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Saturday Showcase: Everybody Poops May 28, 2011

Posted by J. in Genius, Other People's Genius, Sticks and String.
1 comment so far

You know what sucks?  When you give the toddler a chocolate chip cookie and he eats it happily, then you start to smell poop and see said toddler with brown smears all over his face and hands.  Then worse, you see a large, brown, splotch on the back of his shirt and shorts, and you realize that you don’t know where the chocolate ends and the poop starts.

This shit isn’t in the parenting manuals.  If I ever write my book, it’s going to be called “Your Life Is About to Become All About Bowel Movements” by Poops Lacey.  I’m starting to think I should add a category of posts just titled “Shit Stories”.

Did I mention I had to give him a bath after lunch on Thursday because he had spaghetti from eyeball to asshole and while soaking he dropped a deuce in the tub?  When you’re a parent, odds are good you will have to scoop some floaters (or sinkers) out of the bathtub at some point.  Good times, good times.

So in an homage to the great Memorial Day Weekend Cookie/Crap Debacle of 2011, I have curated a little collection I call “Poops’ Festival of Feces.”

Did I mention that clicking the pictures takes you to the actual listing on Etsy where you can buy the item if you like, or poke around in the seller’s shop to see the other interesting things contained therein?  ‘Cause you totally can.

Don't Scare Me I Poop Easily Funny Wood Sign by CountryWorkshop

I'd Love to Be a Bird by beanforest

Chocolate Pearls with Rabbit Clasp and Earrings by ErikaMayDesigns

Pattern: Pooping Dog Amigurumi by sandsteeldesigns

Bigfoot Breaks Into Some Dude's Cabin and Totally Takes a Fat Dump in His Toilet 8 x 10 Art Print by Legendary Tiger Hero

Real Moose Poop Doo-Doo Nugget Necklace by sharkman123

Chocolate Walnut Fudge: Binky's Yummy Seashore Fudge by SexyStitches

I Eat Rainbows and Poop Butterflies Wallet by SassyFace

Daddy Scoops My Poop Flare Dog Tag by HugAPugStudios

8 oz. Hershey Squirts All Natural Soy Candle by katherinesnaturals

The Deuce Ring by metalsugar

Pattern: I'm So Goth I Poop Bats by DefiantDamsel

E Coli Vintage French Medical Microscope Image Pendant/Tie Tack by spiffycool

Computer Herpes May 25, 2011

Posted by J. in FYI, Genius, Sticks and String.
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I have a love/hate relationship with computers.  On the one hand, life is SO much easier with it.  I can still do a lot of the same things in real life that I did before I had a computer, but it takes longer and the results sometimes aren’t quite as good.

I never realize how much I love the computer age until mine goes down.  You might as well tie one hand behind my back and ask me to make you a scarf.  I’m not saying I couldn’t do it.  But it’s going to take a lot longer and there will be swearing.  Maybe some crying, too.

Sister and I went out for a bit on Saturday to do some shopping and have lunch.  We had just settled down for a bite to eat when the phone rings.  It’s Larry.  We have a virus.  “Don’t do anything.  Shut it down.  I’ll look at it when I get home.”

"This computer...is clean."

I looked at it when I got home.  Bad virus.  Sister looked at it and dicked around with it for over an hour.  I played with again when I got home from church.  I worked on it Sunday morning, and then again well into Sunday night.  On Monday, I was finally able to find an unlocked back door and I slipped in and started poking things with a stick and I managed after about 6 hours to get rid of the virus.  My programs had disappeared too, and all my files and folders were empty, but at least the thing was clean.

Tuesday morning, through sheer dumb luck, I managed to get my browser open, and after catching up on my emails and such, I went to a friendly forum and vented my spleen in a profanity-laced tirade about computer viruses.

“Oh, I had that virus,” one of my online peeps said.  “Just do this, this, and that and you’ll be good as new.”

It was simple as pie and in less than five minutes I had everything back.

All there is to know in the world is out there somewhere and I love that I can (usually) get to it with just a keyboard and mouse.  And a modem.  And some wires and junk.  Mebbe some software.

There is a great sense of satisfaction to fixing things that are broken, but it was a damn stressful few days.  Of course, the computer would get the herpes when I was in the middle of at least three things that sort of demanded my attention.

I finished a special order that needed to be listed.  I was negotiating a second order for two items.  I had four or items in the process of being listed on evenbadgers.   I couldn’t do any of this without a computer, and yet the computer was actually making all of this work harder to do at that moment.

Eh.  Anyway, the thing is fixed and I finally got all my stuff listed at evenbadgers.

Now, knowing that I have only a small readership and I can be pretty sure that this won’t result in thousands of people visiting and crashing the site, I am going to direct your attention to my new little fledgling shop.

Click the portkey here to visit my new shop. It's still in beta, so please ignore the sawdust on the floor, the artfully draped drop cloths, and the fact that some of the faucets and door handles don't quite work yet. K?

“In beta” means that we’re still working the bugs out.  You’ll find that the pages load slowly, even with a wicked fast connection, so just be patient.  If you want to check it out, and God love you if you do, please keep in mind that part of me having a lifetime free shop as a charter member is that I do my part to help work the bugs out. That means that on my end, I never pay a listing fee or a final fee no matter how much I sell.  It’s the reward for helping get the site set up and running smoothly, which is kind of like trying to do business in a building that is still under construction.

On your end, it means things might not seem fantastic, but maybe you can see the potential for what it’s going to be when it’s all done.  If you stop by, let me know what you find out.  Did you get any error messages?  Did pictures appear or disappear?  Could you navigate it okay?  How long did it take for the pages to load on average?  That kind of info (believe it or not) goes a long way in helping us make it better.

I have to say, too, that at first I wasn’t so sure that would happen.  I won’t go into a litany of all the stuff I encountered in just getting set up as far as I am now, but suffice it to say that if the improvements made so far are any indication of the rate in which bugs are fixed, I feel pretty confident that by the time I’m in full Fall craft fair mode, my shop on evenbadgers will be as right as the mail.  *fingers crossed*

So, if you do want to stop in and take a peek and check out how things are progressing, that would be awesomeballs.  In fact, just to say thanks and because I can, I’m giving a coupon code to anyone within the sound of my voice.  The coupon code BETABADGERS1 will get you 15% off your purchase in either my Etsy shop or my evenbadgers shop.  (You can access my Etsy shop through the portkey on the sidebar over there >>>.)

Any feedback you leave will certainly be taken into account, and if it’s something I can’t control myself, I’ll pass it on to the Powers That Be.

If you’re not inclined to check it out just yet or you tried and got frustrated, I totally understand.  Here’s a few new things I’ve just put up over the last few days…

A merino wool slouch hat modeled by the winsome Emmaline Beaudalaire.

The peace signs are only upside down when you are performing the "Alas, poor Yorick" speech from Hamlet with a head of cabbage.

A slouchy hat in a wool blend modeled by the effervescent Buggy Woo.

Baby bonnet in 100% angora. Totally practical for a new baby. Totally.

And finally, how about a little sneak peek of some upcoming things?  Cool?

As I’ve mentioned in the past, every month our April’s Army team on Etsy puts together a collective shop of donated items with the proceeds going to benefit a fellow crafter in need.  The deadline for submitted items is tomorrow and mine are already in.  The doors don’t open until Monday, but here’s my contribution:

I call this The Thinly Veiled Collection. I like to think of them as snark merit badges.

Those five are for charity.  But because I was assured that there would be fist fights over them, I made five more to sell in my evenbadgers shop.  I’ll list these on Monday when the April’s Army shop opens:

Collect them all!

(I know the “suck it” one with the lemons didn’t photograph well.  I actually went ahead and added a bit of darker green to the lettering just to make it “pop”.  In case you were wondering.  I didn’t want you to lose sleep.)

So that’s all for now.  In the middle of my computer crisis and sudden dramatic upswing in knitting work, I’m also in the process of winding Dave’s Early Childhood Intervention therapy down and getting geared up for preschool, still working on coordinating his impending tests at the hands of specialists, and wrapping up the school year with the girls.  It seems like there are special events around every corner these days: baptism, graduations, birthdays, showers…the Summer Social Season is upon us!

Jesus, I need a drink.

Saturday Spotlight: And Then the Rains Came May 21, 2011

Posted by J. in Genius.
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As a rule, I don’t mind the rain.  In fact, sometimes I rather enjoy a nice, rainy day.  Especially summer rain.  Everything seems shiny and clean when it rains: the leaves get shiny, the pavement is black, and the lawn seems greener and more lush.  Maybe the colors of the flowers stand out better against a gray sky than when they’re competing with the bright blue.  I don’t know.

And then it rains for a week and I rethink my generosity towards the clouds.

I don’t mind telling you that the gray overcast days are sapping my will to live.  I hate indecisive weather.  I mean, if you’re going to rain on my parade, just do it already.  Don’t sit there thinking about if you want to rain or not while I look out the window, smell the air, and try to decide if you’re going to get your meteorological fingers out of your ass and ruin my grilled steak tips or not.  JUST RAIN ALREADY OR BUGGER OFF.

*sigh*  I told you it makes me cranky.

Either way, it’s been one of those gray, drizzly, rainy, on-again/off-again wet weather kind of weeks.  Here are some things inspired by the rain–for good or bad.  (Seriously, check out the guinea pig…I squeed when I saw him!)

Refreshing Rain Handspun Yarn by DeepSeaFibers

Guinea Pig in a Raincoat with Umbrella Print by WhenGuineaPigsFly

Brooch Embroidered Sweet Umbrella by sabishine

Blue Raspberry Cloud Big Block Soap by Mylana

Standing in the Rain Decorative Light Switch Plate Cover by idillard

Singing in the Rain iPad Case by HoobyGroovy

Oh Those Naughty Women by curiouscrowdesign

Hasui Tree Landscape Earrings by EdgeOfMIRCIR

The Lady in the Lake 8 x 10 by Slinx

WTF Friday: Imma Snort Some Eggnog Now May 20, 2011

Posted by J. in FYI, Genius, Other People's Genius.
1 comment so far

Or maybe some Calgon.  Hard to say.

I had heard–vaguely–something about kids these days snorting bath salts to get high.  I didn’t quite know if you could get high off of bath salts or not, but then I’ve always liked to make myself dizzy with a nice, fat permanent marker, so there you go.

Don't snort this shit. It's fucking bad for you. Seriously.

Don't snort this shit either. It goes in the tub, dumbass. "Abbot's Habit Medicinal Bath Salts" by OldMonastery on Etsy

Anyway, the Bath Salts in question turn out to be a drug of some sort that you can actually buy in a “smoke shop” and it’s legal.  For now.  And it’s not actually something you’d put in the tub, it’s just what they call the drug.  Like how if you take a Black Beauty you don’t have to swallow a whole horse.  Google it.  You’ll find out all you need to know.

Here’s where it get’s funny.  Not “ha-ha” funny but “if I don’t laugh at this I’m going to kill someone” funny.

Some dumbass kids have managed, as kids so often do, to take dumbass to new heights.  Because taking drugs isn’t stupid enough to begin with, they’ve mistaken the actual drug called “Bath Salts” for plain, old bath salts.  Like what you get at Walgreens or under your grandma’s bathroom sink.

Needless to say, they’re getting fucked up alright.  But more in a “lifetime of visits to the ENT” kind of way.  You want to know what snorting regular bath salts does to the inside of your nasal cavity?  If you decide to find out, don’t do an image search.  You’ve been warned.

And with pictures that will put me off rare hamburgers for a few weeks at least, I thought that was the end of the Teh Stoopid, but I was so wrong.

Just don't think getting high off it is a good idea. Fuckwit. And keep your hands off my damn cinnamon, too.

It seems that you, and by you I mean your dumbass kid, can get high from nutmeg.

You can snort it, or eat it.  But to feel any hallucinogenic effects, you have to ingest a shitload of it.  Which, as I’m sure you can imagine, makes you pretty sick. It’s true.  Google away.

I don’t think I’ve ever used nutmeg in a recipe that called for more than a teaspoon of the stuff because it’s such a strong spice to begin with.  Go open the jar of nutmeg you have in the kitchen and take a deep whiff.  The smell alone would make snorting it a challenge.  And what would you put it in to cut the taste?

The mind boggles.

What the fuck is wrong with people?  I’m going to go huff a marker.

Oh, Hell and Damn May 17, 2011

Posted by J. in Genius.
2 comments

This is just NOT working for me lately, and I don’t know why. I think my creativity is running more in the Make Things mode than in the Write About Things mode. I’m not feeling very inspired in my writing lately is all.

In the Making of Stuff, though, I’m going like a house afire. I finished a couple of small knitting projects that if, God willing, the sun ever comes out I’ll photograph and show off a bit. I’ve created a couple of new things that are just for fun based on stuff that was discussed in forums here and there and not like my usual knitted items.

I know that fora is the proper pluralization of forum, but it seems odd and awkward to me. And a bit pretentious. I’m just going to leave that there…

So you wanna see what I’ve been making with my hands when the words won’t come? To hell with you, I’ll show you anyway.

There is a ton of needlework on Etsy. The thing I’ve noticed is that most of it is very simple backstitching on unremarkable fabric, very little if any detail or technique, framed in a wooden hoop and sold for ungodly sums of money. Simply put, they’re production items. The crafter can make a bunch of them fairly quickly and list a lot of them.

I’m a knitter. I don’t do production items.

Magic Mushroom Booties by Poops

But I do embroider booties. You’ve seen them, right? I knit the little booties with not much yarn and then stitch on a little embroidered sole. I made a pair for a baby shower once in 2.5 hours. I guess you could say that’s the closest I’ve come to having something I can “crank out”.

So one day we’re talking about these expensive embroidered things and I got it in my head to cut out a circle of felt, embroider it like I would the sole of a bootie and make it into a patch or a pin or something. I loved the mushroom booties, so inspired by Alice in Wonderland, I made a mushroom patch and showed it off.

"Mushroom" by Poops, first in the Thinly Veiled Collection

‘Twas a hit.

So I made five different ones to put in the April’s Army May Shop which I believe opens on Monday. Don’t quote me, though; I’ll get back to you on that.

Twelve bucks each, you can choose if you want a pin back, a magnet back, or just plain to stitch or glue to whatever you want.

Then I made five more to sell in my evenbadgers shop. The store is coming along there. Once my new things are in I’ll invite you over for a Beta peek at it. It still loads slowly and there are a couple of issues I want to hammer out sooner rather than later, but it’s coming.

The Thinly Veiled Collection, First Series, available only in the April's Army May Charity Shop

The Thinly Veiled Collection, Second Series, available in my evenbadgers shop as soon as I can get them ready.

That’s part of what’s been keeping me from composing brilliant and inspired posts here. I get limited time on the computer these days, and what I do get I have to use to my best advantage. And while my Etsy shop isn’t my job, I’ve taken a couple of special orders recently and every bit of money coming in does help a lot.

Now, if the sun would just come out so I could take some pictures!

Dave’s been keeping me busy lately, too. He’s so very into learning new things these days. He knows all of his lower and upper case letters and his numbers 1 – 9. He’s starting to pick out sight words as well, and just this past week he seems like he’s been really trying so hard to imitate the sounds I make. He’s not there yet and he gives up so quickly, but there’s still hope.

And he’s had appointments! We still have therapy once a week, plus I’ve been to school to meet about getting him tested for preschool. He’ll be put through his paces on Thursday by the preschool team. He had a swallow test at the hospital and passed with flying colors, so he’s structurally sound in the ENT department. He still has a bunch of tests to do up at Dartmouth, but the pediatrician has to make the referrals and there’s not a huge rush just yet.

So many things to keep track of.

I’m going to let the blogging slide a bit until I really get some thoughts together. Sometimes it’s good to let stuff go that’s really just me putting pressure on myself for no good reason. Yes, it’s good discipline for me to write to a topic on a deadline, but since no one is paying me…well, you get the general idea.  I think if I don’t need the extra stress I probably shouldn’t take it on.

That’s the smartest bit of wisdom I’ve managed to crank out in days, I think.

I am having a good time finding really neat things to showcase on Etsy, so I’ll keep doing that.  It’s easy, and if it sends some traffic to other creative types trying to earn a few ducats to buy more yarn, findings, or polymer clay, it’s a good thing.

Now, I have to go finish a pair of mittens.  Time’s a-wastin’!

Saturday Showcase May 14, 2011

Posted by J. in Other People's Genius, Sticks and String.
1 comment so far

Yesterday I was sitting here ruminating at the computer and a lady cardinal landed in the tree just outside.  The sky was brilliant blue with big, white, cotton candy clouds and a gigantic bumblebee kept banging into the window screen.   The leaves are almost fully “leafed” and the apple trees are in full bloom and the lilacs are just starting to open.

I’m not one to wax poetic about the rebirth of the earth, blah blah blah, but damn, that was a long-ass winter and I’m happy to feel the grass between my toes again, and even though the pollen is so thick right now it looks like it’s snowing, I’m so happy to be able to open the windows I could shit mahself.  I might even go crazy and make myself some barefoot sandals.

In honor of it feeling deliciously spring-y out there, even though rain is predicted for the forecast all week and the calla lilies aren’t quite in bloom again, here are some really pretty things that make me feel glad that warmer weather is here.

Cabbage Necklace by shayaaron

Adorable Duck Family Plush Toys by tinyfeltedbird

4 oz. Pink Lemonade Whipped Soap Vegan by ForJason

Lobster Beach Full Pocket Apron by ElsiesFlat

Tall Porcelain Jug by penelopespiderwork

Phlox by jlejelly

WTF Friday: The Toe-Kini May 13, 2011

Posted by J. in Genius, Other People's Genius, Sticks and String.
5 comments

Here’s a new one for me to file away in my What’s the Point? Files.  I don’t work alphabetically, so these will go in the Clothing? section with Crotchless Panties and Skants.

Barefoot Sandals, blue beaded with stars, by BusyLizzyBoutique

It’s not a sandal.  The very word “sandal” implies that it’s footwear, in that it protects the foot from the ground.  These do not do that.  I argue that one cannot be barefoot and wearing a sandal at the same time.  You can tell the manager at Wendy’s that you’re wearing shoes, man…they’re barefoot sandals!  But he’s still going to make you leave.  No shirt, no shoes, no Spicy Chicken Sandwich.

On the other hand (or foot, as it were), I kind of like these.  There are some cute ones out there and there are some dreadfully ugly things, but these are okay in a hippie kind of way.  I guess when I think of them as jewelry to adorn your otherwise bare feet at a time when bare feet are appropriate, I kind of like them.  I’m thinking they’d be lovely if you were getting married on a beach.  Or if you were spending your days on a tropical island in a fashionable matching sarong and a bikini and you liked to accessorize.

Would I wear them into a public restroom?  No, probably not.

One thing I do know is that I have some great natural summer fibers in my stash that might have to become barefoot sandals.

Fuck it.  If you can’t beat ’em, take their money, I always say.

They’ll Take You As Soon As You’re Warm May 10, 2011

Posted by J. in Genius.
4 comments

Every Sperm is Sacred Set of 4 Stitch Markers by knitoramaa

Did you know that today is Monty Python Day on Facebook?  I don’t know what that means, exactly, but any day I get to quote those glorious bastards freely and with wanton abandon is going to be a good day in my book.

I’m a Roman Catholic, and I have been since before I was born,

And the one the say about Catholics is they’ll take you as soon as you’re warm.

You don’t have to be a six-footer; you don’t have to have a great brain.

You don’t have to have any clothes on, you’re a Catholic the moment Dad came.

(Lyrics reprinted completely without any permission whatsoever.)

The idea that I am the product of a Catholic education has been mentioned and requested as a topic, but I hope it’s not disappointing to report that I’m rather the opposite.  The real story lies in how I got to be a card-carrying Church Lady despite my family’s somewhat tepid approach to religion when I was growing up.

The story begins when I was baptized on June 22, 1969 at St. Joseph Parish at the tender age of two months.  We were not what you would call a religious family by any stretch.  My parents, conscious in some part of their duty as Catholic parents and having been married in the Church, duly enrolled us in our catechism classes, which in the 70’s was called CCD.  (That’s short for Confraternity of Christian Doctrine or Catholic Children’s Detention, depending on who you ask.)  Nowadays it’s just called Religious Education and you non-Catholic Christians probably call it Sunday School.

Anyway, we were Catholic kids and we didn’t go to Catholic school (with the rich kids) so it was CCD for us.  Mind you, their duty ended with catechism.  We only went to Mass sporadically, when my mother felt like going, but she made sure we attended CCD every damned Saturday morning from first grade to Confirmation, which in my case was 9th grade.

"Christ didn't come to Earth to give us the willies... He came to help us out. He was a booster." --Dogma

We received our Catholic education in the years when the ink on the Vatican II reforms was still wet.  My priest, himself a product of the religious formation programs of the 70’s, describes the religious education programs of that particular time in history as “the dumbass years.”  The rigid and unyielding Baltimore Catechism and its straightforward question and answer style was gone and was replaced with what he calls “Jesus and balloons.”   Because of this new approach to the Gospel, I think a lot of us grew up thinking that on some level Jesus was basically just a sweet, hippy dude who totally got a bum rap.  “Love one another as I have loved you” became “I’m okay, you’re okay.”  Jesus is your pal, man.  He’s Buddy Christ.

I think our poor catechists must have had a devil of a time of it.  No pun intended.  They had grown up with the Baltimore Catechism.  They knew, because they had had it drilled into them for their entire lives, that for every question, there was one and only one correct answer.  Memorize it, and move on.  They had been told, when they asked a question, “Just because,” and that’s the only answer I think they knew how to give when it came their time to teach.

I was the beta testing generation.  I also suspect it’s why so many of my generation migrated away from the Catholic Church once we received our Confirmation.  They went from a method of teaching that was all substance and no spirit, to one that was all spirit with no substance.  How the hell do you build a faith on that?

Anyway, I had 9 years of religious instruction, received all my Sacraments in their time, and considered my Catholic education finished when the Bishop anointed my head with the sacred chrism of Confirmation.   I was ready to go out into the world fully prepared to be a lapsed Catholic.

Then I went to a Catholic college.  I didn’t go to Salve Regina because it was Catholic.  That was purely by chance.  And it’s not like I suddenly got to college and became uber-Catholic or anything like that.  But the school year and the liturgical calendar went hand in hand.  The seasons of the Church were celebrated daily, as unconsciously as breathing, and most of my professors were religious sisters, brothers, and priests.  The Church has a definite rhythm to it, and Salve was in harmony with the Church, and I think it was aligning me with the Church as well, even though I didn’t understand it at the time.

I also took religion classes for the first time in which I received a proper catechesis. I learned what the Church teaches (beyond just Jesus loves you, baby) and more importantly, why.  And how.  And the history of why and of how.  I studied Church history and comparative religions and delved headlong into our Judaic roots.  We had heated discussions is class about moral issues and Christian response, and the ramifications for the future.

It was heady stuff for someone who had only had Jesus and balloons.

But the biggest turning point came when as a freshman I attended a dorm Mass that Father Ray celebrated.  He came to our dorm and we all gathered in the common room and he explained that because there were non-Catholic students here as well, he would celebrate the Mass, but he’d stop and start and explain what was going on and why so that anyone who wanted to could ask questions.

It was a hell of an eye-opener.

Mass was no longer stand up/sit down/kneel/pray/sing/chant “just because.”  Every movement, every word, every song and every single thing in that space and in that liturgy is there for a reason, and Father Ray patiently and with his gentle good humor taught us what they were.  He made the Mass make sense, and I wish every Catholic person in the world could have that experience just once.  In a fairly simple analogy, it’s like the difference between the fan who goes to a baseball game with a complete understanding of the subtle nuances of the game and the person who goes to a baseball game with only a rudimentary understanding of how it’s played.

Mind you, I had (and still have) a long way to go theologically, but knowing that “just because” is NEVER the reason we do what we do opened a whole new world of thinking to me.  I spent a lot of years asking Why? and finally–FINALLY–receiving answers and being able to discuss them over and over again until they make sense.  Or not.  I love that there’s never just one right answer to any question and that they’re rarely simple.  And that just when I think I’ve got a handle on something, I discover another whole way of thinking about it that changes the game again.

One of my favorite quotes is, “Unthinking faith is a curious offering to the creator of the human mind.”  I believe I’m a theologian at heart.  I might have made a good Jesuit.

I didn’t become a regular mass-goer until after Aunt Elaine died in 2003, and I credit Father Albert with that.  Her funeral Mass was so beautiful that I felt the urge to go to the 4:30 Mass that following Saturday.  It was during the Octave, or eight days of Easter, so it’s exactly like going to an Easter Sunday Mass.   He understands how important each single detail is, so all the bells and whistles, which of course, having been trained by Father Ray to know that they’re not just there for show, plus being a theater person with a great love of a good show anyway no matter what the reason, stimulated every fiber of my faith being.

At one point during the Easter Mass is the sprinkling rite and the renewal of baptismal vows.  During the prayer, he says something about welcoming those home who have been away, and something just changed in me.  I felt like he was talking specifically to me and welcoming me back, and for the first time since I was confirmed, I felt like I was finally home.  I sat there in the pew and cried like a big, old idiot because I really and truly felt that God loves me and that he wanted me there with Him at that very moment.  And, while I might not be on the same page with everything the Church teaches, it is truly my faith home.  I’ve never felt spiritually fulfilled outside its doors, and I know now that each time I receive the Eucharist, I grow closer to God and stronger in faith.  It’s a blessing, and never a burden.

Emma and Mary Easter morning in front of the baptismal font.

Now we’re raising our kids so that they grow up in the Church.  Not just going to religious ed on Sunday morning and receiving all their sacraments in due time, but going to Mass every week.  We’re active in the Parish and we live our faith at home and I try to make our life here like it was at Salve: in rhythm with the season and the cycles of the Church.  I hope they grow up feeling like St. Joseph’s is as much their home as are these four walls, and that their faith is a blessing as well, and not a burden.

Someone asked once what my concept of God is.  I explained it this way.  Every morning, my Dad stands at his mailbox and waits for us to come out and walk down the hill to the bus stop.  The kids and I come out of the house and they race up to meet him with big smiles, and he puts his arms out and scoops them up in a giant Grandpa hug like they are the three people he wants to see most in the whole wide world.  He kisses each one of them and greets them individually and they stumble all over each other to tell him all the things that kids tell their Grandpas. No story is too silly, no detail so small as to be overlooked, no concern is ever inconsequential to him.

I think that kind of love is what God is like, but infinitely more so.

I guess at the end of the day, I’m not so much a product of my Catholic education as I am a practicing Catholic in spite of it.  Somehow, I managed to find my way back to where I started.

Saturday Showcase May 7, 2011

Posted by J. in Sticks and String.
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I missed Madhouse Wednesday but I promise I’ll make up for it next week.  I’m planning on tying together Monday’s post with Wednesday’s post which is actually two weeks combined because the topics all kind of fit nicely as a set.  In case you were setting your calendar by this blog or something equally weird.

And I’ve been busy this week.

I’m really getting to the point that I can’t stand Etsy much anymore.  It’s not what it was when I signed up, and now it’s become a corporate giant that’s pretending to be all grassroots and home-y.   I don’t dislike corporations on principle.  If you’re a business and you want to be big, good for you.  Etsy is a big business that keeps getting bigger, but it shows the world the face of a little Brooklyn website showing love and support for the handmade and the one of a kind, while collecting what I can only imagine is a fuckton of fees from resellers and saying that it’s not a problem and we’re working on it.

And for the love of all things mustachioed, please sit down, have a cupcake, and shut up.  It’s all glitter and rainbows.  All is well.  Pay no attention to the hipster behind the curtain.

Anyway.  I’ve flogged that horse to death, so no more ranting from me, but just a lot of thinking that it’s time to try selling in an environment where I feel more comfortable with what they’re really about.

I really only use Etsy as a glorified shopping cart anyway.  The fees I pay to them are smaller than the cost of having and maintaining my own website, and until I joined April’s Army I didn’t do much in the way of promoting the shop.

I don’t knit for a living.  It’s not my job.  I don’t want to grow my business.  I want to knit what I feel like knitting when I feel like knitting it, and I sell most of my stock at the few craft fairs I do in the fall and winter.  The rest of the time it’s nice having a place where people can see my stuff and buy something if they feel inclined.  I don’t want to get rich.  I just want a bit of cash for some more yarn.  My needs are simple.

Well, over on the Regretsy forums we’ve been talking about what a great handmade marketplace would really be like.   And bit by bit, a new independent handmade marketplace sprang up.

It’s called EvenBadgers and I joined this week.  The first thing I had to do was to defend my art to the membership.  That forum is called The Gauntlet and you have to run it to get in.  Anyone who is a member, whether you have a shop or not, can comment on whether the person qualifies for the site.

It’s not about how good your work is, but how legitimate.  It’s a handmade marketplace.  You cannot resell anything.  Your vintage must be 25 years old or older and you have to be able to back that up.

I ran the Gauntlet and got in.  I have my own shop there and I’m working on getting it set up.  I’m going to be putting my new listings up on EB and gradually moving my inventory on Etsy over as it expires over there.  By the time I’m doing my craft fairs I should be switched over completely.   I’ll keep my Etsy account and shop name so that I can participate in the forums, stay active with AA, and keep contributing to the charity shop.  And I figure if EB doesn’t work out for any reason, I won’t have shot myself in the foot.

Right now it’s in the beta testing stage and because those of us who got in early are really just guinea pigs, we won’t pay any fees for using the site.  Which certainly fits my budget.  And because it’s in beta and things are a still a pretty bit wonky it’s taking a fair bit of time to figure  it out and make it nice and user-friendly.  So I’ll have a shop-warming party when the kinks are worked out and I’m ready to roll.

In the meantime, since Mother’s Day is tomorrow and better already have your gift ready, how about getting a jump on Father’s Day?

1-eye Monster Bird Feeder by boosclaydays

Hand Crafted Shaving Soap Bar by LLFarms (Sanbornton NH!)

Barracuda LEGO Key Chain by boxhounds

WILL customized/personalized King of the Course Oxidized Brass Golf Ball Marker by E. Ria Designs

Set of Two 12-ounce Jamaican Red Stripe Recycled Beer Bottle Drinking Glasses by nickpaul

Really Big Cheeky Bastard Beer Stein Mug by PoFu

WTF Friday: Who Are You Freaks? May 6, 2011

Posted by J. in Genius, Other People's Genius.
1 comment so far

Time for another round of “What Search Brought You Here?”

If you’re here because you are one of the two people that searched for guy doing a girl in the vag and this is where the Internets deposited your perverted ass, I’m sorry to disappoint you.  But here’s something I found that might be nice for a guy looking to put purls in a bag:

It was a toss-up between this one and "I learned to knit in prison."

If you came here looking for some hardcore porn from Google, you deserve a picture of a knitting bag.  Can I just ask, who actually Googles that?  Who Googles their porn preference for straight sex?  Seriously, get another fucking hobby.  Knitting is nice.

Then again, I may have mentioned that I once Googled “dick cheese fetish” and trust me, there are things you can’t unsee.   I’m not even going to link to it because I can’t bring myself to look at it again. *shudders*

Someone else found this site by searching for emo college vagina.  Might have been faster searching for Girls of Brown University.  *pauses for laughter*  But seriously, folks, I did mention once wanting to kick an emo girl in the vagina, so that search is understandable, at least in as much as knowing how it got them here.  Not why you’d want to see an emo college vagina in the first place, though.  Just for shits and grins, I Googled it too.

I didn’t see any vaginas that looked particularly emo to me.  Maybe I’m just not hip enough to get it.

If you must go and look for yourself, don’t type in elmo vagina by mistake.  Ask me how I know.   Suffice it to say that there is some seriously disturbing copyright infringement going on out there.

Not as disturbing as pterodactyl tattoo on my pussy, however.  Although I do believe I’ve just added “I’d rather get a pterodactyl tattoo on my pussy than…” to my lexicon.

I also love whoever found me from i’m god you’re a cunt.

*sniggers*

Speaking of God, and my final entry for the night, is the enigmatic search term jesus hell slack wtf.

I know.  I have no idea what it means either, and entering it into any search engine wasn’t much help.  I wonder what someone was actually looking for?

Jesus?

Hell?

If you laughed at this too, I'll save you a seat in the handcart.

Slacks?

WTF?

I can't imagine continuing to do anything past the point where I've shit myself. But maybe that's just me.

I think that’s enough shit for one week.  As you were.