Grimly Fiendish

My vintage collection of the complete works of Edgar Allen Poe. My dad gave them to me and I can't bear to part with them - plus they are falling apart!

My vintage collection of the complete works of Edgar Allen Poe. My dad gave them to me and I can’t bear to part with them – plus they are falling apart!



I confess, I am not much of a Halloween person. Oh, I used to dress up as a kid, and even when I was in college. I went as Stevie Nicks for two years, (one year I was thin Stevie, and one year I was fat Tango in the Night Stevie. It happens). I also went as the St. Pauli Girl, but my roommate insisted I was “Brandy,” aka that 1970s Looking Glass song that I shamefully cop to being enamored of. But damn, those guys were fugly. I won’t burn your retinas with a video. Some things are better left only listened to.

Then in the 1990s I was a combination of Slash/Mark Bolan one  year, complete with top hat AND guitar. But by the end of the night I looked like a drowned rat. Just remember: the hair that got you to the party may not be the hair you leave with.  My final dress up was as the Angel of Death, complete with huge black wings that looked real and were from an old showgirl’s costume. I would have rather looked like the Frances Conroy version from last season’s American Horror Story (even though I don’t watch, I still read about it), but instead I looked like a Victorian child prostitute on human growth hormone. These things happen.

So I am not a Halloween person, not really. I don’t watch scary movies unless you consider Spice World scary, and yes, I guess it was. PS, Posh and Becks might be moving down here, and I am beyond chuffed. But I digress.

No, with the exception of that one time when I was babysitting in the 1980s and I let the under-twelves watch Poltergeist on Betamax, which  scared me more than them, I have eschewed the entire genre. Oh, I don’t include my British pecadillos, like The Blood on Satan’s Claw, or The Wicker Man (OG version) or Pete Walker’s entire oeuvre (now I’m just getting obscure).

Even though I was a goth girl through and through, I was goth lite. So I leave you with this video from one of my favorite all-time bands, who I saw at the Cameo Theatre in Miami back when you were taking your life into your own hands if you went down there. Pre-South Beach, don’t you know.

And I even heard it on the radio today! Dave Vanian, you have always had my heart. Happy Halloween.


Girls talk

It’s been almost a month since I lost my job, and I’ve not found anything to replace it. Well, not anything job-wise. Otherwise, I am quite content! But when the money runs out, I won’t be.

I have applied for countless jobs, and not even one call for an interview. I’ve wrestled with the state of Florida’s new, $64 million Web site to get a measly  $212 per week, and it was delayed by three weeks and I only got it today. That was after calling the state several times and eventually breaking down and cussing someone out. My favorite curse word is the C word. Do you think less of me? Just remember, in England it’s a unisex term!

Clearly, I have to stop rewatching Sexy Beast. Which I did during the last four weeks. I put on Bottle Rocket, too. My comfort films. I have also caught up on the last two years’ worth of Oscar viewing (as I mentioned previously). Oh laws, I watched Les Mis. I have never been so fergacking bored in my life. I’ll say no more….

“I dreamed a dream of motherfucking lacefronts!”

Okay, I said that. Also, Hugh Jackman certainly gives until it hurts. But oh, it hurt so very badly.

But then, I watched a musical that I actually liked. Oh, it was campy and bad and sparkly and probably ranks up there with Mariah’s Glitter on the shit–o-meter, but screw it. I watched Burlesque. Cher, dammit! Come ON. Cher is our national treasure, and should be treated as such.

I’ve listened to a lot of records. Yes, I said records. I still have a turntable. There is something so satisfying about putting the vinyl on, and then TURNING IT OVER. You are actively involved. You have to pay attention. It doesn’t take 75 minutes to listen to it. Unless it’s a double album. I have some of those, never fear. Right now, I have the Blow Monkeys on. Admit it. You are not surprised.

Today I sat on the couch (after running errands – I may be poor but mama needed a new colander) and succumbed to the non-dulcet tones of the daytime talk shows for a few minutes. Just a few. With The Talk and then Queen Latifah. I couldn’t take much. But I knit furiously and then Ringo came to visit me and gave me kitty kisses, and I was happy. Until Ali Larter (?!) came on to talk about her new cookbook. Yikes. Bitch, please. You ain’t special. You were on Heroes. And putting fennel on a cheesesteak does not make you Mario Battali.

Tomorrow I get my hair cut, and I’m so happy I could die. A $20 haircut has become a luxury, but I will take it. And maybe a little time with my hairdresser of more than 20 years, who is like a second mother to me. I am lucky, in so many ways. Today a friend I’ve never met on Ravelry offered to buy a ton of my yarn. And I’m going to sell it to her. Large quantities I’ve had for years that I was going to make something for myself from, but never did. It’s time for it to go. I’ve become an accessories person, anyway.

Today I also treated myself to lunch at Nature’s Way Cafe. I did it about two weeks ago, too. And as I sat there, in my shorts and Fountains of Wayne T-shirt, my hair in a braid and tiny spoon earrings in my ears  I watched and listened to the ladies and girls who were there on their lunch hours. I looked at their Executive Barbie Realness clothes. Watch out for the phramaceutical sales reps; they’re the worst. It’s like a Tory Burch store threw up on them and their Bumpit hair.

I listened in on their conversations and wondered what they are all about. Usually it’s office gossip or health talk. Yawn. I DON’T wonder why I don’t want to be one of them anymore, but in the end I really have no choice. I dread the thought of another office job like I dread strep throat, but know I’ll have to cave eventually.

Their conversations are always so boring, anyway. But maybe that’s just me…..And then, with the young ones, there’s the vocal fry. The scourge of our nation, people. The scourge.

Touch of Grey

I found this today on artist’s blog I went to care of a Pinterest pin (down the rabbit hole, you know me) and I spent 45 fabulous minutes enjoying it. You should, too! I already knew of Daphne Selfe, of course, but all these ladies inspire me. I want to be Miss Bridget when I grow up. And I will be soon since I’m going grey and can’t afford to color my hair anymore!

Then I found this, and all was right with the world. I have longed for Ralph to try comedy. Now is the time!
Take your hands off my lobby boy. Why, I just said that last night. Now excuse me. I think I will go rewatch Coriolanus.

Time and Tide

Is one of my favorite albums. Yes, I said album. Do you know it? Have you ever listened to it? I started loving Split Enz during my freshman year of high school. And that love affair carried through with every permutation of band that Neil Finn was involved in since. I’m not afraid to say it. To cop to it. I’ve seen Neil in concert both as a member of Crowded House and solo several times. For repeat concerts, he’s only after Petty, and it will take a lot to top that record. But every time I saw Neil, I was front row, so there was that.

Forgive my stream of consciousness. Or don’t. That’s how I’m rolling this week. Anyway, I have XM satellite radio in my car (a useless expense I ponied up for for six months prior to my lay off) and I had it on First Wave when they played “Six Months in a Leaky Boat,” and I know EVERY WORD, but my husband had no idea what I was singing to, so of course I had to shame him with his lack of musical knowledge, even though he’s interviewed more musicians that I ever will, and he just has some gaps in his schooling. In fact, we were just discussing his talk with John Leguizamo the other night, even though I know John is not a musician. He’s Benny Blanco from the Bronx!

My husband still hasn’t seen Carlito’s Way. Gaps. He has these gaps.

So I told him that Time and Tide was one of my favorite albums, and it’s a concept album about the discovery of New Zealand, and living a good life, the best you can. At least that’s what I think. In conclusion: Time and Tide is a good record, and you should listen to it on the Spotify or the or whatevs. As the kids say.

time-and-tide-504c6fe765f49I have been driving around a lot the last few days; running errands, and running away from trying to find a new job. Which is hard, for me. I admit it. I did rework my resume, but I’m not wild about it. I want to find a career, something I WANT to do, and not take the first crap job out of desperation, like I have for the last three years. So, I drive around.

The radio is always on, and I toggle between the Alt Music channel, XMU (for all the college kidz!), the 70s’ station and of course, First Wave. I actually heard a disco song by France Joli (please, if you don’t remember her, you are not alone!), who I once saw at a gay club in Ft. Lauderdale that is long closed. What a night. I was sharing fashion tips with a drag queen in the bathroom by the end of the evening, while gay porn played on tvs around the bar. Mama always said, “Live and interesting life. ” Actually, she never said that and is very religious, so I just lied. See how music can take you back?

They play a lot of Talking Heads and Echo and the Bunnymen on First Wave. Which reminds me that I had posters of David Byrne and Echo and the Bunnymen in my high school locker.

You can imagine how popular I was!

I have watched a lot of movies in the last week. More than in months, I’d wager! I took mom to see Gravity on Friday. I love a 90-minute movie that moves quickly, but I must say 3D is not for me. I am already wearing one pair of glasses, two feels like a mongoose  is sitting on my face. Not my favorite Alfonso Cuaron movie, either, way behind three others with, of course, Y Tu Mama Tambien at the top.

Honey and I caught up on Oscar watching from a few years back with library rentals of Moneyball and Flight. I find it sad that I live in a world where Jonah Hill is an Oscar nominee. There. I said it. Flight was okay, but spending more than two hours with an alcoholic is something I thought I’d put behind me, even though I applaud Denzel for getting very puffy for the role.  Also, please directors, don’t use “Sweet Jane” for heroin shoot-up scenes. Haven’t we moved beyond that? Aren’t musical cliches bad?

I got more DVDs today, and sat here and finished a hat whilst watching This is 40. Which should be subtitled “Rich White People’s Problems,” but sadly my husband and I are so much like the aging hipster main couple that I couldn’t help but hide my head in shame a few times. Except we don’t have the ginormous house, small businesses, catered parties, rock star friends and, um, children.

I think that’s it for now. I feel better, and maybe I can actually write a cover letter now that I am warmed up. Something’s got to give, right?

PS: The other movie I got at the library is Take Shelter. Don’t tell honey. I want to be alone while I get my creepy Michael Shannon fix on.

Through the years.

If you’ll excuse me, I’m feeling very Kenny Rogers today. Damn, but I miss that man’s chicken and fixings. Seriously. The stuffing and cornbread. Just the best.

Anyway, Stitch Rock was this past Saturday, and it was a successful show for me. I made more than I did last year at Retro Indie (we won’t talk about that) and the 2012 Stitch Rock. Maybe not a fortune, but it’s money I needed for food and such. I don’t get my final paycheck until Wednesday, and it’s just one week’s pay plus my vacation time. I am really down to the nub.

While I filed for unemployment, I can’t claim weeks until Oct. 22. And it’s been made even more confusing than it was the last time I had to this, so grumble grumble grumble. Look, I don’t enjoy this.

But the reason I’m feeling nostalgic (which I’m always feeling lately, thanks Gina!) is because this was probably our last show. I am leaving the door open to do it again, or to do Atomic next year depending on where I am in my life. But I know my friend Marce is pretty done, and no hard feelings. She never said it, but I did last December. I said, let’s do one last one together and go out in style. And so we did!

She has two beautiful daughters, ages 10 and 12, who actually came to the show and helped us this time. And I really think their smiling faces and enthusiasm are what helped me do so well. But Marce has these two beautiful creatures to take care of, and she’s heavily involved in the Cross Fit community and Paleo lifestyle. And really, you have to follow your passion. We will still be friends, we live about 10 minutes apart. And I will always be thankful we met at….you guessed it, the yarn barn where I worked, many years ago, and became friends (even before I started my job there). But it’s time to move on. Selling at craft shows is a young girl’s game, and damn it, I’m tired.

Here are some images of our shows through the years. I always want to remember how much fun it was. I got a little weepy when I said goodbye to some friends we’ve made. Didn’t tell them why. They probably just thought it was my period. It was.

One of Marce's hats, and my collars in the background.

One of Marce’s hats, and my collars in the background.

This is from Saturday. I actually don't hate how I look here, although as ever I am too fat and I hate my freaking hair.

This is from Saturday. I actually don’t hate how I look here, although as ever I am too fat and I hate my freaking hair.

Our second show. I wish I was that weight again. And I actually like my hair. Things to think about....

Our second show. I wish I was that weight again. And I actually like my hair. Things to think about….

This was our second Odd Duck. I was soooo hot that day. And the weight had started to creep on. You have to love my Crip bandana.

This was our second Odd Duck. I was soooo hot that day. And the weight had started to creep on. You have to love my Crip bandana.

My grey caplet (published pattern) in the second Retro Indie show. I have two and have yet to sell them!

My grey caplet (published pattern) in the second Retro Indie show. I have two and have yet to sell them!

Go HERE for a big slideshow of the event. I will tell you, as I have said every year: I go to these things and I feel under-tattooed, and I have a giant one on my forearm. Also, yes, that is Lea Vendetta from Ink Master (one of my favorite shows). And no, I didn’t get to meet her. Oh, I had fantasies of selling her a hat, but she walked by our booth but with her back to us, and I was talking to someone and couldn’t, oh, you know, shout out like a crazed fangirl.

I wish I could really break down why this has been so important to me, but here is the best I can do. We went to the first show with our friend Sarah, aka The Sexy Knitter, before she moved away. And we all said, “We can do this!” And so we did. Seven years of Stitch Rock and we did six. I started it when I was still working at the yarn barn, and it got me through my first year unemployed and three with that shithole BN. And now, one year with my last employer and finally back to another unemployed year. It’s funny how these last six years have shaped me. There was a part of me that said if I could do this full time, I would. But sadly, most people undervalue handmade and want a cheap deal. I’m not cheap. But I am easy….

I will continue to sell on Etsy, and also Instagram. We are sending some stuff to one of Marce’s friends in Austin, Texas, for some modeled shots. I plan to submit a design for next year’s Knitscene. I have to get in their sometime, right?

Don’t be alarmed if I take a few days or weeks off. I am trying to rebuild and focus. I don’t want to take the first crappy job that comes along.

Although if Kenny Rogers wants to get back into the chicken business, I’m always game. Here’s a little something from me and The Dude.

Work, Bitch.

Well, chickens, you probably read my FB feed and know it’s happened again. I got laid off yesterday!!!

Please don’t feel sad for me. These last six years have been so difficult, in so many ways. They’ve made me stronger, it’s true. They’ve also made me more neurotic.

My goal is simple right now. To get through this weekend. Stitch Rock is tomorrow!

1382198_10151918502639700_1751587187_nNow more than ever is  a day I’d like to SELL SELL SELL.  Pray for good vibes and shoppers who want to SPEND SPEND SPEND.

I have a few other goals for tomorrow as well. There is a woman coming who is opening a new shop in the location of…..the former yarn barn where I worked. Yes, in case you didn’t know, that circus done left town. Tents packed up, and elephants (and their poop, which I used to have to scoop, metaphorically, of course) in the train cars. Gone daddy gone.

And so, this woman is opening a shop to feature local artisans and sell their stuff on consignment. She’s also going to have classes for knitting, sewing, etc. I hope to introduce myself to her tomorrow, perhaps interest her in my wares, and see if I could possibly get a part time instructor gig. Wish me luck, won’t you?

I’ll be updating my LinkedIn profile and my resume. And I’m having drinks with another friend who also is sans job. Let me tell you a weird story. A year and a half ago when I was seriously looking to leave BN, I had interviews at two places. The first was the job I took, and the second was a real estate firm who wanted a social media person. I know I would have made more at the real estate firm, but it was a longer commute and my heart wasn’t in it. So I took the researching position. Well, my friend also interviewed for the real estate job, and she took it. And she was laid off recently, too. So you see, don’t always question the road not travelled. You might have been hit by a truck anyway!

I feel no animosity towards this company. But for such a small business, there was very little feeling of community. I would tell my co-worker, as we sat in our little dungeon, that I felt like Milton in Office Space. We were going to to end up alone with a Swingline as the building burned around us. And make no mistake, it’s a downward spiral. I don’t think they will last past the new year. I should have been more prudent, and kept saving my money. Oops, those Catherine Malandrino clothes I bought at Kohl’s are going back. Well, not the pants. They will be good for interviews.

I am not the only person laid off. And honestly, I feel for many of the others. The sixtysomething Jamaican lady who had been there 20 years, but had been overtaken by one of the manager’s girlfriends. Sigh. And my co-worker, who has two children and is the breadwinner of her family. Things are bad for me, yes. But I feel stronger today than I did six years ago when this happened. This was not personal. And my immediate supervisor is a good woman who will stay in touch and provide me with the reference I need. I spoke to her last night and she told me I was a rare employee these days. “You don’t bring your personal drama to work, Tanya. I would never know if you had a problem at home. I never had to worry about you. You are always on time, and take on more tasks without being asked.”

It was nice to hear it. It would be nicer to have a steady paycheck, but still….You all know how unhappy I was. It’s time to make some big decisions. Keep me in your thoughts, and know that I am trying to find my way. I think the saddest thing was while we two were escorted out of the building, no one said goodbye. To either of us.

I hate being assaulted by positivity, but I found this from one of my friends on Pinterest.

cc1e7ab2259c653ea8bc8370b105f2fcI’ll post a Stitch Rock update later.

Oh and BTW: I did buy the Britney single. I really need a laugh when I’m on the elliptical. This will do it!