Tuesday, January 31, 2006

~:L O V E * F E S T:~

Yup. This is what happens at our house when everyone's happy and feels emotionally and physically generous. I had a craptastic weekend but now all is well. As you can see.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

~:K & EMORY:~
Have graduated from Portfolio Center!!! Their folks came to town and the night before, joined Hank at Fratellis down the street. They invited Doug and me to join. We had a great time making each other laugh. Er, um, watching Emory laugh and listening to Hank talk and talk and talk all about the South. I must say that K's father looks like he spit her out. Beautiful. Her Mother's a warm and inviting person. Her Dad was wearing a custom-made shirt which made Doug drool..."Honey, c-can I get one?" We are, sadly, addicted to Good Will, where we buy other people's hand-tailored clothing for reeeel cheeeeep.

Emory's parents were also delightful. Having come from a place where it was under something like UNDER TWENTY degrees, Doug and I looked like fools wrapped up in wool and cashmere, shivering. Emory shares the same mannerisms as her Mom, while her father, too, looks as if he spit her out. It's the same with my father and me. I've read somewhere (in some scientific study of human behavior, etc.) that daughters typically favor their father's likenesses so that their Dads literally will think twice about eating them. How could one eat oneself and feel ok about it, right? Interesting to say the least.

And of course, Hank was a dream guest - who educated us all about world history, the dawn of man, quantum physics, racial segregation, our nation's political history, and why wearing socks is a ridiculous idea. Where would we all be without Hank-ster? Watching TV, I guess. He is a magnificent man. Inspiration to so many people and optimism at WORK. Hank's grounded firmly in the possibility of where one can go and how one can achieve enlightenment. Mostly - how we can share in that experience. I love him as if he were my own.

I got a very good feeling and taste of why these two women are so special. After meeting their parents, I can see how much discipline and love they grew up under. Little girls grow up to be strong women when they know they are loved and are challenged to find themselves. K, Emory and their families are testsment of that fact. Having had these two women as students - they are honest, dependable, hard-working, emotionally generous and very brave souls. They are amoung the very short list of the most emotionally mature students I've had. And to top it off - they're funny. Emory's entertaining and engaging volume of ideas and stories far exceed my own, while K draws you in with the spell of quite contemplation which invites you to listen and absorb her thoughts. I find being in their presence highly addictive and equally so. Probably why they are so find of each other. If you want to find out more about K, read her ever-growing bee-log. And if you want to know more about Emory (who has PROMISED us to start her own bee-log as soon as she's settled into life beyond grad school), ask ANYone at PC, and they'll have lots of stories to tell.

Thanks you to Doug, who also made us laugh - naming the check (the waiter so politely placed in the center of the table at sunrise), a flaming pit a fire - calling our attention - and prompting us to leave. Thank you Doug for taking so many pictures of this fun night. And to K and Emory - sorry we missed your actual graduation - tell us all about it in yer blogsters. And thanks to their parental units for treating us to drinks and chocolate cake.

~Anne (who will miss you)

Thursday, January 19, 2006

~:N E W * U C L A * S T U D Y:~

A study conducted by UCLA's Department of Psychiatry has revealed that the kind of face a woman finds attractive on a man can differ depending on where she is in her menstrual cycle.

For example: If she is ovulating, she is attracted to men with rugged and masculine features.

If she is menstruating or menopausal, she tends to be more attracted to a man with scissors lodged in his temple and duct tape over his mouth while he is on fire. No further studies are expected.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

~W I L L * K N I T * 4 * W E B S I T E:~ Would you like a handknit hat, scarf or fingerless mits? I need help designing/publishing my wesite. I'm trying to teach myself GoLive and need someone to sit with me, one on one for a little bit. I guess I need a tutor of sorts. I can knit you something in return. Anyone interested? For now, this is my temporary, yet slow, solution: Anne Elser Design.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

~:B J O R N W O O D:~ Well it looks as if a new season of Deadwood is upon us soon. We here at the Elser household are very, very excited. I got a sneek peak at some of the new cast members to join the group in season three. Remember how I was talking about the softer side of Al? Well it looks as if they've taken it a bit further. Pitter pat and all of that. Looks like BjornMouse is in the hiz-ouse. he he
~:H E L P:~ Can anyone tell me why my African Violets are drooping? This is not, (I repeat) NOT a test. They've had plenty of water and droop no matter how much. An ideas? I thought maybe it was too cold by the window this time of year or maybe that they don't want any kind of fertilizer this time of year, or... I dunno. Oh heavens, I am in agony.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

~:D E A D W O O D:~ I am in love with this man. Al Swearingen. He's a grimy, slimy son of a bitch whose great gift is making a profit. But underneath his crude exterior, he's no better or worse than any of us. That's how we see most of the other characters of the show. We see how they struggle and sometimes do the right thing. But mostly the wrong thing. I find that fascinating. I'm talking about HBO's DEADWOOD.

To truly appreciate the story of Deadwood (or the struggle of our own lives, for that matter), one must first understand and appreciate the mistakes we all make. And no one said it better than H.G. Wells: "Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo." After finding that quote, my life was changed for the better, I believe. No shit. It changed the manner in which I asses people. And that is to NOT do it in the first place.

David Milch, director/creator/executive producer, etc. is a genius. The way he uses language is fascinating. It took us about three episodes to get into the rhythm of their speech and understand just what the fuck people were saying. It's like going to see a Shakespeare play and getting used to that way of speaking. Or watching a film with subtitles. It's laborious at first, but once you get the hang of it - you're really into it.

The characters of Deadwood use the most foul language imaginable. Cocksucker is the term most used to refer to anyone in the least bit annoying. Cunt is the second - to describe either male or female. And pussy or twat is used to refer to the many whores who live there. Any time one wishes to emphasize absolutely anything they're talking about, the term fucking is used before or after the word or situation needing emphasis. Having said all that, being able to stop flinching at the foul nature of the language was tricky, too. David Milch talked about how language was one of the few resources people had at that time. Hence, the long-winded, flowery and frequently foul manner in which people expressed themselves. It was a way to say either "Don't fuck with me - I'm smart." Or "Don't fuck with me - I'm dangerous." Achhh. I fucking digress.

Back to Al. People flock to him because he is a strong leader. He is both loved and feared. There is a charm and wisdom about him that one can easily ignore. But once you get past his faulty exterior, there's a humanity in him. I see myself in him - with all my flaws and defects out there for everyone to see. There is a desperate criminal in all of us. I truly believe that. And every "monster" has his virtues. Monsters are not all bad. None of them are. Fear and self-righteousness keeps us from really knowing them, identifying with them, seeing ourselves in them. Find their humanity. I grew up with one such monster. Tommy would have ended up in prison, had it not been for his dying. He made a choice. Learning to respect that choice tops my new year's resolution list each and every year.

But back to Al again. The one thing I admire most about Al is that he TRIES. He works at it. Though his motives and manner may be undeniably flawed, he is still motivated to move, to make things happen, to try and try and try again. I think that is the lesson in this series. Trying is how this great, noble and flawed nation of ours got goin'. And it is through that continuous trying that we will adapt and survive.

I will leave you with one more quote from H.G. Wells: " If you fell down yesterday, stand up today."

Here endeth the god damn fucking lesson.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

~:L E T T U C E * K N I T:~

Good morning all. This is my new project. A Spiral Lace Capelet from WRAP STYLE by Interweave Knits.

At $3.29 a ball, this Andean Silk from KnitPicks.com is a great deal. The beautiful green color is called Lettuce. It sort of looks like the real thing anyway, with all the twists, ripples and turns. Kinda neat.

The creature you see is Olaf, my youngest cat, who is shown carefully inspecting my gauge. He's a stickler for details and has a head for numbers, unlike myself who never learned my times tables. I actually have not gotten far enough to check gauge, so I may be ripping this one out before long.

I am a slow knitter, so you might not hear from me for a while or you might find my updates rated for the turtle group rather than the hare. Does anyone else find their hands and wrists aching if they knit too much or too fast for too long?

Wish me luck! And many thanks to Deborah Newton, the pattern designer.


Monday, January 09, 2006

~:K N I T * M E:~

Dougie Fresh has a new sailor cap thanks to the many chores he has done at home to allow more time for me to knit it for him. This is an easy 2x2 rib stitch pattern whose SSK decreases create the beautiful coiling star pattern at the top of the hat. The cuff/brim/whatever, can be rolled as loosely or tightly as you'd like. Doug's not a hat person, but he loves this one. He says all hats give him a headache as his head is larger than average (NOT kidding). But this one feels like he's not wearing anything. The wool is Cherry Tree sock yarn, knit on no. 2 circulars. The pattern is from Interweave Knits. I am now knitting a green lace stitch wrap for myself from the Interweave Press book "Wrap Style." There's a knit-along-blog for it here, which I want to post to soon.


Saturday, January 07, 2006

~:W O R K * W I T H * M E:~

I love teaching. Love it. I love listening. Love it. And the poem below describes why. I am sick of whiners and complainers. I hate anything that isn't productive. I love and admire a push forward. I am inspired by people who search. Who listen. Who absorb. Who question. Who ask. A new quarter has begun at Portfolio Center. Monday I'll meet the new batch of first quarter students. It is such an event to meet them. Giving them a positive and hard-working invitation to plunge could not be more exciting. Doing it with them is even better.

To Be of Use
by Marge Piercy -

The people I love the best
jump into work head first
without dallying in the shallows
and swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight.
They seem to become natives of that element,
the black sleek heads of seals
bouncing like half-submerged balls.

I love people who harness themselves, an ox to a heavy cart,
who pull like water buffalo, with massive patience,
who strain in the mud and the muck to move things forward,
who do what has to be done, again and again.

I want to be with people who submerge
in the task, who go into the fields to harvest
and work in a row and pass the bags along,
who are not parlor generals and field deserters
but move in a common rhythm
when the food must come in or the fire be put out.

The work of the world is common as mud.
Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust.
But the thing worth doing well done
has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident.
Greek amphoras for wine or oil,
Hopi vases that held corn, are put in museums
but you know they were made to be used.
The pitcher cries for water to carry
and a person for work that is real.
~:B L O O M:~
My christmas cactus is blooming and all the world shall know.

Friday, January 06, 2006

~:N E W * W O R K:~

These are recent bodies of identity work Anne Elser Design completed in my first year of official business. Wow. I feel like a grown-up or something. It's ridiculous. It has been a fabulous year, I still can't believe I'm getting paid more to work for myself. I feel so undeserving. Woo hoo!!! Thank you God. Thank you thank you thank you God.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

~:N A U G H T Y or N I C E:~

If your holiday was not as perfect as planned or if you have a flexible sense of humor, this christmas card will please you. :-)