Thursday, April 24, 2008

Are we recovered yet?

Or are all the BMFA yarn fumes, Yarn Harlot laughs, and scavenger hunt hijinx still got us wiped out?

Speaking only for myself, I'm still a bit wiped out. Mostly because of the long day yesterday and the fact that this morning I woke up with what feels like a pinched nerve under my left shoulderblade. Bother!

But, as promised, here is my report (and pictures, even) from the gathering on Tuesday night at the Forestry Center for Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's book signing.

mcmenamins1I had planned on taking some time Tuesday afternoon to go downtown and do some of the scavenger hunt stuff. But the weather pretty much sucked and other things intervened, so I settled for doing a few things closer to home so I would have enough points to get a pin. The server at McMenamins in Cedar Hills Crossing was a bit puzzled when I handed him the sock, but he went along with it. mcmenamins(That's a pint of Black Rabbit Porter, if you're interested.)

I got to the Forestry Center around 4:30 and there was already a small line forming. Fortunately, there's a nice roof overhang on the building, so we were able to stay out of the drizzle. Everyone was in good spirits and of course many of us were knitting.

Tina and her crew were really on the ball with the organization of things. We were told that purchases of the special Knitters Without Borders yarn would be limited to one skein per person so that there would definitely be enough to go around. (After Stephanie's talk, there were still skeins available, so anyone who wanted more was able to purchase them then. Oh, and the color will be available on Blue Moon's Web site soon, too.) We were also informed that if we didn't want to stay to have Stephanie personally autograph our book, there were pre-signed copies available for sale. Sweet!

JudySeveral of the other PDX Knit Bloggers arrived before the doors opened and then it was time to go in. After getting a book and a skein of yarn, we ended up in the front of the room staking out a spot for our group. Before I got in there, Karen had started to put our sign up and someone asked her not to post signs in the building. I think the person must have assumed we were going to put it on the wall or something, which we weren't. Anyway, I ended up propping it against the wall (we didn't put it up, we just stored it out of the way) so that Judy could "see" when Stephanie started talking. (Backstory: Judy had to be in Washington, D.C. on a business trip, so we brought "virtual Judy" with us to the event.)

In the course of the next hour and a half, Miller Hall filled with knitters and friends of knitters and children of knitters. Although there were rows and rows and rows of chairs set up, more chairs had to be brought in. Even then, there were people standing up in the back. We were among our people. Awesome!

There were cool hats...

...and there was a tub of BMFA yarn (some was given to intrepid scavenger hunt mavens)...
BMFA bounty

...and there were hijinx of the highest order. (BTW, those actually aren't pasties in progress; they're a pair of baby socks for Kerin's niece in progress.)

Oh, and there was a mysterious box on the table awaiting Stephanie's arrival.

Inside the pink box was this:

Turns out it was a gift from Melissa (sadly, blogless) who is a co-worker at All About Yarn. One of the stops on the scavenger hunt was Voodoo Doughnuts, which if you know anything about Portland, specializes in -- ahem -- specialty donuts. Melissa had called them the night before to order this special treat. That is, she called after she shooed her four sons out of the room and managed to stop giggling long enough to place the order! Stepanie took pictures, too. I don't know if she discovered the triple-cream filling or not.

And of course, Stephanie entertained us all for what seemed like a very short talk (but I think it actually lasted about an hour). You can get a taste of her humor over at Peggy and Mims' blog for the Oregonian, where they've posted a very nice video highlight.

Afterwards, she took questions from the audience. It was then that Duffy asked if she could regale Stephanie with song and. . . well, you already saw that video on my last post, right? It was awesome! And what the video doesn't show is the audience, who gave Duffy a standing ovation. Sweet!

Stephnie and Stitch JonesThen it was time for the actual book signing. Sharon of Stitch Jones got in line to get her book signed and to gift Stephanie with a skein of yarn dyed specially for her. We waited until she got close to the front of the line, then stormed the table went over to join her.
Stephanie and the group2
Stephanie and the group
Yeah, I think it must have been just a little bit scary! But after all, the reason we all know each other is because of Stephanie's book signing event last year. That's when she asked how many in the audience had knitting blogs and we began meeting each other. The rest, as they say, is history and now we are an actual, semi-organized group. Ain't life grand!

Oh, Deb from Fearless Fibers was there, too, and was giving out tiny sample skeins of her yarns (all of which are beautiful things). She also had a skein, dyed especially with Stephanie in mind, of the new Merino/Tencel blend she'll be selling soon in her etsy shop. It is gorgeous stuff! I didn't want to give it back, but since it was for Stephanie, I did. :) Watch her shop for that Merino/Tencel. I think you'll like it. It has a very nice sheen to it from the Tencel content and I bet it knits up beautifully. If I hadn't been so busy petting it, I would have gotten a picture!

I think a great time was had by all -- or almost all. Larissa started out having fun, but it sorta went sour. Which is a shame, because Larissa and Sebastian are both delightful!

That's about it. I had to be downtown to work at a trade show the next morning by 7:30. From there, I went directly to our weekly Sip 'n' Stich night, and didn't get back to the house until about 9:00. That's why it's taken so long to get this post done.

Oh, and one more thing. . .

Dear RPM Collection Agency at (866) 212-7408,

You've called over and over again, mostly when I haven't been home. Although it mystifies me why you think I'd be here five minutes after your last call went to the answering machine, that's neither here nor there, really.

When I was finally home on the occasion of one of your calls, your representative got rude with me really quickly when I said that I did not owe you or GE Capital $56 and change. He said in a rude tone, "Don't call me a liar!" which I clearly had not done. The call went downhill from there until I finally told him I would not listen to such things, advised him to send me somthing in writing, and hung up.

For the record, I do not owe GE Capital or you any money from anything in 2004 or any other year.

Last night when I got home, there were more calls from you. One person finally made a mistake, though. She left a message asking W.C. Abernethy to call her back. That would be a good trick!

So, today, I called YOU for a change. I told the gal who answered that I was returning a call regarding W.C. Abernethy and that he was my father. She asked me how she could reach him. I said, "Uh, try calling HEAVEN!" When she allowed that perhaps they had some incorrect information, I agreed with her and inquired if that was the only reason your people were calling me. Apparently it is, so I assume the calls will cease.

So it seems that you won't be scamming me out of any money. Rather, YOU have been scammed by someone selling you bogus lists of names and debts that either never existed or are uncollectable.

Why don't you go find a better way to make a living? Oh, and you poor schmucks who make the phone calls for RPM? Sorry you can't find a decent job where you don't have to act like jerks to people over the phone. Try McDonalds. They probably pay better.

All the best,

Oh, and readers? If you get calls from people like this, here's a story from KATU about how to deal with them. From what I can gather, they are a company who has purchased some bogus lists of supposed bad debts and are doing whatever they can to collect on them. Don't fall for it! Apparently most of the claims they are making are for old Sprint cell phone accounts -- which is interesting since I've never had a Sprint account and my dad never had a cell phone.

Anyway, this concludes the public service portion of this post! :) Now go knit something!


Sharon said...

I like how you handled the scam call. Your way is so much more effective than mine, when I'm dealing with telemarketers, which is to walk into the bathroom while they're on the line and flush the toilet.

I also love that you got a picture of me with Stephanie! I may have to borrow it and send it to a friend for proof that I didn't lose my nerve like I did at Madrona.

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