Monday, October 10, 2005

I Am Woman, See Me Knit

So, last Saturday I once again found myself in Atlantic City. But Stitches was the week before, the knitting was over, you say, why oh why would you go back to Joisey? For the big hair, cheesy clothes? The tacky casino decors (oh, now just calm down if you designed your living room around the Taj), the bloated buffets? The Tony Danza stage show? Oh no, we went, as it turned out, for the - karaoke! It was a long road to Karaoke . . .

My former roommate, Carla, works for IBM, and leads a life more glamorous than a Cosmo Magazine. Because she's a consultant she bounces from project to project - country to country - bar to bar (the only way you know that Carla has switched countries is because in her photos the labels on the beer bottles change) - and, well, you know -- all that goes along with it. She spent a couple of years tucked away in Switzerland working for Nestle, not learning French, eating fondue, and making international friends, like Nam. Nam, a Korean Swede, was working at Nestle at the same time, and she and Carla bonded over beer on weekdays (most Swiss stay home during the week - in fact, there's a noise curfew - no laundry past 10:00 p.m., or you get a fine), and kept in touch. When Nam visited Carla a few years back, we ate our way through Philadelphia - we started at the Reading Terminal with pretzels and dumplings from the Amish, and it was just downhill from there - cheesesteaks, Copa Margarita's, everything on the menu at Dmitri's, the mussels at Devon, ok, I'm getting sick reminiscing. To return the favor, when I visited Switzerland this past summer for the Montreaux Jazz Festival, Nam returned the favor. Here we are eating fondue on top of a mountain in Gruyere:
Let me tell ya, it's a long way from Switzerland to Joisey -
Yep, we've got our Jersey gear goin' on! Nam, welcome to Jersey! Can I tell you I still have a rub mark on my breast bone from the straps of the halter. It takes a mighty tight knot to hold me up --by the end of the night (which was, at oh, 5:00 a.m.), I was ready to drop the halter, and let the girls hang out -- it was Jersey afterall, but after all I had witnessed, I refrained. Dignity, always dignity.

We started out at Red Corner at the Trop - here are Carla's cousins in the vodka locker:

For$1000 you too can also be a Joisey supasta! For $1000, you get to store your very own vodka bottle in Red Corner's freezer (not that you don't have one upstairs in your room). Oh, but of course, it's not really your very own, you have to buy the vodka at Red Corner - starting at $300 a bottle. Hmmm . . . it was at this point I started thinking about knitting . . . how much yarn could I buy for $1300?

We suffered through an extremely expensive dinner listening to Carla's ugly boyfriend (who she refers to as Yabba since he looks like Fred Flintstone) of the month whine, moan and complain. About what? Everything. Uch.

After dinner, we then went upstairs to the karaoke bar, because Carla's cousin, the one in the middle of the picture with the magenta hair, felt like channeling Barbra Streisand. The horror! At least 3 batchlorette parties, the place was packed packed packed - with all these Jersians, wearing mullets or the Bon Jovi, clamoring for the mic.

Now, my friend Pete poo poo's my distaste of karaoke - here Pete, you are now a BLOGSTAR!:
(Pete and I have brunch every Saturday, and he's been highly insulted that he hasn't made the blog yet - so here's to you Pete!) Pete says that maybe I might be "too cool for school," when it comes to Karaoke, and Pete's personal favorite, piano bars. No, no, no. I am not too cool for school, I am a NERD. I just can't bear watching people humiliate themselves in such a public manner - no one, no one, no one was any good! And the songs are just awful -- Killing Me Softly, You're the One that I Want, and the worst, the worst, the moment I really just had to mentally remove myself from the whole sordid scene - when this middle aged woman, who was clearly in the midst of a crisis, a breakdown, took the stage, and started belting out "I Am Woman." Top of her lungs, her arms outstretched like Rocky on the Art Museum stairs, so off key that for the first time in my life I thought, Where is Helen Reddy when you need her! Why do we want to watch a public nervous breakdown! It's the equivalent of Gladiator - watching people commit public suicide as a spectator sport.

So, I started thinking about my knitting - see NERD, not TOO COOL FOR SCHOOL. What do I have on needles, hmmm . . . I have the new slip stitch cardigan:

The Rowan shrug (which I just can't get to photograph well in my house):

And a closeup:

The Cashsoft Cardigan from Rowan Classic:

Of course, the sad sad sad Silk Garden:

And, there's the one lonely sock who needs a mate:
So, that's it (ok, forget you saw that baby stuff earlier in the year - that doesn't count), and I have endless yarn in the closet that is intended for something or other. And, well, at that moment in time, I hadn't made any New Year's Resolutions, but just as I knew something had to be done about leaving the karaoke bar, I knew that I had to take control of my projects, spinning out of control!

So, like I said, when I ate the chopped liver, and couldn't breath, I started formulating my just say no resolutions - of course, Just Say No to Karaoke (sorry Pete, that includes piano bars), and Just Say No to Casting On. And, I know, I'm already making plans to break that, as new projects crop up in my head all the time. But, here is my resolution that I really will try to keep - I will not cast on anything new until I have finished the shrug and the slip stitch cardigan. Then, I will rip the Silk Garden, and start to rebuild. And, that's the plan. I think it's a good compromise.

And, how did the Jersey evening end - not as well as that Swiss evening on top of the mountain. Jersey ended at the Chelsea Pub - an all night bar. Who ever thought an all night bar was a good idea! Sometimes, you need an excuse to take the drunk home -- sometimes, closing time is the only answer. Uch. So, I suffered through a drunk married guy (did he say he was married, no - he just referred to his home as a "cage") trying oh so hard to pick me up, until I bolted in a cab back to Carla's house in Brigintine. The fact that Nam and Carla's cousin brought the married drunk and his friend back to the house 20 minutes later, so did not make me happy.

And, the night in Switzerland? Ended up on a boat, watching the sun come up over Lake Lausanne:

And, that night, my friends, is a story for a different day.

No comments: