Friday, August 29, 2008

Mile High Emotions

I cried. I think my entire section was crying. A mother of a very blue eyed little girl and a Mississippi Delta lawyer were standing together cheering and crying. Yeah, I know Obama's acceptance speech felt like a Disney produced tent meeting but after these past tragic 8 years of Bush government, it was a moment of pride again, of exuberance again, of possibility again.

There were a few moments that were like WHAT? moments, such as - can anyone tell me what the hell is "clean coal"?

And the whole thing with pursuing the terrorists to their caves (which, by the way, were constructed with the assistance of the USA during the Russian/Afghan war so that the American sponsored terrorists could hang out to attack the Russians - but I digress...) I guess politicians say that kind of stuff.

All in all, I'm hopeful again. Not necessarily for nirvana or good government but for 'smart'. Hopefully something smart can come out of the white house again...

I've had one of the best weeks of my life. It does something to your psyche when you see thousands of people interested in making life better for others, whose activism is not about their careers but their conscience. Falling off the wagon, never felt so good!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Convention Update - Hope

Many of us hanging out at the Convention tonight thought that the highlights were going to be: The delegate vote and the official delegate nominations; Bill Clinton and Biden's speeches. Well, when Obama came out at the end of the evening, I can't begin to relate the energy, the surprise, the utter astonishment the crowd expressed when he walked onto the staged. It was electric. People were cheering, stamping their feet, jumping up and down and crying - grown men! I was near many celebrities, and they too lost all composure. It was beyond incredible.

Tomorrow is the big speech at the stadium. We were all instructed to arrive shortly after 1pm for an 8pm acceptance speech by Sen. Obama. I have my knitting true, but, I haven't been able to fully focus on it. This entire experience of being at such an historic event has caught my imagination and turned it toward hope. I find myself transfixed.

Regardless of what the media people have said on the air (except for Faux News, of course); you should see the faces of the various reporters. They are overcome too. I see it in their haste to get to work each morning rushing to arrive at the Pepsi Center. I see it when they take their breaks and I see it when they pack it in at night. They don't quite grasp what the feeling is either. They know something is shifting and they too seem hopeful.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Quckie post as I don't have access to any computer or upload feature for my pictures. My laptop has decided to go on vacation without me.

If you don't have credentials in this town, you shouldn't have shown up! Security is tighter than a _____________ fill in your own visual!

I'm knitting up the Audacity Yarn I received from I decided to do a pair of Dashing and I'm hoping I can slip them to Michele Obama before the big speech on Thursday. I finished up one glove while at the convention on yesterday. I was at the Pepsi Center from noon until nearly 11pm!

I'm staying at the Marriott Hotel, the same hotel as the Chicago delegation so the entire place has been transformed into an Obama oasis! Everything for sale in Denver, it seems, has something to do with Obama - I saw Obama water, Obama sunglasses, Obama suits and ties... If you were a silk screen genius, you would have made a mint here!

I can't imagine how I'm going to ship all of this crap back home. I have these giant Michele polls that were being waved around as she spoke. I have Kennedy posters, Change posters, Yes We Can posters... maybe I can sell off my dirty clothes to make room in my luggage??

Ok, going to go right now. Today at the convention, I'll beg a media person to use their laptop to upload some pictures. Wish me luck!

P.S. Check out the Jon Stewart show tonight. My college son just txt me to say that he and a bunch of other Pages did some kind of skit involving Healing - the theme for the convention tonight!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Falling off the Wagon

For the past 7 years or so I've been on a self-imposed 12 step program. I am a recovering political junkie. Knitting has been my therapy and it has worked, for the most part. I kept this blog, for the most part, clean from politics. Right?

Staying "clean" during an election year is too much for anyone who suffers with my addiction. The worst part of politics, for me, is this elusive thing called truth. I don't think truth is possible in politics, I mean it could be fatal. Fatal to the liar and fatal to the 'liee'. And, it seems, it screws up marriages (and most countries) faster than any high speed beemer could! Unlike knitting. Truth is easily found with knitting. Like the time I attempted my first lace project without knowing how to read a lace pattern and not even bothering to reacquaint my 10 year old dormant skills with ssk or passo. This was my result

Notice the ginormous gaps randomly placed. duh? What was I thinking? I wasn't being truthful that's for sure.

In addition to not always being truthful with my knitting, I have knitting ADHD. I start lots of projects depending on my mood. I tell myself, "self, you're not hurting a soul by starting something else." You see you can't do that with war. It is advisable to finish one before you start another.

Here's a sample of all that I have on my needles right now and, fast fanny me, signed up some of these projects for the Ravelmpics!

My 2nd Shalom cardi
Debbie Bliss Donegal Tweed

Margarita tank, Rowan cottan braid

Clapotis, Classic Elite Bam Boo Print
ran out, must find 1 more skein...

My first Shalom Cardi

My 2nd Pinwheel sweater
Ultra Alpaca

A mohair stadium sweater coat

Whelp, with all of that said and done, I'm off to the Democratic National Convention this weekend therefore falling off my 12 step wagon big time. What will I be doing? Knitting, of course, and I hope trying to get some of those delegates to chill and knit some too. I came across some great yarn at Black Bunny Fibers that I'll be bringing called Unity yarn.

I hope that by publicly knitting this yarn I can coax up some Unity. Am I being naive? Aw geez, cynicism crossed with expectation can equal farce but I'm hoping that I can get some delegates to help me knit up a unity scarf or something. I have to be hopeful, after these past 8 years of Katrina and war and rumors of war, it would be easier to go back into my knitting closet and shut out these issues and dream of color in smooshy socks. But, even Rumpelstiltskin woke up after a while...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Breaking News....

In a previous episode, your heroic heroine here was informed that it was critical that she discover ways in which she could cut back her spending. After much knashing of the teeth, a miracle happened

hubby's new car

Don't ask me nothing, I don't know what it is, the year, make or model all I know is that it showed up exactly 1 week after the budget conference. Oh and it is a 2 seater (we have 3 boys) which suggests that somebody ain't gettin a ride!

I am relieved actually, because I won't have to give up 3 of my favorite things afterall -

yarn, books and thai food

So, let us review:

Beemer $45 grand plus; yarn $8; LeCarre novel $7.95; lunch at favorite thai resturant: $14.90. Being left the f%$# alone - PRICELESS!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Let 'em eat cake

All of this talk about money and the economy is making me grouchy. I don't like being grouchy, it is not my nature. But now, it has been suggested that my talents as a knitter don't transcend into my general domestic skill set. Unfortunately for us domestic workers, our jobs can't be outsourced. Talk about a budget crisis. Imagine if every man had to bring in private contractors to tend to all of their needs?? Yes it is true, some of them do privatize some aspects of their lives (see Elliot Spitzer and a zillion other politicians). We know how expensive that becomes for just one measly (well maybe not so measly) outsourced job!

At a recent budget conference, it was suggested that I review ways that I could cut back. Hmmmmm. Immediately, ideas came to mind. I could stop buying diamonds but DeBeers would probably go bankrupt which wouldn't be a bad thing except I haven't bought diamonds since I learned what happens to miners who work to get those lovelies out of the ground.

It was suggested that I not buy too many clothes. While I don't sew my clothes, I wonder just how much longer I could stretch my size 8 clothes into my growing, perimenopausal size 10 frame? Which brings me to groceries. Cutting back on groceries was seriously reviewed. If I didn't eat so much and encouraged others to do the same, we could save a mint (I used to grow mint but nobody really noticed). I am a bad domestic engineer it has been determined. I pay too much for food. I reluctantly had to agree this point due to the recent Whole Foods beef recall. I've been buying Whole Foods beef forevah thinking that the 50% markup helped ensure that I wasn't eating diseased, penned up and barely- alive- stock. So yeah, I could save with groceries by cutting out those nice juicy steaks and organic burgers. Did somebody say dollar menu?

Let's see, what else. Oh, right, the yarn. Which my shrink (if I had one) would probably say is the real source of the conflict. I could stop buying yarn. And by extension, I'd have more time to clean and cook and launder and contemplate "reclaiming the home". I contemplated drugs instead...

Then, the existential in me wondered, WWJD?

After close reflection, I realized that for twenty five years, I had been getting it all wrong. My one indulgence

could have been solved by just saying no. Who knew that Nancy Reagan was right afterall...

Anyway, is it obvious I'm in a funk? My Pal Phyllis came to the rescue. She brought some yummy wild blueberry muffins that she picked and baked...

Brought tears to my eyes...

And, Phyllis and I have been doing this sock KAL. Yes the yarn cost $11 bucks (a 20% sale at her LYS). Where else in America can you get great friendship, and stuff to do for 11 bucks and end up with a pair socks in the process?

Simply Lace Socks, Interweave, '06

My first attempt at the pattern was done totally wrong. When you are blind with rage, I guess lace charts can be misinterpreted. I had to frog it. Here is the improved version...

I was so excited that I was able to "self correct" and catch up with my buddy, I took the one sock out to the pool, and in solidarity with the USA's swim team's successes we took a dip -

Don't try this at home, the pool hasn't been chlorinated in days due to budget constraints so there was no real danger of bleaching out these lovely Louet Gems Opel orange tones.

Phyllis then suggested we go on a really cheap adventure to a local flea market to just enjoy looking at all of the old stuff...

Imagine having to wash clothes in one of these buckets? Talk about domestic servitude??

I bought a bag of buttons for a buck and two mason jars for two bucks! You see, I am good at this economics thing.

To shake off all of these worries, I've decided to throw myself into Ravelry's Olympics. Lots of knitting without buying new yarn, lots of hours watching some of the best physiques in the world and I'll get lots of finished garments in the bargain. So, stay tuned to my progress and what I hope to finish before China's closing CG ceremony. Sometimes virtual ain't so bad.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Guest Blog, my pal Phyllis

Many thanks to Deborah for letting me guest blog- I had a lovely New England vacation in July, two nights in Boston while DH attended a meeting, and a week in New Hampshire.

I spent part of Friday in Lowell, Massachusetts, at the old mill.

Here's the loom room

There were only a dozen or so machines running, but still quite noisy. I'm sure that the workers had hearing problems, with them all running it would have been incredible. The looms are making fabric to become dishcloths-

Apologies for not having the camera during Saturday in Boston- we strolled through Beacon Hill side streets to the Common. Not only were the local canines getting their morning exercise, but two groups were doing Tai Chi. As we watched one group DH commented that "they really need swords". They took a break, and came back with swords! After the next break a small group worked with fans, excellent timing in the opening snap!

Then it was north to a hiking camp in New Hampshire. It's been described as a hiking camp with an eating disorder- the food was great, the camaraderie wonderful, the weather very wet. So the hikes were shorter, and at lower elevations than at some other times.

There were knitters galore- most evenings at least four sets of needles were going in the Lodge. I worked on socks, there were also afgans, sweaters, hats and scarves. Of course we needed a knitting related skit for the talent show. Performance art? Knitting in unison? A song? Someone mentioned the installation at MassMoca in 2005. Wonderful inspiration!

Below is our interpretation- brooms for needles, with climbing rope as yarn.

The presentation was well received. And of course you all need a view of the mountains….