December 17, 2004
Yesterday did not go as planned. You know that "missing time" thing? It's supposed to be one of the signs of Alien Abduction. (Can I just tell you how much that list freaks me out? I find it sort of alarming how many of the "signs" of Alien Abduction are also "signs" of fairly serious mental illness. Except vegetarianism. Who knew?) So yesterday, not only was I a vegetarian, but I experienced profound episodes of missing time. Pretty much the whole day. I have vague memories of being abducted and taken to a place full of small beings with high voices and being left with a ringing in my ears. The room was full of other victims and there was screaming and running. There was no "probing" of any kind though...so I think it might have been Sam's school concert.
(Motherly note: Sam is in the front because she is singing a duet. She was very, very good, and there is no doubt in my mind that she was the best one there.)
I am six hours behind on the schedule. (There will be no pictures of this failure because of my shame. Also, my batteries crapped out). This is the problem with having so much emotionally invested in the schedule. If the schedule is the end all, be all, and all I must do to make Christmas work is sink deeply into the schedule and let it surround me with it's regimented goodness and the miracle of effective time management...then when the schedule goes to Hades in a handbasket I HAVE NOTHING. Nothing I tell you, nothing. Without the schedule I am in an abyss. Hopeless, dark, swirling terror. It's bad. I must return to the schedule. I must not abandon the only link to hope and sanity left to me. In order to make up for lost time I have taken the following steps.
1. I have had a conversation with my completely charming and endearing mate who agreed completely (even though I am out of my mind and he isn't really all that normal either) that since he cannot knit chooses not to knit Christmas presents that there is nothing stopping him from doing everything else. Last night he made apricot bread for the teachers. There was some minor upsets, (like when I came into the kitchen at some point in the process and said something really supportive like "Holy crap Joe! What the hell are you doing?" and he said "Give me a break Steph, I've never baked anything in my life". Minor issues). This commitment from my good natured spouse means the world to me. He's shopping and making meringues this evening. He knows how to do neither. It is important to note, in case you were thinking about doing this yourself, that delegating chores to the untrained only works if you are the sort of person who can absolutely let go of the fact that the Apricot bread (while it tastes really good) sort of looks innovative and unique this year.
2. The children are going away for the weekend and I am entering Christmas boot camp. I don't expect it to be pretty.
3. I have rented the entire first season of CSI on dvd.
4. I have purchased rum and egg nog.
5. I have acknowledged that sleep is over-rated and that warping the time-space continuum is inexplicably easier at 3am. I do not know why this is true, but it is.
6. I have somehow managed to trick myself into believing that finding six extra hours for knitting over the course of two days is not only possible, but reasonable, necessary and normal. I have managed to convince myself of this even though my original schedule called for 8.5 hours of knitting on these two days.
7. I am working on convincing myself that not only is knitting approximately 11.5 hours a day without running into the street screaming and looking for reindeer the solution to my problem, but that this is also possible, reasonable, necessary and normal....and (here's where it gets a little tricky) that it will also be "fun".
Gifts for knitters Day 17
Maybe, just maybe... your knitter has enough. Consider helping a far away knitter less blessed with the wealth your knitter has. A donation in your knitters name to Heifer International to help purchase wool bearing animals for a less fortunate family might warm the hearts of all concerned. Knitters Review forums is doing some fundraising here, and Wendy and Deb have a project running as well. Think about donating the price of a ball of yarn. It might be the best present your knitter gets this year.
Posted by Stephanie at December 17, 2004 1:13 PM
I had the disappearing time thing yesterday too! I knit all evening and only ended up with one dishcloth! Something is very definitely wrong here.
I have to bake four or five triple batches of cookies before six tomorrow, as well as shop for ingredients and equipment for said cookies and do some other shopping too. Oh, and take the kitten to get his picture taken with Santa. Think Lene would make me a schedule?
No doubt that Sam was the best one there. Good luck this weekend-ho, ho , oh who cares....
Do we get a recipe for Apricot Bread, which I've never had, but sounds better than just about anything else I've thought of today?
I can tell from the picture Sam was the best one.
Funny, so very funny, but oh, so true. How wonderful of your Joe to pitch in and help. I suppose you asked him to do this for you or did he volunteer? Good luck Harlot, I will be doing mostly the same thing this weekend except with kids...wish me luck
I am so ECSTATIC that I'm not alone in being able to rationalize anything! And based on your other challenges of the year (do the words "Rhinebeck" and "sweater" ring a bell?), I truly believe that if you want 6 extra hours in a day, you will indeed have them! Now to find my own schedule here somewhere.....
innovative and unique are always the best! that comes right from the heart...i'll take two, please...
happy knitting! (from somone on scarf #49 in the past 4 weeks and 9 more to go, before the 23rd)...
Joe Rocks! You, I'm not worried about finding an extra 6 hours. You're the Harlot.
4. I have purchased rum and egg nog.
Go with four...nothing else will matter.
Margene beat me to the punch. Enough egg nog and rum will make you forget that you lost any time at all AND you'll be blissfully happy :) I'll be thinking of you while I'm feverishly working on my knits this weekend too.
I'll join you in Christmas boot camp...I need SERIOUS discipline to get all this knitting done in EIGHT days! :)
Just two things:
1) Step away from the schedule.
2) I think the past tense of 'bake' should be 'boke,' don't you? To wit: "Give me a break Steph, I ain't never boke anything in ma life!"
As much as I hate to be the one to suggest this, you always have another option. Maybe decide to celebrate some other holiday this year. I know Kwanza(which starts Dec. 27) is looking really appealing to me. And I have already planted the seed with my son that we might do that this year. Won't that be fun?!!! Good natured boy he is just smiled and said okay mom. Good answer! If all else fails, I agree with Margene go with #4
Oh, my goodness... the "signs" are truly amusing.
I love that being afraid of spiders (and milller moths... miller moths are the WORST) means that I must be an abudctee.
I'm with Norma and . . . Claudia, was it? . . . RELAX! Cast off every project right where you are now; don't even finish those last 3 rows. Buy everyone a bag of cheesy popcorn and a bottle of Screech. Crawl into Mr. Washie and take a nap. On Christmas morning, everyone will love you immensely.
CSI Crime, right? Not Miami. Don't disappoint me.
I have absolute faith in you, Steph, that your schedule will work out. You can do it! Go Stephanie!!
Dear Harlot, whether you finish the knitting or not, I'd just like to wish you a happy (and relatively sane) holiday season! I'm sure bloggers will be posting less and less as the holidays approach, so I just wanted to send you and yours some good vibes for the approaching festivities! Enjoy the season...and the end to the kids' holiday concerts!
Lost time here, too! I persist in falling asleep earlier than normal! What is UP with that? I still have 7 repeats (154 rows) of a scarf to knit (beads in the repeats. beads.) on size 2 needles with 6mm pony beads, and then the damn thing has to be blocked most viciously. Except, you know, beads. And then pompons attached. And it has to be done before Christmas eve because I'm knitting it for a non-knitting friend to give her little girl. I also have 2 other scarves to finish, but they're 2-night projects. And cookies, plus chocolate covered potato chips, and SHOPPING, and CLEANING, and all I REALLY REALLY WANT TO DO IS WORK ON MY FAINA SCARF, WHICH IS FOR ME, NOT CHRISTMAS.
Calgon, take me away.
Ms Harlot, I know you can do it. And if you can do it, I can do some of it. We love you out here, no matter what.
Since it sounds as if things are really reaching fever pitch chez Harlot, I think it is time for all the lurkers to 'fess up.
The ones who are packing their bathing suits and checking the SPF on their suntan lotion.
Yes, you are there. I know this, because when I arrive at Lester B. Pearson aerodrome on the 24th
I WILL NOT BE ALONE!!
So, come on, tell Stephanie the truth. Now is the time.
I don't need to work myself into a holiday frenzy, you're my surrogate berserker. I'll relax and eat shortbread for you, no! no! It's the *least* I can do to help you out.
To add to Heather's way of "delaying" things... I know that some Europeans (or at least the family I know in Spain) do the gift exchange thing on the day the Wise Men showed up... Which *insert potentially inappropriate men with directions joke here* I believe is sometime around January 6th.
So have a "European holiday"! (Heck I'm already off I missed Hanukkah pretty much completely)
I find that flat out denial is the best way for me to handle the holiday chaos. I refuse to acknowlege that I only have one week left to do ALL of my holiday shopping this year. Oh yeah, liberal doses of rum helps to stay in denial mode, too.
Kudos to Joe for even attempting to cohabitate in the same territory with you at this time of year.
A note on trees. We still don't have one up yet. My DH says he wants a plastic one, he doesn't want to tromp through the tree farms in the hills anymore. Turkey. So he goes looking for a really good fake tree, trying to get me excited about it (is he out of his mind?) And look! Here's a premium one, really lifelike, it even comes with fake loose needles to sprinkle into the rug to look like a normal one shedding a bit like they do...
...And they want $700 for this. I kid you not. Do they add sap to the needle bits so they'll realistically stick into the carpeting? Does it come with refills, or are you supposed to shred your vacuum bag to reclaim them to scatter for next year?
Good luck on the crazy knitting! Although you seem so crazy good at knitting that I have no doubt that you will complete everything and possibly do about 80 more mittens. My gloves have taken me all week. I am slow.
I think the last week before Christmas is a magical time warp. I don't really even thave that much to do, and the last three days have zipped by. I am starting to panic.
You know, spurred by sufficient sheer fear, you can make up those missing hours. I have faith. Because there's just nothing like naked terror and a deadline to inspire one to do really impressive amounts of work in too short a time.
Joe is baking? That is so freakin' cool. Good luck!
I will second the Heifer Project idea - someone got me a share of a llama for my birthday and I thought it was pretty darned special.
I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who thinks CSI is great for knitting.
Perhaps this will help abate the panic. No matter how your Christmas turns out, you pulled off a lovely Hannukah. True, there was no dreidel, no lights, no lovely fried foods. But oh my, did you light a candle in the season of darkness! Shine on, YH.
I'm getting a really vague, but pretty funny picture of Christmas boot camp -- with a drill sargeant and everything...
The rum and eggnog will surely help.
Yay for CSI and knitting! I love CSI, and have been watching far too much of that + That 70's Show, since I have been house-ridden from mono. And hey, just think, you could have had the disaster at my house. Varnish spilled on the TV room carpet. Dear Lord.
And as for mall shopping, I used to go to University of Alberta, in Edmonton. In my naievety I went to West Edmonton Mall 6 shopping days before Christmas. On the weekend. That is indeed the deepest circle of Hell. Except maybe Midnight Madness at Eaton's Centre, Toronto (according to my Mom).
Joe is my favorite fictional character. Come twelfth night I'm going to start advocating for The Return of the Gansey (and by that time it will seem a lovely, soothing project. Miles of soothing spinning/knitting with no deadline, just piles of luscious gray rats breeding on the heaters.)
"Surrogate berserker," by the way, is brilliant, roggey, you poet, you.
Very well. I'm buckling my seatbelt, ready for the jump to hyperspace...
My mom gets a share of a Knitting Basket from Heifer for Christmas. Plus a felted hat knitted with Peace Fleece yarn.
I am finishing up umpteen scarves, a few embroidered denim bags, and costumes for a dance recital that is suddenly tomorrow. I empathize.
I got my squeeze to go to the mall for me. Without any bribes or anything. He's just that good.
Joe is a fictional character? And here I thought ... .
I read "warping the time-space continuum is inexplicably easier at 3am" as "WRAPPING the time-space continuum..." and I was thinking, "Does she really think she can do that?!" lol
Joe may be protein in Toronto, but in Kalamazoo he's a construct, select details passed along by Stephanie (laughing with hamsters, etc.) and as such is a conscious work of art. I'm working on who should play him in the movie.
I just printed the Alien Abductee list and read it to a few co-workers. Should I be worried that there was at least one 'yes' to every question in the list?...
I, too, have asked my non-knitting partner in life to take on the parts of the Christmas preparations that I will be unable to do while knitting. My husband is a champ, but I'm unsure about having asked him to make the cappucino cups (from Cdn Living about 4 years ago - do not add these to your Christmas baking, they are tedious and people will love them and you'll get sad eyed if you don't do it every frickin' year). He's got giant hands and these things are made by spooning melted chocolate into tiny foil cup thingys. It should be amusing, if nothing else. He's also, gasp, SEWING all the Christmas presents for the nieces and nephews. Heaven help my mother's ancient Singer Touch n Sew.
I watched two episodes of CSI while knitting last night - the original and Miami. I find that the guy who plays Horatio is a master of cheese... and the way he talks on his cell-phone? Priceless. I'm usually wiping tears away by the 4th time he's said "Okay then, thank you." in that smug self-satisfied 'I knew it all along and you guys are going to be in big trouble now' way that he does. I'm laughing now.
Okay then, thank you. *snaps phone shut*
Back to the knitting
I agree, alien abduction check list or personality disorder checklist: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paranoid_personality_disorder
I think you should be wary of #22. During the frenzy of preparations you may be moving so fast that Joe will appear to be frozen.
Hi, I'm a recent "reader" of your blog, and I have to say that I have been enjoying it so much! I knit, cross-stitch, and quilt. It is such a joy to find out that it is OK that I've got 6+ projects on the go, not including all the ones hidden in the closet that "I'll finish one of these days..." hopefully before I go to the big fabric store in the sky. Oh, you are going to love CSI first season it is one of the best! Kirsti
rams: *kisses thrown to you* how did you know I was a frustrated poet? And the image came to me when Stepanie wrote, "without running into the street screaming and looking for reindeer the solution to my problem..." And it gives me a good reason to consume shortbread :D
OMG. I can't even tell you how freaked out I am about that alien list. I got paralyzed and googly-eyed and the room started spinning and it got all quiet, I was so freaked out. Please, please, don't EVER POST ANYTHING THAT SCARY AGAIN!@!1!
Eggnog and rum... ummmm. Try eggnog and screech!
Joe is only fictional when he's so perfect. The rest of the time I believe in him.
And Stephanie, dear? Can you please relax a wee bit? Like, drink the Screech and watch CSI (whateve that is, I'm turning my brain inside out for acronyms) while knitting? Because I'm not even knitting anything for anyone for Christmas and you're making me nervous.
On the other hand, maybe that's just me.
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, a good show to knit by...And best of luck with the weekend catching up to the schedule! I once tried to knit for many hours more than usual, and ended up courting a bad case of repetitive use injury (not quite a full blown case of carpal tunnel, fortunately).
(S)titch like all-out fiery heck for several hours. Pay no attention to the smoke coming out of your needles.
(I)nsist that whatever else comes off your needles is good enough, big enough, and gosh-darn, people will like it.
Repeat until the mothership returns.
(Sandi, who has already finished the first season of CSI as a companion-to-knitting, and whose amazon wishlist now includes all other possible seasons...)
P.S. Steph: Sam was the best. Joe is an angel. And you, well, you're my knitting superhero and I'm spending many happy hours designing a hat for Hubster based on "culturally expressive" patterns, thanks to you. Peace and Merry merry.
well... I see that the panic has set in almost everywhere.
Steph I envy you that helpful partner. Right now (as I try to finish my B. Ed) I'm living back at home, with the family. Picture this: mum and I are up at 6:30 this morning so that she can go to work (12 hour shift in emerg) and I can go to "practice" teach (2 hrs of marking after school so the kids can get it by monday... oh yeah, our school board is the ONLY ONE IN THE PROVINCE in school until WEDNESDAY)... my brother is finished exams, my dad is on holidays.
We are having family over for Christmas tomorrow... and I get home, exhausted around 5:15 after finishing the Christmas shopping for my cousins after work to find that the house is still dirty, there is no dinner on the stove (I thought you could cook) and the breakfast dishes haven't even been washed!
whew. sorry for the rant.
I have confidence that your extra 6 hours will appear.
Ha, ha, now I find out that I am not weird, I'm just an abductee.
Seriously, have you read the Neruda poem that your socks refer to? I had read it before I was into sock knitting, then I read it last night. It is beautiful!!! I wish we all could have someone so appreciative of our knitting.
Well it's quite obvious from your picture that Sam was the best one there...you didn't have to TELL us! :-) I am with you in spirit all weekend as we (as my 13 year old son puts it) Knit Like Hell. I think that your rum/CSI combo will certainly help!
The first season of the OC is the only thing that's getting me through fingerweight hobo gloves for my 6'5" boyfriend . . . oh lord, I hope that boy knows I love him. And I'm still hoping to become Mrs. Seth Cohen through a Chrismukkah miracle :)
HA! I must be an abductee... it would explain so many things. *grin*
In an attempt to make you feel a little better about your Christmas stress... just be glad you're also not planning a wedding that takes place on Dec 28. My family's going insane getting things ready for my sister's wedding. :)
I've developed a drinking game for CSI: Miami. Everytime Horatio does that 3-count delivery, as in "what we have here is...1...2...3...a murder", take a shot.
I'd be a lot more relaxed if I still watched that show, but Horatio pisses me off so much, I can't do it anymore. Give me Grissom any day! (oh yes, please... give me Grissom)
Where was I? Right. Back to the $%#! Christmas prep.
Woah. Today, before reading your blog, I was visiting my ex-stepmom (aka Dad's second wife), and she told me that she'd given me part of a goat thru Heifer International. Very cool!! I hope I got a non-messy part. Ok, yeah, I grew up on a farm, but I am such a city girl now. I want no part of mucking out barns, thank you! :)
You can do it Stephanie! It's like we are all in a marathon together. I'm knitting to the first season of Curb Your Enthusiasm. My first big deadline is Mon. (shipping packages full of knitting, jams and to-be-made cookies); then Tues. is Irena's class party (kindergarten New Year's)... I'm a class mom and came up with the grand/crazy idea to knit 23 stars (found linking to Tiny Latvian Mittens), so each child will have a falling star to wish upon. Thanks for that link (I think?) Then a few more hats, finish DHs scarf, a pair of mittens. Rum and eggnog are sounding very fine indeed, very fine.
What a coincidence! I purchased egg nog today, too! Didn't get any rum though.
Already have two bottles. :)
omg... im weeping from laughter.. you are a true comedienne... dont worry there are a TON of us in the same mode this weekend - why i am going to somehow knit four scarves and two cowls and a poncho all by friday!!!!
yikes - seeing it there freaks ME out...
oh well... here we go.
Like most of your adoring fans, I would KILL for the apricot bread recipe. You know, after Christmas Boot Camp and stuff. Good luck!
Holy crap, Steph. You have Joe making MERINGUES? No, I know they're not that hard. You just have to:
1. Make sure to whip the egg whites to the proper consistency.
2. Make sure all the sugar is thoroughly incorporated into the whites.
3. Put them in the oven at exactly the right temperature and close the door and NOT PEEK while you're waiting for them to be done. Isn't that asking a little much of a novice baker? I mean, I know it's JOE we're talking about here, and if anyone can do it, he can, but....
Oh, and the first "after 12/25" holiday that occurred to me was Boxing Day. It gets you the extra 24 hours we all really seem to need. Or you could just go for Orthodox Christmas (Jan. 6 or 7, a.k.a. Epiphany, a.k.a. what Carma suggested above).
Reading all of these responses did lead me to my own epiphany: I have found the "silver lining" in my generally much-bemoaned existence 500+ miles away from my partner. We don't stress over Christmas. We're not together to amplify one another's stress, and by the time we do reunite (12/21 this year), event though it's the super-stressful home stretch, we're so happy to be together again that the holiday craziness just doesn't get to us.
Oh, and Steph: egg nog is better with bourbon.
What is it about CSI that has me hooked and knitting a little side extension to the sweater that isn't quite big enough to fit my husband?
Also thanks for the tip on Heifer org, what a great idea.
I'm still on drugs, so I still don't care. I did promise my husband I'd shop with him today though. But Stephanie, why not X-Files? Or Stargate SG-1? You do have a McGuyver-like ability to make everything turn out great, as in
"with just knitting needle, shortbread and screech, Yarn Harlot managed to macguyver a happy holiday from a impending global catastrophe.
Not to freak you out or anything, but missing time is also a symptom of dissociative personality disorder (previously known as multiple personality disorder). ;-)
I lnow you're stressed, but CSI at knitting bootcamp sounds like heaven to me. I hope you'll be able to enjoy just a little of it!