Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Chicken Soup, Part II

So, before I get to the recipe - another toilet horror story, since that's the theme this week, soup and toilets. I got a call from a friend of mine to meet him at the courthouse for lunch, but to hurry, because he wasn't sure when he was going to testify (ssshhhh - don't tell anyone, public defender's and cops occasionally break bread) - so I quickly went to the bathroom, and dashed out of the office. I walked down Broad Street, cut through City Hall, and waited for the light across the street from the Criminal Justice Center. I turned around, and the crime scene officer from the La Salle case was smiling and walking towards me, and I thought we were going to joke around again about him fishing the condom out of the sink, yadda yadda. He put his arm around me, and whispered in my ear "You have half a roll of toilet paper hanging out of your butt." I turned around, and yes, indeed, I was trailing toilet paper -- down to the back of me knees. This is so not my week!

But, here's the end of the recipe for anyone else who needs a little comfort!


Ok, I've been stewing about this since Monday (yes, I sense a theme going on, broth on the brain) . . . I came home from Poolside Knitters, which is now Coffeeside Knitters as Chaucer's lightening didn't do it for us, so we moved to Tuscany on Rittenhouse Square, and my cleaning lady - you remember, the one who stole my shoes - was just finishing up my house. So, she was coming down the stairs with a bucket of cleaning products, and my toothbrush in her right hand. Eh, she said, I forgot toothbrush. Just put it on the table, I told her, anxious to scurry her out of my house so I could watch t.v. in peace. But, she would not be hurried, she went on to complain about how sick her husband is, in the nursing home, out the nursing home, yadda yadda . . . and finally, just in time for Prison Break (Note to Robin - my phone kept ringing during the show - Blast! - I caught most of it, but you're gonna have to fill in some blanks for me - like why Michael didn't think about that last thing in the first place???), she left, and as she was closing the door behind her, she reminded me that I needed to get a new toilet brush (what happened to the old one, I have no idea, since I certainly don't clean toilets, that's why I pay her even though she stole my shoes. Maybe she stole my brush to clean other people's toilets while wearing my shoes). So, I went about my evening routine - t.v., knitting, putting together the chicken soup extravaganza. Put my jamies on - brushed my teeth. While brushing my teeth, I started to wonder what she was doing with my toothbrush in the first place. And . . . I looked over at the toilet . . . I thought about the missing brush - I dropped the toothbrush - this is G-d's punishment for talking about blow jobs in front of a jury - I now truly have potty mouth! Please say it isn't so! But what else was she doing walking around with my toothbrush????

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Matzo Ball Soup Part I

My friend Beth calls patterns recipes, and while my mom didn't exactly pass down the family knitting technique, this weekend, she did try to preserve the family chicken soup recipe. Anyway, clearly, I have too much time on my hands, but my Hanukkah plan this year (note to Rosies - I'm not doing any holiday knitting - all for selfish little me!) is to give everyone I know, and want to pass on a little Jewish Penicilin to, a copy of mom's medicine. So, here is Part I - Preparing the Chicken and Getting the Soup on the Stove.

Tomorrow: Making the Matzo Balls!

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Free John Travolta!

Mr. McGuire: I just want to say one word to you - just one word.
Ben: Yes sir.
Mr. McGuire: Are you listening?
Ben: Yes I am.
Mr. McGuire: 'Plastics.'
Ben: Exactly how do you mean?
Mr. McGuire: There's a great future in plastics. Think about it. Will you think about it?
Ben: Yes I will.
Mr. McGuire: Shh! Enough said. That's a deal.

Clearly, Warminster, PA took this advice, and ran with it. Not only did they run with it, they scored with it, soared with it, taken plastics to completely new heights. Yes, folks, I have spent four days, four whole days in the suburbs, the land of strips malls (and yes, there's even a knitting store in a strip mall, but you can't touch anything because everything is covered in plastic) plastic covered living room furniture and you guessed it, luxury Christmas decorations - that are now, plastic! By day, your neighbor's lawn looks like an innocent place, a pile of leaves here, a pile of leaves there because this year's suburban toy of choice is apparently the leaf blower which everyone powers up at 8:00 a.m. on Sunday morning, but when the sun goes down, you suddenly hear a whooshing sound, air. Are we drowning? Is there a flood? Do I hear the sound of an inflatable raft? No, of course not! It's Santa. Santa growing to 8 ft., 12 ft., 22 ft heights - leaping from the ground, lawn by lawn, until there are plastic snowglobes, and snowmen, and snowwomen, and Santa's looming down the street, scarier than any Macy's Day M&M balloon:
Has anyone seen this gigantuan monstrosity? The next thing you know, I'm going to see John Travolta rolling down the street in a blowup plastic snow globe!
And, if that's not bad enough . . . before I get to the tragedy of my mom's knitting bag, let me remind everyone what her birthday present looked like: Does everyone remember this photo?

This stylish bag, this beautiful yarn? Can you imagine my heart stoppage when I saw this: And, I opened it to find this! And, when I asked what had happened to beautiful Anne and Kid Silk, my mom said that she had to get this second scarf done. Second scarf???? I choked. There are two of these out there? Oh yes, I'm made one for Laurie, and now I'm making one for Danielle. Mother/daughter puke scarves??? Say it isn't so! And, when my niece saw it this weekend, and she couldn't her 2 1/2 year old hands off of the plastic yarn, I knew I had better get knitting. She needs saving, and needs it now! As much as I hate to knit kid things, it must be done, for the sake of her future.

And mom, well, she did finish Lion Brand seed stitch coat. You'll recall mine, done in Noro:
And here is hers, which although it weighs 5,000 lbs, and I did have to sew the whole thing up, after she somehow sewed the arm up the length of the back, is actually pretty nice, and shows what promise mom truly has
So, what was a girl to do, surrounded by synthetics? Finish Silk Garden Reincarnate of course. Warminster is also the land of Blockbuster and late night t.v., so after sitting around the t.v. watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the evening news, etc., whipping up those last five blocks was a snap, then . . . picking up the 700+ stitches for the garter border in a pretty jewel toned pink a la Grace. That was fun. But, what was even more fun was sewing in the 110+ ends that I hadn't bothered to weave in while I was knitting: And, sometime around 2:00 a.m. this morning, the last little end was tucked away, and I was able to put my feet up: And here is finished Silk Garden Reincarnate, definitely definitely a higher caste than that silly suit:

And, coming later in the week, making Chicken Soup in the 'burbs with Barbara (which of course, I brought home in little plastic containers!)

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

But I Love Tuesday!

I have heat! I have DSL! And, you know, the Koigu sweater looks possibly reparable. Possibly. Here is a survey of the damage. Warning - these photos are not for the faint of heart. Personally, I'd rather watch open heart surgery on public television than view the following carnage:
I think maybe I can seam the sleeve smaller, and fix the hole in the front, and wear it in the back. That's where my head is, maybe it's in a weird place, I'm not sure. But, at least, unlike the last 2 weeks in my heatless house, it's in a warm place.

Which can only get warmer and fuzzier with the completion of the Silk Garden Reincarnate. I AM SO CLOSE! Only five blocks to go - I am here! ONLY FIVE BLOCKS TO GO! And it looks like this: See, just because I haven't been blogging, doesn't mean I haven't been knitting!
Now, I think I'll get naked and stand in front of my blazing heating vent and make the night complete!

Sunday, November 20, 2005

I Don't Like Mondays - Tell Me Why . . .

My DSL activation date has been put off until 11/29, my heat is busted, moths ate my Koigu sweater, the Eagles blew it, and tomorrow, I have to go to the prison to see an incontinent man in a wheelchair.

What else can I say?

Monday, November 14, 2005

A Word from a Stick-Limbed Virgin

Has anyone seen this, in our ever so allegedly open minded Philadelphia Weekly? Yarn Die, Knitting is not/will not ever be cool. by Steven Wells Now, I'm not going to defend my hobby - no need - but I do wonder what happened to Steven Wells that he could be so vitriolic about something as harmless as knitting. What did we, the "savage knitzkrieg waged by bigoted "knitting nazis" who presumably want the uncool non-knitting untermensch (and their knitting-traitor collaborators) wiped off the face of the earth," do to poor Steven Wells?

Well, clearly Steven Wells was probably the kind of kid who was picked last at kickball, and claimed that it was a sport for Hitler youth. And, he was probably the kid would couldn't get a date for the prom, so proclaimed the prom a thinly disguised recruitment meeting for the Nazi fascist cheerleaders. And, he was probably the kid who didn't get into Harvard, and declared the admissions office was run by uber-suit, pseudo intellectuals who didn't understand his "normal, sane" decent, i.e. nothing special, qualifications.

And, I think that Mr. Wells called for the lynching of my Ann Taylor clad self - "The crazed math-rock and post-pronk noodlings of stick-limbed virgins carrying so many metal piercings they'd set off any half-decent land mine at 200 paces. In knitted uniforms. Shoot the bastards now-before it's too late." I hardly see myself as a "stick-limbed virgin" in a knitted uniform. Aren't I the girl who just argued to a jury that performing oral sex requires performance in, I might add, a Chanel knock-off suit?

I smell jealousy Mr. Wells - you are dying to knit. That "irritatingly chitinous click, click, click" you hear, I think is your tell-tale heart, because you protest way too much. But then again, you are too cool for school, and what would someone like me, a girl on the road to gigantism, know anyway?

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

I know, I know, my 15 minutes of fame are now over, and I should get back to the really important things in life - like blogging about knitting. Unfortunately, while I was on trial, I kind of forgot to pay my bills. Luckily, as the water guy drove up to my front door to shut the water off, I had a check in hand. Wasn't so lucky about the DSL line . . . but the Verizon guy who helped me with my reorder had seen me on the news and I got the Verizon celebrity treatment - hmm, can't place that order today, will have to call you back tomorrow.

Penitent Knitters met at Cosi on Sunday, sat outside in this oddly brilliant November weather, and watched the world go by. Cosi is down the street from the Wachovia Bank, and there used to be this extremely overweight, blind lady who sat in front of the bank playing her recorder. One night, a couple of years ago, while I was making a withdrawal from the money machine, she said, "can you take me to the bathroom?" I continued my transaction - she couldn't possibly be talking to me. And then she asked again - some other sucker was standing in line behind me, and she asked him to watch her "luggage." So, I took her to the bathroom at Cosi, since she was banned from Barnes & Noble, for making a mess in the stall. I deposited her at Cosi. No, she said, you have to wait, you have to check the stall to make sure I didn't make a mess, or I'm not allowed to come back. Uch. So, I waited, and waited, and waited . . . finally she came out, followed by a stench. Check the stall, she said. I peaked my head in, fine fine, I said - as I tried to rush her out of the coffee shop. But there was no rushing her. She took my arm again, and began her snail-like saunter to the door. I felt like dragging her by her earlobes out the freakin' door before I ended up stuck, cleaning up the explosion in the bathroom. We made it out, and there was her stuff by the money machine, and the sucker behind me turned out not to be such a sucker, and was gone. Is that young man still there? Yep, I said, he's still there.

So, I left her on her milk crate by the bank, and began to wonder, does a good deed count if you hated doing every second of it? Does good will count if it's done without good will? And, I thought about my clients - I don't like half of them, hardly know most of them. Where's the warm fuzzy feeling from helping my poor fellow man through the legal system?

But, there's always a moment, when I'm on trial for an extended period of time - it happens in a second - when you really care, and you'll be absolutely devastated if you lose. Like when I tried the baby shaker's case. We sat in the cell together, while we waited for the verdict. I had put on character testimony through his aunt and a cousin, and I finally asked him, where are your parents? And, it turned out his dad was in prison, a lifetime sufferer of mental illness, and his mother was also in prison, having made three sales of heroin to an undercover cop, for a total aggregate sentence of 15-30 years. And, at the moment, I thought, it'll really suck if we lose, this kid deserves a second chance.

And, during this trial, it happened again. My client was late for court, and I had to go down to the metal detector lines to hurry him up. He went into a panic, and instead of waiting for the elevator, we took the stairs - he took them four at a time. This boyish bounding, the long strides - the striving - and in that moment, I thought, I won't sleep for 4-8 years if this kid goes to jail. And, when the jury had a verdict, and we were waiting for the Judge to come out, he was singing a little song to himself. I asked him what it was, and he said oh, nothing, and I said, as long as it's not Jailhouse Rock. He smiled. And, he smiled the same smile when the jury said not guilty. The paper reported that he mouthed thank you to the jury, but I know I was looking at him, and that thank you was for me.

And, luckily, things turned out better than having to clean up after a blind woman who missed the potty.

Philly Inky

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