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I Caught the Clap

No, not that clap. This one!

For those who don’t keep up with the latest in handknit trends, the Clapotis is the trend item–it inspires some to poetry and others to derision. I can’t think of a fashion item that has inspired more fervor among its camps!

When Yongi and I were in New York City, actually trying to make our way back to Austin after relentless Newark Airport-related screw ups, I spotted a woman wearing a clapotis. It was like seeing a runway model in the flesh, milling around for the same shuttle bus as yourself but still looking glamorous. I don’t know that I’d ever identified a knit pattern on sight like that, and knew instantly that I had to make one. Trends aren’t really my thing, they make me suspicious. This one has me beguiled, and I’m totally hooked. Mine has progressed past what’s shown in the picture, but I’ve still got a long ways to go. I’ll see if I can neglect the blog a bit less for the rest of the knitting, though!

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The most beautiful thing I’ve seen all week.

Driven past the limits of typical behavior, exhausted, wet, and not able to wash and dry a load of laundry in the house since the 11th of June–this is the most wondrous sight. Both doors open the same way. They are stacked, as intended. The vent connects to the back and to the wall at the same time. More magical than unicorn kisses.

The move was, or rather is, a strange test of wits and skill. The fact that it has rained or threatened with vile humidity the whole time has not made the situation any easier. Weekends are no longer great lazy stretches occasionally interspersed with an errand or two (not that they were really like that before, but I digress).

The last stretch of this can at least be accomplished in clean, dry clothing.


Welcome to Turkey

I had the great fortune to spend part of last week in Turkey, Texas. From the name alone I was expecting something special and it did not disappoint. Small towns, especially those under 500, need some kind of spark to keep from drying up and blowing away. Turkey has amazing potential on many levels. I promised the folks there that I’d tell people about their town, and I intend to fulfill my obligation.

Between Lubbock and Amarillo, it’s got a great view of Caprock Canyon on the horizon and local color of the sort that makes a place feel like more than just geography. The biggest claim to fame is as “Home of Bob Wills“, king of Western Swing and, via the work of his Foundation, a local savior.

Once a year on the last Saturday in April, about 10,000 people come in for Bob Wills Day. The musical celebration and festival (that by all accounts is an absolute blast) draws people back like a family reunion, with all kinds of events in the preceding week. Book a place to stay early–all the rooms in the surrounding towns are booked solid and RV slots are reserved years in advance. If that’s too long to wait, the Gem Theater hosts a Jamboree on the first Saturday of each month. Local and touring musicians perform for free and dinner is only $5, with the funds going toward a different local cause each month.

Book a room at the Hotel Turkey for a classy and comfortable stay (at any other time than during the Bob Wills week–that’s where the bands stay). It’s a taste of the authentic American west, having been a hotel for railroad travelers since 1927. Their breakfasts are excellent, too.

It’s not a likely place to encounter without advance planning (unless you just happen to be heading from Tulia to Estelline on Highway 86), but if you’re looking for a good destination on a road trip it’s well worth a stop. I’d even fly into Lubbock and drive up there to explore the area for an unusual and scenic vacation. Just remember to stop in Quitaque for beer and cash (inside the bank, where ATM stands for Actual Teller Making-the-transaction).

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The Ice Involved in the Great Storm of 2007

Icicles and Wind Chime
Originally uploaded by yongi.

Considerably more fearsome. There was about an inch of solid ice on our cars.

With the number of bridges, ramps, and elevated highways in the city it’s no surprise that things shut down completely. Three days seemed a bit much, but I’ll take an impromptu housebound holiday anytime.


The Amount of Snow Involved in the 3 Day “Snow Day”

Originally uploaded by yongi.

Pitiful, no?


Happy New Year!

As the Germans say, have a good slide into the new year! May your celebrations be uncommonly festive!
Me, I got my hair cut and cleaned the parrots’ cages. Those untamed wisps you see are now swept into the dustbin.


Tidings of comfort and joy

It’s not what I’d drooled over previously, but it suits me better and sounds gorgeous. Yongi spotted it at the guitar store and knew it would have to come home for me! Looks, brains, and a keen eye for a guitar–how could I not love him?!

The only case that fit the longer 12-string headstock was the coffin, making one hell of an impressive presentation. I had to swear to learn to play some Johnny Cash. I also swore (again) to jam econo.

Not having played in years, it’s much prettier to see than to hear me on it, but I’ve started digging up tabs and reacquainting myself with cursed bar chords. For the time being, I think that Ball and Chain will be a good first song (it was Yongi’s suggestion).


Merry Christmas, James Brown

Santa Claus will go straight to the ghetto this year, sir.

Sympathy to your family, and thanks for coming to Austin when you did.

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Sticking with it

Though I’ve scarcely mentioned it here since I took the introductory course, there’s hardly been a time when I haven’t had something on the needles. The lure of all of the different textures and colors of yarn is irresistable, and the meditation through repetition of the actual process is very soothing. This heap is intended for gifting. I’ve got at least three other projects currently underway and several more to go before I’m done with the holiday list. It’s a good thing I have family in colder climes!


The Uninvited Houseguest

Or, more properly, porch guest. This praying mantis showed up on two Fridays ago and stayed through the weekend, making his egress to parts unknown by that Monday morning. He was perturbed that we felt the need to cross his territory on a regular basis (what with him being on our front step and all), and at least once we used another entrance so as not to disturb him. It may sound silly, but the look that mantis gave me when I opened the door and he (unwisely) headed for the hinge—a glaring, “do you mind?!” as his namesake legs failed to gain a foothold on the aluminum flashing around the door—well, it convinced me that walking around the house was worth the inconvenience.