Monday, October 30, 2006

Political Leaning

Thanks to Chocolate and Raspberries, I linked on over and took the short political quiz.

I was rated as Libertarian:

LIBERTARIANS support maximum liberty in both personal and
economic matters. They advocate a much smaller government; one
that is limited to protecting individuals from coercion and violence.
Libertarians tend to embrace individual responsibility, oppose
government bureaucracy and taxes, promote private charity, tolerate
diverse lifestyles, support the free market, and defend civil liberties.
Yeah, I guess that's pretty close. Not quite left enough, actually, and, at times, not quite right enough.
Most of the time -- especially during election campaigning, which drives me totally mad, I prefer to think of myself as an anarchist: there's no government like no government.
I used to really enjoy politics, discussion, give-and-take.
Not any more. Any time discussion gets interesting, someone throws out the Patriot Card, and discussion dies a sad and pathetic death.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Seasonality and Tagged

Birthday Season starts in July at my house. I really get slammed with birthday season, and it stretches on FOR MONTHS and months.

July brings 4 birthdays: nephew, brother, sister-in-law, youngest son
August has 3: grandchild, daughter-in-law, and husband (same date)
September has 2: both of my daughters (2 days apart)
October has 1: oldest son
November has 1: father

That makes 11 major events in the space of 5 months, and these are only within the immediate living family. There used to be a lot more on this list, but they have already passed. Yesterday was my oldest son's birthday, so I have only one more to go before the Christmas season starts. The Exchequer really takes a beating this time of year.

I got tagged (for the first time), so here are my Famous Four Lists. Don't expect me to tag back, I am not that sophisticated.

4 Jobs I have had:
1. Car hop at an A&W in the ghetto (and oh, what really interesting clients we got at night!)
2. Semi-official researcher and proof-reader for a theology professor
3. Cook in a cafe
4. Manager of an adventure travel company

4 movies I can watch over and over
1. Some Like It Hot
2. The Best Years of Our Lives
3. Casablanca
4. Lord of the Rings

4 places I have lived (I have only lived in California)
1. Richmond
2. Los Gatos (before it became chi-chi, it was a nice little working-class town)
3. Berkeley
4. Pleasant Hill

4 TV shows I like to watch
1. Dancing with the Stars (I love watching ballroom dancing)
2. TV5 Le Journal (in French)
3. What Not to Wear
4. Food Network cooking challenges

4 places I have vacationed
1. Fort Bragg, CA
2. Bisbee, Arizona
3. Germany
4. Central America

4 things I love to eat
1. Pasta with white clam sauce
2. Fried Okra
3. Middle Eastern anything
4. Cornbread

4 websites I visit every day
1. Yarn Harlot
2. London Times
3. CNN
4. Time Magazine

4 places I'd rather be than here
1. Germany
2. South of France
3. Ireland
4. The Deep South

Friday, October 13, 2006

A Knitting Break

I am (sort of) roaring along with projects.

Here is the finished and blocked Highland Shawl from Cheryl Oberle's Folk Shawls. Lovely pattern, but when it came to the edging, I wimped out before finishing all of the repeats. It is a good thing that I did, or I would have run out of yarn before starting the final edging pattern. Still it is a lovely lacy pattern and quite roomy as is. I used Black Water Abbey yarn from my stash.

Anoth favorite quicky project is the dishcloth. I made the "Worshcloth" using the pattern from Mason Dixon Knitting but edged it in attached i-cord.

I am currently using up stash on the Oregon Vest, as I was crazy enough to buy some Wendy Aran when I was in Ireland a few years ago (it was on super mark-down in Galway) which has been sitting patiently in a bag at the the back of the closet since then.

Also in the works is the Tweedy Topper from the latest Knitters, which finally hit the local bookstore this week. Clever pattern, lots of fun. I love to wear hats, but not that many hat styles look good on me (gumdrop head, round face). I am making it in acrylic camouflage (Red Heart) first to see how it will look. Good for rainy days around here, since I do not own an umbrella. If it flies, then I will do something a little more sophisticated.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Last Okra of Summer

Not too long ago, DH and I went to the farmers market in the next town. There was a booth there selling the most beautiful okra I have seen in a long, long time. DH made gagging noises. I bought 2 pounds.

Okra is a wonderful food and a direct link to my childhood. My mother cooked it all the time -- boiled, in soups, in salads. But the very best was sliced, mixed with egg. corn meal, chopped onion, black pepper, and fried to a lovely golden brown.

It was just wonderful! I ate the whole thing myself, which was a good thing because I could not get anyone else at the table to try it. It brought back summer vacation in Texas, where all the adults sat on the porches drinking whatever they were drinking (and it wasn't iced tea) while we kids played in the streets until midnight. Dinner was some meat or BBQ and at least a thousand sides. For some strange reason, what sticks in my memories are not the june bugs and chiggers, not the humidity and the incredible heat, not the tornados. What I call to mind are the food and the music.

This digression was prompted by Chocolate and Raspberries latest post. It is sad and maddening that we live in this incredible, cosmopolitan area, with people and languages, and accents from all over the world. BUT if you have a Southern accent, you are automatically classed as a mentally incompetent redneck from the lowest slime layer in the pond.

Makes me so mad I want to mount a gun rack on the back my truck.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Comfort Zones

There are certain parts of my house that I retreat to for comfort. The most frequently occupied area is my workspace. In this tiny corner I have my beloved desk (inherited from a great uncle with whom I shared a birthday), laptop, knitting baskets, and crates and baskets for files, books, DVDs and other stuff. It is in a corner of the dining room, right next to the fireplace. I sit here in the wee hours of the morning, when I cannot sleep, watch old movies, and knit or work on my computer.

My other comfort zone is the bookcase that has my knitting and other books. Note the strategically-placed chair and lamp. I do not knit here, I only read.

Here are the knitting shelves. Knitting books are not confined to this space, they can be found scattered all over the house'

This is only one of at least 10 book cases areas in our house. In my humble opinion, you cannot have too many books.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

The Gift That Keeps On Giving


DD1 showed up this weekend. Don't get me wrong, I adore all five of my children. I carried each one of them tenderly under my heart for nine freaking months, gave birth without benefit of any pain management (if I had it all to do over again...), loved them, cuddled them, clothed them, educated them, put up with them and their weird growing-up pains.

Nowadays, I find myself paddling in the deep end of the testosterone pool. I live with three male humans, three male dogs, and the one daughter still at home is either at work or out with her friends.

Boys are much less complicated than girls.

Admittedly, DD1 has had a lot of problems in her 24 years of life. She was so difficult that she was asked to leave the home when she was 17. She is beautiful and brilliant. Musically gifted, intelligent, charming (well, sometimes). Suffers from clinical depression, anxiety attacks (as does DD2), and who knows what else. Carries an almost complete pharmacy in her purse. She also carries an enormous chip on her shoulder, never happy, never satisfied. Most of her conversation centers around her martial arts dojo, her shrink, her classical guitar-playing business, her emotional pain, her money problems, and how her parents have let her down (with a corresponding dissertation on how much her friends and their parents show their love for her).

DD2 has remained in the home, sort-of gets along with her parents and remaining siblings, works full time, has a totally different personality from her sister. Also beautiful and gifted, also mercurial, also charming, also chemically dependent (necessarily so, trust me), loves clothes and make-up, but more independent and, in a lot of ways, more mature than DD1. Responds to her older sister's list of woes with the curled lip of scorn and a few choice words of the kind that I would never have said in front of my parents when I was growning up.

This having been said, I really cringe when I have BOTH of my daughters under my roof at the same time. Like this weekend.

Oh, the tension. And oh, the guilt.

Any more wine in that bottle?