Wednesday, October 13, 2010

You can't take it with you

As regular readers and my dogs know, I've been staying up quite a bit lately to work on Christmas knitting.

What those same readers probably do not know is that I've been a virtual widower for much of that time. For you see, Mrs. TSMK has an addiction. And that addiction involves moody vampires. Whether they are from the swamps of Louisiana or the rainforests of Washington, she finds them fascinating. Actually, fascinating isn't the right word. Sexy is more likely the right word.

I've tried to explain to her that since vampires don't have any blood, her hyper-sexy male vampire characters would be unable to achieve an erection even if they had all the Viagra in the world - and therefore vampires would seem to be essentially asexual. But rationality apparently doesn't apply.

So, with Mrs. TSMK glued to either the television or her Kindle, I’ve been spending a lot of time in the garage. But don’t cry for me quite yet, Argentina. For the garage is more man-cave than simple garage. In fact, I like it rather a lot. It has nearly everything a guy might need. A television and stereo. Comfy chairs. A treadmill. And several large bins of yarn. Truly a magical place. The only thing missing is a never-ending pizza buffet.

And since Mrs. TSMK is in the other room, I don’t have to worry about her seeing what I’m watching on television and coming to the screaming realization that she married something of a nerd.

[Hopefully she won’t read this and discover the truth – everyone please promise not to tell her.]

Left to my own devices, I find that my remote control naturally steers me toward programs concerning history, astronomy, UFOlogy, the paranormal and the like. Give me a set of circular needles, some laceweight yarn, a television show about the Roswell incident, and I’m a happy guy.

But a few nights ago, my love of these programs came to a screeching halt. For I learned a very unpleasant truth: The World Will End on the Winter Solstice in 2012.

You see, apparently this date for the end of the world has been foretold by countless seers throughout history. And their premonitions are corroborated by the ancient Mayan calendar and the I Ching. And not only that, but the winter solstice in 2012 will be a date of significance in astronomical terms as well – a galactic alignment occurring only once every twenty-five thousand years or so.

Now, being a natural skeptic, I of course sought out my own oracle: the all-knowing echidna who sits at the center of the universe. I hoped that he could shed some light on these theories. But on this occasion, I’m afraid he was of little help. For you see, the Echidna travels constantly through time and space, and although he was in the man cave with me, his physical presence was actually manifesting itself several months into the future.

A few weeks ago the entire TSMK clan acquired some 200 lbs or so of apples and pears, with the intention of pressing the fruit and making cider. Well, since he knows and sees all, the Echidna had apparently traveled forward in time and was, quite frankly, drunk off his butt on the cider that we’ve yet to press and allow to ferment. In his inebriated state all said in response to my inquiries was “We should’ve gotten a live chicken.”

Honestly, his guidance to me is often cryptic. But this was particularly unhelpful. I don’t honestly know whether he heard my question correctly, or simply thought I was trying to hit a curve ball.

Readers, our impending doom is big news. The kind of news that causes one to reevaluate one’s priorities. The kind of news that could lead a person to significant discoveries about himself. And I have made such a discovery.

I have too much yarn. So much, in fact, that I will never be able to use all of it before our impending destruction.

And this is where you can help. For I have decided to de-stash somewhat. Over the next few weeks I plan to go through my bins of yarn, pull out items that I’m unlikely to use, and give them away. And that’s why I’m announcing the First Annual TSMK De-Stash-A-Palooza. 

I’m going to pull out the yarn, and plan to give it away in two batches. I can’t say exactly what will be in each batch yet. But trust me on this one – you’re going to like it.

As with prior events, I’m going to judge entries on the basis of creativity. So sharpen those pencils and start writing poems. Or clean your lens and start shooting photos. And send them to me at Enter as many times as you like – but know that I will pick two separate winners: one for each batch of yarn.

Good luck, and may the Echidna be with you.


Explanatory Post-Script:  Many are asking whether the entry must be a poem.  It need not.  Entries can consist of anything that may be emailed.  Many others are asking whether there are any mandatory themes for entries (e.g., knitting or crafts).  No such themes are required.  Again, the winning entries will be selected solely on the basis of creativity and imagination.  Essentially - the two things that win will be the two things that I enjoy reading/hearing/viewing/whatevering the most.


  1. Does it have to be a poem? 'Cuz I'm not much on the poetry. I have, however, written a book that your wife might find diverting. It's not about vampires, but it's still pretty good (in my very humble opinion). And hey, your wife happily absorbed in a book means more time to knit for you, right? ;o)

    I do have one picture I shall submit. I'm all about adding to my stash - got a lot of Christmas knitting coming up.

  2. Halcyon -

    Does not have to be a poem. But does need to be something that you'd be cool with having appear on the blog.


  3. Is there a theme for the entries? Desired word length or limit? Anything?


  4. Gravityslave,

    Entries will be limited only by the creativity of the entrant. But bear in mind that they may be posted on the blog - so a person wouldn't necessarily want to enter with a photo of his/her butt. Or perhaps he or she would. Who knows. The world is a strange place.


  5. So, does it have to be a craft-related entry? Or can it just be about anything? I can whip out a generic poem in about five minutes, but if I have to stick to a theme, it might take me as long as ten :P

  6. Jayn,

    Entries can relate to absolutely anything.


  7. Is it okay if the submission is a couple of years old?

  8. You do realize that I'm stalking your blog obsessively to find out when the contest is over and who won, right?


    The suspense is killing me!

  9. Laughed out loud reading your post. Love the idea of the annual De-Stash-A-Palooza. A friend who is a grade school teacher has been teaching kids to finger knit for several years now. The kids love bright colors and are growing fond of the good stuff like merino wool and the odd skein of alpaca. The boys insist the needles are called "sticks" which they can use when they have proven that they won't use them as toys or weapons (at least at school). So I am off to once again find the bright yarns in my stash to add to her school bin collection.