephew) heading into the nastiest tattoo parlor in town.

Projects (I can't call them crafts)

I start a lot of projects. I finish maybe half?  Anyway, I bought this groovy '70s ceramics instructor style lamp for $3.50 at a garage sale last summer: (a picture should be here but the computer is making me cuss because I don't know how to make it into fewer jpegs whatever the f jpegs are.  f,s,ffff.   Just visualize it. I need help.)

I found this frame for a shade at goodwill. The fabric or paper or whatever had once covered the shade was gone, but I liked the shape, and it was $0.49.  I bought it and it sat in the basement, next to the lamp.

I re-arranged some furniture upstairs--and found I needed a lamp-- how lucky I happened to have one (or three) in the basement.  But what to do with the shade?  It seemed a little naked.

I was mulling this over on one of my frequent trips to True Value.  How I love True Value.  I could/should meet our family's needs entirely from the farmers' market, true value, and goodwill.  So--mulling the lampshade and buying some nails, duct tape, canning jars, and chicken wire-hmmmm chicken wire-- no, too big.

But I thought: I could knit a cover for the frame-- out of twine?  Really push that groovy 70's vibe with a macrame-ish look?  I threw three balls of twine in my basket--BUT on my way to the cashier I passed the copper wire....YES!  I bought four packs of 24 gauge. (I bought the twine, too.  You can't have too much twine.)

I knitted a copper wire cone on size 17 round needles.  I cast on 60 stitches and decreased semi-randomly until it was approximately the right circumference and height. I bound it off, stretched it around the frame, and used more wire around the top and bottom to secure it.   I think it turned out really well, although I wish I'd used smaller needles, and wire is hard on the hands.  It's more glamorous than twine, which I think is progress--I want to refer to 70's decor, but not to the point of green shag carpet, big ferns on macrame plant hangers, and growing my own bean sprouts.  Wait, I grew up in that house.  Anyway, what I'm trying to say is, it was a good place to grow up.  I like to think about it, but I don't want to live there.

Also I finished something-- well, not quite.  I want need a softer light bulb and a slightly shorter harp. And the finial rolled away, so I need to find it or buy another.  But I finished it. And maybe I've invented the knitted lampshade.  I think you could use smaller needles and make amazing shades for pendant lights.  But you'll have to do it.  I'm moving on.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Lots of Christmas cards have come. Many cute pictures of lovely children/pets/vacations. NOT ONE HOLIDAY LETTER. I'm waiting. I wrote one, which I'm hoping will win for funniest. Our friend Kim usually beats me. I'm planning to publish both here and let my vast readership decide. Must learn to put pictures on this. it will happen.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The last of 10 fourth grade boys just left my house, clutching a goody bag.  My son is in his room, creating a lego warhead, or whatever it is that pre-adolescent boys do in their rooms.  I have vacuumed  up the popcorn and reminded my (almost) 7 year old that his birthday is just 3 weeks away.  Chances are he will receive the components to build his own wmd's.  It is not fair now, but it will be fair soon.  Plus he got to eat a lot of candy.  He is minimally mollified.  The man who lives in my house (Isn't that better than husband?  "Husband" just sounds so mundane, although "wife" is worse.) has fixed me an adult beverage.  I do believe I earned it.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Break through: I don't really want a boss. I just want to collaborate. I told this to Erika. Her response: "And? This is news? On what exactly might you be collaborating?."

Note to self: I don't have a boss. I'm unemployed, or in my 7th year of maternity leave, or a housefrau--depending on how I spin it.

When I fill out the 'parent's job' line on forms, I write "freelance". It's vague, but cool.