Make My Day, eh?

This has been kind of one of those mornings. The manchild didn’t want to get out of bed, which means I got to start right out nagging, before I even had the coffee started, and the whole morning process was behind schedule and time felt pinched and everything. I felt like I was wading through Jell-O getting him a quick breakfast made and my coffee brewing and continuing the delightful motherly nagging at which I’ve grown so skilled: Find your jacket! Are your shoes on? Do you have your backpack ready? You have to go down to wait for the bus in 2 minutes. Okay, now you have 1 minute. And so on.

That’s when the thunderous crash from upstairs happened. I’m hustling the kid out the door, knowing if he doesn’t walk out the door in 45 seconds he’ll miss the bus and I will then be forced to drive him, which sucks, because all I really wanted was to take a shower and there won’t be time, and what DID crash upstairs? Oh geeze, I hope the cats just knocked a thing of laundry soap off the washing machine. And the manchild can’t find his gameboy. “It’s charging in the truck,” his father reminds him from the top of the stairs, “because you forgot the charger at your grandparents’ house,” while I’m saying “I can’t find it right now, you need to leave without it so I can see what the giant crash was,” while my better half says “I already took care of it,” and the boy says “No, that’s my DS, what about the gameboy?” which amazingly, Chad knows is in the kitchen with the Mad magazine, and he hands it to him, and the kid heads out the door with me hollering HAVE A GREAT DAY AT SCHOOL HONEY! and thinking about my now-cooling cup of coffee back in the kitchen.

The crash was the humidifier, filled with water, being knocked over by the cats, and broken. This is a catastrophe on many levels and it’s entirely possible that eventually today I’m going in search of a new one. Along with going to a bookstore if the books I ordered for the manchild’s 10th birthday don’t arrive today. Plus work. But not till after coffee, a shower, and more coffee.

This moment, of course, is when I realize that I, master of my laundry destiny, She Who Controls The Flow Of All Textile Objects In Our Life And Orchestrates The Schedule Of All Of It So That There Are Always Clean Socks, have somehow allowed a situation to arise in which all of the pants which presently fit my enlarged butt are dirty. There is no one to blame for this but myself — for the state of my laundry and the state of my butt and the state of my wardrobe since I refuse to buy myself more fat pants than I already have. Yes, my routine was thrown slightly off course due to the incident in which the light bulb exploded in my hands and rained broken glass and who knows what else into the basket of clean Mom clothes, but that was at least a week ago. I knew full well I had an untenable laundry situation and I did not remedy it.

More coffee then, and work, while the laundry launders and I dream of clean hair, remind myself I’ve lived far rougher than this, and start deleting about a thousand stray pieces of spam that showed up overnight in my inbox. Mmmmm. I take a moment to mentally rant about how back in the day, those of us who cared about anti-spam stuff said that, oh never mind. What’s the use? That battle was lost more than a decade ago and the computer professional Abby has recovered. More coffee, and a dozen actual emails answered. My horoscope says “Dress sharp, keep your eyes open and don’t hesitate to make the first move as the week begins.” Gee thanks! Maybe I could be said to “dress sharp” by donning jeans which might have broken glass in them (and that don’t fit right now anyway).

**** brief intermission ****

Right, and so there I was, writing that last paragraph, listening to my fat pants in the dryer, when I was informed someone would be stopping by the house in about a half an hour. Now you find me clean, but in too-small jeans (I think I’ll skip lunch. I wouldn’t be able to breathe if I ate it anyway, not in these jeans. I don’t know what I’ll do about leaving the house; it’s not gonna happen in these jeans either). Perhaps “dress sharp” means “dress such that you feel a sharp pain in the waistband.”

In any case, there I was feeling quite Mondayed, when I learned that both Janel and Julia have listed me as a blogger who makes their day! Er… their days? Is it the same day in question, or a different day for each of them? Argh! Each of them says I make her day (take that, inner grammar cop! I’ll show you!) I’m stunned, and touched, and I wonder, today of all days, what were you guys thinking? I mean, Janel, you’ve got no end of incredible projects you take well in hand and just make happen; you amaze me. And as for you, Julia, you’re another one of those people who leaves me awestruck, being someone who can host fashion photo shoots and 6-year-old birthday parties with equal grace and style, and actually FINISH things, and look great in your handknits… wow. Janel and Julia, if I make your day, I can only surmise it’s because, especially on a Monday like this, you’re looking at me, laughing, and thinking “There, but for the grace of God, go I — I could be an unshowered, behind-schedule harried mom yarn nerd with no clean jeans.”

So I’ve been thinking all morning about who I’ll name as bloggers who make my day. Quite honestly, and though I’m sure everyone is saying it, you all do; every member of the blogging community, which is much more of a community than I’d have thought it was, functionally speaking, when I first entered into it. There’s no way for me to pick just 10 people; none. So here’s a few, and if it’s more than 10, well, tough! I’m going to try to name a few folks who I haven’t seen named yet, and who consistently help me through those mornings like this one was.

Amy, Boogie, The Spunky Eclectic has been making my day since before either of us were really doing this blogging thing, and she has been a valued member of my online world for quite a few years now.

Sara Lamb is an instigator, a pusher, an enabler, and the owner of a fabulous dry wit. She simply Does Things.

Ellen is another friend of several years in the online world, someone who is always quick to remind me that I absolutely can do what I set my mind to, and who could perhaps be accused of kicking the odd soapbox out right in front of me so I’ll accidentally step up on it and start ranting.

Deb Robson is one of those people who just… makes things happen. I suspect she might argue with me about this, but she’s one single individual without whose efforts vast amounts of fiber lore would have been lost entirely over the past few decades. She’d probably say “Oh, someone else would have done it,” but I don’t think that’s true; and in most cases, if they had, they wouldn’t have done it as thoroughly and as well and with as much love and dedication, as Deb has. And does.

Elizabeth I would never have met if it weren’t for blogland. She’s down-to-earth, and real, and I know she totally understands why it is I have to crank up the loud AC/DC in my car, and then turn it up again, and again, and if she were sitting next to me and I had to peel out from a stoplight just this once, she’d understand. I know she would.

Amelia and I are evil twins. Seriously, we’re both the evil one. But in a good way.

Carol blows my mind; she’s real, she’s tough, she lives with her whole heart and soul and puts her money where her mouth is.

Ted sent me a wonderful gift recently, which gets its own blog post momentarily. Of it, he said, “For a minute I worried about sending you a handspun handknit gift, but then I thought, maybe a lot of people think that and so you don’t get many and you might like one.”

Jenny makes my day often, and she especially made my day with her Ode to a Low Whorl recently.

Cassie knocks my socks off; again, a doer and achiever and wonderful human being who I’d never have gotten to know if it weren’t for blogland.

I heart mamacate, and keep taking too long to respond to her emails and so on. Like, really too long. Like a year too long. And she has the absolute most fabulous “about” slugline ever: “A blog to serve the needs of the infertile lesbian fiber arts breastfeeding parents of twins community, particularly those who are left-leaning democrats employed in research and education. Don’t all comment at once, we don’t want to crash the server.” Sing it!

Lastly, I feel I should close with a confession of sorts about blogland. Are you ready? Okay, here it is.

When my online friends started reading blogs and whatnot — and I was a little late to reading blogs, since I was doing 800,000 other online things — they all started reading this one by some Canadian knitting chick. And all 100-zillion of my online friends would keep emailing me, catching me on IRC, finding my livejournal, sending me AIM messages, or talking to me in person to say “You should read her blog! Omigod! You’d love it!” By the time the first half-trillion people had said so, I had a mental image built up in my mind of some phenomenon like that dancing baby thingy, or the chain letter joke list that got forwarded to me 800 times by every person who’d just gotten email the first time, or the alleged macarena craze. So I totally blew off looking at that blog. Because, I mean, whatever. Whoever this chick was that had this huge mass of fans, just… whatever. I totally didn’t care. Big deal. Dancing baby! Macarena! Shut up shut up!

Time went by, and people got more and more into her blog. I mean, it was just nuts — people were crazy about it, and they’d start quoting this chick, and doing what she said, and I just kept thinking, “Oh, whatever.” And then this one day, somebody, somewhere, told me that said blogger did not advocate the darning of socks.

“What?” I said, aghast. I mean, handknit socks — save them! Learning to darn is also useful, and it’s not like it’s hard, and there’s a skillset there, and… what?

“Yeah,” whoever it was said, “She just says to throw the socks away, because darning is stupid and pointless and a total waste of time.”

Well, that was it. That was the absolute last straw for me. I wasn’t having it. “Well that’s it,” I said, “I’m going to go right over there and I’m gonna give this wool floozy a piece of my mind! Does she not realize that, as a person who apparently has the attention of scads of people becoming interested in the fiber arts, she has a moral obligation to, well, to not tell people to throw away their easily repaired handknits, at least? That’s it! I’m going to go kick her butt!”

So I did; I stormed right over there (well, you know. I was really vehement and vigorous cutting and pasting a URL into my web browser, muttering under my breath and thinking just what I was going to say) and read the post someone had told me about where this fiber trollop said to just throw out your socks — and as I read it, well, I was shocked. And horrified. I mean, I was utterly aghast. The more I read, the more appalled I was.

You see, the article didn’t say anything of the kind.

Nope, it was light-hearted, and this chick was poking fun at herself over her sock mishap. Nothing, NOTHING AT ALL suggested that simply throwing out a handknit was the way to go, or that darning was stupid and pointless.

So, there I was with a great head of bluster and steam built up, based solely on third-hand hearsay. The horror that crept over me could best be described as me thinking, “Oh my god! That poor woman! I even believed this totally false thing that pissed me off about her, and I’m a seasoned ‘net skeptic!” I didn’t know what to say. I did know I felt stupid and guilty. Surreptitiously, I started reading her blog, as if in some way that counted as an apology. Bit by bit, I realized that here was a woman committed to her obsession — one she and I had in common, which is to say, “stuff that has to do with yarn.” And beyond that, she was clearly and visibly committed to the notion that yarn dorks are a community, and yarn dorks online in particular are a powerful community. To my shock, I realized that I actually… I actually… I might LIKE this woman.

Eventually, I met her in person, and you know what? In fact, I do like her. We could totally hang. And — and this is the point of where I’m going with all of this — it’s true that I’d likely never have met her if it weren’t for blogland, but even more importantly, if I hadn’t taken the time to actually go read her stuff, if I’d only listened to the buzz, if I’d just read the occasional thing in a magazine, or her books, I would have had all kinds of misconceptions about her and never gotten to know the actual person. And that’s what makes blogland really cool: it’s not all edited and streamlined and produced cleverly and structured neatly and whatnot. Instead, it’s people. You really can just hang, and that, most of all, is what makes my day.

Thank you all for hanging with me, even on Mondays like this.

21 thoughts on “Make My Day, eh?

  1. I just love those mornings. Those are the days that (if I can help it) I stay in sweatpants and dye all day. Those days ruin my mojo.

    I’m happy to make your day because you know you make mine right back.

  2. So sorry for laughing, but you are funny! That sounds like every day at our house, just add a couple more kids! Now, I have to go check out your shop!! 🙂

  3. I’ve soooo got you beat for Mondays, but yours is far more entertainingly told. Mine began with the 8:30 am staff meeting in which we were told that the 2009 US budget has no money for us. If that doesn’t change by the time it gets through Congress, my lab will close. Ya know, agriculture just isn’t that important. And my day hasn’t improved, with many other things major and minor going wrong. It was actually kind of refreshing to read about someone else’s Monday (though I’m sure yours was frustrating to live through!).

    This of course inspired thoughts of, “Well, if I become an out-of-work government scientist, can I make a living as a yarn dork?” Hm.

    And now, the second staff meeting of the day, in which the upper-level administrators have left and we discuss the ramifications. Professional yarn-dorkness? Forced relocation? We won’t know for sure for months and months and months (perhaps the worst part of the whole business).

  4. Oh, how nice!! Thank you very much, Abby!!! I don’t get a chance to read many blogs and quite honestly, I try to stay away from the spinning/dyeing techie one’s while I’m writing the book, ’cause I may accidently steal stuff, and heaven forbid, call it my own!…hee, hee. But many folks have told me how downright excellent your blog is and in a year or so…I’ll be free and clear for awhile and will have A LOT of great reading to catch up on!!

    Isn’t it wonderful what’s available online now for newbie and seasoned spinners alike?! Simply amazing stuff!!! Wish I would have had this source when I started spinning. And that Ravelry…well, it’s bloody dangerous for me ’cause an hour can go by when I’m on it and I don’t even realize it…

    BTW, I’m glad we’ve connected. Thank you again.

  5. I too dwell in the land of ill-fitting, but temporary, dammit, temporary mompants. I was going to award you too but was too slow! Consider this a ‘hear hear’ on your award :-). Hope your day got better.

  6. Thanks, Abby – I needed that big laugh today!

    I know the fat-pants situation very well. I went for the low rise jeans, so they just try to fall down off of the *ahem* wide central areas, in lieu of pinching in at the waist. Doesn’t make Mondays any easier though.

    BTW, I can send you some humidity if you like, We de-humidify ’round these parts.

  7. That’s so funny, because that’s exactly what I say about you – we could TOTALLY hang! The next time it snows, I want you to go do some donuts for me. ;o)

  8. Commiserating with you on a lousy Monday. I’ve spent all day fixing other people’s problems and doing none of the things I need to do.

    Reading your blog makes me smile. Your work inspires me. So, even though you don’t know me, you make a difference in my life. On jelly-side-down-days, that’s a good thing to know.

  9. The wool floozy, Denny and I were having a similar discussion about the merits of blogland last week. Coz, see, I wouldn’t know any of you if I hadn’t left a comment on that blog one day. Would never have met Steph or Denny, never have gone to Maryland Sheep & Wool, Rhinebeck or SOAR and quite likely lived my days still thinking of the woman who showed a handspun, handknit shawl at the very first knitting guild meeting I ever went to (obviously before I was truly ready) as some kind of anachronistic freak best to avoid close contact with. Now I can’t take my eyes off fibre slipping through a spinner’s hands in hope that the skill can be absorbed that way somehow.

    If I hadn’t read a blog one day, I’d be missing some of the best parts of my world.

  10. I so know the pain of the waistband! And I love your writing, and your spinning. Completely! It’s always a good day when you post.

  11. Truly enjoyable read. One I can relate to on many levels and enjoy on all! Thank you and another Here! Here!

  12. You made my month, oh evil twin 🙂 and I so recently discovered — you worked on Page Mill Road in Palo Alto? we have more in common than we think! Though I was raised in Surrey, Boston, and Colorado Springs — nothing so exotic as Peru (sigh)

  13. I am with you on the pants.

    Also? Lightbulbs exploding in your hands? Feline diluvial disasters before coffee? Yup, the imp is still living at your house.

  14. Abby, your post made MY day today. Especially the last bit, about getting to know bloggers and not just accepting the hype. I appreciate your positive outlook and dedication to excellence, every time I come here.

    And I’m learning to knit! I’m a baby knitter! Not only that, but I know the difference between throwing and picking and I can do both of them!

  15. I’m always glad when you have time to post. You have a way with words that puts me RIGHT in your house, watching the whole situation like a cat perched on top of a bookcase. (So make sure you’re dressed, mmmmmkay? I don’t care if the pants FIT, just make sure you’re wearing some!)

    Seriously, I learn something every time I sit at your figurative feet, here and on Ravelry. So thanks for that, and the deep respect you’ve given me for textiles and their makers (which includes me!)

  16. I always thought it was only me who did not buy more pants with, uh, fitting, uh, parts, despite needing them. So we are at least two people who do that, and this means, we are not, uh, behaving funny. Its quite normal. Other people do it, too.
    Thanks! You just made my day!

  17. You make my day, too. When you post I get all excited, and I squee when a package comes in the mail (even though I’m back to being a poor college student, and can’t order nearly as much as I did when I was working 😛 )(don’t you just love run-on parenthetical sentences?)

  18. Thanks for blogging, Abby. You make my day, too. Your posts are wonderful, interesting reads and I always look forward to each one.

  19. While sitting on my fat rear for the three months I’ve been out of work, I somehow went up a size in clothing, and find myself out of clothes for my new job. No money except unemployment so far, and new clothes buying. Sigh.

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