Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Best Quote I Heard All Day
Undermine their pompous authority, reject their moral standards, make anarchy and disorder your trademarks. Cause as much chaos and disruption as possible but don't let them take you ALIVE.--Sid Vicious

Here's my theory as to my raison d'etre. I must exist in a structure that supports chaos.

My chaotic personality, which runs the emotional gamut daily, needs structure in order to survive. This may or may not be part and parcel of being manic depressive; however, if I examine what it is that keeps me on the straight and perhaps not-so-narrow, the answer is clear.

Writing can be quite chaotic within the given framework of what must be done. As can knitting. I can freely ad lib doing those activities. Run amok while working a pattern, go wild with words, and yet focus on the solution while letting my brain go off into the stratosphere.

This is why I knit and why I blog, and why both have kept the disorder ordered and taught me to ponder the whys and wherefores of self while I knit, write, spin or attempt to weave.

A good thing. Don't worry, though. I'll never be so orderly as to put P-touch labels on all my Rubbermaid yarn bins.

The KC Family Tree
I was touched by Margaret's comment about never knowing her grandmother. Despite my grandmother's lapses into gross prejudice, she was nothing if not a product of her times. Nonetheless, I adored her. And to this day, I miss those phone calls at 9 a.m. where Grandma would say, "Marilyn, dolly, you won't believe what Phil Donohue has on his show! Turn it on now! He's got men dressed up like women!"

Yes, Grandma was indeed my mother's mother, although she couldn't knit. The story of how during WWII in a fit of patriotic fervor, she of no domestic skills decided to knit a Red Cross balaclava on five needles, ending up with the whole yarn mess on one, is legendary. My mother ended up fixing it and finishing it. Grandma turned her prodigious musical talents to good use and played piano at the local USO. A far better choice, since she was a teacher of many things in Staten Island, including music. And she was an opinionated, bossy curmudgeon of the first water, although not necessarily the first in the line. Ma certainly has her curmudgeonly ways, God knows. But Grandma's mother, a dour German, was apparently even worse.

So here's the fine tree from which this apple fell.

Curmudgeon line in purple, what else?

My father's mother, Oma, was a neurotic Teutonic diva who drove virtually everyone crazy with her neverending paranoia and anxieties. My fond memories of Oma include her chasing me around a park with a stick shrieking "I'm a witch and I'll eat you" in heavily accented German.

That's why I hated Hansel and Gretel, the story and the opera. Little wonder.

Oma was indeed a curmudgeon, albeit a whiny one. She opined constantly but fortunately my German and her English were not good enough for either of us to communicate to any great degree. And that was fine with me.

Grandma and Oma somehow had an armed truce, wherein they were polite to each other in a rather formal Victorian manner. Except when Oma got too neurotic and idiotic. Then Grandma let loose.

Here's my favorite: My father died very young, at 43. He knew he was going to die and so bought a family plot in the local cemetary, under a lovely large tree. Bucolic final resting place. Except that when Oma had the cemetary plant geraniums each spring, they always died. No shit--no sunlight, poor soil, whaddya want?

The complaining about the geraniums lasted for years. Finally, one day on the phone, listening once again to the geranium bitching, Grandma said, "Well, Elisabeth, if you really want the geraniums to grow, you'd better have 'em dig up the body and move it to a sunnier spot with better dirt."

I miss Grandma, every day. But she and Ma both taught me never to be afraid of saying what I thought.

I know if Grandma were still here, she'd be the first to write in the Comments, every entry. But she wouldn't like my foul language. Sorry, Grandma. I'm not cleaning it up.

(I'm waiting for my sister to claim that she's a curmudgeon too. And she is, actually. She just needs to fine-tune her skills. Which is why we should encourage her to start her own blog.)

Christmas Carol
So, after giving this to Purlmayer for her blog, for some unknown reason--perhaps I was feeling less Scrooge-ish that day--I'm going to republish a carol I rewrote back in 2002 when I had about 5 readers. I had fun with it then and think it deserves another go-round.

See, I like Eartha Kitt. Always have. And Santa Baby is one of my favorite awful Christmas tunes that I find cringeworthy yet singable. So here's my version. Yes, you can sing it to the melody.

Santa baby, slip a cable needle under the tree, for me
I've been an awful good girl
Santa baby, and give me some alpaca tonight

Santa baby, some variegated silk too, light blue
I'll knit it up for you dear
Santa baby, and give me some alpaca tonight

Santa honey, I wanna Schacht and really that's
Not a lot
I haven’t bought much all year
Santa baby, and give me some alpaca tonight

Santa cutie, there's one thing I really do need, the deed
To a Local Yarn Shop
Santa cutie, and give me some alpaca tonight

Santa baby, please fill my stocking with hanks, and thanks!
Just add some skeins to the stash,
Santa baby, and give me some alpaca tonight

Come and trim my Christmas tree
With some sterling silver circs bought at Tiffany's
I really do believe in you
Let's see if you come through for me

Santa baby, forgot to mention one little clue, Koigu
I don't mean goldfish
Santa baby, and give me some alpaca tonight

Give me some alpaca tonight
Give me some alpaca tonight

(No, second thought, give me a blank check and we’ll call it even)

I can sing...in the car, in the shower, to myself. So I won't record myself singing this. That would be past rare and handy. It would be excretable.

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