Via text, rather late at night:

#1 Son: Hey momma are you awake?

Mom: Yeah. Wazzup?

#1 Son: I got this piece of paper I was using as an earplug stuck in my ear cos I’m at a show. Should I go to the clinic in the morning? It’s seriously stuck up there.

Mom: Yes if you can’t get it out carefully with tweezers or such because you don’t want to damage your eardrum. Be very careful not to poke it in deeper.

#1 Son: I think I already did.

Via phone, shortly after the above:

Mom: Is your ear bleeding? Does it hurt a whole bunch?

#1 Son: No. No bleeding and it doesn’t really hurt.

Mom: I think it’s safe to wait until morning. Until then just leave it alone and don’t mess with it. If it starts bleeding go to the emergency room. Dare I ask why you weren’t using regular earplugs?

#1 Son: I usually use toilet paper but there wasn’t really any so I just used a wad of paper.

Mom: Go to the clinic in the morning. Then get some ear plugs.

Gentle reader, I tell you, I am reminded of the time when #1 Son was about 3 years old and he stuffed an entire, 2-ply Kleenex up his nose until the only way you could tell it was there was by peering up his nostril. He was very proud of himself, and the doctor was quite impressed. Upon extraction, it proved to be a pretty big wad. I really thought those days were long behind me.

I am happy to report that the folks at the clinic, according to #1 Son, appeared to be vastly amused.

Me? Not so much.

new toy
new toy

Yes, I have a new toy. I’m not going to talk about it much – just show you a picture. I only have one of them, but thanks to the magic of Photoshop, I am able to show you both sides at the same time. Love it. What I really love is going to meetings with a bunch of geek types. For quite awhile, now, I’ve been forced to watch them casually set their iPhones down on the conference table, carefully arranged to be in sight of everyone there. I kept my poor little PEBL in my pocket, so it wouldn’t feel inferior. The last week I’ve been casually setting my lovely, obviously gen 2 because it’s white, iPhone down on the table, carefully in sight of those with their gen 1 iPhones. It was noticed. :mrgreen: I’m a geek grrl. I admit it.

And why did I make this little purchase? #1 Son’s birthday was a week ago last Friday, coincidentally the same day as the world wide launch of the iPhone 3G. I decided that I deserved a present for his birthday, what with all of his travels and the gray hairs I’ve gained (nicely covered up by Carla The Wonderstylist) and such. Don’t you agree?

At any rate, speaking of #1 Son, when last we spoke he had missed his plane from Germany on Wednesday, but we were hoping that he would be able to get on the plane the next day.

There was no 3:30 AM, I missed my flight, wake-up call on Thursday. So that gave me hope that at least he was actually on the plane. I had asked him to call me from Philadelphia, but no call came. When I checked online, however, I noted that there was probably just about enough time between his flights for him to get through customs/immigration and make it to the connection. Assuming that I would hear only if something went wrong, I hied myself to the airport at the appointed time. I had looked online to see what gate the airplane would be coming in at, and parked on that side of the airport. I remember his return from Brazil and the crazy heavy stuff he had to carry.

And then I went to the waiting area by the security for that concourse and I waited. And waited. And waited. I could see via my new toy that his plane had arrived. A stream of people came up the concourse, met their loved ones and headed off. And no #1 Son. I was beginning to feel a bit of panic, when I finally spotted him. I breathed a sigh of relief and gave him a big hug. Can’t begin to tell you how glad I was to have him in Portland!

We walked to the baggage area, hauling his carry-on bags. He had a small duffel, a tote bag full of records (remember how heavy those are?), and his guitar case. We marched to the side of the airport where his plane had arrived – the side of the airport where I had parked. An announcement came that baggage from his flight would be coming on a belt on the exact opposite side of the airport.

OK, I thought, it’s going to be that kind of evening.

We hauled his carry-on bags across the airport to the designated baggage carousel. And waited, and waited, and waited. And his bags did not come. What are we looking for? I asked.

#1 Son: A black, sort of Euro-style backpack and a cymbal case that I brought back for Drummer Boy. All of my clothes are in the backpack. And, uh, my wallet is sort of in the backpack, too, with all my ID and my driver’s license and money and stuff.

Mom: You should always carry your ID on you, not check it!

#1 Son: I’m traveling on a passport. I don’t really need my driver’s license.

Mom: You will need it to drive home from my house.

#1 Son: … that’s true.

We waited. Passengers picked up their luggage. The number of unclaimed bags became smaller and smaller. No new bags came out of the bowels of the airport. Eventually the belt stopped.

Well, I said. The good news is that, since we had to come over to this side of the airport, we’re right next to the lost baggage claim area! You go talk to them and I’ll sit here with your stuff.

Off he went, and I waited. After a bit, a goodly bit, he returned. The airlines didn’t have a clue where his bag was. But there was a second flight coming in at midnight, and his bags might be on that.

After some discussion, we decided to stay and wait, in the hope that the bags actually would be on the second flight, and thus he would have a few rather necessary things like clothing, a tooth brush, and his wallet. But there was no reason to schlep his heavy stuff all over the airport. Instead, we schlepped it to the parking structure across the airport, where I had thoughtfully parked, as you will remember gentle reader, to be close to his arrival. At the car, we had this conversation:

Mom: Did you managed to make it to a yarn shop?

#1 Son: I did! I had to go to two of them, because the first one was closed. But the second one had tons of yarn. The lady in there was really nice, but she was the only person I met in all of Germany who spoke absolutely no English. I had a hard time communicating what I wanted, but finally I pulled up my pant leg and pointed at my socks and said “socks” a couple of times. She pointed at some shelves in the back and I picked up a bunch of yarn and bought it for you. I’m pretty sure it’s sock yarn.

Mom: I suppose it’s in your backpack.

#1 Son: No! It’s in my guitar case! Made great padding.

He popped open his guitar case, and, sure enough, there were 5 balls of yarn. I picked up a ball. There was no ball band, but it looked sort of like maybe Trekking or Opal — that kind of ball and some sort of self-striping colorway.

Mom: This looks… OK. Where’s the ball band?

#1 Son: The what?

Mom: The ball band. You know. The label that goes around the ball of yarn to tell you the fiber content and the manufacturer and the color and all that stuff.

#1 Son: I don’t know. I don’t think there were any. Is it OK? I didn’t get any that was pink.

Mom: Yes, sweetie. I’m sure it’s fine. Thank you for avoiding the pink.

#1 Son: You’re going to blog this, aren’t you.

Mom: Yes, I am. I’m going to brag about how wonderful my son is, who brings me sock yarn all the way from Germany. And who managed to be understood in a yarn store outside his native country. And how wonderful is that?

#1 Son: Is the yarn OK?

Mom: Sweetie, it’s not quite what I expected. But it’s yarn, and it looks pretty, and it will be made into socks. I am so happy that you did this. Thank you very much! Now, let’s move the car over to the side of the airport where your bags will come (if they come) and get you something to eat.

#1 Son: I’m not really hungry, but OK.

He kept protesting that he wasn’t very hungry as he devoured a huge veggie sandwich, a carton of yogurt and a pint of orange juice. We had a nice chat as we waited for midnight and flight #2 to arrive.

#1 Son: Can you look on your phone thingy and see if they’ve found my bags yet? Here’s the claim number. Look how they described the cymbal case as a hatbox. I kept telling her that it wasn’t a hatbox, or even really the shape of a hatbox, and it would be better to use the other category and describe it. But she insisted on using hatbox. And not a clue where the bags were at all.

Mom: Hopefully they’re not looking for a hatbox, because according to the claim lookup online, they are still attempting to locate your bags and that will make them harder to find.

#1 Son: I can’t figure out why they don’t know where they are. Shouldn’t they scan them when they load them on a flight, or something?

Mom: I don’t know. If I’d designed the system they would. And most times when my bags didn’t arrive on the same flight as I did, they’ve been able to tell me what flight they were on. So I don’t know what’s going on with this airline. I’ve never flown it before.

#1 Son: I’m never flying them again.

Mom: OK

At the appointed time, we stood next to the baggage carousel of doom. And waited. And waited. And passengers picked up their bags and left with smiling faces. And we waited. We were both sure that we were waiting in vain. All of a sudden, I spotted something…

Mom: Is that your backpack?

#1 Son: OMG! It is! [grabbing it off the belt]

Mom: Look! Look! There’s the hatbox… er, cymbal case.

#1 Son: Very funny. [grabbing it off the belt]

Mom: Is there anything else?

#1 Son: That’s all!

Mom: Yea!

He dug around in his backpack for his wallet, and pulled out another skein of yarn.

Back we went to the car – now closer than last time. Mom, I’m really tired. I can’t begin to tell you how tired I am. Please just drop me off at your house, and I’ll come over tomorrow and pick up my car. OK?

So that’s what we did. And when he walked in his door, all of his friends and roommates – who had been waiting for his return – sent up a shout of joy that was probably heard all the way to Salem, and scared him half to death. And, what with all of the excitement, I left the yarn in his guitar case. And that’s why I have no pictures of it to show you. But he has promised to get it to me on Monday, and then, gentle reader, you can maybe help me figure out what it is.

P.S. On Friday he came over with his roommate E to pick up his car. When he opened its door, he said, Ah. You knit me a steering wheel cover. How cool is that!

Mom: Notice anything else different?

E: It’s clean! It’s really, really clean!

Mom: Yes, it is. It’s also full of gas and has brand new registration tags.

#1 Son: It does? Mom, you’re the best mother ever!

We’ll see how long that lasts, eh?

Miscellaneous Musing by Judy @ 11:41 AM

At 3:30 AM Pacific Time, my phone rang. At first, in my confused and asleep state, I thought it was my daily wake-up call (have I mentioned how much I love my landline voice mail?). But voice mail doesn’t answer back when I say hello. (Please note while you read this that it was around 12:30 PM in Germany.)

Mom: Hello ? ? ?

#1 Son: Oh! Hello! Hello there!

Mom: Hi ? ! ? ! ?

#1 Son: Uh… I sort of missed my flight. But they say I can get on the one tomorrow and it shouldn’t be a problem. Except that the flight tomorrow is sort of booked full. But the airlines can offer people a couple of hundred bucks to give up their seat to me and that should work OK. Except I sort of have to give them the couple of hundred bucks so they can do that. You know.

Mom: Where are you?

#1 Son: I’m at the airport. I’m talking to the airline guy at the counter right now.

Mom: And you missed your flight? Why did you miss your flight? [note – I’m not really swift when woken from a sound sleep. It’s a failing, I know.]

#1 Son: Uh… well… it should have been OK. We left a couple of hours early. But we couldn’t find a parking place. And then nobody knew where the right terminal was. And we couldn’t find the ticket counter.

Mom: But you can get on the flight tomorrow? I’m still trying to catch up here.

#1 Son: Yeah. Well. The flight tomorrow is 100% full so I’m sort of like standby but not really. I guess they’re sort of overbooking me on. They just need to offer a couple of hundred bucks for someone to give up their seat is all. Sorry. I know it’s really late there.

Mom: What happens if they offer money and nobody gives up their seat?

#1 Son [after conversation with guy at ticket counter]: He says that’s never happened. And once I get to Philadelphia it’s OK. They can book me from there to Portland. It’s just from Munich to Philadelphia that’s full. But, you know, people don’t show up and stuff. It should be OK

Mom: OK. So you need money to offer to people?

#1 Son: Well… yeah…

Mom: OK.

#1 Son: Thanks!

Mom: There’d better be yarn coming home from Germany for me.

#1 Son: Well… The good news is that now I have time to buy some!

Miscellaneous Musing by Judy @ 12:58 PM

then and now
then and now

Dear #1 Son,

Twenty years ago on a cold rainy day, you entered my life. Nothing could have adequately prepared me for the wonder, joy, awe, overwhelming love and sheer terror that parenting brings. I should, maybe, have gotten a clue that you would be a force to be reckoned with when, although it was around 65F (19C) when you were born, it was 105F (40C) when I brought you home.

In true Mom-tech-geek fashion, for your first 10 years I teased that you were still in beta testing: Adam v0.8. On your tenth birthday – half a lifetime ago – you reached the first major release: Adam v1.0. I remember how excited you were to reach those double digits. I have to admit that a few of the interim releases since there were a little rocky. As features were added, stability was lost and I started receiving more error messages. Sometimes nothing seemed to work at all.

Now, suddenly, here’s Adam v2.0. A new major release. A stable, user-friendly release.

Adam, I am so proud of you! I love your wit and your compassion, your passion for your music, your enthusiasm for causes. You have accomplished so much, done so much, been so many places. I so admire your drive and your willingness to do whatever it takes to reach your dreams. No mountain is too high for you to climb. No star is too far for you to reach.

Adam, dude… you rock my world.

Knitting |Miscellaneous Musing by Judy @ 7:25 PM

steering wheel cozy
steering wheel cozy

… the one known as #1 Son’s car.

#1 Son left his car in my care. Actually, I insisted. I sort of like to know what’s happening with it when he’s not around. He left it parked at my house with gas tank empty and the seats and floors full of nameless… stuff. I knew I had to drive it at least once or twice a week to keep it in running order. My first priority was to get some gas in it, because it was on fumes. I got in and started the car. With my right hand, I grasped the shift knob…

There was something on the knob. I don’t know what. But it didn’t feel like anything I wanted to touch. I wiped my hand without much effect on the passenger seat upholstery. I dug around in my purse for a kleenex and wiped the knob and my hand off. Then I shifted into drive and away we went.

The steering wheel was greasy. I rolled down the windows, because it stank inside. Unknown things rattled around. I made it to the gas station, filled it, survived the sticker shock (big difference between #1 Son’s Subaru Outback and my Prius), and headed back home.

And there it sat, because… driving it was gross.

But I knew that I needed to drive it again. So, with the long weekend, I decided it was time to clean it up. I started by sorting the contents into three piles: (1) known items to be filed in house, (2) known items to be left in car, (3) a combination of known items that should be discarded and totally unidentifiable things. The third pile was by far the largest. Those items went directly into the garbage without passing Go. The first pile consisted of things that need to be kept, but not in the car. They were brought inside and filed. And that left plenty of room to organize the things that needed to be left in the car, like coins and cassette tapes and CDs and paperwork like the registration and such.

Now that I could see all surfaces, I started to clean. I started at the top, and worked my way down. And it was pretty bad. But I cleaned everything. There was one little horde of pennies that were stuck together by some nameless gunk. I wiped them all off individually. I cleaned the shift knob and the steering wheel twice, just in case. I dug into nooks and crannies. I polished and spiffed until it gleamed. I washed all of the windows. And then I drove it up to the car wash where they have vacuum cleaners strong enough to almost turn the car inside out. And I vacuumed everything – twice. Once home I febrezed all of the upholstery and carpets. Liberally.

Since the thing was clean, I didn’t feel so bad about driving it. So I drove out to the Oregon DEQ facility – a nice Saturday drive. The car passed the DEQ test with flying colors and has brand new tags and registration.

There was only one thing missing: a steering wheel cozy. So I’ve started one, and should have it finished within a few days – well before #1 Son returns on the 16th. This is Berroco Suede in Tombstone (gray) and Zorro (black). It’s posing in a gratuitous garden shot amongst my hardy fuchsia.

#1 Son called a couple of days ago from Nuremberg. They are having a wonderful time and he loves all the places they have visited so far. He told me that Prague is the most beautiful city in Europe – just like a postcard, Mom – with these crazy castles dotted about and gorgeous architecture.. Having never been there, I have no opinion myself, but it sounds lovely.

I didn’t tell him that he will come home to a car that is full of gas, legally registered for two more years, clean and cozied. We’ll let it be our little secret for now, eh?

Miscellaneous Musing by Judy @ 3:12 PM

This may be the last Conversations With Teenagers post, as #1 Son will no longer be one come July. Dare I hope we will then move to something like Conversations With Adults?

sound of ringing phone…

Mom: Hello?

#1 Son: Hi, Mom. Say… I’ve got almost enough for that ticket to Europe and I really, really need to buy it and can you just front me a little bit so I can get that taken care of? Please? Please?

Mom [sigh]: OK.

#1 Son: Great! I need a round-trip from here to Frankfurt. I need to be there by this date, and come back after that date. I’ve looked online, and SiteX was the cheapest.

Mom: Let me look. OK. No. It looks like SiteY is cheaper today. Are you sure you are flying in and out of Frankfurt?

#1 Son: Yes. Frankfurt.

Mom: Your first show is in Stuttgart and the last is in Denmark. Are you sure Frankfurt?

#1 Son: YES. Frankfurt.

Mom: OK. [finger poised above mouse, cursor hovering over book button] How are you getting to Stuttgart?

#1 Son [after long pause]: I’ll call you right back.

Mom: OK. [cancels ticket purchase]

sound of ringing phone…

Mom: Hello?

#1 Son: Hey, it’s Munich. That’s where I need to go. The guy that’s releasing the record in Europe lives in Munich and he’s picking us up at the airport.

Mom: Ah. Munich is different than Frankfurt. Will he get you back to Munich after the last show?

#1 Son: We’ll figure it out. I’m sure he will.

Mom: OK. Well, I’m looking online and it looks like there are several choices. You can fly though Chicago or Philadelphia or Charlotte. Any idea what flights the other guys are on?

#1 Son [after long pause]: I’ll call you right back.

Mom: OK. [cancels ticket purchase]

sound of ringing phone…

Mom: Hello?

#1 Son: Hey. Go out to our band email account and log in. Drummer Boy’s itinerary is in an email. Can you get me on the same flights going over? The others are staying longer after the tour, so I’ll probably have to fly back by myself.

I could, and I did. #1 Son is sitting next to Drummer Boy on the first leg, and behind him on the second. See what you can do with a little information? And what, I ask you gentle reader, would punk rockers ever do without their moms?

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you.

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Stuff I Gotta Do

Follow The Leader shawl


entrelac wrap


Arabesque shawl


Jubjub Bird Socks


I Mog Di


Peacock Feather Shawl


Honeybee Stole


Irtfa'a Faroese Shawl




Fatigues henley sweater


Jade Sapphire Scarf


#1 Son's Blanket


Cotton Bag