Monday, December 18, 2006

There Is No Help For You Here

I spent an idle moment looking over my blog traffic stats last night and noted a distinct trend among the referrals via Google and other search engines.

The usual searches indicating offbeat sexual tastes (i.e., "Dorothy Hamill naked") have been bumped off the top of the charts by this sort of thing:
  • free men's sweater pattern
  • man sweater quick knitting
  • man's hat quick knit
  • knit man's sweater quickly
  • fast sweater knitting
  • sweater seamless quick
  • I help need to finish a sweater
There is real pathos to the last set of keywords, no? It's enough to break a knitter's heart. Makes me feel bad that I wasn't here, waiting to answer in person like those nice people at Butterball who field desperate turkey questions on Thanksgiving Day.

You with the hat, there's hope for you, unless you're knitting seven hats for seven brothers.

As for the rest, if that sort of search has brought you to me, I'm afraid all I can do is suggest giving gift certificates, power tools, or a pony. I can't tell you how to finish a partly completed sweater by Christmas–let alone start one now and have it under the tree by December 25.

You could of course give the sweater "on the needles" if it's well begun. That's the traditional IOU of knitting and acceptable to most recipients. For a sweater not yet begun, you might at least show them the yarn and the photograph in the pattern. If you don't have a pattern or yarn, see note above about gift certificates, power tools, pony.

The status of my own Christmas knitting has improved considerably since this entry, with the finish line well in sight and the results looking as I had hoped. I'm absolutely gasping to show you one of the pieces, in particular, but it'll have to wait until after the recipients see it.

Buddha Claus

This being my first Buddhist Christmas, I'm amused at the number of my friends who have asked me, "Does this mean I shouldn't get you a Christmas present?"

That is correct. No self-respecting Buddhist accepts Christmas presents. We prefer cash. A nice little stack of twenties and fifties is customary. For Mahayana practitioners, a neat parcel of real estate is also an option, especially if it's a couple of waterfront acres in Amagansett or a small adobe on Acequia Madre in Santa Fe.

Just don't use fancy wrapping paper. It offends our sense of simplicity.

Thank you for this opportunity to share my culture with you. Viva diversity.

46 comments:

=Tamar said...

But oh boy do we celebrate Buddhist New Year!

Kit said...

I give gifts to friends who don't celebrate Christmas on the grounds that *I* do. They can feel free to give me gifts on the gift-giving holiday that they celebrate. Unfortunately, you aren't on my list this year. Sorry about that.

Susan said...

I'm all for simplifying my life and those wonderful plastic gift cards make it so SIMPLE not to carry cash.

Leslie in Mass said...

Must it be real estate? I was planning a Mercedes and you're throwing a wrench into the works.

Dolores will NOT be amused.

Chris said...

The pathos of search terms. I like it - better than I like the ones that leave me saying "ewwwwwwwwwwwwww!"

James said...

Giving cash is a great way of money laundering... first you get to roll around in it then you watch it go down the plug hole as you spend it... fibrous treats are far more practical though.

Carrie said...

LOL! I love your entries! I don't even feel like I can comment respectably, but have a great holiday, and enjoy your gifts =) I think on-the-needles is perfectly acceptable, too, thank goodness...

XtaG said...

Does this mean I should give up the feeble hope that the sweater I won't be starting until tomorrow couldn't possibly be finished in time?

I do have an 8 hour bus ride home for Christmas, then 4 days of potential knitting-while-entrenched-in-my-dad's-LazYboy.. with the excuse that it is okay that my Mom is seeing me knit her sweater since a) she asked for a particular thing and b) it will allow me to perfect the custom fit :)

Hope your Buddist Christmas Gift take is bountiful!

Lise said...

Show compassion to your friends WRT the Christmas gift thing. There are people in this world who would get offended if they received a gift for the "wrong" holiday. Maybe they're trying to avoid disrespect to your new tradition.

Franklin said...

Now, Lise - that was written tongue-in-cheek...like just about everything else in my blog, come to think of it.

Cheryl said...

should I sent it to the university or will you email me your address???

Ginger_nut said...

i though the whole buddist at christmas issue was solved via lisa simpson during a guest episode with richard gere....

Rachel H said...

Damn. All I have are hundreds. Sorry, pet. Maybe next year.

Anonymous said...

I spent all my $$, so I don't have any leftovers for you. However, should anyone else decide to throw $$ your way, there is this wonderful lady that sells great fiber. You might want to check out this:
http://www.thesheepshedstudio. com/thebigbale.html

Anonymous said...

Who knew you were going SGI on us? Nam myoho renge kyo, indeed!

Nik said...

I'm converting. For the cash.

Tif'eret said...

Franklin, I love you.

Franklin + yarn + ridiculous = Me high with giggles.

Whatever about gifts. It's the return of the light I'm seeking. Send full spectrum bulbs.

Which reminds me. Southwest = yes.
Northwest (where I live) = not for you I think. It's SO dark here in the winter. Having said that, PORTLAND, in the winter, rocks for indoor stuff. Send Delores?

Did I remember to tell you I love you?

Ashley said...

When in doubt I give homemade cookies...maybe thats why noone complains???

nancyneverswept said...

For those of us who also weave and do woven presents, things are a little more complicated... you can't show up at the folk's house with the scarf still on the loom! Our deadlines are harder to dodge.

Ann (yet another) said...

WHAT! I forgot to get you a present for Bodhi day!

Happy belated Bodhi Day!

If you tell me which particular version of New Year you are going to celebrate, I'll send you chocolates and yarn. 8-) Well, ok, virtual chocolates and yarn since it's darned unlikely that I'd let either out of my clutches. No, I haven't mastered right effort, so sue me.

Rabbitch said...

Oh dear.

Just don't open any packages from Vancouver then, mmkay?

Lee Ann said...

Too bad I'm just giving you a kiss. Can't cash that in, babe :-)

Angelika said...

I am a Mahamudra ( Kagyu ) practitioner.......and wouldn't mind a condo ( studio size would be OK) high up overlooking the the Andalusian mountains and looking straight to Africa......Kaguys tend to be warriors as well as dreamers.....
For now I am looking forward to the fact that between 30-40% of the inhabitants of this city will leave town by the 24th....the rich ones for " shopping " up North and the poorer ones to return to their villages of origin.....
BTW:this means around 10 million will leave.......and I will take my Zafu and Sabuton upon the roof and contemplate there.....
Sending you an Ocean of
Karmapa Chennos

Angelika
Mexico City, where it is very un-christmassy at +-75F

Angelika said...

I am a Mahamudra ( Kagyu ) practitioner.......and wouldn't mind a condo ( studio size would be OK) high up overlooking the the Andalusian mountains and looking straight to Africa......Kaguys tend to be warriors as well as dreamers.....
For now I am looking forward to the fact that between 30-40% of the inhabitants of this city will leave town by the 24th....the rich ones for " shopping " up North and the poorer ones to return to their villages of origin.....
BTW:this means around 10 million will leave.......and I will take my Zafu and Sabuton upon the roof and contemplate there.....
Sending you an Ocean of
Karmapa Chennos

Angelika
Mexico City, where it is very un-christmassy at +-75F

Anonymous said...

Your ID validator is on the Xmas Knitting Fever: it wants me to type 'kntup' in order to post.

Knit Mongrel said...

If I put a menorah in a brown paper bag will that work?

Merry Chrismukwanzaa! Or. Y'know. Happy Zen.

Lisa and Robb said...

Out of curiosity, what do you use to track your blog statistics?

My delightful partner, to whom I occasionally read the adventures of Dolores and Franklin, pointed out that a panopticon was a type of 18th century prison building, so either

a. your bus ride companions may have been very very wise, or

b. you really did learn to knit in prison

junior_goddess said...

Hmmm-

Lisa and Robb have a point, don't they?

If a grin cost a dollar, I owe you a bundle. Merry Christmas anyhow.

Mary Peed said...

I make up nice gift cards that say "I owe you one pair of socks" or some such.

Carol said...

Just tell me where to find a box a house will fit in;)

anno said...

my christmas knitting is finished (around 1am sunday morning), wrapped, packed, and mailed! well.. all except the mice for the cats and the cats won't mind a bit if they get their christmas mice for valentines day so I'm calling it done. :)

and.. since none of the people getting this knitting read my blog, I can announce it to the universe with no worries.

Anonymous said...

I was just catching up with your blog- I've been bad lately not reading much of anyone's blogs. Too bad I didn't know you were to be in Santa Fe- I'm about 25 minutes north just outside of Espanola. Could have showed you some other very lovely churches and beautiful places. It is a beautiful place and hope to see you next time you come around!

kbsalazar said...

Whoof! I'm glad it's not just me. Around this time of year I get the same pattern of referrals, plus woeful personal notes asking me to finish problem projects in time for the holidays. Some with promises of payment. My own personal experience is that knitting on commission for strangers is an enterprise doomed from the start, so I never take the offers.

Still, I agree. It's woeful. All those thousands of lumpen sweaters, half finished socks, and barely begun hats, at best sitting to be completed for next year's holiday. At worst, consigned to eternal tangles in the corner of thousands of closets...

Sara in WI said...

And yet yesterday, Tuesday, I cast on for a sweater for my 29 year old son, Sam, who will totally understand that when it is not done on Christmas day since, I am sure, that he has done noooo shopping yet, nor probably will until Sunday morning, all at B&N and wrapped 10 minutes before gift sharing on Monday afternoon. That said, I go back to cramming in hours of stockinette and hours of bad Christmas movies on Lifetime and the Hallmark Channel. Happy holiday??!! er New Year, or just have a nice one! (as they say up here in WI)

Vivienne said...

The Christmas Knitting is officially Done, as of two hours ago. The Christmas sewing up, weaving in ends and blocking, on the other hand ...

And it would help if I could find a clear patch of floor.

Hollyeqq said...

You kill me! Stack of 20's and 50's.... Buddhist Christmas!
Egghhh!!
I have on more than one occasion given yarn to a family member. That was in the days when I flew down to come see them and I would be visiting for ten days and would have time to finish almost anything! Plus they used to love watching me. Now it is just an affront.
Happy Buddah Christmas - good luck with the cash gifts! I agree with Susan that maybe you ought to widen your horizons and accept gift cards!
Holly

Liz said...

I was at a meeting with a group of people who did not allow Santa. These people all have little bitty kids, but, apparently, Santa is waaay to materialistic, and besides that's lying to your kids. I want to know how they explain where babies come from to their four-year-olds. And where that whole Loius Vuitton/Marc Jacobs handbag fetish fits into their oh so non-materialistic lifestyle.

Me, I love to lie to my child. Particularly as Santa is bringing her Olivia the Pig paper dolls set in backdrops of famous operas and a pirate ship that shoots cannonballs. The dog will love this one!

Liz said...

OK, somehow I wrote the wrong comment on your blog. I can only hope that whoever I left the comment "In Buddha We Trust. All Others Pay Cash." reads your blog.

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas Franklin. Buddhists don't have to celebrate Christmas, but they can. Just ask Lisa Simpson.

Wendy said...

Ha!

I haven't checked referrals since I moved to my new blog, but my old site's search strings used to alternately break mah heart or creep me out. "Rimadyl overdose" and "osteosarcoma cancer survival" are examples of the former which stick out for me, "neighbors young daughters panties" is e.g. of the latter. Gah.

I'm pretending I celebrate Christmas in the old school spanish way, exchanging gifts on Jan. 6th. This way I can catch the after Christmas sales...

MonicaPDX said...

Lest you not surface before Ye Day, Merry Christmas and Happy Yule, Franklin! (Wrapped in eco-friendly recycled brown paper bags, of course. Not being PC - my brother was doing that back in the early 60's. [g] It's amazing what you can do with a brown paper bag.)

And a keg of aged Scotch to Dolores and the yarn ball gang. ;)

(Blogger's at it again; 'ajgypfd'? Does anyone else see 'Aegypt' instead? I've been listening to too many Medieval Christmas carols...)

Konchog said...

At our temple, we put up a Buddha Bush with all kindsa heathen decorations and Amitabha Buddha at the top! Given that it's -4F in Mongolia just now, I wouldn't be at all offended to find, say, a round-trip airline ticket to Phuket, Thailand under the bush.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to pop over and wish you happy holidays and a merry new year. :) Your blog is always a delight.

Hugs and bunnies,

Wendy Dorrel

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