Wednesday, August 17, 2011

WTF is Project Runway and Can I Have More Yarn Please?

I have been hard at work earning Homo Points since my last post.  Unfortunately, my points were lost when the subject of Project Runway began over on Ravelry  Actually, I see it as my points were dashed upon the rocky coast of a universe out to have a good laugh at my expense.
To make a long story even longer, I actually confessed that I didn't know of Project Runway or of the people who star in it.
In reality, I knew what I was getting into.  Even as I hit the return button to send my post off to be critiqued by the world, I knew my true Mo friends would be shaking their heads in disbelief and sadness as they read my declaration of Project Runway ignorance.
There was much chatter over this, what can only be described as tragedy, and, in the conversations that ensued, I discovered that it is the show to know if you are excellent Mo. (Okay...check that out, that last sentence rhymed!)
Not being an excellent Mo or even a Mo in the know, I sat down at the computer and tried to do a little research on the topic.  It must be an insanely popular show because it appears to have been around for nine seasons.  Now, there may be more but the biggest number I saw was nine; so, no taking away points if I'm wrong.  Anyway, I clicked on the MyLifetime link and proceeded to watch an episode.  About 30 seconds into the "what happened on last week's episode" supernatural forces conspired against me and locked up my laptop.  Now, usually, I wouldn't assign great significance to this event but it was such a bad lock up that I had to reboot twice.  Obviously, someone/thing is out to stop my Homo education.  So, after rebooting and sifting through information about this show, I'm going to blame this woman, Heidi Klum, for the evils perpetrated upon me.

Before my research,  I had no idea who she is or what she has done, but she seems to be the reigning queen of Project Runway.  Now here, I can be a good Mo.  I'm looking at that outfit on the right and thinking, "Honey, please, you're hurting my eyes.  With taste like that a visit to Dairy Queen must be an evening on the town!"

SHHHH!!!  DON'T tell anyone but my research not only revealed that she wears scary clothes but she also had huge, giant tits added onto her front as fashion accessories.  I'm not lying; check out the before and after pictures:
KAZOOMBAS!!!!  Grab onto those puppies in an earth quake because they aren't moving!  Apparently, to be a frightening fashionista, you need super boobs.

Anyway, I digress.  After reading up on Project Runway, I have discovered that it is the American Idol of fashion designers.  A giant reality show of people trying to become the next Queen of Fashion (I use Queen because all of the dudes are SUPER flaming.  No mater who wins, male or female, there will only be a queen).

I'm sure you can guess that this reality show does nothing for me.  You can also guess that deep down, somewhere, I should have some little warm spot for fashion and fashion designing as I am a Mo.  Well, you're guessing wrong.  I don't!  It's no where in me.  Trust me, I've looked!

Now I know someone is going to say that I'm picking on fashion designers but I'm not.  I don't dislike fashion designers.  I actually appreciate them and the work they do.  I just don't want to watch a TV show about them.  Especially when I can watch football.....Ughhh....F*&k, there I go again, more Homo Points down the tubes.  See, even where there is TV to watch, I'm outta luck. 

However, all of this designing talk has made me realize that my quest has not been totally thwarted.  In fact, I'm the designer.  First up is a nice little design contest sponsored by Skacel using only one hank of their Simplicity Hikoo yarn.  Of course, one hank isn't much and I found myself feeling a little like Oliver Twist..."May I have some more please?"

Well, just like poor Oliver, I'm not getting anymore gruel or yarn.  Never to back down from a challenge,  I came up with a pretty neat design.  I would show you but, since the contest hasn't happened yet, if you saw it I would have to eliminate you by using a paper clip (Jason Bourne and I are tight).

Wait, I can see the worry on your face.  I implore you not to fret as I do have a wee bit of other designing to share.  Remember that little bit of lace edging that I showed last post?  Well, I have been playing with it and I'm thinking that it will make a nice shawl.  Here is my latest test knit, lovingly held in place by my partner Jeff (yes, I know he spells his name the wrong way but don't tell him).  It's a bit hard to see with this yarn but the acorn and leaf pattern works well.

The pattern in not too complicated but it does take concentration as there is something new happening on the knit and purl rows. I mean on every row.  I usually like to listen to books when I'm knitting but this pattern as put a halt to that.  I either lose track of the knitting or the book.

So, as you can see, I haven't given up on using my designing to earn Homo Points.  I think that when I finish this shawl, I should be well on my way to earning my Silver Gay Card!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Everything is Cowboys, Poodles and Lace!

Well, I have definitely been embracing my more manly (un-homo) side this week.  It all started with this need to fit into those size 31 Wranglers and, from that decision on, it has been a slippery ride down to the boarder of Hetero Haven.

As my profile states, I'm a failed cowboy turned math teacher and, for me, the cowboy still runs deep.  You will often find me wearing all that cowboy gear: boots (I have around 30 pair), Wranglers, western shirts, hats (I think I'm up to seven) and  I love it all.  It's what we wore back in Albuquerque when I was growing up and it has stuck with me for these 40 plus years.

Anyway, Wranglers do amazing things to a man's anatomy.  Even the most homely of physiques can look stunning in a pair of Wranglers.  If you can't picture it I'll try and help; Wranglers do for men what the push up bra does for women only it works on both the front and back sides of a man.  Such a great garment that does such great things!  Of course, the smaller the size the better the garment works.  Really, think about it, if your gut is big, everyone is going to be focusing on it and not the important, sexy parts that have been lifted and molded into perfection.

Currently, I wear a size 32 in Wranglers.  Now to be honest, this is not a true 32.  This is the type of 32 that requires lying on the bed and sucking your gut in till you almost faint to zip them up and button them, type of 32.  To add to this misery, I refuse to by fat boy Wranglers.  For me, that is anything over a size 32.  So, I spend lots of time in VERY tight Wranglers hoping that my goods are properly displayed.  In reality, this is all about vanity.  Now how Mo is that?  Aren't all true homos vain?  Why yes, Virginia, they are!

I'm enough of a real Mo to be vain but enough of a loser Mo to want to be comfortable, leaving me with but one choice, hit the gym with gusto and be a man about it.

So, here I am three weeks after that decision feeling beefier,  thinner and trimmer.  What's really bad about this is that I'm actually enjoying the intense workouts.  That's right, I'm having fun being a jock!  All of that sweat pouring off of me; the burning feeling in my muscles from lifting too much, it's like a drug!

Well, this is all very good for me.  It's making me healthy.  It's making me look good and, it may help me get dates but I'm thinking that it's not helping my homo status.  Now don't get me wrong; there are lots of gay guys who work out a ton.  However, they have other Super Mo qualities.  For example, when they speak they speak in a range four octaves higher than the average hetero male; they have their eyebrows waxed weekly and they listen to musicals while puttering around the house.  All of these Super Mo things I do not do.

Am I doomed to utter Mo failure?  Possibly not.

While at the gym today, I was contemplating this current conundrum and remembered a comment from a student of mine.

Once, this past year, I was lamenting to friend of mine how I was such a bad homo.  She thought this was quite amusing and told her family about it at the dinner table one evening.  Her son, who happens to be one of my students, informed her that I was actually a really good homo because I have Standard Poodles.

When I recalled this statement, I almost tripped on the treadmill, sending a shower of sweat onto the woman next to me.  I was too thrilled at my recollection to worry about her evil glares or be concerned that she was wearing a neon pink top with neon green spandex shorts.

Thrilled with my realization that I had finally made the grade, I finished my workout and headed to the steam room.  Ahhh, time to relax and bask in all of my superior homo-ness knowing that I can be gay while working out hard and enjoying it!

Of course, the universe is out to have a laugh at my expense.  I suddenly realized that my poodles aren't sissy poodles.  My poodles do stuff like this:

Yes, my girls ROCK!  And they will kick any Lab's ass when it comes to swimming and retrieving!  BOOYAH!

Opps...there I go again and so go a few more gay points.  I'm trying.  Really, I am trying.

Well, since my poodles aren't a good gay fall back then my knitting surely must be.  I'm still on a big lace kick and I recently found this lovely pattern (Check that out; I just used "lovely" in a sentence.  How gay is that?).

This pattern just screams GAY!  It's actually an edging which is meant to be grafted or sewn onto the main piece of work.  I'm really not that concerned with the edging bit.  Personally, I think it's a bit Grandma.  What I do like about it is the leaf and acorn motif, just that part.  It's pretty F'n cool.  I'm currently trying to come up with ways to use just that part in some bit of knitting and I think I'm onto something way, stay tuned.

Monday, August 1, 2011

My Loser Mo Adventures at Sock Summit

As most of my knitter friends know, Sock Summit was just here in Portland.  I was very excited about this convention when I heard that it was going to be here again.  What a great opportunity to learn some new gay guy skills.  I mean really, it just sings GAY with all that yarn, needles, colour and tons of women and very few men.

Well, as usual the road to my official gay card was blocked from the very start.  My partner, Jeff, is a former English teacher.  Every year, he and his English teacher friends head off to Cedar City, Utah, to that city's Shakespeare Festival.  I never attend these gatherings as seeing two plays each day for three consecutive days really makes me want to vomit.  Don't get me wrong, Jeff loves it (he's a better Mo than me) and so do his friends but it just doesn't do it for me.

This year, one of the group couldn't make it due to a wedding; so, I agreed to buy her tickets and hang out with my partner appreciating live theater.  One glaring problem, it totally interfered with Sock Summit.  Unfortunately, there was no way out.  The one saving grace is that we returned to Portland in time for me to attend just one day of the convention, Sunday.

Happily armed with this information, I logged on to Sock Summit's web page to register, tickled that I was about to add points toward my official gay card.  As I started to review the course offerings my heart began to sink, "This is so not going to be an opportunity for double or even single gay card points."

"It's all about knitting SOCKS!"

I HATE knitting socks.  I mean WTF how can you have an entire convention dedicated to just socks.  Why not something practical like sweaters.  Now that's something you can have a convention over.  I knew it would deal with socks but I truly thought it would also deal with other knitting genres.  NOPE!

Now you must realize that this is yet another set back.   I've been working on getting this card for 40 plus years and I'm not getting any further in accumulating points.  There had to be a way to salvage this, and as if by magic, it occurred to me "I know, I'll take one of Franklin's classes.  That would be fun and Gay!"  (So, if you don't know, Franklin Habit is one of the kings of knitting.  He's a great guy and has tons of great ideas and, of course, has a HUGE following.  Also, he's a blast to hang out with.)

As I clicked on the the link for the registration page, I should have realized that something was amiss as a cold shiver came over me and dark clouds blocked out the sun.  I didn't think much of it at the time; I mean hey, I live in Oregon, cold shivers and dark clouds are the norm.

Well, true to form, the Universe conspired against me yet again in my quest for a gay card.  As I reviewed the available classes it became apparent that there were no spots in Franklin's classes!

Okay, I'm going to diverge for a moment here.  I think that there should be a standing rule for situations like this.  Gay guys Always have a spot in any class taught by another gay male knitting teacher.  Really, this is just common sense.  We are a minority in the knitting world.  There should be an affirmative action program just for us.  Plus, let's be real, gay guys are a Ton of fun.  Who wouldn't want at least two or three of us in a class to break up all of that middle aged estrogen?  Not only would it be a learning experience, it would be a party and, if one of us was a true Mo, all of the middle aged women could get fashion and make up tips.

Rant over (for the moment).

Burying my disappointment I decide just to go to the market place at Sock Summit and hang with my male knitter friends.  Of course, this, in and of itself, is fraught with problems.

I think male knitters can relate to this very well.  There are a certain amount of odd looks that you get when you walk into the female dominated world of knitting.  You can almost here their thoughts, "Hmmm...who's that?  What's a guy doing here?  Who's husband is he?"  Of course this is just as you are walking into the building.  The next round of thoughts occur as you are actually looking at yarn and knitting needles, "He must be here with his wife. Hmmm...he knits but he's a guy, probably not that good at it. He doesn't know what he's doing; I'll have to tell him what he wants to buy."  Yup, that's what they are thinking; I know it, and, of course, all these thoughts actually take points away from my gay card account.

Anyway, I dealt with these archaic misnomers admirably as I walked into the market place, smiling trying hard to look like I belong.  Just so you know, this is where I'm a loser Mo Extreme.  I can feel it radiate from me.   I really don't fit in.  Just to let you know, I really did try my best.  Here was my plan. 

First, I did not wear any of my cowboy gear that I usually wear.  Instead of Wrangler's I wore Lucky Brand jeans.  Instead of boots, I wore Puma's.  I even carried a man purse!  But, to no avail, I still didn't fit in.  I know this by one thing; I couldn't get anyone to wait on me.  Yup, they saw me; my wallet bulging with credit cards hot to be used but they didn't come.  Even the gay clerks ignored me.  Nope, not even an interested glance, they all just clung onto the women customers, admiring their choices in yarn and crooning over colour combinations....Vomit! Come on guys!  I'm gay like you and I'm somewhat attractive.  I have nice biceps!  Wait.... I know; it's the colour thing.

That's right, I did it again.  Damn!  For those of you who don't know me, one of my most glaring loser gay guy things is that I don't get colour.  Truly.  I don't know what colour goes with what.  I can't see the subtle shades of pink mixed in with the purple.  I can't tell when the yellow is tending to more of a green.  To me taupe is just a grey and mushroom is just brown.  Gasp!  Horror!  Shock!  A gay guy who doesn't get colour?!!!  I know; believe me, I live with this shame daily.

So, there I stand, in the middle of an arena of extreme gay card point acquisition, radiating disdain for crooning over colour choice, watching my opportunity to be a real Mo trickle away.  Uggh, I just can't help it.  Defeated again, I left the market place  head hung low, and waited for my male knitter friends to finish their classes and shopping so that we could go out to eat.

I guess I'm the Pinocchio of the gay world.  Instead of telling people that I'm a real boy, I spend my time telling them that I'm a real Mo.

However, I will persevere.  I'm still working hard on the gay card.  My Sunflower Shawl has sparked interest at Knit Picks.  They sent me their yarn to knit up the shawl and I finished it last week.  I'll be blocking it today and then I'll drop it off at their offices.  Hopefully, they will like it in their yarn and I'll have my pattern up on their site.

Also, I'm designing yet another lace project.  In my opinion, nothing screams GAY more than knitting and designing lace.  I'm thinking I should get at least a thousand points towards Winner Mo status by coming up with another great lace pattern.  I'll keep you posted!