Thursday, June 30, 2005

Can I have a re-do?

Or: My week in pictures.

My birthday. At least I thought it was. Seems my husband and kids had other plans, none of which included even saying "happy birthday." But am I bitter?

You bet your sweet bippy I am!

The only kid with a pass was the Oldest Teen, since he went in for to have his tongue released and a nerve moved. As soon as he came out of surgery he asked for a mirror to see what had been done. Terrible mom that I am, I had no mirror, but good blogger that I am, I did have the camera:

Until Sunday, you would have seen his tongue lapping over his lower front teeth. Freedom!

I went to renew my gun license. Spouseman, does this message say something to you?

The Youngest Teen graduated 8th grade (including NN). No processionals here, just dinner and a play.

(The Youngest Teen is the blonde in the black skirt with her back to the camera.)

The Youngest Teen's knitting made its stage debut.

You can barely see it (all seats in the sports hall are nosebleeed city), but it's on the ground next to the flowerpot in the lower right hand corner, her Neverending Red Scarf.

Bar Mitzvah party for my cousin's son and The Spouse finished off the Torah scroll my cousin comissioned for the ocassion.

The hills of Jerusalem in the background, a canopy above--what more could a scribe want? Oh, yeah, a little less wind... He's earned his Samurai Scribe designation now.

The country's going mad. Something major is going down in the Arab city next door, but there's an injunction against publishing details, so check with your major news outlet later today. The army has also closed off Gush Katif to non-residents and is not allowing free traffic to residence. Locals says it looks like the army is preparing for war. Against Israeli citizens.

All I'm sayin' is that maybe if they fought the enemy instead of citizens, what's going on below me wouldn't be happening, nor would what's going on in Gush Katif.

So, it's the last day of June. How'd I do on that to-do list?
My knitting to-do list for the month of June
  1. Finish sleeves of Fiona, block and sew sweater.--Almost done with the sleeves.
  2. Finish the Middle Teen's blue Trekking XL socks--DONE!
  3. Finish my Magic Stripes socks--DONE!
  4. Finish at least 1 Sockotta sock--finished the gusset, steaming around the feet.
  5. Finish the Industrial Monkey--DONE!
  6. Do at least one pattern repeat of the Mystery Stole
  7. Finish spinning roving for the Middle Teen's sweater--DONE!
  8. Work 40 hour weeks, plus get in an additional 20 hours--Ha. Don't make me laugh.
  9. Go to the Youngest Teen's 8th grade graduation--DONE!
  10. Go to a Bar Mitzvah party--DONE!
  11. Go to The Spouse's Torah dedication weekend--Doing this weekend.
  12. The Oldest Teen's surgery--DONE!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

School's out for summer

The view from inside Boys Town Jerusalem, site of the Oldest Teen's incarceration for the past 4 years

Joy to the Teens. Terror for the Mom. It's summers that make me think about taking a corporate job again, just so I can get away from the family for a few hours a day. Most of the year working from the house is bliss. Over vacations? Major suckage.

  • Israelis, add this number to your speed dials: 050-800-60-60. The anti-expulsion hotline; all the activities, all the protests, all the time.

  • For the person who visited after googling for "world's best scribe" -- he's here. Tell him Moze sent you.

I'm knitting as fast as I can

I don't think I have enough yarn to finish this sock.

If I knit fast, though, maybe I can outrun the deficit? Well, I didn't much care for it anyway. If I have enough to finish, I'll gift it to my sister. She wants socks -- no one ever knits for her -- and I want not to have to make her a pair every time I see her, so many this pair (with poorly done gussets and a truly icky colorway) will satisfy (or horrify) her enough.

Say goodbye to the Not-Yarn Along, aka the Industrial Monkey

Hey, Ma, it's tight on this needle!

Is this one of those shape thingies mathematicians knit up for their theses?

But, with a little perseverance, you too can end up with

The Thing that wouldn't stand!

This will probably end up in the trash some day. The ruffle is too heavy for the audio tape and pulls it down. The audio tape itself stinks. Literally. It gives off these noxious fumes that make me glad we've switched most of our music to CDs. Still, now I know that though a small amount of audio tape yarn is a good thing (cf. Fry-Up bag), it is not like chocolate; "too much" is a quickly reached limit.

Back to yesterday's post . American Idol vs. Kochav Nolad.

You get Simon:

We get Svika:

I'm just sayin'...

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Ulpanistiyot of the world, unite!

Last night’s Kochav Nolad (the Israeli version of American Idol) was won by religious high school heart throb Ohad Elisha. He got twice the votes the next contestant did, despite having sung something that didn’t flatter his voice.

We are high schoolers. We have cell phones. Fear us.

Even Riki Gal and the Maestro have fallen under the spell of the off-side kippah, the puppy dog eyes.

Riki Gal sounds like a fantastic voice teacher. Her critiques are so simple, but so on the money, that they are breath-taking. But know who needs to hear her critique most? Based on her singing last night, Riki herself. Day-um, woman, I know cocaine can mess up your nose, but this is the first proof I have that it can mess up your throat, too!

You've got to love the secular right. First it was orange condoms distributed in the night clubs, now it's orange-and-white parking spaces in north Tel Aviv. I'm not sure I'd like to live in north Tel Aviv--too crowded and too dirty, but I'm willing to slum for a while.

And now, what you've come here for (except you, Alison. We know you're all about the transitions--hee!)

For those scoffers who think I can't do it, the first FO from yesterday's list:

The Middle Teen's socks, knitted, kitchenered, and handed over. Only 10 more projects to go. (11, actually, since I forgot to list The Oldest Teen's surgery next Sunday, but I can knit through that.)

Check out the bling! Becky sent me these great stitch markers as part of Bead It 2. She took rings from the wedding crafts section of her LCS to make the rings, so they look as fancy as the rest! As you see, I put them to work right away. With all these teens around the place, everything else has to pull its own weight.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Welcome home, NN

The girl who shares the Youngest Teen's school desk is finally home after 36 days in jail for blocking a road during a sit-down protest and for not agreeing to be freed under unfair conditions. According to Haaretz, a Justice Ministry spokesperson said

The prosecution has agreed to be lenient, changing the girls' original conditions, due to concern, given the circumstances in this special case, first and foremost for the best interests of the minors and out of a sensitive and just approach with regards to the girls, who have spent a long time under harsh prison conditions

Well, glad to see they're admitting the prison conditions are harsh. (NN was once quoted in the news as saying she cried into her pillow every night of incarceration. "A lie," she told her classmates by cellphone from the jail. "We didn't cry, and they never gave us any pillows.") But lenient in changing the conditions? Uh, hello--the original conditions were house arrest until the case is settled. Which is how long--2 months? 2 years? 2 decades? In Israel, as anywhere else, the wheel of justice turn very slowly when The Powers That Be have no interest in speeding things up.

I'm proud of the Youngest Teen's class. Though they went to support demonstrations at the jail and the courthouse, they did not go today the demonstration to greet their classmate on her return. They all got together, discussed matters, and decided that since NN wasn't exactly the class queen before her arrest, it would just be hypocracy to make her the star of the show now, simply because she showed her strength two months before their 8th grade graduation. They will make a small party for her tomorrow in the classroom, and though NN will have no part in the graduation play (it's next week, and she hasn't exactly been there for auditions and rehearsals) she'll be one of the stars of the night. I wish a lot of adults could be as level headed as these 13 year olds.

Today's victim of peace:Yvgeny Reider. May G-d avenge his soul and send comfort to his family and loved ones.

My knitting to-do list for the month of June
  1. Finish sleeves of Fiona, block and sew sweater.

  2. Finish the Middle Teen's blue Trekking XL socks

  3. Finish my Magic Stripes socks

  4. Finish at least 1 Sockotta sock

  5. Finish the Industrial Monkey

  6. Do at least one pattern repeat of the Mystery Stole

  7. Finish spinning roving for the Middle Teen's sweater

  8. Work 40 hour weeks, plus get in an additional 20 hours

  9. Go to the Youngest Teen's 8th grade graduation

  10. Go to a Bar Mitzvah party

  11. Go to The Spouse's Torah dedication weekend

What do you mean, I only have 10 days left????
Pictures tomorrow, if I can find my camera. Or my brain.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Get me, Ms. Big Time International Weapons Dealer

I must be a very dangerous person, because I have shipped quite a few weapons to Europe and to America. Good thing I don't live in Gush Katif, or the army might come in the night to arrest me, too.

If you want momentos of the war to come (including the ribbon weapons--I wonder what gymnasts could do with them), visit the Gush Katif store.
The one thing that bothers me in all the preparations to fight this madness is the nearly total emphasis on Gush Katif. The government's also expelling the residents of North Shomron; rumor had it that they were planning to close that area as early as this week. Yet there has been no public outcry. I admit that Gush Katif is important, buit I think North Shomron is more so, both strategically and historically. But Gush Katif has the publicists, so they get the news stories, they get the people moving down there (ironically, from the Shomron, too, instead of these people moving a little north).

Today a friend of mine called up a woman who lives in one of teh North Shomron communities. "I want to come help," she told the woman.

"Help with what?"

"The new families, the old--whatever you need."

"All I need is help packing. The government doesn't want us here," the woman told her. "The people don't seem to care, either. So why should I risk staying?"

Support the settlements of North Shomron! And oh, yeah, if you have a little energy to spare, Gush Katif, too.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Sometimes you can actually hear G-d laugh

Sometimes it's with you :

  • The NSLYS had bamboo needles in 2.0 (for the Sockotta) and 2.5 mm (to replace the Brittany Birch needles. I hate the rounded tips.)

  • One of the bead stores I went to yesterday had cool beads for Marker Mania, and on sale, too!

  • I found about 2/3 of what I was looking for to send my SP5.

  • I've heard from all my various "pals"--SP, sockapal2za, and the woman I sent the Bead It 2 to put a link to me on her blog, so I'm assuming she's figured out that I'm me, though I don't know if she got the markers yet.

  • The Oldest Teen graduated high school (more about this next week). His teachers actually let him live long enough to finish--amazing.

Sometimes it's at you:

  • All the Teens are out of the house this weekend. Oldest Teen is off to a post-grad party/weekend of study with his friends at the Beit Shean yeshiva, and the Middle and Youngest Teen are in Kiryat Arba. It's just The Spouse and me, but since we're both so crazy busy with work (I'm still trying to make up the time I didn't work when we wet to Houston, and then when I went to Florida, and he's behind because someone else flaked out on a job he subcontracted to them) that we can't go away at all; we'll both be working until the last minute before the Sabbath and start again the minute it ends. Why couldn't the kids have all gone away next week, when the pressure would be off The Spouse, at least, and I could take off and call it a birthday gift to myself?

  • I'm so tired that I was halfway through my breakfast of a hard boiled egg sandwich before I realized I'd never boiled an egg. Ever had mayonnaise and gari on a roll? [shudder]

  • I've finally come to the conclusion that The Youngest Teen is craftier than I:

    The Youngest Teen's graduation present to The Oldest Teen. Made of a broken cork board, old ratty comics, all found in Oldest Teen's trash. Add a coat of paint left over from painting Oldest Teen's room 3 years ago, and -- a new wall hanging.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Sunday political roundup

Disengaement is going to make Israel such a better place!

Negev residents are told to prepare for a "better tomorrow" -- by leaving doors and windows locked at all times; residents with licensed weapons are encouraged to carry their gun at all times.

Our peace partners are on the verge of collapse, but they will not collect weapons from their "militants." The Jews' weapons, of course, will be collected, because we all know those Jews just can't be trusted.

Of course, our media isn;t biased. Read all about a settler who attacked a soldier. Of course, what the article -- in all innocence, I'm sure -- leaves out is the reason why the settler attacked. Over a poster? Fugedabodit. Posters like this are all over the concrete barriers already. No, it was just the small matter of the soldier having the barrel of his rifle up against the settler's chest and his finger on the trigger. But what's a potential point-blank-range bullet or two between friends, right? Guess that whole "no human rights for settlers thing" is really catching on.

Maybe Sharon's just playing with us all. Maybe it's time we returned the favor.

In other news: Won a movie ticket doing some searching on Blingo. Perfect timing--it should arrive while I'm in Florida and have the chance to use it. Because I won a ticket, so did Stinkerbelle, who sent me the invitation to sign up. If any wants an invite, let me know. Blingo uses Google's search engine, plus you have the chance to win movie tickets and Amazon gift certificates. Hey, if I could win, anyone could.

Happy Shavuot! Just keep in mind what all those cheese cakes and blintzes do to your diet....

Thursday, June 09, 2005

WIP Wednesday

What, it's Thursday already? Sheesh, that's me--always a day late and a dollar short.

Got two different socks trying to fight off SSS.

Is it just me, or does the color scheme in that bottom sock (which is Trekking XL) look an awful lot like Labradorable's Opal sock? What's up with all this colorway duplication? I have a skeing of purple and blue Magic Stripes that I'm going to knit up and gift away; it's so close in colors to my Regia socks that I'd end up wearing one of each instead of the pair.

Fiona's back--and what a set of fronts!

Mystery solved--at least for this week's clue

(Much nicer than what it used to be--a boring garter stitch square.)

Chunky Industrial Monkey is about twice as high as she was, but doesn't look much different yet. I'm thinking of leaving the handles off of her and using her as a basket instead. She's a very upstanding girl.

My baby (she of the depressed horse gift) made me a ceramic tea cup. With an orange inside, of course!)

In other news

From the world of fashion, a new trend, and from people everywhere a sigh of relief. Does this mean we're done with seeing body parts that ought to be reserved for one's bath, SO, or physician? Someone ought to make the case that the gratuitous exposure of too much flesh is a sort of sexual harrassment. Coming home from Florida there was a man who was sort of handsome. Interest quickly waned when he bent down, though. If I can tell how well you wipe without even laundering your underwear, you're showing too much.

In politics: Those of you who disapprove of Bush and his Homeland Security, be glad you don't live here. High Court: Disengagement Legal Despite Human Rights Violations.
Ten of the Justices ruled that the Disengagement Plan violates the human rights of "property, freedom of occupation and proper respect for the evacuees," but is acceptable in order to achieve political and security aims.

Read that again. I'll wait right here while you do.

Back? Good. Did you notice that little sweetmeat in there? It's acceptable to violate human rights for political aims. Once that starts, where does it end? Under this ruling, a politician could justify bombing an entire town which he knows won't vote for him. Getting elected is a political end, isn't it? And if you think I'm reducing things to the absurd extremes--in Israel, we perform 6 absurd extremes before breakfast.

I wonder if this means I'm allowed to violate someone else's human rights if I have a political motive--or is oppression strictly a government's right?

Wednesday, June 08, 2005


Is there anything more irresponsible than a teenaged boy?

Last night I get a call from the Oldest Teen. "Can you look on my desk and find my National ID card?" he asks.

"Sure. Why?"

"Oh, I take my road test tomorrow morning and i forgot it at home."

"Tomorrow?? How am I supposed to get it to you tomorrow?"

He offered to come home, but how could he get back to town by 8 am? (We live an hour away by car, and several hours away by bus. As you might guess, he doesn't have access to our car.) Luckily, our neighbor, who is very nice, very responsible, and most importantly, works in Jerusalem, offered to take the card in to work with him for The Oldest Teen to pick up. Now the kid just has to pass his road test.

Oh, and he casually dropped this little bit of luciousness into the conversation: "By the way, I almost got arrested last week."

Say wha?

"It was all a misunderstanding. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time," he claimed.

Sure. Right. Whatever. Haven't I heard that line before, on Law and Order?

He "just happened" to "pass by" a demonstration. Got tagged by the police. Starting yelling (in English) that he's an American citizen, that he wants to speak to the Consul before the cops take him anywhere, and do they really want to start dealing with the diplomatic corps for having arrested an innocent American Abroad? (Note how he conveniently forgot to mention that he's also an Israeli citizen.)

So what have we learned today?

  • Your national ID card is like your towel--never leave home without it.

  • If you're ever on the brink of getting arrested in Israel, claim foreign citizenship.

  • No matter what your mother says, there are some things she'd Just Rather Not Know. If it ended up OK, keep it to yourself.

Hey, Oldest Teen, see these three new gray hairs? Thanks a lot, kid.

Then today, I was supposed to meet fellow Israeli knit-blogger Jennifer. We know each other back from the days of the Oasis Israeli Knitting Guild, back before knitting was cool. We hooked up again, on-line, through her Kippalong. We were going to meet today for coffee, but first The Spouse had a business emergency (which means he's going to have to write 1/7th of the work still to be done, instead of just sitting back and brokering the deal, and that instead of us having lots of quality time together betwen trips to the US, we'll both be slaving away long hours, 6 days a week). When we finally got out to the car, it wouldn't start. Someone had turned on our emergency transponder and it drained the battery; we're waiting for the tow guy now. Living in the boonies means a 4+ hour wait. Never-ending fun!

So what does a frustrated knit-blogger do? Join something! Alison re-opened sign up for Sockapal2za. If you hurry, you might still get in. And I signed myself, my father, and The Middle Teen (as a team) up for Cara's Sew What.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Tuesday Travels

Or, what I did on my spring vacation (besides getting a new battery for my parents' car):

Will some one please remind me, before the next time I go flying off to the States (July 10) that I am now in the States 4-5 times a year and don't need to buy like I'm never coming back? That Lush, Webs, Knit Picks, Amazon, and Patternworks will be there the next trip in, too? Thank you.

That said, the damage:

Cotton from Walmart, weaving cotton from Webs (for curtains), hemp (for cocktail monkey? for facecloths?) from Rag Shop, and silk boucle (at $3/lb--can you beat that?) from Webs:

Catherine sent me a RAOK. Back in April I bought some ribbon yarn that had been driving her mad, and when she sent me the yarn she RAOKed me with the pattern she was going to use. It's a very pretty, simple and elegant tank. I can see that the Girl Teens and I will be fighting over it when I'm done.

When Lisa destashed, I picked up all this sock yarn for a song (well, not really--I wouldn't want to deafen Lisa, or you):

And, of course, Knit Picks. Enough Palisades (sob) for The Youngest Teen's Fiora (from Adrienne Vittadini's Fall 2004 book.

My parents gave me this knitting bag. It's really a beach tote, from a hotel that went out of business in April (my folks were among the final customers), but it's honkin' huge. I mean, I've got about 40 skeins of yarn in there for this picture, and the only reason some is peeking out the top is because I photo-styled it that way. I could easily have gotten another 10 or 20 skeins in there.

Of course there were books. And lots of Lush. I don't think there's a thing from Lush I don't like (aside from their new Olive Branch shower gel which I object to on political grounds. WHo do they think they're kidding? If the groves are owned by Israeli Arabs, then they aren't Palestinians, they're Israelis, unless they move to the Palestinian areas. If they are Palestinians, does Lush honestly believe, with all the corruption in the Palestinian Authority, that the olive grove owners are allowed to keep all their profits, that none are paid to their government as protection money? And just where does that protection money end up? Anyone remember the Karin A?

All good shopping must end, though. And so to home. Yesterday was Jerusalem Day. Lots of people in the center of town. Lots of orange.

Monday, June 06, 2005

RAOKing my world

RAOK is always in fashion!

Back in the middle of April everyone's favorite yarnho had a contest to explain what a certain "item" she had bought was, and she found my guess "witty and intriging," though my "mind is in the gutter." (And thank you for the compliment, but I think the gutter is a level or two up from where my mind resides.) She sent me out a package and joked it would get here in June. Looks like the joke was on her, because it got here today, and it's only--oh, wait--it *is* June.

Talk about perfect timing. It's Jerusalem Day, so the Teens are out doing flag-dancing until 1 am. Going chill us some wine, slip it in the wine bag, and then open up that shea butter sugar scrub and that body cream...

Oh, yeah, and where did *your* minds just slip to, huh?

Before I went to Florida, Heide sent me a RAOK, which got here while I was away.

Of course the Teens opened it and made me up a list of what I *must* get on the needles right away--the gussetted floor cushions, the stuffed animals, and an hourglass sweater. Good thing I brought home all this yarn (more about that tomorrow, if no one gets arrested tonight).

Another gft I came home to was The Youngest Teen's "depressed and straight-jacketed" horse:

Amazing what a 13 year old can do with telephone wire, paper crimpers, and a really weird imagination.

I sent out my Bead It 2 stitch markers today:

Since the giftee isn;t in Israel, it might take just short of forever to get there.

In both BI2 and SP5 I got difficult partners, for different reasons. The only real contact I've had with my BI2 partner is in reading her blog, and her posts nearly frightened me into bailing out, but what's the worst that can happen--she can hate what I sent? My SP5 giftee seems like a really cool person, but is very difficult to shop for (reasons will be obvious after the reveal). Oh, well, I'll try to be creative and hope she doesn;t hate me for not being even more so. I don't think she's the type who will; we'll see after she gets her first package.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

What I did on my spring vacation

Which just proves that my good luck with cars is international.
One battery and half a foot later, I was on the road again.

Package mailed out to my SP5 giftee. S/he's very difficult to shop for, but I'm loving the challenge.

The other thing I did on my "vacation" (aside from massive amounts of housework) is a Vittadini sweater, from Fall 2004, I think:

A closeup:

I wish KnitPicks Palisades weren't going to be disappearing so soon. I could have gotten to love it.