Archive for October, 2006

Happy Samhain, Happy Halloween.

I have thoughts, but they’ll have to wait for tomorrow. In the meantime, pumpkins!

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Fun with The Google.

President Bush knows how to use The Google; do you?

Many people know by now what result is obtained from googling “failure”. But did you know what you get from googling “liar”?

Color me amused.

For further amusement, try “incompetent” and “dishonest”.

For something not so amusing, but very, very disturbing, please read Rolling Stone’s cover story, “The Worst Congress Ever.” Also check out their list of the Ten Worst Congressmen.

Short of revolution, voting is the only way to change this, folks.

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News brief.

An Argentinian teenager has found the fossilized skull of a Terror Bird. Terror Bird

Upon hearing of the discovery, the White House issued a statement that the Terror Bird “has well-documented links to radical evolutionists and global terror networks” and has been placed on a No-Fly list. In response, the Terror Bird promptly ate Karl Rove.

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Told you so.

Thank you for all your good wishes. The Creeping Death has receded somewhat. I’m still snuffling and honking, but my fever’s gone and I’m no longer afraid that my eyeballs will fall out.

Now for photos.

A pineapple hat:

stitchpineapplehat.jpg

pineapplehatcloseup.jpg

And a pumpkin hat:

stitchpumpkinhat.jpg

pumpkinhatcloseup.jpg

This will be a very seasonal baby.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I just sneezed, and now I must mop.

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Nose goblins.

I have been knitting, I swear. I have made several adorable things recently, but because they were baby shower gifts for someone who might occasionally glance at this blog, I couldn’t talk about them.

(Zey are zuper-zecret. Eef I tell you, I must kill you! Kill you wit mysteeeeerious accent.)

But the baby shower was on Saturday, and it was delightful (I thought), and now I can post the photos I took of the zuper-cute items. Well, I could post them if I hadn’t forgotten to upload them.

My excuse for this failure is that I have contracted the Creeping Death. I spent Sunday curled up in a tissue box, in a hacking haze of sinus goo and Chloraseptic spray. Today I am at work, though I have the mental acuity of a drugged orangutang, or maybe a member of congress.

If you are in the neighborhood, please stop by and bring me soup.

Also, a public service announcement: It’s only the internet, people; chill the hell out. I find your recent behavior completely unacceptable. If this continues, you’re all grounded.

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Friday whatever-this-is.

As pixels shift, I sit and stare;
the internet, it tells me where
and when and how the news goes down,
and where to get cheap gas in town,
and from what foods I should abstain
so Mad Cow doesn’t eat my brain
or Botulism rot my gut.
It tells me of the Church’s smut,
and corporations’ efforts to
steal the pensions that accrue
through workers’ labor
. It tells me
of nuclear tests in North Korea,
and how Madonna has adopted
(Angelina’s trend co-opted!).
It speaks of AIDS, and war, and death,
and tells me not to hold my breath
while waiting for the revolution,
but provides no good solution.
So then I look up knitting sites,
and gossip blogs, and bits and bytes
of fluffy stuff that does not frighten,
rather serves to ease and lighten
all my cares. Then I eat food,
and upload photos that are rude.

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So unladylike of me, I know.

Over the weekend, I asked a friend if she had seen the results of the Fuckling Contest.

“No,” she admitted. “Last time I looked at your blog, you had some kind of tirade going.”

Tirade! I resented this characterization. “You want a tirade?” I thought. “I could show you some real blog tirades, dammit.” But then I reconsidered, and decided that perhaps “tirade” wasn’t such a bad word after all.

Thinking is ranked somewhere up there with masturbating on the list of Things People Do But Should Not Discuss In Polite Company. It is actively discouraged in schools. It is frowned upon in the workplace, and banned in amusement parks. It is allowed in coffeehouses, but only reluctantly. But thinking is crucial. If we succumb to socially mandated intellectual numbness, then maybe we deserve to have our elected officials strip of us of our right to privacy, our right to reproductive freedom, our right to free and fair elections, our rights to habeas corpus and freedom from torture.

Perhaps I should have made it clear sooner that this blog is NOT polite company. I will discuss all sorts of unpleasantries here, including possibly electoral politics, race/class/gender/other isms, bodily fluids, and anything else I can think of that will make someone, somewhere, uncomfortable. There will occasionally be tirades.

But I will also discuss knitting and cats, and maybe food. So don’t give up yet.

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Feminism gives me that oh-so-fresh feeling.

I’ve been watching this meme float across the blogosphere, but I wasn’t going to tackle it here because, y’know, I didn’t think y’all really cared. But now I’ve been tagged directly, and I am not about to risk the wrath of Lady Linoleum by not answering.

FIVE THINGS FEMINISM HAS DONE FOR ME

1. Feminism has taught me that sexual harassment and violence are not acceptable. It was not my fault that my ex-boss called me a “frigid bitch” when I wouldn’t let him stroke my hair or help me into a dress for a party; it was not my fault that a man grabbed my breast as I walked down the street; it was not my fault that I was raped. There was a time when each of these incidents would have been considered normal, and I would have been shamed and denigrated for fussing about them.

2. Feminism has given me reproductive choice. Our eighty-seven-year-old neighbor has a sticker up in her window that says “Keep Abortion Legal.” When I congratulated her on it, she told me firmly, “I had one of those back-alley abortions. I don’t want another woman to go through that. Ever.” I am grateful to feminism for the right to control whether, when, and how I have children. Of course, we still have a long way to go to ensure access for all women.

3. Feminism has given my words power. Until fairly recently, women’s opinions were believed to stem from emotion rather than reason, and discounted on that basis. While women’s voices are still not given equal airtime, we’ve definitely made progress.

4. Feminism has given me the right to earn and control my own money. One hundred years ago, I would either not have worked at all or worked my ass off and seen none of the proceeds, depending on my class position. Today I hold a job for somewhat respectable pay, and, thanks to California’s marital property laws, half of our total household earnings belongs to me. Which is good, because if Husband controlled all the funds, we’d have a lot more DVDs and a lot less yarn.

5. Feminism has given me a great role model. My mother has a Ph.D. and a fairly impressive faculty position, in which she teaches anthropology and women’s studies. She organized for tenants’ rights in New York City. She chose when she wanted to have a child. She never told me that anything was impossible because I was a girl. She has published books, and traveled all over the world. I love her because she’s my mom, but I respect her for all of the above reasons.

Mind you, all of the above items are very culturally specific – Feminism has not done as much everywhere as it has in the West, and it hasn’t done as much for women of color as it has for white women. That is its failure, but also its work for the future.

Everybody – male, female, and otherwise gendered – I’d love to read your version of this meme in the comments below.

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Making life bearable today:

Happiness is

God bless you, Pocky.

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Feeling wistful.

I had a lot of trouble sleeping when I was in college. Often, I would give up trying around four in the morning, throw on some clothes, and stalk across the dark, dew-damp campus to my car. My first rule for these early-morning journeys was that I had to drive West, away from the rising sun; my second rule was that I had to turn back when the sun touched my car. So West I would go on Route 44, through the thick mist over the Hudson River, past the sleeping shops of New Paltz, their blinds drawn tight against the creeping dawn, and up into the Shawangunks. When Route 55 split off, I split with it. As I wound higher and higher, past snowmelt waterfalls and indifferent deer, the pumpkin-orange rays of the rising sun would catch the rocks above and below me, but as long as they did not touch the car, I kept driving. When at last the sun cleared the horizon and soaked me through, I turned around, and drove back through the same mountains, woods and towns, so different in their waking.

West has always been the direction of possibility to me. It’s the most American part of my psyche, the ingrained dream of the frontier. West is the way to things that could be. Living in Los Angeles, the westernmost part of my country, has elicited in me a battle of the imagination. I fight to keep this town new and strange, and myself a stranger in it. It’s not comfortable to live somewhere as a stranger, but I fear the alternative; when the possible becomes pedestrian, dreams sicken and die.

Oddly, as autumn begins and this town grows gray and cool in the halfhearted, resentful way it does, I become acutely homesick for the East. I miss the turning leaves, the bite of cold air, and the smells of woodsmoke and apple cider. I miss the rain, thunder and lightning, the lacework of frost on the window, the shining tips of the morning grass. I miss all of that, but even more I miss the idea I had of the West. I miss the mystery of it, and the way I could drive until dawn and never get there.

What do you miss?

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