Ask Poops, Please

Putting my two cents in.

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Location: Belmont, New Hampshire, United States

Born and bred in a small New England town, I am convinced that I know something about everything, and that my opinion matters. If only to me. Well, you'll see what I mean. And I love to knit, so you'll see what kind of things I'm doing when I should be vacuuming the living room.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Gifts Galore!

I'm doing a secret pal swap on the Knittyboard; this one is for Knittymamas.

I don't know who my SP is yet, but she sent me a lovely box of goodies this week. Each of the kids got a new book, and they were perfect choices. The Trumpet of the Swan for the Bug, Bobo got a cool book that's hard to explain but it's like paper dolls only with cloth and you don't have to cut anything out. Both girls get a kick out of that one. And Dave got a squishy bath book to drool on and bang on the floor with delight.

But the best was for me. I got two Lindt chocolate bars which I did my best not to scoff down before opening the rest of the package...PMS can be an ugly thing, my friends. They were timely, and hey, chocolate is medicine in my book.

And I got two gorgeous skeins of Mmmmmmalabrigo yarn in a grapey purple shade. They are so pretty. I vow they will become something for me, though I'm not sure what yet. Not that it matters. I'm going to pet them like a lap dog for awhile anyway. I love the way it feels in the skein, and then it knits up so bouncy and beautiful and soft...I think it's my favorite yarn.

I will let it speak to me for awhile and tell me what it wants to become.

I planned on taking a picture of it to show y'all, but I had chocolate all over my fingers...

So to distract you, LOOK!

(I know it's sideways. Tip your head.)

This is my nod to green living. I call it the "It's Not Easy Being Green Shopping Bag." A very simple easy-peasy string bag out of dishcloth cotton, quick to make, washable and very strong.

Now, if we can remember to use them when we grocery shop. I'm not good at all this save-the-planet hoohah. Baby steps, baby steps.

Monday, April 27, 2009

I Rock

I just figured out how to do the coolest thing. Wanna hear? Of course you do.

I have this teeny-weeny little Sony digital voice recorder that I used to use when I first started as a cantor at church. I would record the psalms as I learned them so that I could practice at home.

The thing is, it's the kind of recorder one would use for notes at a meeting or something like that. It is not made for music recording, but those were freakishly expensive at the time and this really does suit my purpose. It just doesn't make singing recordings of any kind of quality for your listening pleasure.

I also have on the mighty 'puter a freeware music editing program called Audacity. I got it when I was making a soundtrack for the slide show I did for our class reunion a couple years back. I used it then to cut and paste clips of songs and fade them together, blah blah blah. I never looked at the other stuff the program could do because I didn't need it. It's been languishing on the computer ever since.

Tonight I had our choir director record herself playing just the piano to this weekend's psalm. We usually sing with the organ and the piano; Lillian plays the chords and the melody on organ and Jeanne plays the chords on piano. When Lillian's not melody. Which, for someone who is tonally challenged from time to time like myself, is reallllllllly hard.

So, I recorded just the piano to practice. Jeanne gives you NOTHING when she accompanies. She plays chords. You have to find your note or die trying.

Did I mention I find that hard? Even Bob said it's hard. And he would know.

So I get my recording home and it is static-y, which is the best way I can think of to describe it. It's full of what you would describe as tape hiss if I had taped it. It's the digital version of tape hiss, whatever you call it.

Anyway, in a fit of genius, I opened it with the Audacity program and pulled down the menu of special effects things it could do, and lo and behold, there was "noise reduction."


So I singled out the "hiss" and told the program to remove that particular sound from the track, and guess what? It did.

It's fucking awesome.

Now I can rehearse to just piano without fighting all that extra noise. Plus, it's saved to the computer, so I can sing to it while I record myself singing, then I can take out that hiss and I'll have a good recording of my own singing with piano accompaniment. As if I had laid down the tracks or something. Only a lot less cool than that.

It seems like a lot of work, but it's cheaper than buying a better recorder. I might start recording more of rehearsals again now that I know I can clean them up.

I should have taped the weekend Bob came up. I was so jazzed for him to hear me cantor, and I got to tell you, whenever I'm feeling particularly chuffed with myself (as Yorkie would say), God finds a way to teach me a lesson about humility.

The Sunday he came, the choir sounded like cats in heat. Now, I have enough trouble finding the right notes when it's just me and the piano. You add three tone deaf sopranos all warbling in three different keys and an alto singing the tenor line of Lift High the Cross behind me and you can imagine how it sounded.

Better yet, don't. Just don't.

I was nervous on the psalm--I'm always nervous when Lillian's not there pounding out the melody for me--and it was worse because I wanted to do well so that Bob would be impressed.

Turns out I should have concerned myself with singing for God's glory and not my own. I sucked so bad that it was laughable, and I did laugh when I sat down because I knew I got what I deserved. Too funny. I'm there to pray not to perform, and I need to be reminded from time to time, when I get too pleased with myself.

I'm going to rock the house this weekend though, what with my new and improved voice recording and editing system in place.

If anyone knows how to post a .wav file to Blogger, let me know and I'll let you have a listen.

Unless I suck, that is.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Seen on Penny Karma's Blog

Like my friend Yorkie, I too am a regular reader and frequent flyer over at Penny Karma's blog Behold My Brilliance. She is funny as hell, people. That's all I can say. She's just fucking brilliant. If you are ever in a bad mood, pop in. Read the archives, or as she calls is "What Did I Just Get Finished Saying To You?"

Anyway, this is a clip from her most recent entry. Yorkie quoted it, and I will as well, since it actually made me laugh so hard I choked on my own saliva, and that's a rare joy indeed.

She calls these "Mommy Mad Libs" and as anyone who has kids and is honest about their thoroughly irritating qualities can attest, these are spot-on. If you're not prone to swearing around your children, much less at them, you might not find them funny. And I feel bad for you.

Anyway, here they are. Penny Karma's Mommy Mad Libs. Enjoy.

How did the
(foreign substance) get (preposition) the (noun)?

Oh, (adjective) (deity), why can't you (verb) like a normal person?

Do I even want to know why you'd put a
(noun) in a (appliance)?

For (expletive)'s sake, will you stop (verb ending in -ing) so (adverb ending in -ly)?

You can not tell your (relative) to (verb) himself.

Did you just give a (snack food) to a (wild animal)?

No, we're not going to the (fun place); we're going to the (boring place).

If you (verb) in (house of worship) (number) more times, I'm going to (verb) your (body part) so (adverb), it'll be (color) for (number) (measurement of time).

You gotta be (expletive) (expletive) (expletive) kidding me.

The woman needs a book deal. Anyone? Please?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Did It Work?

Elizabeth says that if I put one lovely picture in my blog post that no one will notice my content is thin. Or something like that.

How's this for lovely?

Big D is working hard on his crawling skills. He can get himself almost all the way up on all fours, but isn't quite sure what to do when he gets there. He lays on his tummy and stretches his arms out in front of him and kind of squirms and pulls himself along that way to whatever he wants to grab. He is a big fan of the phone cord. He loves anything with a cord, really.

Today he was squorkling around the living room doing whatever it is he does, and he must have come over all exhausted because next thing I knew he was sound asleep. On the living room floor surrounded by toys, phone cord at hand.

He slept there like that for two hours. Which meant that he wasn't tired in the afternoon but was WAY tired at bedtime, so much so that he was too tired to go to sleep. I hate it when that happens too.

Speaking of that, I went to bed last night at 9. I got up around 5 to pee and then went back to sleep. When the alarm went off at 7 it was all I could do to get up. I felt like I hadn't slept a wink, even though I slept like a rock. It took three cups of coffee just to get my eyes to focus.

What's up with that?

Did I tell you I had a dream about Heidi Klum the other night? I did. I dreamed I was working for Project Runway and we were in a production meeting. She's pregnant again and in the dream I asked her when she was due and she said "two hours ago." She sure didn't look it to me, but that's a supermodel for you.

I'm not sure what I ate before I went to bed.

Just When I Think I Can Be Entertaining

You ever sit down to blog about summat only to read a couple of blogs before you begin to write and then feel like you have nothing remotely interesting to say?

Happens to me all the time.

It's like Pooh Bear once mused: "When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it."

You know how that is?

Take Sunday, for instance. I had my birthday party on Sunday. I had a blast. I had a great weekend with Friend Bob who came for a visit. We had amazing conversations about everything. And I want to share it all.

But dammit if I don't feel like the most pedantic, pedestrian writer on the block today. I bore myself to tears.

Damn you, Yorkie! Damn you, Penny Karma! Stop being so brilliant! I love you! I hate you!

*poops breaks down sobbing*

Friday, April 17, 2009

Damn Dog.

I hate the Obama's new dog.

I think it's a ugly breed to begin with since I loathe poodles and that thing is decidedly "poodle-esque".

I hate that it came from Ted "And When I Returned, Mary Jo and the Car Were Gone" Kennedy. The man has made a career of cheating, lying, boozing, womanizing, and let us not forget the murder he got away with. 'Course he's Saint Teddy now that he's got the cancer. Whatever.

And I'm a little nauseous that not only does Bo (the ugly dog) have a book deal in place, there are people who will actually PAY TO READ IT.

Until Bezzie gets a deal for the Cheapass Bible that I think she should write, Yorkie gets her novel about the Monks published, and Penny Karma is a household name in the way Erma Bombeck was for my mother's generation, I'm calling for a boycott. Just say no, people. Just. Say. No.

In less vent-y news, I've been spinning again, trying to get back into the rhythm of it, and I have to say, so far so good.

I used up a bit of some turquoise blue roving that I had hanging around to get warmed up, then I finished up the burgundy colored merino I started last year. It came out pretty good, but like most reds it photographs poorly. I have some olive-ish green that complements it beautifully so when it's spun up and I figure out how much I've got I'll see what I can combine them to make. I just started some lavender merino as well, and I've got two more fibers in the stash to work on.

I told you I'm not going to make it to NHSWF this year, right? Yeah, my mother's day is shot to hell, but I'll survive. Another rant for another day.

I've knit some stuff too, and I think most of it is in my etsy shop already listed and for sale. I even got picked for a showcase recently which made my whole day. Yay for me! I'm currently working on a scarf from four skeins of Reynolds Sea Wool sock yarn Kashmir Knitter sent me. It's really bouncy and should make a fantastic scarf.

That's all for now so that I can get this posted and do a spot of cleaning. Bob is coming up for the weekend and I expect him this afternoon, so I better get the laundry switched over and clean the kitchen! My birthday party is Sunday which will complete the Octave of Poops.

Yea, verily.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


I've solved the nation's crisis of teenagers sending dirty pictures to each other via cell phone text messages.

Take away the damn phones.

You're welcome. Next problem?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Still Kicking.

Well, I'm on the other side of 40 now. Doesn't feel any different than 39. I've decided to celebrate the Octave of my Birthday since we're not having a party until next Sunday. So it will by my birthday until then. Try and stop me.

I've been meaning to post for awhile, but every time I sat down to type, things came out all vent-y and I don't want this to become that.

So, in lieu of my political issues, I have little blog about.

Well, Easter is here! Holy Week went off without a hitch, and my goddaughter was baptized at the Great Vigil on Saturday night. It was lovely and exciting, and I have to say that she and Bug were good as gold. It was a four-hour mass and they didn't fidget, didn't giggle (when they weren't supposed to--parts of it were funny), didn't talk or even slump down in the pew. I couldn't be more proud of the both of them.

The choir sounded excellent, I thought.

I haven't been doing much knitting lately. I've done quite a bit of spinning and I'll have some pictures soon of what I've been working on. I should go set the twist on a skein while I have the freedom. I figure it won't be long before Dave figures out I'm not in the same room.

And I know, I should get some new pics of the kids up.


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