Friday, August 17, 2007

Rogue knitter, bent on self-destruction

In my geekified high school days, I had a friend who suckered me into doing this thing called FPS--Future Problem Solvers. It was an extra-curricular, kind of like Odyssey of the Mind, I guess. The idea was this: Sunday afternoons, you and your FPS team would get together to future problem solve a situational "fuzzy", sent to your coach's house by the shadowy FPS cabal. The fuzzies would be vaguely futuristic, and often involved terrain-mapping robots or underwater research facilities. For each fuzzy, you had to identify ten or so problems, then pick the most important problem and write ten solutions for it, and then pick the best solution out of those ten. There was a TON of writing involved, and to shore up the numbers, the packet our team sent back to the mysterious FPS judges would invariably contain several really off the wall problems and solutions. Take the fuzzy about terrain-mapping robots; the problem that we selected as most important was that hackers within the company would get into the computer system controlling the robots and screw everything up. If I remember correctly, one of our solutions was making it mandatory for all TerrainBot Co. employees to receive artificial breast implants, implants so large that ability to type would be strongly impeded. Also, without fail, at least one of our solutions would advocate implanting microchips in people's brains to control them.

After a few weeks, your team would receive its packet back, so you could read the comments made by the judges on the problems identified and solutions. While my team was given to severe Big Brotherish-tendencies and, failing that, giving out twinkies to boost moral, there was one time when my friend Justin's team took it a step too far. I can't even remember what the fuzzy was about, but I do recall that the problem they had identified involved a shortage of food in the community (which may or may not have been an undersea research facility.) Anyway, one of their solutions alluded to the possibility of consuming the very old and very young members of the society, so that the fit and able-bodied might carry on with their vital starfish research, or whatever. This solution of theirs was one found so troubling, so against everything that FPS stood for, that it begat a letter from the mystical circle of FPS officiates. The letter was a stern missive decrying the implementation of cannibalism as a means of population control, and charged Justin and his teammates with being,

"Rogue FPS-ers, bent on self-destruction."

I feel like my knitting self has gone a bit rogue, a bit self-destructivish, of late. I've got too many things on the needles right now, and it's getting overwhelming. Worst of all, I don't think the Mandelbrot Scarf is going to be finished for the JoCo concert on August 31. I should have considered, before putting it off until August, that I suck at colorwork. I'm gonna give it my best, AND work on NDdG, AND work on the Death!Socks, AND square up some other odds and ends (oh god, the Atia sweater pattern!) AND I'm going to try and be more faithful to my journal. Oh, AND I'm going to be in New York this weekend, so hopefully I'll be able to hit up some knit shops and get yarn for even more projects to pile on. AND holy crap, the new Interweave? We wants it, we wants it badly.

Man, is there anything greater than giving yourself imaginary deadlines for something you supposedly do because you love it, and then get stressed out because you might not meet them? I want to quit my job and knit.


Ann said...

fun story, and man, I *totally* know how you feel. I'm trying to be zen and sort out everything I want to knit in my head. I seriously don't have enough needles to hold all my desired projects. or enough time.

I guess this is a negative (?) side effect of so many gorgeous patterns and great designers, and knitting's renaissance....

Veronica said...

I totally remember doing FPS, but I think I had to do it as part of a class in junior high. Crazy stuff.

I keep telling myself I can't cast on for anything new until I finish something old, but that's just not as much fun as starting a bunch of new stuff all the time! And you should grab the new Interweave, it's worth it.

And, um, hi. I went looking for people in Alexandria who had knitting blogs, because I'm new to town and was hoping to meet some folks with similar interests.


Ms. P said...

Oh man, a fellow FPS-er. Amazing! I know the new Interweave is worth it, but I've got to wait. Must wait. Must. Wait. Sigh. Welcome to Alexandria :)

T said...

I want to make socks soon! I'm tempted to pick up and start right away, but I have a feeling Ill just come back to you with my frogged yarn and tail btwn my legs. And you don't need that kind of pressure, clearly.

Also, Justin is SOOO hot now. You have no idea.

Elisha said...

Yeah, I saw Justin at a party a few years ago and almost fainted. He looked like an Abercrombie model. ANYWAY, I totally feel your pain about having too many projects going on. I still have the Corazon mittens from Knitty on needles, as well as this stupid self-designed sweater, a lace scarf made of that yarn I got in Japan, and a hundred other random pieces of bags and crap that I never was motivated to finish. Plus there's a hundred more patterns I want to try and a thousand more ideas knocking around in my head. ARGHHHH