Wednesday, November 29, 2006

But I can walk much faster than this

I don't think I'll have the luxury of taking a week off before Christmas like I did last year. But today was a marvellous day, a day spent much like that week was. Basically, watching/listening to DVDs all day while knitting. This time the TV-on-DVD accompanying the creative frenzy is... wait for it... Beverly Hills 90210. Awesome. So addictive. There is a lot of stuff I want to make before Christmas and time is inevitably going to move so fast.

Here's an old-school brown paper parcel I received the other day. Oh yes, it contained wool. I had a funny visit to Wondoflex in Melbourne, where before I was even half way around the huge shop I stumbled into some kind of rack protruding on the floor and cut my toe. It was no big deal, I returned after going outside to apply bandaids, and bought a couple of miscellaneous balls of wool. But it really coloured my memory of that store. When I recently decided I needed some more of that wool, preferably in the same dyelot, and I found that they had an online store, it made sense to order from them.

Look at that cute crumpled package! How can I hold onto that funny/bad feeling? Toe's all better now! Better yet, they enclosed $1.20 in change, as the postage was only $3.80 and the site had automatically charged me $5 for postage. They could easily have kept that as a handling charge (though I guess I might then have expected a postpack of some sort). There was something very touching about the two coins stickytaped to the receipt.

Thursday, November 23, 2006


I was tidying up a bit tonight and rediscovered a treasure from my sort of recent Melbourne trip: the last gap in my run of Wonder Woman (current series) comics.

It used to be that whenever we left town, K and I would be armed with our comic lists, pages of numbers gradually crossed out, with the gaps showing which issues were missing in our collections. We've both fallen out of that habit: I still buy comics but haven't searched for back issues in a long time. However, certain numbers were burned in my brain from years of searching: Wonder Woman 88, 90, 91, 92. I knew I had secured 90-92 at least in trade paperback format, but 88 had always been elusive.

We visited 3 or 4 comics shops while we were in Melbourne. Out of habit, I always have to look in the 'W' section of any back-issue bin. And finally it paid off!

I pulled out the long-awaited 88. The cover is by the usually wonderful Brian Bolland, but what's this? Surely this has to be THE ugliest Superman ever to grace the cover of a comic?

Weren't mullets out of date by 1994?

Sadly, some of the interior panels have Diana not looking much better. It's really not a great issue (though I'll have to go back and read it again in context), but it will always be a trophy to me, since it took so long to find.

Sunday, November 19, 2006


The other day a colleague was telling us about a frustrating drive he'd had with his L-plater teenager. Not necessarily stopping at intersections, a little bit of roundabout impairment maybe, nothing too unusal or surprising. (Though terrifying? Yes.) But what was bothering him most was her habit of saying 'I know' straightaway whenever he tells her anything.

This was all too familiar to me.

I still feel a twinge of the old shame whenever I use that phrase....and I still use it very sparingly.

In my early teens I developed that obnoxious habit of always saying 'I know' in that irritated tone, even when I totally didn't. Mum could only put up with so much of this, and told me frankly that it was obnoxious and that I had to stop it. Forced to think about it, I quickly realised it was pretty stupid, felt embarassed, and cleaned up my act.

My mate at work was pondering this teenage habit as a serious concern, perhaps even a symptom of the education system 'these days'. He was worried that his daughter really felt she knew enough and had no desire to learn more.

I delved into my shameful teenage past to give him my interpretation. I reckon it simply means 'I'm irritated and a bit embarassed that you have to tell me that. I hate the fact that something I did or said indicated that I didn't know it already'. It doesn't mean she's not actually taking in the offered bit of wisdom.

Gee I hope I was right and that next time she stops at the intersection.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Ain't nothing in the world like a green skinned girl

Yesterday I caught the bus home with K. This is an occasional pleasure, as usually we travel at different times and he often rides his bike anyway. I enjoyed the time together....and I was also suprised at my level of annoyance at having my bus rituals disturbed.

Firstly, I never join the queue that forms when the bus pulls up at the interchange.

I accept that it wouldn't work if everyone milled about, waiting for everyone else to get on the bus. Like that would ever happen. Everyone is keen to get on, and I really think I just do this to be contrary. I usually sit and read my book with one eye on the queue, and only stand up when there are only a couple of people left. At the times I go home, the bus is (almost) never packed so I can generally still get a seat. Oh, I did go through a phase of standing with my book right near where the bus will pull up, so I can get on first then sit down and bury myself in my book. That works too, and is more relaxing. It's just the unnecessary standing in the queue that bothers me.

I'm actually generally very patient with queues, especially if other people in the line are whinging a lot and I am feeling very contrary. Then I am the picture of calm. However, I especially dislike lining up for movies, particularly when everyone in the line is there for one stupid blockbuster (and me too). Then I feel like an idiotic sheep. Exceptions were made for cool blockbusters like the Lord of the Rings movies each Boxing Day when they opened.

Anyway, K made me join the bus queue and I got annoyed. Even while realising how obnoxious I was being. And I quickly surmised that even if the bus isn't completely full, it's not sensible to wait 'til last if you want to get two seats together.

At the other end, I like to get up as soon as I ring the bell so I can be first off the bus. This saves having to overtake people going in my direction from the bus stop, when I want to get home fast. Even worse is the awkwardness when your pace is much the same as someone else and you end up side-by-side or stalking them closely trying to overtake. Of course, it turns out that none of this is of the slightest importance when I am with someone else.

There you go. More, I'm sure, than you could ever have wanted to know about my anti-social bus habits.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Putting the 'mental' in sentimental

You've seen this before, right?
Actually, not quite. This time around I added a "Tree of Life" cabled motif to the back, just to try something new.

I actually agonised about this for a while. Because the first little orange vest was the first garment I made for my nephew, I wondered - probably irrationally - if making another orange one from the same pattern and then (maybe) improving on it, would take away from the specialness of that gift. Edited to clarify: this one is for a different baby, due soon, not for my nephew. Sheesh. And to think that I sometimes accuse a friend of looking for things to worry about. I almost discussed it with my sister, then realised there was no way she would be able to say anything other than 'go for it, and by the way you are a nut-case', so I went for it. I consoled myself with the knowledge that I have many more (and more innovative, I hope) knits planned for the nephew and any little sisters or brothers he is eventually blessed with.

The tree chart came from a free Lion Brand pattern, the "Tree of Life Sweater" (no direct link because you have to register to access free patterns).