Wednesday, February 27, 2008

My Wii

I don't have one--yet. But after playing tennis tonight with my 8 year old nephew (who beat the pants off me), I think I'm gonna get me a Wii. Who knew how much fun it is. Or what a workout you could get. Already I know that my arm is going to be really sore tomorrow--and that was only after one game, albeit a game that went to multiple match points. Is it true that you can play on-line with other people? Geeze, the wonders of the marvels of the truly connected world. I just love it!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

La La Land

Here I am, in LA, perched on the edge of my brother-in-law's office chair (how the hell old is this thing, anyway, and why is there such a deep depression in the seat...) writing my gee-what-day-of-the-year-is-this post, so that I can truly say, I'M BLOGGIN' 365.

And with that, I'm off to sleep on the sofa.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Sari Scarf

Sari Scarf
Originally uploaded by ByJane
This was the yarn I just had to have and then, as usual, didn't quite know what to do with. So I made a drop stitch scarf, an irregular drop stitch scarf, because that's how I do things. And then I bought some beautiful beads (I think they're the kind you use to trim a lampshade) and I didn't quite know what to do with them. The I got the idea to sew them lengthwise along the edge of the scarf. And voila, here we are: another finished object!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Addendum and so on...

Point, the First: I sashayed through a local AT&T store to see what they're offering and promising. The guy there (what does one call them these days: clerk? salesman? cell service facilitator?) on hearing where I lived informed me in no uncertain terms that the only cell phone service who actually had service to my area is--AT&T. Actually I believed him, which only made me more pissed off with SPRINT for having strung me along for all this time. Stupid stupid stupid--they got some money from me, and in return garnered a huge amount of ill will. I Shall Not Forget....
Point Two:
Twitter is terrific for live blogging a conversation. I watched the Oscars tonight with Neilochka, KarlErickson, Schmutzie, and Suebob--and we were all in different cities, if not states, if not countries.
Number Three: This is the Habu Wool/Stainless Steel yarn. The colors are sort of off: the blue is inkier and the beige is not so gray. It's very, very, VERY fine. Habu sells it as a kit to make a cardigan of sorts, but I don't have enough for that, I don't think. So maybe I'll make a scarf. Or maybe I'll just admire it for a while.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

My Latest Crush...

Habu textiles - yarn from Japan -

After a day spent looking at gorgeous yarns, this was the one that got me. I bought two kinds--a cotton paper-like tape that will be a cardigan. And a wool-stainless steel blend that will be a...a...I don't know--yet.

Photos tomorrow, I promise.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Odds & Sods

I hate to ruin the pristinicity of my last post, the grandiose interview with the grandiose Akaky, but--hey, it's another day and this is, after all, a blog that's doing Blog365. So--on to other more mundane things.

Like, this photograph of an empty jar of Archer Farms Butter Toffee. I bought it at Target late this afternoon. I ate the premium caramel clusters with almonds & cashews when I got home a short time later. Oh, what, no photo? That's because my cell phone--my SPRINT cell phone--will not do as it's bidden and cough up the picture.

Suffice to say, and more than sufficient to my caloric needs, this stuff is fantastic. Better than fantastic; it's awesome.

Can we talk about that word awesome? As in striking awe in a person. Not, as it is used today, as in hey dude really cool.

S'all for now, boys and girls. Tomorrow at 6:50 sharp, I'm off to catch a train to Stitches West, where I will mingle with ninetymillion other knitters, some of whom I even know. And some not so much.

Ta ra for now...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

An Interview with Akaky Bashmachkin

You've all heard of the great and wondrous Neilochka's Great & Wondrous Interview scheme in which a whole helluva lotta bloggers signed on to interview and be interviewed by each other. I know you've all heard of this because I wrote about it when I posted my interview. Now the shoe is on the other foots, and what you're about to read is an interview I did with Akaky of Passing Parade. He is a crafty bugger, deliberately dense and wholesomely amusing. I did my best to crack his pose, but t'was all for naught I believe. Read on...enjoy...chortle or not, as the case may be. I myself am in love with the erudition dripping from his dreadlocks, and I intend to propose at the least a longterm affair--as soon as I can learn the exact site of the Vampire State.
  • You've been on Blogger for six years. That dates back to before blogging was the darling of the social media set. How did you happen to be such an early adopter?

I have grown psychic in my old age, although sheer luck may have had something to do with it. I read about this strange new phenomenon somewhere—where escapes me at the moment—and thought that I might like to give that a try. So I did, and I continue to do so, for reasons I am not sure I fathom at the moment. Unlike Neil, I do not flirt with the lady bloggers, I am not involved in an ongoing stormy relationship with the always lovely Sophia, and the only part of my body that speaks to me is my pancreas, which has very little to say about anything except that it doesn't want to work for me anymore; I am not sure if my pancreas has joined a union at this point, but frankly, it wouldn't surprise me at all. In short, no one has any reason to come to my blog and hence, everyone ignores me. I am a digital nobody, a cart stuck in the blogospheric mud, going nowhere and getting there quickly. I've thought of changing the tone of my blog to one of complete earnestness and high moral dudgeon, thereby gaining an easy readership of anal retentives, all of us intent on changing the world, but I am distracted easily, I fear, and so I can only keep the dudgeon going for only so long before I have to bring it into the shop for an oil change and maybe a new filter. So there on Blogger I remain, while many another blogger moves onwards and upwards in their blogging career, moving on up to their own Web sites, and then on to fame and fortune. Life is not fair sometimes.

  • Do you have facial hair, and if so, would you consider running for office?

I do not have facial hair, except on weekends, when I don't bother to shave, and I would not run for public office unless I did not have to do anything during working hours. Not working on the public's dime is the whole point of having a government job in the first place and I see no reason why I should have to work harder than the people at the DMV just because I ran for the office. If I really wanted to work for a living, I'd get a real job in private industry, at IBM or General Motors or someplace like that. I also dislike the idea of running for re-election. I am not alone in this; most politicians dislike the idea of running for re-election. Here in the Vampire State, politicians regard incumbency as one of their civil rights, and more than one defeated pol has sued his constituents for voting against him in droves. This strategy hasn't actually worked up to now; it actually annoys the electorate no end, but the public's annoyance hasn't stopped some out of work solons from trying, and it's only a matter of time before some judge who owes his job to his party chairman accommodates the losers of both parties and orders the electoral hoi polloi to send Senator Gotmine or Assemblyman Porkbarrel back to the tax trough to feed in peace and contentment for perpetuity.

  • Your list of favorite books could have been compiled by someone who voted for Eisenhower. Did you vote for Eisenhower? Or Stevenson? Or, is there some other reason that your favorite authors are dead white guys who topped the bestseller lists in the 1930s?

I did not vote for either General Eisenhower or Governor Stevenson. I thought long and hard about the issues of the day: Korea, taxes, inflation, the Communist threat, and the untoward antics of the junior Senator from Wisconsin; and decided that neither candidate really meshed with my political views in either 1952 or 1956. Consequently, I waited until the summer of 1958 to be born, just in time to register for the midterm elections that year. I voted for Homer T. Veatch, the candidate of the Prohibition Party, not because I have anything against alcohol myself, but because Homer is a nice guy and his mom lived right down the street from us. Now that I think on it, I'm pretty sure that his mother and I were the only two people in the county to vote for Homer in 1958; I think even the Socialist Workers candidate got more votes than Homer did. Homer took the loss badly, I fear; he thought he had a real chance of pulling out an upset in the general election, and I felt terrible telling him after the polls had closed that he never stood a snowball's chance in hell of winning. No American will ever vote for a politician who wears a brown clip-on bowtie with a pink short-sleeved shirt. That made his dejection even worse; he had a lot of faith in his lucky bowtie, his mother told me later; and I really didn't know what to do next. It's not like you can offer the candidate of the Prohibition Party a good stiff drink, can you? Homer went on to bigger and better things, just as I knew he would. A few years later, the public elected him district attorney, a position he held for a good many years, and then he ran for the state assembly and won. He seems fairly content up there in the state capital, but I think that first loss of his political career still grates on him a bit, and I think he still plans on making another run for Congress someday. He still has that silly bowtie, too.

Is there some reason why my list of favorite authors are dead white guys who topped the bestseller lists in the 1930's? I don't think of them as dead white guys who topped the bestseller lists in the 1930's; I think of them as great American writers and their works as masterpieces of American literature. No two people will look at the same thing the same way. For example, many people in this country regard the United States Air Force's refusal to nuke Fenway Park during a Red Sox home game as an example of the Air Force's high regard for the lives and property of their fellow citizens. Still others regard the Air Force's refusal to nuke Fenway Park as proof positive that the Air Force is in league with the Anti-Christ. It all depends on where you stand, really.

  • When I read your blog posts, I am reminded of Tristram Shandy. Are you?

I seldom read my own blog posts; having written them, I see no reason why I should prolong the agony and read them as well; but when I do read them I am not reminded of Tristram Shandy, except in the sense that both the posts and the book seem to go on and on about nothing at all for a prolonged period of time, a quality I usually associate more with Proust than with Sterne. As anyone who has read A la recherché du temps perdu all the way through can tell you, nothing much happens in Proust and Proust spends an inordinate amount of time describing how the nothing that isn't happening isn't happening and how the Narrator, who may or may not be Proust himself, depending on what critic you believe, feels about how the nothing that isn't happening isn't happening and how the nothing that isn't happening reminds the Narrator of something else that didn't happen in excruciating detail. It took me two years to get through those damn books; I kept bogging down in The Fugitive and The Captive, bogging down to the point where I couldn't wait for Proust to get on with it and kill off Albertine , who may be one of the most annoying characters in all of literature, the Narrator being number one on that list. No, I do not think of myself as in anyway like either Sterne or Proust. Rather, I am more in the tradition of Hemingway, a follower of Strunk and White's Elements of Style, which, if you'll remember, chides the author to omit needless words entirely and to stick to the point of whatever it is you are writing, unlike Sterne, who apparently never met a digression he didn't like, taking the opportunity to go off on tangents that had nothing to do with the story he was telling simply for the pleasure of wandering down the tangent and seeing if he could get some more literary frequent flyer miles for doing so.

Unless you're asking me if I am Tristram Shandy, which doesn't seem likely from either literary or an actuarial standpoint; most people, real and imagined, born in the 18th century are now long dead and probably making a habit of it at this point. You might wonder why anyone why anyone would choose to acquire this particular habit out of the plethora of habits they might otherwise choose to acquire, but people will make some very strange choices when left to their own devices.

  • There is about your blog posts a certain je ne sais quois, perhaps a smidgeon of the sort of arch, yet ironic, erudite, yet pop-cultish humor that I have long associated with British graduates of English universities. Have you ever lived in Britain? Why or why not?

I do not now, nor have I ever, lived in Great Britain, the British Commonwealth of Nations, or in any of the tatty bits of the Empire that still remain under the direct rule of the Crown. My grandparents did live in Liverpool before their emigration to this our Great Republic in 1928, but I don't think that counts. I was in New Jersey once too, but I don't think that counts, either. Why do I not live in Great Britain? As I work in upstate New York, I suspect that the commute would be hard on my car. That's as good a reason as any, I guess.

  • What motivated you to write three reponses to the Curb Your Enthusiasm bulletin boards, and then no more?

I am all for curbing one's enthusiasm, yes I am, and I am not all averse in telling people that haven't curbed their enthusiasm that other people have to use the sidewalks and would they please clean up after their enthusiasm from now on? Most people are apologetic—they know they shouldn't be letting their enthusiasm go wherever it wants, but they're too tired or too lazy to really care. One guy did sic his enthusiasm on me when I told him to curb his enthusiasm, but I lucked out; a cop saw the whole thing and he arrested this dolt for assault and took him and his enthusiasm down to the police station. The cop called me the next day and asked if I wanted to press charges, but I told him no, you know, no harm, no foul, and so that was the end of that.

On re-reading the question, though, I see that Curb Your Enthusiasm begins with capital letters, denoting a noun, possibly a name or a title. Curious as to this sudden change of interrogatory direction, I checked the Internet and I find that this is, in fact, a title, the title of a program that airs, if anything can actually air on cable, on HBO. I even found the three comments by Akaky that you ask about on the program's bulletin board, but I must officially forswear any responsibility for said comments. I do not get HBO; I am content with the basic cable I get and I see no reason to expand my horizons any further; and therefore I have never seen any episodes of this program and did not know the program existed until you asked about it. I am not your commenter, despite the obvious shared taste for Gogol's overcoat and other fashion accessories
  • What is your writing utensil of choice?

A pencil.

  • Why did you want to participate in Neilochka's Grand Interview Experiment (or whatever he's calling it these days)?

I did not want to participate at all; I was drafted against my will and my better judgment, but people prevailed on my good nature, as they are wont to do, and I am going along with this silliness for the sake of their sanity. If I did not participate, Neil was going to whine about my not participating for weeks without end. Neither Neil's penis nor the always lovely Sophia want to listen to him when he goes into one of these sulks; Neil nearly drove them both to San Luis Obispo when Neil's mom gave his kugel to his cousin about a year or so ago. He gets whiny, nasty, and cranky at the same time, obsessively reorganizes his collection of Uzbek dental floss containers according to height, and annoys goyim in Pig's Knuckle, Arkansas by calling them late at night and demanding that they make hefty contributions to the United Jewish Appeal. The UJA had to get a restraining order against him to keep him from doing this last year; he was giving the organization a bad name and drying up contributions to boot. It's hard to ask someone for money when Neil's been calling these same people at four o'clock in the morning and asking them if they knew that the word Arkansas appears on the state flag of Arkansas so that the people in Arkansas will know where they are. This is not the way to win friends and influence people. In the depths of a very deep kvetch, Neil turns violent, punching innocent refrigerators until the Freon bleeds. I don't think he would actually beat the always-lovely Sophia, as she would kick his ass into next year if he tried, and as for his penis…well, let's not go there. So that's how I got involved in this thing, much to my chagrin. I'm opposed to this entire concept myself; to my mind letting Neil talk us into doing interviews is just another way of enabling him to act out his strange obsessions. He's never going to get over these compulsions of his until someone finally says no, or gives him his cousin's kugel, whichever comes first.

  • Bonus question: what question should I have asked you?????

As to the bonus: you could have asked if putting ketchup on a hot dog is a sign of psychological and sexual immaturity. I say no, but there is a vast school of psychological thought that holds that the only psychologically permissible condiment for a hot dog is yellow mustard. This strikes me as a strangely neo-Freudian notion, and I understand how they could feel that way, but the empirical research does not bear their theory out. Studies done on Canadian lab rats clearly show that using yellow mustard on a hot dog for a prolonged period of time leads inevitably to depression, mental instability, and rooting for the Boston Red Sox, and is therefore best avoided, especially in the presence of small children, whom this horrific experience may scar for life.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Sprint Sucks

Is there a website for that? Because if so, I want to sign up immediately. And if not, hey someone, is so incredibly alliterative, how could it miss?

I have--ahem!--just come from paying my Sprint bill. I am not a happy cellphone user. I would not mind pay the bill if I could use the phone. But I can't. Because, according to all that I've spoken to about this on-line, in-person, and on-phone (landline), I live in what they call a "hole." That is, a place where service ranges from non-existent to spotty because...because...because Sprint sucks and they can't get their signals to my house. All that talk about how many bars one gets on one's cell phone? I get one. And then mid-conversation that one cuts out and I get "Lost Signal." The consequence of this is that I cannot and do not use my cell phone in my house. Which means that I am forced to use my landline and the consequence of that is my long distance phone calls from home are billed. So my landline phone is expensive and my Sprint phone is expensive--and I'm just bleeding money to all these carriers.

Sprint was never my carrier of choice. When I got this account, I was a Nextel user. I deliberately chose them because Nextel seemed to market to adults, who were interested more in service than the sound of their ring tone. But Nextel sold out to Sprint and my contract was such that I had no choice but to go along. However, said contract is up next month and--I'm outta here, guys. Screw you...toodleloo...and fuck off. I wish you had spent more money on improving service and less on advertising, but that would have un-American, wouldn't it.

Am I mad? You bet. So I'm joining Wanna come along?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Hungry Hill: A Memoir, by Carole O’Malley Gaunt

Hungry Hill: A Memoir, by Carole O’Malley Gaunt. University of Massachusetts Press, 2007.

Carole O’Malley Gaunt is quite obviously Irish, and center stage of her memoir is her alcoholic father. How much more does one need to know to slot it into the genre of memoirs that detail the ills the Irish child suffers at the hands of his or her drunken parent? Think the McCourts, for one. It seems that her publisher and her publicist are aiming at that audience. Here’s the back flap copy they’ve written to entice readers:

“The author recounts her sad and turbulent story with remarkable clarity, humor, and insight, punctuating the narrative with occasional fictional scenes that allow the adult Carole to comment on her teenage experiences and to probe the impact of her mother’s death and her father’s alcoholism.”

Just makes you want to run right out and buy the book, doesn’t it. If you said, no, then you would be missing something, because the deathly prose in Hungry Hill is confined to the jacket copy. O’Malley Gaunt herself is a talented writer whose way with words and faculty for specific details makes this story of her teenage years come alive as only the best of memoirists have the wherewithal to achieve.

I am not Irish and my parents were merely social drinkers, but I grew up in roughly the same era as O’Malley Gaunt details here, and I can tell you: she’s got it down, right to the penny loafers and the headbands. Time and again, she transported me back to that time and that place. Here’s Carole on a double date:

“…Richie leans over, looks at Gordie, and lifts his eyebrows, a signal if I ever saw one. When Gordie puts thirty cents down for their cokes, Kathy pulls out her wallet from her straw bag while I reach into the pocket of my Bermuda shorts for the exact change. Because Gordie and Richie do not fork money up for our sodas, my neck relaxes a little….Out on the street, a blast of hot air hits us as if the July heat had been waiting for a Friday night meltdown. As we walk up the street, Richie and Gordie talk about cars—engines, headlights, and prices, but I can’t tell one car from another and have only just learned what a tailfin is….In the middle of Newbury Street, while talking about the pits in chrome fenders, Gordie reaches for my hand. It’s not as if he’s going to lift my hand with its short fingernails to his lips and kiss it, after all this is Springfield, not Paree. But still I don’t like it.”

I was on that double date, only mine was in Pittsburgh and we had just come from Gammon’ s and what made me uncomfortable was the boys hooting and hollering at a sign in the butcher’s window: Breasts, 79 cents. But the straw bag, the Bermuda shorts, the endless talk about cars and such that we all listened to with such feigned admiration—she’s nailed it.

But if you’re not looking for a trip down memory lane, there are those other reasons to read this book. It has something to do with the fact that her mother died early and her father was a handsome alcoholic and she was the only girl with six brothers. But at heart, Hungry Hill is really a coming of age story. The specifics of her life are less important than watching her make her way through the landmines that are always waiting for young girls growing up. This is not to minimize the impact that her father’s drinking had on her, but really, it is more important to her now, probably. There is about those fictional scenes with the adult Carole and the parental figure who wronged her a Twelve Step patina that rings false with the intense truthfulness of O’Malley Gaunt’s written memories of the time.

Hungry Hill is, despite the jacket copy, not a “sad and turbulent story.” Far from it. It is a counter to the bloated tales we're getting of the good old days of the Sixties and Seventies, stories of the movers and shakers, as it were, by the movers and shakers of today. This, on the other hand, is just a book about a girl in a time and a place; it’s a window into Growing Up Girl then—and I suspect—now as well. And it captures the era far better than all the retrospectives in the glossy weeklies have done.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Sundown plus Four

This was taken on February 7, 2008 at 5:51 p.m.

This was taken four minutes later at 5:55 p.m. One difference in lighting is, I think, that the outside spot came on when I went out to take the second shot. That's why there's so much light on the fence. Not so nice and dramatic, but what I'm really interested in is the sky.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Give a Dog a Bone--Again

This time Molly elected to chow down on her beef short rib, straight out of the pot, on the living room rug. A girl's got to be comfy when she eats, doesn't she???

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Car Shopping

Whatcha think? Yes? No? Maybe?

Friday, February 15, 2008

Kninking..err, Knitting & Drinking

Another glorious night of it, my friends. This time at a lovely little wine bar in Elk Grove (don't you wish you lived nearby). We came and we ate and we drank and we knit. I think I've only dropped one stitch. At least just one that I know about. No one looked askance. Everyone seemed to feel it was perfectly natural for a group of seven and eight women to be knitting and drinking...kninking.

Here's a pitcher for you. Don't say I don't illustrate my posts, please:

This is Sarah

And this is Brenda The rest of the group is--well, they're reflected in the many wine glasses before Sarah and Brenda. We decided we're going to do this once a month, on the third Friday. Come join us.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Roses For Sale...Love To Buy

The scene at my local supermarket was unbelievable tonight. The aisles were jampacked at 6:15 with men lined up to buy identical bouquets of long-stemmed red roses. Complete with tissue, baby's breath, and a fern or two. At the supermarket. Just down from the meat and across the aisle from the lettuce.

This is romance? This is love? This is necessary?

Hi, honey, I'm home...I love's your roses....what's for dinner?

I don't get this holiday at all. Never did, not even in my most absurdly in love moments. The only time I really remember enjoying Valentine's Day was in grade school when I got to make the classroom box that all our Valentines would go in. I was the diva of crepe paper then and created the most fantastic orgies of hearts and ruffles and shiny stuff and more ruffles, all very tasteful, mind you, but still over-the-top. But the actual exchanging of cards? That seemed a chore to me. All those little cards to sign my name to. All those weeny envelopes to lick. It was obvious to me even back then that the holiday really had no meaning. It wasn't even a proper popularity contest, because we had to send a Valentine to everyone in the class.

The whole idea of Valentine's Day seems such an artificial construct to me. And the expectations that are loaded into it--well, they're just plain scary. I'd hate to be a guy on February 14th--talk about performance pressure...

But I'm not a guy, and I do love you--so here are some roses I picked. I grew them myself, and they smell real purty. Happy Valentine's Day.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Today, Tomorrow, but never yesterday...

I don't really know what that means. It just came to me, and when things like that come, I write them down, and some time later, I say, Oh yeah, that's what that meant.

I had a hard day today. It didn't start out that way. For the first half of the day, I was charging through--gettin' stuff done, achieving, crossing items off the list. Then I went to this meeting I have every Wednesday. I went vowing to keep my mouth shut and my nose clean, and pretty much, I succeeded--but at what cost?

Why am I so bothered by other people's bullshit? Why can I not sit still when those around me are doing their paltry little ego dances? Why does this stuff not drive others nuts the way it does me? Why am I so intolerant? Why am I gritting my teeth--still, hours later?

I recall a dressing down I got from a boss a long time ago. He said, and I quote, "You walk around this office as if we owe you a living." And I was pretty proud of that, thought it acknowledged my obvious superiority which could not be hidden underneath that proverbial bushel. Now I think--man, how arrogant I was--and am. I really do have a sense of entitlement that is somewhat off-kilter. And if it drives other people crazy, you can't imagine what it's doing to me. I'm the one that lives inside this head, and somedays, I'll tell you, it just ain't fun.

Tonight I saw that Polly Williams died. You can read about it here: Polly Williams Of HBOs Thin Found Dead Did you see Thin, Lauren Greenfield's documentary on eating disorders? I've never had an eating disorder, so watching that doc was like visiting a foreign land to me. I sort of spoke the language--had a couple of nouns and verbs here and there--because after all, I am an American woman and I have spent my life not liking my body. But if I had a hard time understanding what motivated the other women to binge and purge and starve themselves to such drastic measures, I was completely undone by Polly Williams. She was just what I want to be: beautiful and outspoken and smart and not giving a damn and so very sure of herself and seemingly accepting of who she was. And yet--not. She died of an overdose, and intentional or not, she is gone. Jesus, I think, if someone like Polly Williams can't make it, what hope is there for the rest of us? And then I remember where I got to know her: on a TV program about eating disorders. Which are, as we know, a form of suicide. Which is, as we know, the response of a body in unbearable pain. Yet I envied her, eating disorder and all, I wanted to be her.

I can't come up with some grand summation here. Or maybe I could, but it would be trite, facile, bullshitty. Best to leave well enough alone, and say Goodnight, Polly, I will not soon forget you and I will someday make sense of what you're telling me.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Real Brits and Fake Brits

When I drive back from the parent-teen group I do on Tuesday nights, I listen to NPR. When I drive anywhere, I listen to NPR, actually, but the Tuesday night thing is what I'm on about now. Linda Hunt moderates an Arts Something or Other program. You know, Linda Hunt, the wee American actress who so wonderfully played a guy in that movie with Mel Gibson. (I saw her once in the produce section at my local supermarket--and she was sorta wonderfully playing a guy there too.) I don't know why Linda Hunt is moderating this arts program, but she clearly intends her accent to show how artsy she is. She speaks the Queen's English thicker than a Buckingham Palace valet--except when she doesn't, when she forgets or gets excited or somehow slips right back into an American twang. It annoys me. Phoniness annoys me. Bad phoniness in particular annoys me. Because I am such a straight shooter myself.

Monday, February 11, 2008


So here's the meme for which I was tagged (get that grammar, suckas) by Babs at AWalkabout. As she wrote, so do I:
  • Once you are tagged, link back to the person who tagged you.
  • Post the rules on your blog.
  • Post 7 random or weird facts about yourself on your blog.
  • Tag 7 people and link to them.
  • Comment on their blog to let them know they have been tagged.
Fact the First: When I was 14, I won a date with a pop star.

Fact the Second: I skipped Twelfth Grade.

Fact the Third: My cousin's son is married to Robert Redford's daughter.

Fourth Fact: I would like to be a poultrytarian--that is, a person who refuses on matter of conscience to eat chicken.

Fifth Fact: A friend told me yesterday, and I agree, that I'm easily bored and bitchy.

Six: I struggle with completing things, all things, and my life, house, and career show that.

7: I wish I were athletic, and I'm sure that somewhere there's a sport I'd be good at, but thus far, I haven't found it.

And I'm tagging: House of Prince, Citizen of the Month, Thursday Drive, AsKatKnits, ToadyJoe, Nannygoatsinpanties, AverageJane.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Grammy's

I don't know that I've ever watched them before. I didn't intend to watch them tonight. But I did and now I don't know why this is my first time. I watch the Oscars, but then I go to movies. I watch the Emmy's, but then I see a lot of TV. The logical assumption, one would think, is that I don't listen to music. I do, except that I resist a lot of the time, and until tonight, I didn't really know why. Now I do.

Music just gets to me too much. Watching the Grammy's, I kept finding myself in tears. I cried over Cirque du Soleil's Love and Ringo Starr presenting the award to George Martin. I cried over Rhapsody in Blue and Great Balls of Fire. I cried when I sang Good Golly, Miss Molly (with Little Richard) to my dog who didn't know WTF was going on. I cried when Josh Groban sang and I cried when Herbie Hancock played.

All night, the tears were there because music--whatever the genre--just gets right into my heart.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Missing Memer

Someone tapped me for a meme on her blog, but I can't remember who. Was it you? Please identify yourself. It was my honest intention to post my answers to that meme for today's Blog365. Obviously(hah!), I can't since I've lost the memer. Sorry.

Friday, February 08, 2008

News from the Knittery

  • Knit tonight at a pub in Sacramento.
  • Drank wine, specifically a pinot of no particular vintage, while knitting at the pub in Sacramento.
  • T'was a dimly lighted place, such as pubs, at least in Sacramento, usually are.
  • Consequently, dropped a shit load of stitches on my knitting at the pub, etcetcetc.
  • Will suffer the consequences of the consequently tomorrow when I have to fish around and pick up the dropped stitches.
  • The garment I am making, to which I referred several days ago, is the Dropped Stitch Scarf.
  • The stitches I dropped were not part of the pattern.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Life Goes On...

...but sometimes I feel like I'm just hanging on the edges, the periphery if you will, that tiny bit of real estate where when the wind blows--whoo! whoo!

Today for the first time in absolutely ages, I felt like cleaning. I took that as a good sign, that once again I wanted to fully inhabit my world. The floors are what needed attending to. The rug in the living room still sheds like a llama in heat, and there are pale green tumbleweeds hanging out all over. That calls for the Ironman of vacuums, so I dragged out the Electrolux, circa 1972, that the Soon2BX thoughtfully left behind. It took me all fucking day to vacuum my little piece of real estate, and I'm just talking about the living areas. Is this normal? You people who vacuum regularly, should it take that long? Should I have to keep changing instruments, and changing outlets, and changing the angle of the head thing so it is pointed down at the floor and not up at the ceiling? This can't be right.

I was so frustrated after humping that Electrolux that I desperately needed retail therapy. So I went to Long's and spent an hour or so wandering up and down the aisles, seeing what was new and what I absolutely had to have. I bought a new eyebrow pencil and a new eyeliner pencil. I'll probably use them each at least three times before I throw them in the back of the drawer where I throw all my makeup. I got them because I'm going to try to not go out to see the world without at least a dash of eyeliner and a splat of mascara. There are some people who get up, get showered, do makeup and hair, and don a nice outfit that matches before they start their day. I'm not one of them. When I get up, I throw on whatever I was wearing last, and sort of comb my hair (I always brush my teeth, however, and put sunscreen on, thank you very much). It's my I'm not going out today look, but lots of times, you know, I go out. Which does not make me performance art of the sort that anyone would care to see. Tough shit.

This evening I put some books on I have got to get rid of this library I've been toting around forever. So I'm selling books. I'm sure there is some nifty widget that I can put on my blog that will take you to my Ebay site, but damned if I know what it is at this time of night. Maybe tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

And so, Good Night....

It's another one of those late night postings, so you know you're going to get dribbles and drabbles of not much. How is it that I always have so much to say during the day, but at night, eh! it all seems a little too much trouble. ZZzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzZ z z z z zzzzzzzzzzzz zZZZZZ

ZZZZzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz ZZZZZZzzzz


Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Super Tuesday and Other Political Stories

Is the Republican ticket going to be McCain/Huckabee? Will Huckabee ease the minds of those Conservatives who hate McCain because he's too not-Conservative? And when with Mitt Romney cry uncle? Soon, I hope, because I'm with the Republican candidates: I don't like him.

But, oops, I forgot: I'm a Democrat. So what have we going on in the blue side of the board? Clinton and Obama, Obama and Clinton--wow! what a cliffhanger

I'm loving this--as long as I don't have to get into any political arguments. I made the mistake of sending my Obama post to BlogHer. Talk about snippy, snippy responses. Or maybe I'm just too sensitive, as my mother used to tell me ("You're too sensitive, Jane. You've got to get a shell." "Okay, mom, I'll see how unengaged I can be.") What I learned from those responses is that I don't want to discuss politics; I just want to have my say. And you can have your say, too, but do it nicely. My friend, L, is a great Obama fan and her response to my post was quite a detailed explication of why she loathes Clinton. It wasn't snippy. I could hear it and think about it without feeling like my nuts were in a wringer (well, that assumes that I have nuts, which I don't, but you get my meaning).

The older I get, the less contention I'm up for, which is somewhat shocking to those who knew me when I was a firebreather.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Why Barack Obama Does Not Get My Vote

No I’m not jumping on the bandwagon, for a number of reasons:

1. I’m not a bandwagon jumper. I have, in fact, something of an antipathy to bandwagons. But I’m aware of that and thus when a bandwagon approaches, I try to be very clear on where my reasoning is sound and where it is not.

2. I have a visceral feeling, call it an urge actually, that his campaign intentions will come to naught, and he will leave our country worse off than it is. The last time I felt this way was in 2000. I felt sure that George W Bush would spell disaster for the United States. It was just such a visceral feeling, a knowing in my bones, as I have now, and I feel helpless again to be able to do anything to prevent my fellow countrymen from slipping down that slope again. Oh, and the time before that that I had it: when Richard Nixon got the presidency.

3. What is that slope? It’s the Feel Good Hill. We so want to feel good about ourselves that we throw our arms around the candidate that is most able to make us feel good. That’s what it was all about in ’00 when masses voted for George W. because he was just one of us, a regular guy that you’d want to knock back a couple of brews with. Never mind that he was not a regular guy, but a scion of the oligarchy whose candidacy, as was his bio, had been fashioned from the whole cloth. And in ’04, Dean was the Pied Piper, until he screamed. The ability to make us feel good is not a criteria that the concept of an informed electorate includes. Our democracy was created with the assumption that we, the people, would use our native intelligence and common education to make choices based on reason, not emotion.

4. Obama’s candidacy is almost as engineered as Bush’s was. The Presidential whispers started back at the last nominating convention when he gave that stirring speech. The whispers had little to do with his experience, because at that point (and still), he’d had little. No, the whispers had to do with the fact that he is an excellent orator. He could bring people together, urge them on, make them feel good. And God knows, the Democratic party needed that, so the powers that be, or the powers that wanna be, revved up their engines and here we are today with a candidate about whom the strongest thing people can say is that “he’ll bring us together.”

5. To do what, I want to know? True, he may increase the number of registered Democrats, but after election day, then what? How exactly will that translate to national and international policy? How will his “bringing us together” impact on his ability to make the hard decisions that are the fact of governing?

6. I’m appalled by the nostalgia that is fomenting Obama’s campaign. I want to say to all the people that think Camelot-Redux is just around the corner: How many of you were actually there then? How many of you are doing more than yearning after newsreel highlights and reconstituted memories? I was there then. The Bay of Pigs was no Hallmark moment, no matter how gloriously it’s portrayed today. It was a scary time and the fact that John F. Kennedy was a seasoned legislator who had actually been to war is probably what made all the difference. I would argue that for all Barack Obama is a good man of integrity and intelligence, he hasn’t the experience and therefore the ability to lead our country in the international arena where we are so very, very vulnerable.

Please, please, please, people: put your hearts aside and use your heads. Obama may make you feel good; Clinton will make you safe.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Portrait of a Damp Dog

The weather in Elk Grove has been awful. I know it's winter, people, but this is California: it's not supposed to be this cold and this wet. Poor, poor Molly, the poodle who hates the rain. The Bichon who has a poodle coat that kinks in wet weather. The Bichon Froodle who believes rain is a personal affront to her integrity. How miserable can one doggie look? Multiply that by a power of five to get a whiff of how she smells. Wet dog, now that's a treat in one's bed....

Saturday, February 02, 2008

News Flash: A Knitting Project that I'm LLOOVVVIINNNG

Finally--At Last--Thank God it's happened. I haven't been this excited since...since...well, use your imagination. I started a knitting project tonight and I not only don't hate it, I LOVE IT!!! This is so rare that I can't tell you the last time it happened--probably way before the last time that happened.

You've seen the yarn when I wrote about my lust for sock yarn and my loathing for knitting socks But here, I'll show it to you again:

I've been searching for something knittable that wasn't (a) socks, and (b) knit on 1s or 2s. And I found it. In the Special Issue of Knitscene (I just loves me Interweave Knits and company--they publish the most fantastic craft magazines). It's the Phiaro Scarf by Katie Himmelberg

and it is so incredible perfect for me because it looks like lace but it's not knit as lace. It's a tube done in mindless stockingette on circulars and then at the end somehow you drop stitches and it looks like the picture. Yes, it will...except mine will be '70s tie dye, rather than '08 chic mauve.

I'm doing it on size 5 Addis lace needles with those lovely pointy points, and the yarn, which is Superwash Alpaca Sock Yarn is a dream to knit with. I cannot tell you how excited I am. I am joyful, joyful, joyful--and I just had to share the good news!

Friday, February 01, 2008

What I Did Today...

Put up this magnetic calendar dry-erase board. It's by The Board Dudes and I got it at Target. I am confident that now I shall be forever organized as somehow the good fairies will nightly update my magnetic calendar dry-erase board. It came with two cute little screws and molly whatevers, as well as instructions, quite specific and obviously NOT written and then translated from a third world language, for installing the board. I obeyed orders and drilled the appropriate holes and felt incredibly masterful after I had done so. I love that I have my own power tools and know how to use them. I am my father's daughter: thanks, Dad.