Tuesday, October 28, 2008

So much to chat about, so few Republican brain cells

Well, I'd actually been looking forward to sharing all kinds of juicy tidbits about the upcoming election, completely non-knitting related but guaranteed interesting with stars like Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow (who now has her entire TV show on podcast, you reading this, Yankee?) at the helm. However, life threw us a few curveballs and it's been difficult to get focused again. Too bad...so much has happened...John McCain referring to his audience as fellow prisoners, my-favorite-store-is-a-consignment-store Sarah Palin getting caught with $150,000 in clothes bought by the RNC, oh, so much. Well, let's join the chaos in progress, shall we?

First up, the apparent and apparently widening breach between John McCain and Sarah Palin:

Next, two of my favorite people in the whole world, Rachel and DNC Chair Howard Dean, discussing early voting. I think there is some fear mongering going on here, but I'll admit that many of us probably do need a fire lit under us. Personally, I don't think the prevalence of Dems among early voters indicates everything that the Democrats want it to, but we still are seeing some good signs there.

I'll also admit that I'm not entirely convinced that the white sector of the US is ready to drop its overt and covert racism in order to vote a black candidate into the presidency. In fact, I'm pretty much quaking in my boots about that one.

And lastly, from Keith, prominent Republicans are suggesting that the RNC give it up and help down ballot instead. When's the last time that happened? At least 12 years, I'd think...

Good signs, but as they say, the only poll that counts is the one on election day. We won't even really know who all these early voters are voting for until that day. Fingers crossed. And go vote!

Oh, I actually have a little bit of knitting-related news. Here is my latest project for Schaefer Yarn knit in September-October and packed up and mailed just before Rhinebeck:

Wow, kinda makes me want to hire a model for all of my projects! It's the Elaine Mitered Sweater, knit in Schaefer's Elaine bulky merino wool/nylon yarn, in the color Elena Piscopia. That's the Elaine, right there in the color shot. Got the pic above from Schaefer because I'm an idiot and can't ever remember to take a pic of my projects before they go out the door.

And Rhinebeck, what can I say? Whatever I say, it will have to be in another post because this is way too long already! I received my yarn from Schaefer at Rhinebeck and I will take pics of that haul, with a particularly pretty skein I'm hoarding for myself! Next post, Rhinebeck!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

How did we get here?

I fear that, in these last 52 days til the US election, this blog may drift more toward the political, or the angry, or the railing against this crazy nation we have here, or all three. As proof, here is a little piece on Cindy McCain's struggle with addiction to prescription painkillers. This has been out for years, but the article highlights how "glossed over" the story has become, how "spun" it has become over the years by the McCains, and how the elite (yes, I said it, the McCains are the elite...what??? Not just the scrappy biracial community organizer whose family once lived on food stamps candidate???), well, the soulless elite anyway, can move around in the world without a care for whose lives they destroy.

And this next, from the well-anticipated Sarah Palin interview. What an idiot. Pay close attention to the "Bush Doctrine" section...jeez, even if she is an idiot, do you think McCain's people might have given her a little briefing on this so she wouldn't look so stupid talking about it? Watch her eyes when she says "In what respect, Charlie?" You can tell without a doubt that she is panicking because she has no idea what he is talking about and she's stalling for time. Or God, or something. Too bad the big guy couldn't help her out with that one.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The times, they are a changin'

Well, Obama and McCain may be deadlocked in the polls (how this can happen, in this race, is beyond me, except if the worst is true and white Americans are, at bottom, racists), but you gotta know that something good is happening if an out lesbian gets her own prime-time political talk show. And it's even better that it's my lesbian, Rachel Maddow! OK, she's not really my lesbian, I already have one, as does she...but, well, anyway, here she is, in her very solid, even impressive, debut last night. I'm so proud!

As I've said before, I've been a fan of Rachel's since I first heard her in the early days of Air America Radio. I knew she was a rising star then, as did many other listeners. I'm so pleased that MSNBC took a look and obviously saw the smart and savvy political wonk that we saw! Congratulations, Rachel! You have so many of us out here who are so proud of you and can't wait to see where you go from here.

As for Palin, I won't attempt to replicate the bang-up job that my friend Yankee Lagniappe did in her latest blog entry. Spectacular. I can't believe the American people are so gullible as to be taken up on this wave. Then again, considering they elected Reagan, Bush and then his son twice, I guess I really can believe it :(. Hmmm, interesting question...are Americans largely racist, dumb, or both? It's unsettling to be brought up face-to-face with the likelihood that we are the minority here. Change moves slowly...too slowly for this 44 year old.

Briefly switching to the knitting vein, I have no progress to report on my latest project for Schaefer Yarns...still looking for the perfect sized needles to get gauge! I will be starting this week and will post pics.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Finish the Sentence Meme

Saw this on Nutmeg Knitter's and Wife, Mom, Knitter's blogs, and it looked like fun, so I had to do it, too!

1. My uncle once…lived in California.

2. Never in my life…have I eaten octopus. Or eel.

3. When I was five…I loved kindergarten and had a best friend named Michael.

4. High school was…where I first learned to go after what I wanted and to work my hardest to get it. And to believe that good things would come my way.

5. I will never forget... the day that the twins were born. We knew our lives had been changed forever by those twelve pounds of miracle.

6. Once I met
Lyle Waggoner. Oh, I know, you are so jealous. Go ahead, click on the link, I know you have to...I'm so dating myself. But really, I was a little girl and I was so stoked to meet him. Oh, and I once was within about five feet of John Updike...very exciting, maybe even more so than meeting Lyle!

7. There’s this boy I know…who used to be the cutest kid, and just this year he got married and asked my kid to be his ring bearer. So adorable, my nephew.

8. Once, at a bar, well, probably more than once, I drank something called...a brain? A bloody brain? It was Bailey's poured into something, red, I think, so it curdled up to look like a brain would look, like, exactly like a brain would look... and it tasted great!

9. By noon…we knew we wouldn't make it to the beach to meet our friends on time, though I'd promised to get there by 12:15. We made it there by 12:35. Oops. I really can't stand to break promises, but I have equal difficulty with getting to places on time!

10. Last night…Our power went out for all of three seconds, which apparently was plenty of time to wipe out 100 hours of recorded shows on our satellite system :/. We lost several series, the closing ceremonies to the Olympics that we hadn't yet had the time to watch, and the finale to So You Think You Can Dance, which only I, out of all the family, had missed. It was so anticlimactic to find out from the kids today who won. I won't whine too much about it. Just a little.

11. If only I had…more discipline to get to bed earlier. Working on it!

12. “Next time I go to church” is something you won't hear me say. I've been done with organized religion since mid-way through college. Which, believe me, was a long time ago ;).

13. What worries me most…is money and my kids' health and safety.

14. When I turn my head left... I see the beach bag, still unpacked, from today.

15. When I turn my head right... I see the mouse whose battery light has been blinking at me for days. Gotta get on that. If you don't hear from me in a while, we now can blame that :).

16. You know I’m lying when…I'm not telling, then you will know when I'm lying!

17. What I miss most about the Eighties…is college, and having a much more carefree lifestyle. Many less worries than now.

18. If I were a character in Shakespeare I’d be…Beatrice from Much Ado About Nothing. She seems really smart and self-possessed. And of course, since the movie I always think of her as
Emma Thompson, and come now, what woman wouldn't want to be Emma Thompson?

19. By this time next year…I will be sending my youngest to preschool...more free time for me, yippee! Oh, right, and it will be so good for her, too ;).

20. A better name for me would be…I can't think of one. Not that there probably aren't a few out there...I just can't think of a better name right now.

21. I have a hard time understanding…why I can't get better at arriving places on time.

22. If I ever go back to school… shoot me, please.

23. You know I like you if…I laugh a lot with you.

24. If I ever won an award, the first person I would thank would be…my parents and my therapist. They all had a hand in parenting me. Thanks, guys!

26. My ideal breakfast is... corned beef hash and scrambled eggs...heart attack on a plate, so I try not to have that too often! Man, do I sound old or what???

25. Take my advice, never…let anyone walk all over you.

27. A song I love but do not have is…"96,000" from "In the Heights". Take a listen:

28. If you visit my hometown, I suggest that you visit… the Hasbro factory.

29. Why won’t people…treat each other better?

30. If you spend a night at my house…expect to wake up early, cause the kids all do!

31. I’d stop my wedding for…listen, if I even get the chance to marry my partner, there will be very little that I'd stop that wedding for!

32. The world could do without…people who value money or their own comfort more than others' feelings.

33. I’d rather lick the belly of a cockroach than… to have to experience miscarriage again. I am grateful every day that we don't have to face that spectre again.

34. My favorite blondie is… I don't get it.

35. Paper clips are more useful than…rubber bands?

36. If I do anything well it’s…managing this brood. It's hard sometimes, but I asked for it and so far, I'm pretty proud of the job I'm doing.

37. I can’t help but.... think about all the knitting I have to do while I'm sitting here writing!

38. I usually cry… at sad movies.

39. My advice to my nephew/niece is… treat all people well and don't judge people on first impressions.

40. And by the way, it's time for bed!

The Girl Effect

Borrowed from Sara Skates, this is excellent...a hopeful video for a Sunday morning. Makes you think about the possibilities for us all.

Log Cabin Completed

It's done! Well, it was done a month ago and thanks to Wife, Mom, Knitter I have a lovely pic, but August was much busier than I'd expected (why is summer vacation always busier than the school year???) and I've neglected to blog this ginormous project to which I devoted all my waking hours for three months. Three months! I'd never knit for that long on anything before, and I will likely never do it again...well, unless it involves a marriage or a baby or a kid going off to college or something. Never say never, I guess!

So, without further ado, courtesy of Wife, Mom, Knitter:

It measures 70" X 75", which is weird because it looks much more rectangle-y than that on the bed. It's lovely, but it's really a summer blanket...it has even felt a bit too light during some cooler August nights. Now I know why I've seen so many tank tops knit in Silky Wool...it would work great for a summer garment! I'm still debating on whether or not to knit/crochet a border. I'm still not sure if it needs one. I'll keep thinking.

These days I'm starting a mitered cardigan for Schaefer Yarns. It's fun, but the Elaine yarn I'm using is BIG...not only on the needles, but in the ball I've made from the skein...I almost have to hold it with two hands! Makes for a bit of an awkward time knitting. But the Elena Piscopia colorway (whose shot looks very much like it was taken in Elaine) is really winning me over. This is going to be a beautiful sweater. I'll take progess pics and post. Promise!

Next come socks for my friend's father and a silk scarf for my mom for Christmas. After that, I think my partner really deserves some socks after all the knitting I've done for everyone else! And me! Me! I deserve some too! I hear the Tofutsies in my stash calling me!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Fifty Things

A Fifty Things about Me meme! Excellent, because I can't show pics of my work right now.... I broke our digital camera taking pics of our screens to show the glass shop. Actually, I don't really think I broke the camera, I'd rather like to think of it as old and dying of natural causes. But whatever led to its demise, the end result is the same. No pics to show :(. But I'll do a quick progress report after this fun meme....

1. Do you like blue cheese? No!

2. Have you ever smoked a cigarette? Yup, several. Started and stopped in my twenties. Never addicted, though my kids are absolutely scandalized that I ever smoked at all. Worse, I even smoked those clove cigs sometimes because it was oh-so-hip to do in the local pseudo-punk crowd. Did you know I was once a pseudo-punk? I was! Anyway, the kids think it's the neatest thing that I came home at 5 years old and told my parents they had to stop smoking because that's what we were told in school, and my parents did stop!

3. Do you own a gun? No.

4. What flavor do you add to your drink at Sonic? Never been, and I get so jealous when I see those Sonic commercials! They are so cruel to show them to someone who doesn't have a Sonic nearby!

5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? Yes.

6. What do you think of hot dogs? I used to love them as a kid. Now they kind of gross me out, but that usually won't stop me from having one if there are no hamburgers to be had.

7. Favorite Christmas Song? Christmas Wrapping by the Waitresses.

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Coffee.

9. Can you do push ups? 10 at a time, a few reps, but on my knees! I'm working on it :).

10. Favorite movie? Strictly Ballroom.

11. What's your favorite piece of jewelry? A twenty year-old beat-up Avon necklace that I use as a bracelet.

12. Favorite hobby? Knitting, eating :).

13. Do you work with people who idolize you? I don't think so!

14. Do you have ADD? No.

15. What's one trait that you hate about yourself? Perfectionism. Working on that, too. Kids help with that, a lot :).

16. Middle name: Ann.

17. Three thoughts at this moment: I can't wait for the two-year old to go to bed! I'm so hot, even with the AC on. I have to knit!

18. Three things you bought yesterday: pool float, swim diapers, Mickey Mouse underwear for the two year old...specifically requested, so I had to hunt them down!

19. Name 3 drinks you drink regularly. Coffee, tea and water.

20. Current worry right now? Having enough of summer left to finish my summer blanket!

21. Current hate right now? Political game-playing and scheming.

22. Favorite place to be? Beach.

23. How did you bring in the New Year? Party with friends.

24. Where would you like to go? Italy.

25. Name three people who will complete this. I don't know, I haven't asked anyone yet!

26. Whose answer do you want to read the most? I am addicted to reading my friends' memes...I want to read them all!

27. What color shirt are you wearing? Pale blue.

28. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? Don't know, haven't yet.

29. Can you whistle? I can make a sound, but not a tune.

30. Favorite color? Red.

31. Would you be a pirate? Never.

32. What songs do you sing in the shower? Don't sing in the shower.

33. Favorite girl's name? My daughter's.

34. Favorite boy's name? Connor, right now anyway. Two year old, if a boy, was to be Connor Nathan.

35.What's in your pocket right now? No pockets.

36. Last thing that made you laugh? My SnB friends.

37. Best bed sheets as a child? Can't remember.

38. Worst injury you've ever had? Hmmm. I don't think I've had stitches, yet. I broke all four front teeth falling as a toddler - good balance, huh? Maybe I'll go with Nutmeg Knitter and say...giving birth?

39. Do you love where you live? I love it! I wouldn't want to live anywhere else.

40. How many TVs do you have in your house? 4. Yes, I said 4. Got a problem with that? :)

41. Who is your loudest friend? Has to be Yankee. But it's part of her southern charm!

42. How many dogs do you have? None.

43. Does someone have a crush on you? Yes, I'm afraid. My Oedipal 6-year-old.

44. If you could marry a movie actor/actress who would it be? Gabriel Byrne.

45. What is your favorite book? The Four Agreements. And I'm really not a self-helpy type reader. But this one, this book literally changed my life.

46. What is your favorite candy? Chocolate anything. Or anything covered in chocolate. Chocolate. Chocolate. Did I mention chocolate?

47. Who is your favorite sports team? Kansas City Chiefs.

48. What song do you want played at your funeral? Oh my goodness. I can't think of one.

49. What were you doing at 12 AM last night? Watching Keith Olbermann talk to my girlfriend, Rachel Maddow.

50. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up this morning? Why did the kids wake up so early???

Fun! Whoever wants to take this, feel free! Just let me know that you did because I want to see your answers!

OK, progress...I am within TWO ROWS of finishing the length of my Moderne Log Cabin blanket! Hooray for me! Now I will have to add 33 garter ridges to the side to widen it a bit, this part is not in the pattern. Then the border but I won't even think about that right now.

I finished the Heather Zig Zag socks for Schaefer Yarns. They are mailed already, but I didn't have a camera to take an FO pic anyway :(. Here they are, half done:

You know, just picture another one right beside it, exactly like that one :). That works, right? Sorry you can't really see the zig zags. Even when my camera worked, it was horrible with close ups...hey, silver lining...my next camera will probably be better with that!! Anyway, if you click on the link above for the socks, the pic there shows the pattern pretty well.

On to the remainder of the blanket, then to some socks for a friend's dad. Busy busy. Even if I have no photographical proof!