Monday, February 28, 2011

Genuine Ken - where are you??

often, while i am crocheting late at night, i fire up the laptop and put on hulu, my version of teevee.  now, i have despised pretty much everything that i have seen on teevee since 1985, but there are a few off beat shows that i like to see (usually they ran only a few seasons in another country) and i can only get them on hulu.

the other night, during one of the "commercial breaks" (yes, god help us if we don't get a "break" from sitting on our butts staring at a black box) there was an advertisement for a teevee show called "Genuine Ken: the Search for the Perfect Boyfriend" or something like that.  firstly, you should know that i have never watched, nor do i ever have any intention of watching, "Genuine Ken: the Search for the Perfect Boyfriend," so my impressions of this "search" are strictly based on my one exposure to this one commercial and the meaning that was attached to it.

my first feelings were of fear and sadness for all those women out there.  mostly because the eye-candy that are the apparent embodiment of "perfect" appear so empty-headed you can actually hear the echo of a thought ricocheting around in their heads.  is this what we as women have decided to label as "perfect?"  have we allowed our emerging power in the 21st century to lead us down the road that we fight so hard to avoid ourselves?  in other words, is it true that we don't mind spending time with a male Barbie, as long as we are not labeled Barbies ourselves?  is this some sick form of cold revenge for years of objectification or are we so brain washed from that objectification that we are doomed to repeat it ourselves?

being the positive type (the kind that goes to extreme lengths to avoid unpleasantness), my mind quickly switched gears to the upside of Ken as a bf.  well, i don't ever have to concern myself with the shared crisis of male pattern baldness - that plastic hair doesn't generally fall out much.  and, i don't have to worry about him stressing out over looking "gay" because all the clothes available to him pretty much are, and i don't have to wonder if he will want to get married.  after all, ya can't get a wedding band on when your fingers are fused together.

oh, and the BEST part!  i can crochet him his own little outfits and, since he can't talk, he can't complain about wearing them!  there are scores of free Ken patterns online, including:

A Cowboy!

An Egyptian!

and an Edwardian!

once again, crochet saves the day!

Monday, February 21, 2011

the up side of unemployment

yes, it is a drag, not bringing a paycheck, feeling a little like no one loves you, not being paid for what you are worth (oh, wait a minute....that happened when i WAS employed), but there ARE some pluses:

1.  you can sit on your ass and crochet everyday
2.  people want to buy you meals (at least for a little while)
3.  you don't have to dig out of 2 feet of snow to get to work in the morning (yes, i live in MN and this DID happen today)
4.  you don't have to pay some one else to questionably raise your kids while you are at work - you can questionably raise them yourself!
5.  when you take a shower, it feels really good to scrape off the 3 days worth of body crust that accumulated while you were sitting crocheting all day
6.  you can finally paint your fingernails black and don't care if they start to chip off right away
7.  if you don't get the chance to work out today, you will have the chance to do it tomorrow!
8.  you finally figure out what it is your pet does all day
9.  you don't have to face the dilemma of where to go to eat because you can't afford to eat out ANYWHERE
10. you can sit on your ass and crochet all day

i have often thought about this concept of how we in America define ourselves by our jobs.  how sad!  it is natural, of course to feel the need to have a purpose, no matter how mundane.  i can look into a koi pond and am reminded of that accepted fact that a fish will not remember one side of the pond long enough to know that in swimming back and forth he isn't going anywhere.  even the koi has a purpose, however, regardless of the fact that he appears to have no intelligence to us. 

his purpose is to clean, process, and be eaten.  it is quite elegant in its simplicity and contributes toward the balance that keeps life going.  could it be that humans are missing out on our own simple and beautiful purpose?  do we disrupt the balance by achieveing instead of just doing?  do we mistakenly assign value to each role by labeling it "mundane" (see above) and rewarding some roles at a higher rate, regardless of their contribution to the greater good.....ugh!

think it is time to sit on my ass and crochet!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

skipping the pale transistions - going straight to the intense!

for the past few days in MN, we have had an incredible thaw and it is reviving my thoughts on spring like color combinations and that ever challenging question of WHAT to do with yarn, associated with cold temp items like sweaters, hats, mittens, when the temperature crawls up?

i'm like many other crocheters and, i assume, knitters too.  in my soul is that bittersweet smell i link to melting snow and the scent of exposed moist grass.  i love what it means - that the long, cold darkness of winter is finally leaving - but i hate what it means also - that i will be forced to choose between the sedentary activity of my yarnie passion and the warm feeling of the sun on my skin, the air on my face, and the tingle of enzymes in my muscles as i spend every waking moment engaged in some outdoor physical activity.

on the up side, it also means working with cotton, silk, bamboo in colors that energize.  sunny yellow not an autumn maze, sky blue, not a grey windsor, mango instead of the orange of fall, pink instead of a rusty red.  it is a substitution that i love, not because i love those colors any less, but that when i combine the spring pallet, it makes me want to drop my hook and rush outside.

this year, i have decided to combine the winter theory of the scarf with the materials and colors of the spring.  after all, the temps are not hot yet, just not freezing, and my long skinny neck still needs a light cover.  i'm not a pastel gal, unless they are combined with the more intense colors that i CAN wear.  i also want to move toward some intense juxtapositions - this is what i am shooting for:

Saturday, February 5, 2011

i climbed 60 floors yesterday

yes. it is true.  i climbed 60 floors yesterday.  it was not on the IDS tower downtown, nor was it up and down my own stairs 30 times, but at the Y on this machine that i have just discovered - the StepMill.  what attracted me to this beauty?  actually, i thought it looked like something on which i could work out and crochet simultaneously!  seriously!
looks evil, doesn't it?  that is because it IS! in addition to driving my ass and thighs to the brink of collapse, this thing called the StepMill has quickly tightened its wicked grasp on my sensibilities, made me shun the bike, and pushed me into addiction.  it hurts, oww how it hurts, but feels sooooo good!

past experiences on the bike were leisurely and lengthy – 20 minutes or so until the sweat appeared.  the elliptical is just a trend!  the rower and old fashioned and outdated concept. The StepMill has shown me the pleasure of the wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am-you-are-done-who-is-next?  holy crap!  within 5 minutes of hopping on that thing I am huffing, puffing, begging for mercy.  it's cold steel just moves on and on, placing more steps in my path, the hard realization that if I do not keep climbing, I will tumble to the gym floor and REALLY embarrass myself! 

the cranking is rhythmic and metallic, much like the sounds of industry, building, driving, creating potential.  surely this workout is the most efficient.  I walk past my old friend the elliptical, I ignore the ever faithful bike, bah! to the rower.  my new love is the mysterious, black, StepMill, pushing me farther than anyone else!  15 minutes and I have climbed 60 floors!  surely my calorie count is astronomical, based on my aching and perspiring and the fact that I have CLIMBED 60 FLOORS!  120 calories in 15 minutes.  that comes to 20 calories per floor.  ummmm, wha?  does that seem a little short?  c'mon!  I CLIMBED 60 FLOORS!!  surely, my reward must be more than a measly piece of peanut butter toast, or half a bottle of coke…….

like the addict I am, I walk away vowing to never touch the stuff again, cursing and damning the StepMill.  I try to ignore that tiny voice that says, "next time you will try level 10… time……next time……"