Beaten on all fronts

Has it occurred to anybody but me that I could keep showing you the same picture of this tank and you would never know?
I need a total of 10.5 inches and I’m in the black hole. I knit and knit, and it’s 7 inches. So I knit for a while and I measure and it’s 7 inches. So then I count rows, it’s about 7 rows to an inch, so I knit 7 rows, then measure.
7 inches. That firmed up my theory, you don’t get that kind of consistency by accident. It’s not a freak of nature or an aberration of some kind. It’s a plot.
No way does a tank have fortitude like that, and the incidence of the number seven is very suspicious. It’s getting some kind of supernatural help. All the signs are there.
I decided to try stepping out on the tank, jealousy can be a powerful motivator. I went and got this…
and waved it around near the tank. Yeah that’s right. See that? It’s a cute little cotton and it’s got cables chick, so you might want to get your crap together or it’s the high road for you. There are other projects, and they are trying way harder than you. Suck it up and get yourself over the 7 inch line tanky-poo, cause Momma’s got a short attention span.
I had a bunch of phone stuff to do yesterday, so while I made my calls I carded.
Then I sort of spun it all.
The suspense is killing me. I’m anxious to get three bobbins full so that I can ply a bunch and see what kind of yardage I’m getting. If I did that, I could do some sort of mathematical trick and figure out how much of the fleece it’s going to take. Yesterday I had this idea that if it turns out that there’s tons, maybe I’d give Ken enough handspun for a sweater, if he wants it.
Total G4 hours: 12
So far I think you would have to say that school vacation is not going very well.
The two littler girls wanted pets. I had this idea that I would hold that out…you know, as incentive for allowing me to have a couple of hours at the computer each day to try and earn a living to buy them food and pets. I figured that I would say things like “You girls are being so quiet…you are getting close to that hamster” or ” My goodness, now this is the kind of behaviour that gets a little girl a new fish”. It was going to be maternal bribery at it’s best. (If any of you are thinking that bribery isn’t a valid parenting tool, I ask you this. Would you go to work if they didn’t bribe you with money?)
The pet thing was going to work for me two ways, firstly, the aforementioned bribery system of good behaviour, and secondly, because once the pets were obtained (I was aiming for halfway through the summer) they would take hours of concern and care, further distracting the ladies from their mission to obstruct me and my plan to have gainful employment, and my sanity intact this summer.
By 5:30 yesterday Joe and I were in a pet shop with dazed and deflated looks on our faces buying a dwarf hamster and a fish and really having no idea how it all happened.
Score: The Ladies – 1, management – 0
Meet “Sharkbait Oo-ha-ha” and well,
Megan has a thing for naming hamsters. She spends a lot of time thinking up exotic and creative names, names that are significant, names that are spiritually meaningful and create a real place in the world for the hamster. Megan feels a keen sense of responsibility for hamster naming. Her first hamster was named
“Pashmina-Oxnard”. The second one “Kierie” this one? This one is named….wait for it….
(ever get the feeling you have no idea what’s going on?)

24 thoughts on “Beaten on all fronts

  1. My first hamster was Active Marty. My brother named his Concord New Hamster. He is still That Way but he was the first one who figured out why I named my black cat Othello.

  2. I have a 12 year old, and he has fish. They used to have snails for the tank. The fish don’t have names, but the snails were “Escargot” “Beep Beep” (cause that’s what makes ‘es Car Go) and …. Mike.
    must be the name.

  3. Bribery worked for me. I was always honest about it, and used it as a last resort. One day after they were grown my husband and I were in MacDonalds (I have no idea why we did this when we had no children with us) The couple next to us had a very active little 3 year. He was not a bad kid, just very very busy. Finally his Mom said, “if you’ll sit still and finish your burger I’ll give you a bribe and buy you an ice cream” We burst out laughing, and the poor woman looked very embarrassed. I told her we were laughing because it was relief to hear someone else besides us using that phrase. Then a bunch of other people piped up and said they’d all used it too. I feel that ligitamizes bribery as a parenting tool when all else fails. And yes, you’re right, wages are definitely a bribe.
    Barb B.

  4. I love it! My youngest is the same way, spends tons of time coming up with “perfect” names. Her lambs this year all got elvish names (totally unpronounceable, but easily shortened to Mork, Ellen and Sara). Her market lamb, however, is Ethel!

  5. Best name I ever heard for a dog was “Maybe” because the parents kept answering “maybe” everytime the kids asked if they could get one.

  6. Time for a Harlot Pep Talk:
    You CAN NOT be beaten by a mere tank. You are much big than it, and smarter. You can rip. You are Queen.
    Um, as for the kids…well…I’ve got nothing for you. Sorry.
    I’m already waiting for the first the-hamster-got-loose blog entry.

  7. I’ve been bribing my older kid for years – and we’re just getting into it with the 2yr old. Granted, we look at it as incentives, or carrots (you know, like hanging a carrot in front of a horse to get him to move)
    Long standby carrot – McD Happy meals – no toy until after eating – has worked for years. (amazing what kids will do for flashy pieces of plastic 🙂 ).
    My current carrot practically guarantees that we will never have a hamster in our house. My eldest sincerly wants a hampster. I told her if she kept her room clean all summer, it would show responsiblity and we’d consider it (until now, the answer has been a resounding NO). Even a hamster isn’t enough of a bribe to clean her room… 🙂

  8. THANK YOU! I so needed a laugh…crappy day at work, and I have just finished wiping tears from my eyes from laughing at your post! You’re my hero Harlot!!
    Lisa in Oregon

  9. My hamster got loose when I was a kid. We found it when it ran across my brother’s face in the middle of the night…
    …But Stephanie, meantime, I’m surprised–wouldn’t you want the longhaired variety so you could take Mike for a spin?

  10. Am I the only one to notice a strong similarity between Mike and what the squirrel was trying to steal the other day?

  11. Just noticed the cool-looking plant behind the white cotton thingy – what is that? I like it.

  12. My friend’s four year old named his new rabbit “Goose”. Yeah, I don’t get it either, but he was hell-bent on the name.
    La and I have a theory that when you keep knitting and nothing appears to be happening, it’s the fault of The Masked Unraveler. He is also, we suspect, responsible for missing balls of yarn when you know damned well you bought enough and yet there’s not enough to finish. We think he probably looks like a frog in a Zorro costume.

  13. Why do patterns always give length in inches anyway, instead of in rows? Knitting stretches!
    The hamster’s cute. Though he does resemble a fleece rat. 🙂

  14. How about this?:
    Kool-Aid Playdough
    2.5-3 cups flour
    0.5 cup salt
    3 tablespoons cooking oil
    2 packages unsweetened Kool-Aid
    2 cups boiling water
    Mix the dry ingredients together, allowing the children to measure and add the amounts. Add the oil and water, mixing well. You must wait a few minutes after adding the boiling water before kneading the dough (let it cool off a bit!) Knead well and store in a tightly sealed container when finished.
    You may have to fudge the amounts a little bit. This should last for quite a while, and if it’s a bit oily to start out it will dry out and be a little less so over time. I know a woman who was director of a preschool for a long time, and she loves this stuff. I’m pretty sure you can substiture food coloring for the Kool-aid.
    I had guinea pigs. One was named Tribble, because she looked like a tribble (Star Trek). The other was, very originally, “Guinea.” Sigh.

  15. Whats in a name. I named my first cat Isabell but everybody else called him Willie ( I was 5)I also named a MARE George.
    I lived on a farm and had the great pleaseur of naming a great number of animals with all sorts of creative outcomes. ( Fish called Darwin, a whole tank of them). Now that I have grown up I live with an Angora Rabbit. I was determined to come up with the perfect name for him but he is called Rabbit to this day.
    Oh well my sympathies on the carding thing. I am carding 8oz of kool-aide dyed angora (its all clumpy!) together with 8oz of blue faced Leiceter. I spent hours this morning and I got about 1oz done. This drum carder thing looks more and more apealing…

  16. I have had the EXACT same thing happen several times that happened with your tank. I knit and knit and the damned fabric is the SAME LENGTH. And not just once, but several times. Happened with a sweater for my husband, it just never got any longer. I think Gremlins were frogging it at night…

  17. I think you are just so funny. I laugh everyday reading your stuff. keep it up!

  18. I hate to pull open the little hole in the wall of the conspiracy theory of the universe, but your tank could be unknitting itself while you’re not looking, wandering off to the secret Yarn Reincarnation Garden, and turning into the fleece that keeps your Rubbermaid tub full, no matter how much you take out and card. The cycle can only be stopped by binding off. I hope you make it that far. (The squirrel is just trying to help you empty the Rubbermaid faster.)

  19. You should consider yourself lucky that you only have a fish, a hamster (keep Mike away from that squirrel!), and 3 girls. I’ve got 6 of my 7 home for the summer. Of my 2 college girls, Megan brought home her boyfriend’s 11 month old yellow Lab and Michelle brought home her friend Chelsea who brought an un-named fish (that lived in a water bottle til I took pity on him and gave him a vase). We already have Michelle’s 4 yo mutt Billie (like Holiday, a she), a 12 yo cat named Tiko, and 11 rabbits (Sparky, Shadrick, Carrot- she’s orange, Snowflake- white, Wienie- because he has one, Dora- named by my 3 yo, and 5 who look too much alike to have names). Mary- my 12 yo- used some of her baby-sitting money to buy 3 fish at Wal-Mart last week. Of the 2 who survived the trip home, Louise should probably be called Louis because William appears to be pregnant! For the last hour I have been enjoying the silence while I swept up stray doghair tumbleweeds, knitted in peace, and read blogs without hearing “is it my turn on the computer yet?”. Ahhh, the joys of summer! Is it fall yet?

  20. Oh, did I ever laugh at the “Momma’s got a short attention span”! I’ve been sick in bed for the past two days, looking at all my knitting patterns and books, dreaming up new projects that would more more fun than MY baby blanket that never grows, and the interupted-many-times tank I am working on.Until recently, we had a turtle named Mikey. Make sure everyone calls Mike by name frequently, so he will know it, and come out after being called for half an hour if he escapes.

  21. You aren’t by any chance trying a clever trick to keep off a hundred suitors (what with that NICE RACK and all)? In Homer’s Odyssey, the best story EVER, Penelope promised the hundred dudes who were hitting on her that she would choose one of them just as soon as she finished weaving the piece of cloth she was working on. She wove every day but then stayed up every night to unravel it in secret.
    For three years, those 100 dudes were frustrated. Then Penelope’s husband and ONE TRUE LOVE finally got home and killed them all.
    Just thought maybe…

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