Stitchy McYarnpants

Confessions of a husband-neglecting, cat-shooing, yarn-hoarding knitaholic. But in a good way.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Sweet Jebus, I’m back from a week in Florida and I can actually feel the bags under my eyes dragging the rest of my face down with them. The first workday after a week of vacation is the next best thing to dementia. I’m confused, disoriented, lethargic, cranky, and I keep imagining everyone dressed up in a costume indicative of their country of origin. One would think that last part has something to do with being at Epcot, but I admit I’ve always imagined this.

This was Charlene and my 8th (I think) yearly trip to Florida to visit her parents. It has been dubbed “The Weeklong Orgy of Eating and Relaxing” and by God, we stick to it. Her parents’ generosity is unmatched and I feel like a spoiled child when we’re there. They moved to Fort Myers when they “retired”, but they both still work. Her dad works at a car rental place and gets us a car every year. This year it was a convertible PT Cruiser with a turbo engine. It kicked a serious amount of ass. Her mom works at a pool company and every year we look forward to our hunk-of-the-month calendar. This year’s is much less homo-erotic and there’s not one banana-hammock in the bunch! She’s a Master Organizer and has meals planned a month before we get there. I like to think she finds my absent-mindedness endearing, but it’s probably more like bemused disgust with a sprinkle of pity. They’re like a spare set of parents that never yell at me, they’re terrific!

The weather was perfect, we did a little kayaking and wandering at Myakka River State Park in Sarasota, lots of shopping at the outlets in Fort Myers, and spent two days in Disneyworld. Did you know that two Disneyworld days are equal to four human days? As it turns out, the week we went is the slowest of the year. We didn’t have to wait for any rides or shows for more than 10 minutes. If you’re going to go, do it after Thanksgiving and before Christmas. Trust me. On the first day, we visited Magic Kingdom, where doors don’t open automatically. Nope. They open automagically. We’re incorporating this idea into our lives and now I’m a Software Programagician and Charlene works in a Biomagical Lab. Go on, Disnify your job, it’s fun! What is YOUR magical vocation? We also went to Epcot, a wondrous land of irritated grown-ups and bored kids. OK, it wasn’t that bad, but after the Kingdom’s assault on the senses, Epcot is a deprivation tank. This was a welcome change because the night before, we went to the Hoop Dee Doo Musical Review where the jokes are corny, the food is plentiful, the butter has sugar in it (yes! Sugared butter!), and the sangria flows freely. It was fun and we put the all-you-can-drink policy to the test. By the next morning, “Canada” was about as much ride as I could handle, so it worked out well. On our second night, we ventured out of Disney territory and saw The Magnetic Fields at Rollins College in a suburb of Orlando. Having acclimated to the Way of Walt, it was jarring to see this band. They mostly sing songs about unrequited love. And not happy ones, either. No siree, these guys are bummed out about it. Even the ones about requited love aren’t all that chipper. I couldn’t stop thinking that if they threw in a sassy redhead and a wacky fat guy, they’d have Disney’s Boo Hoo Musical Review. This thought amused me throughout the show, even when the morose kid next to me sang every word along with the band, complete with misery-laden inflections and a head so full of despair that he could barely lift it. It was a good show.

After just two days in the World, I found myself needing to be entertained constantly. If someone wasn’t making jazz-hands, I felt despondent. If no one broke out in rapturous and infantile song, my mood was sour. Why weren’t the people at the supermarket as happy to serve me as the Disney talent? Where were all the bizarre wigs and polyester dance pants I had grown to rely on? Is life outside of Disney’s warm, wacky womb really a life at all? Actually, the whole time I was there, I felt like I was peering into a world I knew nothing about. There is a whole subculture of people who really freaking love Disney. Were you aware of something called Pin Trading that works like the stock market? For me, this trip was almost anthropological. I would love to read a scientific analysis on the society that exists within Disney, its ardent visitors who seem like they really need someone in the world to be nice to them, its workers with plastic smiles on their faces and scowls in their eyes, throngs of kids who probably have never seen a Mickey Mouse cartoon and still want to buy all kinds of crap from him. I felt like Jane Goodall for a while there. Also, Space Mountain is totally cool!

Once I have my pictures deveopled, I will add them to this post. It may be a while, so don't hold you collective breath.

I didn’t get much knitting done while I was vacationing, but on the plane ride there and back, I worked on what I’m calling the Tropical Shawl. It’s got nice, fruity colors in laceweight Merino wool. It’s for Charlene’s mother and I have no idea why I thought there was even a remote possibility I could finish it by this trip. Sometimes I wonder about my cognitive capacity. I have absolutely no sense of perspective when it comes to time management. (by the way, I don’t usually intend to include a cat when I photograph a Work in Progress, but if you look at something with interest for more than 10 seconds, one of them is bound by feline law to come over to inspect and possibly sit on it.)

And here is the blasted blue shawl that I’ve ripped back a number of times. This is maybe its 5th or 6th incarnation. It’s the same pattern as the Tropical Shawl. The color variegation looks terrible, no matter what I do with it. Here’s what it looked like last night. See how the light bits look like little bugs have landed? But don’t get attached because it’s already been returned to its previous life as two balls of yarn. That’s right, I ripped it out. Again. I’m trying one more pattern with it, and if that doesn’t work, it’s getting made into a cat bed for Dot. You heard me! I’m giving it to the beast to do with it as she pleases. It will probably look better in the litter box when she’s done with it anyway. Harrumph.

Thanks for all the kind and cool comments about my 100 list. I was a little weirded out by doing it, but I’m glad some people enjoyed it. I think the pictures really helped. My dad was a total shutterbug when we were kids and he had a good eye. He’s taken some amazing pictures. Most of them are slides and every Christmas, we do a little slideshow. I love the sound of the remote clicking to the next one. One of my favorite things about my dad’s style is how he’s not afraid to get really close up. The photo of my brother with his front teeth missing is one of my favorites. Dad actually documented that whole day, from the time the teeth were loose with photos of various aunts looking into his mouth, to a picture of my mom actually reaching in there as he stood helpless and shivering in his little bathing suit, to him screaming at the loss of his precious wiggly teeth with aforementioned aunts laughing in the background. I’m sure I was somewhere in the yard giggling and hiding from the gaggle of tooth-hungry fiends. And yes, we actually wore those face-covering hats in the winter. It was cold and they were warm. What can I say, it was New Hampshire and we were part of the snowmobile nation.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome back, it sounds like you had a nice (and probably warm) time. As for my disnified profession, I work in a yarn store! No need to disnify that, it's already magical!

Jofrog is Knitfrog!

12/13/2004 06:54:00 PM  
Blogger alice said...

my parents and i do the hoop dee doo every time we go there... nothing like BUCKETS of chicken and beans to make a girl happy :) our waitress quickly learned to just keep 'em coming. sounds like you had a blast!

12/14/2004 01:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Disneyfy me! I'm a Substitute Teachermagician!! Or, how about a Magicalmother? Or...... sounds like you had a great trip! I agree, I think there really is a subculture out there that eats, sleeps and drinks Disney!


12/14/2004 10:49:00 PM  
Blogger Jackie said...

Hmmm... A financial anamagicist? I wonder what my boss will think if I tell him all the numbers on the reports I just pull out of thin air....

Color variations - I have a love/hate relationship with the varigated yarn. And ripping out as much as you did on that shawl would foster the hate side of it. What's the pattern you're using?


12/15/2004 03:07:00 PM  
Blogger ErLeCa said...

Sounds like Disney was great! It truly is a culture all to itself! Hmmm, what would my disney profession be? Production Assitamagician.... I like that. I think I'm going to put that on a sign right on my desk...

12/17/2004 09:27:00 AM  
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