Thursday, January 31, 2008

Kids: Love Them, But Sometimes Leave Them

There's a conversation going on over at Her Bad Mother that--how can I put this politely--bothers me. It bothers me so much that I can't keep out of it, and since I can't go on forever commenting on her site, I thought I'd bring it over here and see what you all think.

HBM begins the conversation like this:
Here's something that I feel strongly about: the right of parents to take their children pretty much anywhere in the public sphere that they see fit. I also feel strongly that this is a right that carries with it considerable responsibility - as do most rights - but there it is: I believe that if a parent needs or wants to take their children to the theater, to nice hotels, to restaurants that don't use vinyl tablecloths or distribute crayons with their menus, that's their right. Any perceived right by other members of the public to move about in public without exposure to children is just that: perceived. There can be no such right in a liberal human society, because children are members of such societies.
You can read the entire post plus all the comments, mine included, here. The gist of it is that HBM had several unpleasant and/or unhappy experiences when she was with her daughter recently. One was on an airplane when another traveler refused to respond to the toddler and shot her some nasty looks. The other was at breakfast in a fancy restaurant when the hostess evinced some panic, albeit unspoken, at the sight of the small child toddling in. These events, and the feelings they evoked in HBM, led to her post.

Okay? Okay. First of all--my disclaimers: I have spent much time in all sorts of restaurants with all sorts of small children of all ages. These kids were all related to me; I loved them and I loved the fact that they were with me in said restaurant.

However, I feel equally strongly to HBM that parents do NOT have the right to take their children anywhere in the public sphere that they wish. That does not mean I don't like children. It does not mean I don't agree that they profit, as does ultimately our society, by being included in a wide range of activities. What it means is that I don't think they are appropriately included in any and every activity.

Case in point: This past weekend, I was involved in an organization honoring a group of womenat a country club luncheon . One member of the organization wanted to bring her 3 year old. Her mother was coming and this member like the idea of three generations being present. We said no. "That's a terrific idea in a couple of years, when she's five and can sit through an hour of speeches. But right now, she's too young. It would not be fair to the several hundred women who paid quite a bit of money to attend an adult luncheon."

The idea that babies and small children have full and equal access to the public sphere because they are human is--I dunno--based on some social philosophy that doesn't resonate with me. The idea that full grown citizens have no right to enjoy child-free arenas is--I dunno--nuts. What have we come to when the desires of one group, the parents, supersedes that of all others. It's smacks of the Mommy Gestapo.

Okay, that's extremely harsh, but really, Moms: get a grip. The world at large does not begin and end with your child, even if yours does. We can all love children (or not) without wanting to have them around 24/7.

Perhaps this debate and others like it that roil the feminist movement occur when groups of women get polarized around their individual philosophies about children. It's a spectrum of beliefs we have, from the woman who is totally and completely invested in her maternity and her children to the woman who has made the decision not to have children. Getting stuck into one end of a debate, whichever it is, helps neither individuals nor society, and those in the middle get lost in the totalizing shrieks of each end. Not only is reason abandoned in the need to be right, quite frankly, it's not very sisterly.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Tomato, Tomahto, and Spotted Dick

Whit over at Honea Express is celebrating the joys of an English gastronomical adventure today; he's having some Spotted Dick that a friend sent him. Reading his post, seeing the kick he got out of what is to the Brits just your average tea time sweet took me back to the days when I had just returned to America from London. The dumbest turn of phrase then could bring down the house , and I used to be very proud of the fact that I spoke both American and English English. And that I knew the difference. Now? Not so much, I would think. Does one order a Milky Coffee at the Starbucks in England, or is it now just another Grande Drip with Room for Cream. And the cream--is it Top of the Milk or boring American style Half & Half? I guess not only the milk is homogenized these days, but the entire world as well. That makes me sad--sorta.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

So it's 11:11 and I can tell I'm giddier than a rattlesnake with a toothache.

I spent the working hours of tonight coaching a group of parents trying to find the magic button that will turn their teens into proper, respectful, God-fearing American citizens. It ain't happening, people, is what I want to tell them. I am probably older than every one of them so why am I having to say over and over again: don't you remember what it was like? don't you remember how you felt? Some of them do remember and they're the ones whose kids will probably end up okay--after some period of drugs, alcohol and illicit sex (don't you remember what it was like?). The kids I fear for are those whose parents refuse to remember, who have come to me to Fix The Kid--or else. I have little patience for these parents, which is not such a good thing affecting as it does my empathy, which is, as we all know, the bottom line of any good shrink. But then, I'm still just a shrink-intern, so maybe my patience will gather moss as I gather hours.

See, you can tell by the utter what-the-fuck-is-she-talking-about of that last sentence that I'm giddy.

Monday, January 28, 2008


I forget the things I know. Does that ever happen to you? The things I really need to keep in front of me, the realizations that are hard-won and long-coming, and I have them and know them and then--poof!--gone. Except that somewhere, hiding out under the back porch is the slightest sense that I'm missing something important, something that will make such a difference in how I see things and feel about things. Something that is crucial to my moving onward. But I don't know what it is. Or where to look to find it.

Like this: Everything Does Not Have To Become Something. Does that make any sense? Let me give you some background, then. I come from a family of strivers and doers and use-your-talents to-the-utmosters. In my family, if you could carry a tune, you took voice lessons and plotted your course as a singer. If you could draw, then obviously you'd become an artist. Have an idea? Get it patented; put it into action; create success around it; do; achieve. Even now, I can hear my mother and my aunts and my cousins scheming: Janie dear, you're so good at X, Y, and Z. You must become an Xer, a Yer, and a Zer. One couldn't simply have an idea that was "good"; it had to be actualized. One couldn't simply be; one had to become. I learned those lessons better than well, and it's now an automatic response for me to, as soon as I get a cool idea or an urge or a notion, figure out how to maximize it. Which is not only exhausting, but just plain wrong. It puts the emphasis on the product at the expense of the process even as it sets me up for failure.

I realized that a while ago, and immediately knew it was a crucial piece of information for me. And then I forgot it.

Did I forget it because it was so crucial? The urge to inadequacy is quite strong, and the mind has a way of getting its way.

Last night, I remembered it. And thought: I can't forget this again; it's too important. If only I did needlepoint, I could stitch it on a pillow. Instead, I'm writing it here.

Will I remember that I've done that?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Facing West - late winter, 2007

This is what I saw looking out my back door last April and early May. They were all taken a few minutes before or a few minutes after six p.m.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Here She Comes...

When I was a kid, watching the Miss America contest was right up there with watching the Oscars. Yeah, it's been a joke all these years since, but I was willing to see if they could actually make it more relevant and contemporary and all those other things that they've been advertising. I watched the Miss America Reality Check where the judges were trying to get the women to lose the makeup and the hair spray--and they did for that show, pretty much. In the ads for the actual contest, you could see that we were supposed to think of Miss America as another American Idol or Dancing With The Stars. But someone forgot to tell the organizers of the state competitions, because by and large what they've put in front of us would be sneered off the stage by the likes of Cowell and Bruno. In the talent competition, there was only ONE contestant that was remotely 21st century. The others were ballet dancers (make that mediocre ballet dancers) opera singers, and a violinist, who wasn't bad but what do I know about violin playing?

I've been live Twittering the finals, so if you want to see my scoop, eyes right:

Friday, January 25, 2008

Interview With A Blogger: Me!

Herein forthwith follows the interview that Whoorl dreamt up for me as part of Citizen of the Month's Interview challenge. Whoorl's questions are in purple, the choice of color being mine, for no reason whatsoever.

If you were forced to blog about one (and only one) subject, what would it be?
ME! I know what Whoorl's trying to do, get me to focus on that one thing that stands between me and success: my inability to focus on one topic. But I can't. Don't you think I want to? Nor can I, it seems, professionalize this blog. That was my intention, and I did, in pursuing it, pay lots of money to go to BlogHer. But whatever they were selling doesn't seem to have taken with me. Maybe I'm just not cool enough or young enough or or--maybe I just don't care enough. I dunno. I see people to-ing and fro-ing with their blogs and pitching for blog awards and doing all this stuff that seems so incredibly "high school" to me. I simply can't sustain it.

What is your beverage of choice?
It depends upon the time I am choosing. In the morning, I’m a coffee-drinkin’ girl. I like it strong, full-bodied and rich, tasting like coffee, dammit. Come afternoon, I switch to Diet Coke, out of the can. Come evening, I prefer l'eau de potato, Russian preferably, over rocks with a twist. Stoly...Grey Goose. Or a Gin Martini (is there any other kind?) straight up with 3 olives. What I don't like are frou frou drinks: all those Tinis they've created to give people something sweet and sickly to get them gassed. Sissies.

Tell me why Northern California is a lovely place to live.
Who said it was? Not me. I've lived all over--here, there, and everywhere--and what I've learned is that every place and no place is lovely to live in. I'm here because my SoonTBX wanted to move here. Okay, okay, I wasn't exactly tied up and shipped to Sacramento, but if it hadn't been for his gentle urging, which manifested as constant whining and complaining and a pervasively permanent bad mood, I would still be living in LA. And probably right now my roof would be leaking because they're having terrible rains down there and that's what my roof did when it rained. Instead I am up here, sealed in tight, warm and dry in this wasteland called Elk Grove. And my SoonTBX is living elsewhere. And his roof is leaking. Ha! Karma!

Who is your favorite author?
Doing the coursework for a PhD in English Lit sort of ruined reading novels for me. Once you learn how to deconstruct a text, there's no going back to just reading for pleasure. When I did my MA, I did it in Southern Lit, and then Faulkner was my favorite. When I started my PhD, I thought I'd be an "Austen scholar" (la-de-dah), but my professor was insane and that sadly tinged my doctoral work with intense nutsiness. I haven't read Austen since I didn't have to, and I'm certainly not watching Austen month on PBS. Jane would be appalled.

What would your friends say is your most charming quality? Most annoying?
Oh, jeeze, I haven't a clue what they'd say is my most charming quality. Truth be told, I don't think of myself as one who could ever be labeled charming. I don't crook my little finger when I drink tea and although my manners are passable, I don't think the Vanderbilt's will be inviting me to join the cotillion. I will say that when I saw the film Steel Magnolias, I recognized a quality in the Shirley McLaine character that made me say, "that's what I'm going to be like when I grow up." And I believe I am, for good or ill.

That I speaketh the truth, even when I probably shouldn't is probably my most annoying quality. And that I speak it as if my truth is The Truth can and does create some moments of angst for those around me. I'm working on that, though, because I really don't believe in an Essential Truth, so to sound as if I do is antithetical truth.

In 2006, you mentioned wanting to "be more present in you life". Do you feel you have accomplished this goal?
I am more present in my life, but it's an ongoing goal which I don't believe one ever accomplishes. I'm just starting out with little baby steps and lots of backsliding and falling down and smashing my nose flat. But one of the ways in which I have gotten better relates to the first question. I'm somewhere in the middle of working my way through the bullshit of being A Blogger. I am trying to quell all urges to write to please an audience. I am trying to at the least be true to me in this thing I do.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Things She Left Behind

1. An almost empty jar of crunchy peanut butter with a spoon jammed in the bottom.

2. Two pieces from a 100-piece jigsaw puzzle that Santa brought her for Christmas. She'll be sorry if or when she tries to put it together.

3. Her cold.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Up & Coming: as in Coming Up

Here's what y'all have to look forward to in the very near future:
  • One interview with Akaky Bashmachkin. Who? Don't ask me--yet. Why? Neilochka has an interview meme thing going. I signed up. Akaky signed up after me. Whoorl signed up before me. So Whoorl interviews me and I interview Akaky. She's already got her questions posted. I am still doing research (as in, where was that site again & what's it about?). I'm not really sure how this will work as the instructions are relatively vague. But when I find out, you'll find out.
  • A book review. Hungry Hill, by Carole O'Malley Gaunt. Pretty damn good. But I'll have more to say about it tomorrow. Or the next day. I have been realllllllllly busy, and that pisses me off.
  • More babbling, blathering and...and....what's another 'b' word--ah, bitching.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Rainy Day Blues, by Molly

Oh I'ma stuck out here in the mizzzerablest weather...
Help me, Lord...I say, help me!
'Cause I been a good doogggiiiee
But whoda knew it from the way them drops do rain down...
Oh, help me Lord...I say, help me...
Ain't my fault if I can't pee when the sun don't shine.
Ain't my fault if my poop won't plop 'cept on sunny days.
Oh, help me Lord...I say, help me, Lord....I say, help this poor sinner stay dry-eeeee!

--words and music by Anonymous

Monday, January 21, 2008

My Brain, On and Off Drugs

It is a very good thing I have this blog, because I don't have a fully operating brain. To wit: in yesterday's mail (okay, yesterday was Sunday, so it was Saturday, so sue me for the wrong day), I received the latest issue of Wired magazine. Dammit, I says to myself, didn't I cancel that sub? Did they send me the latest issue figuring I'd pay up without thinking? Cheeky bastards, those Conde Nast people.

But then I got to thinking. Did I cancel that sub? I remember thinking about cancelling it. I remember spending some if not much time considering cancelling it. But do I remember cancelling it????????????????????


Then today, whilst perusing my list of blog posts looking for a likely draft that I could finish off and send for today's Blog365 entry, I came across this.

Karl Rove may have been Bush's brain, but ByJane is mine--or something like that.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Portrait of a Third Generation Couch Potato, Enjoying Sunday

This is Kaitlyn, aged 5, who is visiting me this weekend. We've had a long day already: up at 6:30 (I tried to tell her it was still nighttime), baking cookies at 10, and my plans for the rest of today were to go to the bookstore where Kaitlyn would--yeah!--get to select a book that we'd bring home. And after her bath, in the soaking tub, we'd read and then sleep. Noooooooooooooooooo. She knows exactly what she wants to do and not. And today, "watch cartoons" and sit on the sofa wrapped in a comforter was it. Oh, and there's a fire going.

Her grandfather came over, brought us lunch, visited with her for a while, and DID HIS LAUNDRY! Sheesh! Am I nuts that I think this is funny, not annoying????

When he left, I sent Molly with him. Kaitlyn is a tad over-exuberant when it comes to Molly. Watching the two of them last night, I kept thinking about how Dooce writes that Leta gets upset if Chuck looks at her. Well, Molly knows just how Leta feels. And Kaitlyn can't resist grabbing and groping and patting and forever "where's Molly?????" She's under the bed, kid, hiding from you. Okay, I put it much nicer than that. I worked a little empathy training in--you know how you feel when some big person you don't know comes over and grabs you to kiss you? But I finally decided that my dog, at least, deserved a decent night's sleep. I, on the other hand, expect another night of snoring and leg-jerking and sideways bed sleeping, just like her grandfather used to do, back in the day.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

BS, pure and simple

That's all you're getting tonight, because that's all I have to give. This is, was, and I guess will always be my MO: ten past eleven, 12 is the deadline, and I have nothing of note or worth to say. Did I become a journalist because I work to deadline? Or do I work to deadline because I was a journalist?

Friday, January 18, 2008

These are a few of my favorite things....tra la

Just some of the projects I have on needles at the moment. Note how many of them are fingering yarn. Remember what I told you about fingering yarn...and the size 1 or 2 needles. What does it say about me that I love this stuff and these needles and I AM INCAPABLE OF SUSTAINING INTEREST IN ANYTHING THAT TAKES MORE THAN 3 days? Do you think I am setting myself up for failure? Or, am I just trying to challenge myself, to move beyond my comfort zone--as I'm doing with this Blog 365? Pro or con, answer as you will, making sure to support all of your points with specifics. And no comma splices, goddamit!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Pa Joad Left Last Night

Tied his mattress to the top of his vehicle and lit out for parts north, Yuba City to be exact, where he is now a proud homeowner.

You did know that he's been here all this time, didn't you? Through Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's...he's been my "tenant." Paying rent. Sleeping in the guest room. Taking the garbage cans out every Sunday, but doing the dishes far less than he used to (in the short time he was in Oregon, he developed a cute habit of just leaving his empty plate sitting on the table-- waiting for Mable to come clear the dishes, I guess). We generally ate dinner together, either of my making or his gathering, and breakfast was ALWAYS a Starbucks and scone (well, it still is, but now I have to go and get it myself, gosh darn it). We coordinated our lives and lived as--well, really as we always did. Which is telling, I'm sure.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Facing West:

Facing West: 1/5/08
Originally uploaded by ByJane
The western sky from my backyard is glorious, particularly in the late afternoon. I've taken photos of it before, because it really moves me. This year I'm going to do a series, standing in the same place, aiming at the same point, not daily, but regularly. I'm curious about what a series will show.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Redondo Beach Pier - Clams for sale

Here's the photo. I took it one day last winter when I was at the Pier with my nephew-in-law. I used my Treo, so no fancy lenses or f-stops. But that's maybe the charm of the picture.

Monday, January 14, 2008


I've got a new widget on my blog: it's the latest Schmap Los Angeles. The 4th Edition, to be exact. Schmaps are these incredible on-line, interactive travel guides from major cities all over the world.
I've got the widget because Schmap Los Angeles has chosen a photo of mine to feature the Redondo Beach Pier. Go have a look. I'm real proud.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Golden Globes

So I did my bit for Hollywood and NBC and watched Dateline. Maybe I'll check out the press conference; maybe not. I'm on strike, after all.

Speaking of globes, have you heard about the newest import from India? It's a car called a Tata. Did no one tell the Indians that tatas are boobs? Yes, yes, I know the car was named after the guy who created it, Mr. Tata--but still, if Henry Ford had been Henry Breast, whatever would he have called his car? Mr. Tata and the Tata.

I'm really looking forward to the advertising campaign on the Tata. Will they have, as usual, buxom beauties hanging over it at the car shows? Or will they just stick a big nipple on the hood?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Calling All Tattoo Artists!

I wanna get a tattoo--on my finger. Third finger, left hand: to cover the indentation left by twenty years of wearing a wedding ring. I hate anything flowers or bugs either. Get creative, get artsy, get weird and wild. Surprise me!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Knee-jerking Political Responses

I just read Joe Conason's piece in Salon on the press and Hillary-bashing (thanks Blurbomat for linking it)--and I immediately wanted to take up the cudgels for Clinton again. That I'm not going to is testimony to my not wanting to be the old Kettle calling out the Pot. Or, to put it plain, my jumping to Hillary's defense is as much as kneejerk as is those who rant against her based on ad hominem attacks and, thus, is equally dangerous (not to mention stupid, etc. etc. etc.).

I've spent the past couple of days posing the question to myself: What is it about the political scene that makes me foam at the mouth, screech at my friends and generally turn into a harpy?

Is it when people disagree with me? Am I that narcissistic that I cannot bear dissent among my ranks? I don't think so. I have friends, people I truly care about, across the political-age- gender-yadayadayada spectrum, and I have friends whose political-age-gender-yadayadayada I don't know. Certainly I would prefer that we all, as the immortal Rodney King put it, "just get along," but I recognize that we can do that while disagreeing, vehemently even, about issues.

No, what drives me nuts is sloppy thinking. Kneejerk responses, quoting the pundits as gospel, refusing to think a thing through because...why should I when it's all laid out for me in the news/press/community conversation. I despair particularly when such thinking comes from educated folk, who were taught the basics of critical thinking as part of their general undergraduate eduction.

Critical thinking--that is what's missing from the discourse. The willingness to examine a topic from all sides, to unpack the arguments, to decide for ones self with whom one agrees--that's what is lost with knee jerk responses. I quoted Aristotle a couple of days ago because he set the bar for critical thinking. I'm going to go scare up my old texts, see what he says, lay it out here for all and sundry to use. It's what I'll do this election, rather than pushing for a particular candidate.

Because--what hope is there for all of us when the best of us refuse to participate in a thoughtful way?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Flotsam and Jetsam...

Checking my Google In box, it's obvious that I have had a heavy Commenting day. Isn't today supposed to be Annual Comment Day, or some such thing? Be that as it may, I fear I have shot my wad (as They say) on other people's blogs and have nothing to say on my own.

Well, to be truthful, I may be at the start of a slippery slope. You know, the one that descends quite quickly into the Mean Greens or Blah Blues (I seem to be in an alliterative moment here). I'm feeling like the wheel is going 'round and 'round and I'm not quite hanging on. Or some such thing.

1. I'm not getting up in the morning when I should.
2. I'm not marching forward on my List of Intentions.
3. I still haven't finished the Great American Novel.
4. Come to think of it, I haven't started it either.
5. I am eating too much of quite the wrong food.
6. I am not drinking enough alcohol.
7. My exercise routine is not being exercised, and my Pilates Reformer is gathering dust.

On the positive side, I have finished one of the two balls of yarn that I'm making into a purse. That means I'm half finished with it.

On the probably shouldn't side, I went to Knitique and bought another skein of fingering yarn. This makes the umpteenth such skein I have purchased in the past year, all of which call for at most a size 2 needle. I love this kind of yarn. I will probably be buried with it. Because I will die before I finish a project on a size 2 needle. If you knit, you know what I mean. If you don't, ooops, I'm bbbboooooorrrriiinnnggg you again.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Score of the Day

Mah New Boots
Originally uploaded by ByJane
Guess what I found at the back of some crummy old store, just one pair and in my size. Rain--c'mon back...I'm ready for you now.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Heeellooo, Anybody Home?????

Aristotle said that there are two kinds of reasoning: the appeal to intellect and the appeal to emotions. Clearly the following two comments, both from friends of mine, both women who I respect, speak to the effects of the second appeal. Their responses to Hillary are visceral: "cannot abide" "makes my hair stand on end" I can feel the intensity of their antipathy. What I have no sense of is any rational, supported reasoning behind them.
I cannot abide Hillary. She trumpets her experience - doing WHAT? Being a wife does not mean she has political experience. One term as a senator. Big deal. Her husband wasn't so great, either - he gave us NAFTA and the WTO. I honestly believe she would do or say ANYTHING to get elected."
I think John Edwards rocks, and I love Obama because he makes me feel like John F. Kennedy is speaking.

Hillary makes my hair stand on end. I don't think she's
authentic. But then who is in Washington. I feel handled by her. I know what
you're saying about Obama but I just like feeling the country behind
someone the way they were sort of with Kennedy.
For the first woman, Hillary engenders antipathy because she is outspoken in saying she has experience in government. Which she does. But then this writer reduces that experience in to the ultimate putdown--she was just a wife. Didn't we hear this the first time Bill ran, when the baking cookies isssue came up?
And it is, at heart, purely an appeal to emotion: all she did was marry well. That's bad enough when some Rovian conservative says it, but when a woman who espouses feminist principles says it? Ugly.

The second woman doesn't like Clinton because she has been successful at playing the political game. As has been every other politician who gets in office. I suggest anyone who thinks there is an unsullied candidate waiting in the wings go rent the film The Candidate. And read Machiavelli.

Both these women like Obama because he resonates with echoes of JFK. And George Bush is president because so many people thought he'd be a great guy to have a beer with. Neither of these sentiments are the responses of an informed electorate applying reason to the candidates' records. They're functions of nostalgia, which is, after all, an emotion, one that in both cases has been deliberately engendered by Bush's and Obama's handlers.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Blog 365: Day 7

I'm really liking this blog a day business. Somehow it takes the pressure off. You know, the pressure to make each post a Veritable Written Masterpiece, or at least vaguely interesting. Since I'm writing every day, you can bet I'll be babbling some days. Like this day...

But tomorrow I think I'll be getting all serious. I've got stuff to say about politics and elections and people and presidents and candidates and citizens. I think I'm working up to a rant of sorts. Prepare!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Election 2008: Off the Top of My Head....

...which means my gut response, okay? This is what I wrote to a friend of mine today in response to an email in which she asked what I think....

I watched the debates last night too. Of the Republicans, I like McCain the best. Of the Dems--well, I'm still not sure ( me and you and the rest of the country, it seems). I do like Hillary because I think she has what it takes to (a) outplay the Republicans (like Rove), and (b) deal with the messes abroad. I sorta like Edwards, but I don't think he can go head to head on foreign affairs. I DO NOT LIKE OBAMA. Did I say that loudly enough? I haven't liked him from the gitgo. He's eloquent and passionate and, if you like the type, attractive enough, but I don't think there's any there there behind his fancy words. It's so easy to promise the world; but that doesn't last much past the Inauguration (as we've seen with the last Congressional elections). I liveblogged the debates on Twitter and my last post was "The Republicans will eat Obama for breakfast." So that leaves me with Hillary--or McCain, if I switch parties(!).

Saturday, January 05, 2008

I'm Purging...

...and cleaning and organizing and getting my shit sorted out. Herewith I offer for your edification several photos of my alleged Studio/Craft/Junk Room.

This place seriously needs help. I began tonight by organizing my circular knitting needles. Such growth....

Friday, January 04, 2008

Stormy Weather, tra la....

This is--or was--the gazebo in the backyard. It was a nice little gazebo. It gave good shade in the summer. RIP, little gazebo.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

The Weather Report

The weather is grim in these here parts. Meteorologists are predicting gale force winds. Can Oz be far away???

It's raining. Storming. Pouring buckets. I know this because I was out in it this afternoon with no coat. I got wet. What the hell. I went to have lunch with my friend, S., which ended up being a quickie of sorts since she, poor thing, is one of those unfortunates who only gets a measly hour for lunch. After lunch, when S went back to her job where she actually gets paid (!), I went shoe shopping. My collection has been dwindling, and I need to restock.

Especially I need Uggs, since I threw out my pale green ones in a fit of cleaning this summer. Who knew that I would not be able to replace them this winter. I tried to get a new pair when I was in LA, but, eh!, I wanted red and they didn't have them in my size. And Elk Grove is not a shoe person's city--or maybe it is, but only if your taste runs to Target and Kohl's and Mervyn's (I cannot shop at Mervyn's for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the name. It's a nebbishey name. It doesn't speak of quality or taste or even proper fit). I went to Target. I went to Kohl's. They have the same shoes, mass-produced in the Hunan Province, with lead gromets for decor. And no boots. None. Evidently, it is no longer boot season in Northern California. This despite the fact one is never more than an hour or so away from snow up here.

So I am Uggless this winter. Bootless in a world of cruel wind and rain. Pity me. Feel my pain.

Actually I love this kind of weather, the stormier the better. I adored the various Blizzards of the Century that I lived through in Pennsylvania. I would sit in my office, which was the finished attic of our 100 year old house and look out the window at the snow piling up and think all those Robert Frostian thoughts about drifts and fences and roads taken or not. Perhaps this was because I was reading a lot of American lit for my PhD exams, but I like to think it was just the sheer poetry of the world outside. The windows would get frosted over, and then the condensation would freeze on the inside, because this was, after all, the attic of a 100 year old house and insulation was not a big deal when it was built. But I was wrapped in a down comforter. I had books to read and grand thoughts to think and much of life was then still in front of me. What wasn't to like....?

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Blog365 - Day 2

Are we supposed to be promo-ing this Bloggie thing in our headlines? Or just do one's normal pale and wan titles? I mean, if one is participating in a whatever-this-thing-is, then doesn't one want/need to commemorate it in some way, title-wise? On the other hand, won't a solid year of Blog365-Day X, in which only the numeral changes, be just a tad, a trifle boooorrriiiinnngggg? On the one hand, one the other hand--where's that third hand when you need it.....?

This is what happens when I post at 9:15 p.m. after a full day in which I had to THINK and FEEL and BE. I have so little left to share.

Today, for example, I washed my sheets. Which seems to be a Wednesday event lately. Not for any reason that they feel sorta crummy on Tuesday night And like the Princess, I cannot abide a sorta crummy sheet.

I'd also like to share with you that today I learned, thanks to an article in the Sacramento Bee, that the majority of people only brush their teeth once a day. The majority of people are nighttime brushers, it seems, and they fling themselves out of bed in the AM and into the world without applying paste to teeth. Well, yuck. Have you smelled your breath in the morning before you brush your teeth? Talk about gag a maggot. I don't speak before I brush my teeth.

And finally, finally...finally.........................................................................................................huh?!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

January 1, 2008

I would like to be clever, if not altogether witty, but I think I'm suffering from a smidgeon of not really a hangover, but you know that oh-so-tired feeling you get when you've been drinking all day and then you stop? In lieu of actual words, though, I've got some actual photos. Enjoy...

This was my view for much of the morning at Knitique, my LYS. I was slithered down in my chair at the table in the back, sipping my champers and pomegranate juice (is this an actual drink, maybe a primosa? or did I come up with the pomegranate juice because it is so very good for my brain cells?). Can you tell that Knitique is a vision of lime and hot pink? These are Danielle's favorite colors and we like them too. Which is a good thing.
This is Danielle, who owns Knitique. You can't tell, but she's wearing hot pink Uggs. I'm not sure what she's doing with her hand...
This is the view of the table where I'm sitting. That's my Treo...and my Denise needles...and my pink polkadotted cup of Primosa. The yarn is one of two skeins I got ON SALE (because that is what happens at Knitique on New Year's Day). I was swatching it here, and I decided to make a purse. Which you'll see when I'm done...some day.

These are the flying fingers of Kim (see the blur) at lunch. There was a whole long table of us. Some of us (who? me?) ordered dessert first. Some of us (who? me?) had a margarita. Most of us were knitting. The waitress was, fortunately, quite patient--and we tipped her well.

This is the lovely Teresa, who, having gotten to the store at 6 a.m. was, at this point, on her fourth or fifth wind.

And these are the things I bought. The object at one o'clock is a case for my doublepoint needles which, currently, are thrown in a mass mess into a drawer. There's a pattern for a Panda Silk Easy (so they say) Scarf and below it are two skeins of, hey, Panda Silk. Then my Crystal Palace Deco Ribbon that I got on sale and the beginning of the purse. I bought the Learn to Spin kit because--well, just because it seems like I should learn to spin. Even though I've never had the least desire to. And finally, two books and two magazines. If I was a better blogger, I'd link to them on Amazon but I'm not so I won't. You can read the titles and google them yourself.

I only spent one half of what I spent last year, but two or three times more than I intended to spend this year. Oh well--if you're a knitter, you understand; if you're not, you probably stopped reading this post ages ago.