Thursday, September 25, 2008

Predators in the night

Last night, at around 2 am, I heard noises. Sounded like someone had a pick ax and was whittling away at something. I got up and went downstairs. The sound was louder - in the wall. Dammit. It was coming from my new, state of the art electronic thermostat that is part of my 3 zone heating system.

I take the cover off and dropped it when all of this fuzzy stuff falls out. Guess what was inside?

Need a closer look?

and that ain't no mickey mouse... why me?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Thank You Everyone!

one of my feathered friends who visits daily

Thank you all for such warm wishes and kind sentiments. I'm feeling pretty good except for an irritating chest cold brought on because stubborn me didn't finish the course of steroids I was told to take. As soon as I'm able to breath again, maybe I'll run that marathon, swim the Hudson, or just work on this bloody pinwheel sweater that has almost 1,000 stitches on a too small circular! Pictures soon!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Mother was right, always wear clean underwear

Last week, while enjoying the opening luncheon of my Garden Club, I had nothing better to do but to have an allergic reaction to a delicious salad. Well, it wasn't an ordinary salad actually. Buried inside were some exotic nuts that I don't get along with.

If you or anyone you know has severe allergies, you know what came next. My blood pressure dropped, my throat began to swell and well it was downhill from there. Fortunately, the last two things I remember was dialing 911 and telling the operator that the paramedics had to treat me aggressively or I wouldn't do well. They listened and I'm here to blog another day!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Real Debate

With all of this talk about Republicans vs. Democrats; premarital teenage sex vs abstinence education in schools; the meltdown of the glacial shelf vs. pipelines; curable gayness vs. curable downs syndrome; community organizing vs. lobbyists on steroids; pigs in shit wearing lipstick... We crafters know what a true controversy is.

-thanks to Marce over on The Brown Berry Chronicles for sharing this video!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

DNC Diary - Day 3

No trip, no experience would be complete for me without finding the local yarn shop. So, as I mentioned in my previous post, Wanda suggested we meet here. I wanted to show you a few more pictures of my afternoon here.

The selection was amazing and there were tables and knitting nooks tucked here and there where groups of knitters gathered. I met two nice ladies who never heard of Ravelry!

It was Day 3 of the Convention and I was playing hookie sort of. I snuck out desperately trying to avoid any high drama on the floor of the Convention that perhaps these two might have had something to do with -

But, as it turned out (and as my son txted me with details of) it was during the delegate role call that Hillary stepped up and nominated Sen. Obama by acclamation.

I didn't anticipate such swift dispatch of the much talked about drama! So, all went swimmingly, as I was told. And Pelosi's gavel came to be known as the fastest gavel in the west! Oh, and speaking of Nancy Pelosi, it is her daughter, Alexandra whom I consider my hero. She did this amazing documentary on Bush before he became president, called Journeys with George. If you haven't seen it, you must buy it! If more Americans had seen this before the first election, well, I guess that's water under the bridge...

As all of that was going on, I was sitting with Ms. Wanda watching her deliberate over which skein of sock yarn she should gift herself for her birthday!

Certainly her indecision was more fun to watch!

Back at the Convention, I was told that the air was heavy with anticipation and that I better get my behind back to business. It was Biden's night and after that nomination vote was over, everyone seemed to be relaxed and ready for the evening's speeches. Wanda tried to drive me back to the Convention but of course, security was tighter than a you know what. My credentials got us past the first set of road blocks but I had to say my goodbyes soon after and walk the rest of the way to the Pepsi Center. Security only allowed secured cars and drivers beyond certain points.

I passed the Colorado Convention Center (this is where most of the conferencing took place) to see if I could find a DNC driver who felt sorry for me and my blistered feet and give me ride over to the Pepsi Center. As I walked through, I saw this nice photo op taking place and there in the middle of the crowd was Congressman Bobby Scott with whom I had a brief conversation with the day before, and, to my surprise, he remembered me and flashed a smile!

That's the Congressman on duty chairing a judiciary subcommittee hearing on some hanky panky the bushies were up to...

I would tell you, or rather show you, the excitement that went on after Biden spoke

but when Obama came out onto the podium, the place went wild! I did too and totally forgot to use my camera except for this one quick shot...

My son, Marcus was also having the time of his life. He was sitting backstage cooling his heels when Sen. Obama came through just before he joined Sen. Biden onstage. He told me that Sen. Obama called to the Pages, "hey 'yall!" and gleefully" shook all their hands before he went onstage!

Well, I never had a chance to touch the hem of Obama's garment but I did have this lovely sister touch my garment...

The mystery actor revealed!
Tatiana Ali (Ashley from Fresh Prince) on Hillary's night at the DNC wearing my shawl!

Friday, September 05, 2008

DNC Diary - Day 2

Is this really a knit blog? Yup, so I'll tell you about two great things that happened to me while in Denver. I met Wanda, of Wanda Woman Knits blog!

Wanda and I have been visiting each other's blogs now for a while so it was so cool to finally get to meet her in person! We spent the day at this very cool place just 5 minutes from downtown. Man, these places outside of the New York metro area have square footage! She did a few rows to my Unity scarf that will become my Inauguration scarf.

Oh, and I also met this cool lady (a washington exec) at a camera store in downtown Denver. I was buying a video camera and she saw my knitting bag, she struck up a conversation about her knitting exploits. She was so thrilled to meet a fellow knitter at the convention that she called over her two teenage children to meet me! I asked her to do a few rows to my scarf.

Anyway back to my diary. I really wanted to name this post, Lies for Free.

When I was in Denver, all the papers were for free at my hotel. I don't generally get my news from the print press anymore. I prefer the internets. Sometimes the same publication publishes different stories on the internets than in print. Why? Is better news available to people who can afford broadband? Anyway, on the internets I get to dissect rumor and innuendo from corporate and washington press releases by simply moving my mouse. A lot easier than plowing through reams of newsprint. It becomes a sporting event, I'm eager to see who wins in my mind...

But, last night I was smacked back to reality. McCain's wife's speech and his own was scary. So I've decided to interrupt my diary and lament. While I consider myself fortunate to have attended the DNC's convention and be a witness to history, I regret allowing myself to get pulled into a sort of naivete. True, the convention was indeed historic. Those 4 days were miraculous. How could a Sen. Obama, a black man who is the product of a formerly illegal miscengenated union, be in such position of possibility? His mother, the product of a working class white family, his father, an immigrant from a continent ravished by slavery, colonialism and war. How could they produce a constitutional attorney only decades after Jim Crow where it was practically illegal for black children to even learn to read?

Talking politics, I'm starting to get hung over. Last night after watching the RNC's nauseating proceedings I was reacquainted with why I was on a 12 step program to begin with. I have a problem. I know too much about politics while at the same time, I know little about politicians. They make stuff up, they talk about poverty while wearing diamond earrings, that could fund an entire village in India (see my side bar). They defy logic and lie in your face. They talk about the horrors of torture on one night and complain about Miranda rights on another. They talk about being victims of torture and be a part of an administration that builds secret torture prisons called black sites all across the world. They degrade community organizers which is probably one of the most thankless jobs (if you can call it a job because many do it as volunteers) while they hire lobbyist and travel to Washington begging for handouts. They tell you that family dramas are private while they constantly try to legislate what your's and mine family can and cannot do in the bedroom, in the classroom, in the doctors' office and what we can read in our libraries.

They lie to our faces with pomp and circumstance knowing that we want to be lied to, we want to delude ourselves, we demand more for others than we demand from ourselves.

My second day at the convention was filled with great hope. My naivete allowed me to ignore what was coming.

These are my children and I still maintain a glimmer of hope. Even though there are those who will try to confuse me, the issues and continue to plot to stay in power. I'll keep trying, for these guys...

...and the hope that this 78 year old woman maintained, who drove all the way from California to be witness to history at the DNC.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Car pooled democracy

Well folks, you heard it. America is now supposed to go from a guy that guys want to have a beer with to a woman we can call up to car pool. No thanks. I prefer my country and my corporations to be run by smart people. Dumb people create Savings and Loans fiascos and FEMA diasters. If you are not sure if a bar boy or a hockey mom can fix this mess, start by checking out America's balance sheet after 8 years of the bar boy's reign...

Hard to find words after such a spectacle last night, but silly speeches ain't gonna get this country out of the mess created by the bar boy and his incompetent, greedy cronies.

Anyhoo, here are more pictures from the DNC convention.

If any of you are CSPAN addicts like me, you are familiar with Code Pink. A group of women who have decided to respond to our nation's wacky priorities by using wacky tactics to protest.

Now, I've seen many protests in my day but I must admit that this Code Pink lady used one of the best tactics I've ever witnessed. She got off of her bike when she saw these two policemen. She told them that they were so cute and strong, that she'd hate to know that they would be shot up in Iraq or ravished by sand fleas just so Halliburton could make another billion dollars. Not only did she get a 'rise' out of them, she got them to smile!

Did I tell you that there is a Starbucks on nearly every corner of downtown Denver? So much better than a bar on every corner like so many neighborhoods in Jersey. Here, right next to a Starbucks, was one of the DNC's credentials pickup offices. My first day in Denver, I stood on this line for well over an hour but it was cool because I got to drink coffee, have a great conversation with two women from Ms. Magazine and I got to knit!

One of the places I had the privilege to watch the Convention from included a popular actor who was getting a bit chilly in her lovely satin dress. I gave her my shawl that I had in my knitting bag.

my son snapped this picture of me wearing the same shawl at an outdoor festival in Denver on our last day there. Now my son thinks my shawl has been touched by hotness. I thought about giving the shawl to my son's hearthrob but it was made from Karabella's silky something or other and done in one of my favorite lace patterns - the candle flame shawl, I couldn't part with it. Can anyone guess who the actor is?

Well Kumar brought his own shawl, 'er vest. Actually he was volunteering and working quite hard too. He was trying to be inconspicuous but my son recognized him straight away!

One of the best dynamic speeches given during the entire convention was Congressman Dennis Kucinich's speech. He reminded us all that people can make change if we would just stand up!

Now, after watching the RNCs totally boring convention these past few days, I thought this picture my son took from the floor of the DNC best illustrates the difference in each party. Can you figure it out?

'nuff said

Monday, September 01, 2008

DNC Diary - Day 1

My original intent for this trip was to be a passive observer, you know, to watch the ceremonial democracy thing in action. As a life long cynic, I thought I could lose myself into my knitting.

My two oldest boys were Pages

and I planned to "hang out" at the convention and not really feel anything other than my sweet skein of Black Bunny Unity yarn as I knitted up my election and inauguration day scarf. Wrong. As soon as we arrived in Denver, Convention fever was warming up. The entire city, it seemed had been transformed into Obamaville.

And, as a true stroke of luck, my hotel was Obama central with the entire Chicago delegation staying there.

Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr.

As much as I resisted, I got lured in. Hope and change flooded the city and was a constant reminder everywhere you went. It was OK to feel good about America again. It was OK to not feel embarrassed every time somebody from the white house spoke. It was OK to believe that civility could be brought to our country and perhaps, perhaps, we won't pick on the poor anymore, and religion is something you practice and not beat people over the head with and fear is not preferred over reason. Is it wrong to want these values even though our economy is based on selling anything that isn't tied down?

Ugh, I think I bought one of each

It was only the first day and already I was smiling at the possibilities!