Horribly wonderful

I only have one thing to say about the total.


I really wish there had been other suggestions on the mode of celebration.

(By the way? I know this photo is of poor quality. You can’t make me go back out there.)

I’m overwhelmed with the generosity and decency of each and everyone of you.

In fact, I am so overwhelmed that I’m starting to fall apart. I’m writing a thank you note to each and every person who sent me an email, but there are THOUSANDS of you. I’m going as fast as I can. If you have not got a thank you note…then you haven’t been added to the tally yet. I am writing emails at the speed of sound, I am doing laundry, and my job, and the phones at MSF and cooking and cleaning (Ok. Fine. I’m not cleaning.) and still writing emails to express my profound gratitude. I want you to know, that if you haven’t got yours yet… I am writing them with such incredible devotion that I have accidentally killed Sam’s Tamagotchi.

The last thing the child said to me this morning was “Mommy…don’t let my Tamagotchi die while I am at school”, and now look. It’s dead. Belly up. Finito.


I was not completely negligent. I did feed it virtual pizza around 10:30…but then there was a beep that I thought meant that it needed something. I went to look and lo and behold…it did need something. The last rites. The poor kid. She must have thought that since I have kept actual live human beings alive for 15 years that I could be trusted to push a button occasionally. The guilt is crippling. I can only hope that the child understands that the Tamagotchi was sacrificed for a greater good.

When I saw the little icon had gone to a better place, I panicked. I pressed all the buttons. I pressed them repeatedly, but nothing worked. Not the food button, not the status button. .. I phoned Kelly in a state of panic. Being the mother of a child with a Tamagotchi, Kelly was sympathetic. “Something had to give.” she said. “Given your choice of dead things…..”. Kelly has a point. Still, anyone want to be me at 3:30 when I have to break it to Sam?

There is resistance at the border of the MSF. I took it to Lettuce knit last night and had a deep planning meeting with Aven, Dani, and Jane. They hemmed, they hawed and they decided that I was on the right track. We decided that the palm should be the light grey and the darker grey, with shots of the white run through for “sparkle”. They liked the band of white near the border, they didn’t think it was too bright. After all this planning….


I ripped it out. I didn’t believe them. I think they could see how close to the edge I was (though they didn’t know yet that I was capable of negligent Tamagotchi homicide) and were trying to humour me. I like the new effort better.

I understand that this means I have to reknit the braid. I am considering strong drink.

In other news…

Emma is making a wooly journal to donate to our cause. Look how beautiful her start is.

Katie is running a very cool little Tsunami knitswap here for those of you that would be interested.

Anybody know how to resurrect a virtual pet?

60 thoughts on “Horribly wonderful

  1. Awww, poor Tamagotchi. (I must say I’ve never been fond of those things, though.) The mitten looks wonderful, though.

  2. Man that looks cold. Good thing you didn’t promise an even more extreme performance for $30K, because you’re well on your way!
    And no, I wouldn’t want to be you at 3:30…

  3. Condolences on the virtual guy. They’re too hard to keep up with. It’s 33 whole degrees F. here and I wouldn’t venture outside without lots of wool on my body.

  4. I have killed a couple of Tamagotchis in my day. I suggest you look on the back for the teeny tiny re-set button. A size 1 dpn should work to reset it. If you’re lucky the egg will have hatched by the time she gets home (I wouldn’t hold my breath though).
    Good luck!

  5. Poor Sam. I feel her pain. My daughter gave me her virtual pet to tend — we/she had kept it alive and kicking for 36 days. Count ’em — 36 whole freaking days. And I dropped it. “Nuff said.
    Find the reset button. Tell Sam that you are not to be trusted with electronic pets.
    The mitt(s) look fantastic. Your Latvian mittens are items of indescribe-able joy. I *must* try them. Soon. After I try some of that Screech you keep talking about.
    And I’m so proud of you for dancing naked in the snow. How ’bout for $25,000 you soak in a hot-tub? That’ll take the chill off from all that dancing.

  6. I love that you can still see your birk tan lines even in January!
    brave girl. congrats on doing such good for people who really need it. big warm fuzzies.

    Can’t you see that poor Steph is hanging onto her sanity by a thin, stretched and frayed thread?
    I would resuggest the hot tub idea … possibly an outdoor hot tub if you really want to live dangerously.

  8. If you send me a thank-you I shall bite you. You are the victim of a superb upbringing and are to be commended, but I hereby call upon all true so-far-unthanked-Harloteers to mobilize a movement, the Get Stephanie Off The Hook Movement. Nobody did it to be thanked (we thank you) and being thanked neutralizes all karma. Tend to your (mitten) knitting, girl.

  9. I can offer a Furby to replace the Tamagotchi if Sam is interested…
    Beautiful mitten – can’t wait to get my hands in it! If by chance it ends up going to someone else – what yarn are you using?
    And Lene’s gift… are you sure that’s the right size? I mean, that big… it’s a freak of nature – interesting, but still freakish!

  10. Hi Steph,
    I have been a lurker until now. I just wanted to say ‘out loud’ how wonderful your efforts are and how much fun I have reading your blog. You are laugh out loud funny and the equivalent to that in your capacity for generosity.
    I was in Mexico and out of communication for the tsunami and initial rounds of ‘stepping up’ by all of the generous knitters (and non-knitters) out there. I did donate a weeks worth of grocery money (but to Unicef) prior to catching up on my blog reading. Thus not to MSF – sorry. So no need for a thank you note, an entrance to the mitten lottery or anything on your part.
    Just wanted to say thank you and good luck with it all.
    Happy New Year,

  11. I will hide my email addy for awhile if you even try, Steph. I’m with Rams; and who could ask for a better thank you than watching that total flying upwards?

  12. Dont even TRY to say you cleaned. We all know the truth. 😉
    Mostly because it’s not like WE clean that much anyways. 😀
    Hope to see lots of you at the knit swap!

  13. You are a far braver women than I could ever be. That first pic makes my feet ache just looking at it..brrr. Sorry to hear about Sam’s pet. My daughter got one for Christams and it lived about two weeks. She has since moved on, but then again she is only six. Good luck.
    And WOWZA at that total!! Yesterday in the paper it reported that Doctors Without Borders USA has received about $20 million to date. Please don’t fall apart on us Steph. Rams is right-I think it is OK to boycott the thank-you emails (or at the very least postpone)and save your sanity…and therefore prevent anymore negligent homicide, be it virtual, knitted, or otherwise.
    THANK YOU!!! ;+)

  14. Ditto what rams said about the thank-you notes. None needed here. Rather than pecking out a thank-you note on the keyboard, get out the teeny tiny DPN and stab at the reset button on Sam’s Tamagotchi.
    Kat in Boston

  15. I’m with Rams on this one – no thanks are necessary. I may only be speaking for myself, but I think we’re doing it to thank you for all the wonderful humour and knitting stories you’ve given us.

  16. I believe there is a reset button on the back (or maybe under the battery cover). I’d have to dig mine out to look. Good luck.
    Oh yes, and in reference to the Tsunami aid efforts.

  17. Ditto, ditto, ditto, ditto on what Rams, Teresa, AlisonH and Kat said. Thank yous are lovely but not needed. We all should be thanking you. Thank you, Stephanie.

  18. I already received my thank you, but I wasn’t expecting one, either. I’m with the peanut gallery: skip the “thank yous” & focus on more important things such as food, the mittens, & preparing your “virtual pet has moved on to a virtually better place” speech for Sam. (Note: “cleaning” deliberately omitted from list of important stuff.)
    BTW, I suspect the contributions would go through the roof even faster if you offered pictures of mango Harlot snow angels….

  19. Good grief girl…I’m with Rams. No need to send thanks. I did notice the tan lines on the foot as well and I also noticed that there are only left foot marks in the snow but since I’ve been outside as well in this weather today, I’ll be too polite to mention it.

  20. Woo Hoo Stephanie – love the naked-foot-in-the-snow shot.
    I told my family that you said we were all to dance naked in public at 20K. They offered to take up a collection if I would agree NOT to do it.
    There are many ways to inspire donations!

  21. NO thank you notes — jeesh, you Canadians carry being nice to an extreme sometimes. Every blog you write is our thanks.
    And I am still doing my week’s tally!!!

  22. Miss Harlot, you are nuts! And I love every second of it. I’m glad you’re more pleased with this version of the msf’s (is this three or should we stop counting hehe). Don’t know if you took my last comment as official or not, but I officially donated. Please don’t feel like you need to email me a thank you note, I know how busy you are. And you called me “sweet pea” last time you emailed me and that has made my entire week 🙂

  23. Thanks Stephanie, you reminded me…I forgot to feed the fish! DH is concerned, for good reason, that I’ll let them die. If it can’t say my name it gets forgotten.

  24. Okay, I’ve never posted before but feel compelled to ditto the “no thank you’s” order! I feel you’re the one owed the thanks because:
    a) You brighten almost everyone of my days (when I can visit) with your witty blog.
    b) You helped me decide where my donation would best go very eloquently.
    c) You’re time is much better spent helping answer phones at MSF, or knitting, or blogging.

  25. Is it just me?I can’t find Stephanie’s email address anywhere. Can anyone help me out?

  26. Oh, Harlot of my heart, don’t stress too much over the thank yous. Seeing your poor bare foot in the snow brings ever so much more joy. RIP Tamagachi.

  27. I, for one, will jump right on that bandwagon… no need for thankyous. Or, if the polite Canuck in you is still screaming to get out, just remember that we all read your blog. (“Thank you to all of you wonderful donors…”).
    Whoo! Snow! I think all of Southwestern Ontario has been first covered with a layer of freezing rain, and then blanketed with snow. I cannot believe that you went out there… I wholeheartedly second (or third, or fifth, or whatever) the suggestion that 30 000 means a soak in the hot-tub.

  28. Actually there IS a way to resurrect the Tamagotchi. I know from the same experienced guilt. Reset its clock to at least an hour before the trouble began. You can then monitor its health again for a while, and if you keep it alive past the time it had originally died, you can go reset the clock to the current time , in which case the child will be none the wiser.

  29. Stephanie,
    I’m no good at writing thank you notes, and so your attempt is even more appreciated, but who would have expected such an outpouring of response? This is much more than writing your aunt to thank her for the lovely diary. One thanks on your blog would cover the requisite etiquette, I’m sure.

  30. Virtual pets have been banned at the Russell Ranch since my son’s doctor gave him one–and it died! He cried all night, couldn’t sleep for a week, and obsessed over the damn thing for a month! I thought I was going to lose my mind.
    Stephanie, I have a hot tub outside on my deck(I won it from a grocery store, and Pepsi–and I drink Coke)and it’s a balmy 33F here. You are welcome to soak in it at any time.
    Thanks are not necessary. I’m enjoying watching the total go up and up.

  31. To second (third? Eighth?) what everyone else has said about thank you notes, will it give you peace enough to stop if you think about how much good karma we’ve put into the world? You don’t have to thank us. The same universe that would have smite (smit?) us if we’d lied will offer its thanks here.
    Go answer phones and know how much we all adore you and the energy you give to the planet.

  32. If you want your daughter sucked into the world of the internet, say sorry by letting her play with a neopet http://www.neopets.com. This is a major major consolation prize as the game takes some major work and internet access but you know what? Your pet will NEVER die. Even after neglecting it for more than a year. Ill-health, yes, but just check it into a hotel for a night or two and voila, healthy neopet once again.
    The total is completely awesome. If the current total was broken down $20K, into $20 bills or tamagotchi’s (at $20 value), it’d be 1,000. Now don’t you feel better? It could be like 2,000 balls of yarn.
    Say, is the total in Canadian or USD?

  33. Maybe you got lucky. Nipped that virtual creature in the bud. I see they can have ‘babies’. There could hae been a virtual population explosion right there on your desk. You’d be stuck babysitting.. all the time. Whew, I tell you, luck was with you.

  34. I believe that you would dance outside naked in the snow, but I’m not sure if you were dancing naked in the STREET as promised. Oh well, I wouldn’t either until at least 50,000 and I would wait until 3am to do it so as not to offend/get arrested etc. etc.
    My condolences for the Tamagotchi.

  35. Rock on, rams – pay attention, Harlot, especially the the karma-neutrilizing effects, that’s serious business! I know about what I speak, I write thank you notes for everything, so it’s not repeated to you lightly.
    I killed off my daughter’s Tamagotchi 3 hours after she got it. I told her the only reason I managed our pets was the fact when they wanted something, they didn’t sound like an alarm clock I ignore at 5:30 every morning.

  36. Stephanie,
    Who would have thought one little post could drum up so many donations. Also email me as I have something for you for the drawing. Figured with all the donations you could use a little something else as a second prize.

  37. Tgochi: never mind, it was material.
    Harlot, your industriousness(is that a word? now it is) continues to amaze. How you manage to pull all the stuff off in real time, I will never get.
    And, hey! Amazon has your bookbookbook!
    Btw I put your button on my blog.

  38. Dancing naked in the street! Don’t you live across from a police station? That should double the donations!!!!
    Thankyou notes? Are you out of your head? Never mind, we know the answer to that. And thank YOU.

  39. I should know better than to read this at work by now! Lol!
    OK, so… being an engineer and a geek I have to ask… does your dancing mostly involve hopping around only on your left foot?
    That’s total’s totally amazing. I wonder if this could become one of those annual events, like a polar bear challenge for charity…. 🙂

  40. You know, the newest Tamogochi’s have a “pause” function – much easier to keep those suckers alive. Hope you survived telling Sam…

  41. If I may dissent: I think the idea of naked snow angels at $30,000 is an EXCELLENT idea! For everyone who donated.
    Except me. I’m already being picked on enough. Knitted fruit?? Eyelash yarn? A CROTCH???

  42. On the tomogotchi, I have been there, honey. Look for the reset button (small hole) and use a thumbtack or earring back to press that baby back to life.

  43. Oh lord. Cathy’s comment about naked snow angels gave me flashbacks to undergrad. I was in an engineering fraternity and at some point, some of my frat brothers (who may or may not have been dropped on their heads as children and who have, nevertheless, grown up to be fine, upstanding members of their communities) insisted on doing full-frontal nekkid snow angels. And this became a habit. Even if there was little snow, and the snow that was was…crusty with ice. Iowa engineers, man. Hard core.
    And on the donation front? Fucking awesome.

  44. I baby sat 3 Tamagotchi’s today and all I did was feed them and give them snacks. I think I played with one–jumping hurdles–once! I was ashamed to explain this to my kids because if they get too heavy they died. Negligence on my part too.
    Great job on the donations!!

  45. Ditto on the nixing of thank-you notes. The blog entries are enough, Stephanie.
    And kids are easier to keep alive than Tamagotchi’s – if you don’t feed or change a kid, they scream their head off. It definitely works better than a little “beep”.

  46. For some reason I have not been able to get an e-mail to work so Donation 9.00 check book .62 will up the amount when able keep up the amazing work

  47. Stephanie, when the total reaches $30,000 (be it Canadian or US), I think you need to get the cherry-stealing Ukrainians to dance in the street. Naked is better, but I’m not sure you can reason with those two. . .

  48. You are amazing. I hope the TommyGotcha was appropriately resurrected… (Epiphany and all that), and that mittens, kitchen and book tour projects are all warm, cozy and in good health. I am grateful for your example of “Creative use of self.”

  49. Stephanie,
    I agree with no thank yous. It’s a donation to a good cause and does not require one. I think you’ve done more than enough without making yourself crazy with thank yous.

  50. 1) Resistance at the border. Snort. I love it.
    2) Too bad you didn’t have a defibrillator around when the little guy bit the dust. More evidence for the need for home and public defibrillators, I say.
    3) You are a tremendous woman for personally thanking everyone (among other reasons). I think you CAN warp space and time.

  51. Hooray! I just got to pre-order your book this morning! Can’t wait for March…
    I was floored to receive such a fast thank you (well, even to receive one at all, considering the huge number of donors you’ve had in such a short time), and I join the ranks of those who think a posted group “thanks” is more than enough!

  52. I, too, was floored to receive a thank you — appreciated but certainly not necessary — you need to spend time tending to those cold tootsies!

  53. I think this should definately become an annual (or even semiannual) event–even just a week of no buying/donating to charity would be a great way for all of us to remember how lucky we are–especially after the holiday glut. perhaps the first week in january? I hate to see when charities are long forgotten when nothing horrible is being covered on the news….

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