Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Eat Cake

With the country, nay the world in crisis, isn't it a comfort to know that the leader of the Free World has ended his 5 week vacation after only 4 1/2 weeks? I'm sure the residents of Louisiana and Mississippi are feeling better knowing their President cares enough about their plight to cancel a holiday weekend's worth of barbeques and return to work.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Gin and Granola

With several weeks left to go before our new kitchen is ready to move into, we have moved back into our destructed house and set up temporary facilities in the dining room and basement. Look closely at the juxtaposition of the gin bottle and the granola container and you'll have a sense of where our heads are at right now. Then again, why should our corner of the world be any less roiled up than the rest of the universe? Hurricanes, wars, insurgencies, protests - more than half of the world's inhabitants would be happy to step into our shoes. We have food and water and access to medical care should we need it. We also have sons who are not in Iraq - much like every member of Congress. For an excellent analysis of how morally bankrupt our political leadership is, you'll want to read this opinion piece by Frank Rich. And if you'd like to leave a comment - something that is already difficult to do with this blogging program - I've made it a bit harder. That's because I was hit with spammers over the weekend. Sorry. Just know that your comments will be doubly appreciated.

Thursday, August 25, 2005


Duck and cover. Remember that drill from the early 60's? Well, maybe not first-hand (since most of you are probably not as ancient as this humble scribe) but our Prez seems to have taken that early lesson to heart. With little bombs exploding all over Washington - Downing Street Memo, mounting war dead in Iraq and Afghanistan, Iraq Constitution fumbles, visible fissures in the Republican Party's wall of unity, a rising sentiment of disapproval of his handling of the Iraq war among a majority of Americans - our leader flees to Crawford, Texas for a five week 'working vacation.' Duck. When he does emerge for brief appearances, he does so only surrounded by staged, friendly audiences and makes statements like, "An immediate withdrawal of our troops in Iraq . . . would only embolden the terrorists and create a staging ground to launch more attacks against America and free nations." Cover. Duck and cover couldn't save anyone from the radiation effects of a nuclear bomb as we naively thought in the 1960's. Duck and cover isn't going to save "W" now. The truth is this. The U.S. invasion of Iraq, and our lack of preparedness for handling the aftermath of toppling the Hussein dictatorship has CREATED a terrorist recruitment campaign and staging ground where none existed before. We are not safer and, unlike our Prez, more and more Americans appear willing to emerge from their cover of ignorance to begin asking pertinent questions about our country's war efforts in Iraq and the Middle East. Could it be that 'duck and cover' for "W" turns into 'duck, duck, goose!?'

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Run, Kinky, Run

Speaking of ornery tornados and updrafts . . . just stumbled across this article in the August 22nd New Yorker. Kinky Friedman, mystery writer and singer/songwriter of classics like "They Ain't Makin' Jews Like Jesus Anymore," is running for governor of Texas. With a campaign slogan of "KINKY 2006: WHY THE HELL NOT?" and an education policy titled No Teacher Left Behind, what's not to support? Give it up for the Kinkster, why don'tcha.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Close Call

Today's blog quiz question: When is green NOT my favorite color? Answer: When it's the color of the sky. I'm a midwestern gal, in love with cornfields and oak groves and red barns and holstein cows blossoming in black and white across open fields. I know midwestern skies and weather patterns. Hell, I can read the ice crystals that form around the moon some nights and tell you what the weather will be like the next day. I can also tell you all about barometric pressure and how, if you listen to birds and frogs and insects, you can determine whether or not a dangerous storm is about to hit. I've seen twisters and water spouts and lightning strikes at close range. Too close. Many times. I have never seen the sky the way I saw it last night. Surreal, unnatural colors, shapes and forms with cloud tops at over 50,000 feet. A super cell tornado erupted in southeastern Wisconsin yesterday evening and, for a long time, the storm appeared to be headed our way. It veered south instead and soon dissipated over Lake Michigan. We were fortunate. Others were not. Even before news reports of the extent of the devastation reached the airwaves, many people in our city were reporting that debris and vegetation were falling out of the clouds. Letters, bank statements, greeting cards, roof shingles, plywood, tar paper - some with identifying marks from towns more than 70 miles west of us. So far, only one death has been linked to the storm. In the end, that may be the most astonishing report from last night.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

The Word: Part the Second

Holy moly, the Big Guy is running a freakin' campaign. According to the website, the billboard company is donating the space. Yeah, right. Like they'd have the nerve to send God an invoice. Turn up the volume to fully appreciate the heavenly musical accompaniment. A special thank you to Chase for sending in this link. Thought you'd remain anonymous? Baby, your pawprints were all over that email.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The Word of God

God speaks to mortal humans in many ways. First, there is the Bible - the overwrought novel God decided to write one evening with a Smirnoff Ice (after he created Smirnoff Ice). Then He decided to try His hand as an avant garde artist, drawing pictures of His family members on windows, buildings, toast and eggs - little messages to remind us of His God-ness and His miraculous powers. Not content with books and spooky images, God has ratcheted-up His marketing and P.R. to include billboards. Yes, it's true. You can see it for yourself if you're traveling north on highway 57 outside Plymouth, Wisconsin. In atypical minimalist style, the following message is writ in large white letters on a simple black background: 'One nation under me. --God' Naturally, our Norwegian passengers thought it must be a joke. We assured them, however, that it WAS NOT FUNNY.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

This 70's Show

I know what the calendar says - (I'm not so old that I'm losing touch with reality) - but, crap, have we entered a time warp? An increasingly unpopular war overseas with all the markings of an inescapable quagmire, rising energy prices, a megalomaniac political machine running the White House (c'mon, W's not smart enough to run a vacuum cleaner without supervision) - even the fashion world has spun backwards to the 70's. The Stitches 'Trends' show on Sunday gave me an ice-cream brain freeze. orange? kelly green? animal fur exploding everywhere? (think Cher) And, don't even get me started on ponchos. Listen, folks. I LIVED through that era and the only thing that made it fun was access to The Pill and cheap dope. Spin the clock forward to 2005 and you don't even get THAT, thanks to "W" and his Christian Right supporters who get their undergarments in a bundle over anything that smacks of physical intimacy between consenting adults, while dressing their little girls like shake-your-booty harlots and stuffing their Christmas stockings and gift boxes with Barbie dolls and training bras. WTF? Want to remind yourself of what the 70's era was really like? My first husband used to dress like this - and I made him pose like this, too. Any wonder I needed The Pill? Cue the Pink Floyd while I excuse myself to retch.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Stitches: Day Two

Oh, yeah. That's the look all right. Jaw-dropping. Eye-popping. It takes about three visits to the Stitches Marketplace before one can even begin to focus on making realistic purchases. Some of us never get to that point. Proof: I bought a hefty chunk of superfine, lace weight silk and camel yarn for, what? I hate making lace. I blame the foreign influence of my grafting instructor Galina Khmeleva. Her afternoon class on Russian grafting was so inspirational that I swear, I had a technique orgasm. I also dropped a few pence here on some yummy hand dyed skeins in brilliant red. A cardigan, perhaps? Well, that may have to wait until I receive my special order shipment from Great Yarns - fourteen balls of Shrek-y green for a great swingy, slightly asymetrical jacket with lots of texture and fantastic drapiness. Today is the final day of Stitches Midwest and I'll be hanging until the bitter end. This afternoon's class? The Norwegian Purl. Does it get any better?

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Windy City Report

Dateline: Chicago What? Where have I been? Well, darlings, it's been a tough summer what with all the construction commotion, the heat, the disruption of living in two houses, running a tool belt competition, and, well, you get the picture. My reward is Stitches Midwest - a fiber arts wet dream. Last night was the fashion show and, I have to say, there are some nice design developments on the way. Finally! It's been a long dry spell in the knit wear design field, filled with crappy, ill-fitting and just plain weird garments. Nothing will make me turn and run faster than a "novelty yarn" label on anything. Blechh. Yesterday, I learned to knit and purl backwards. Today, I'll try my hand at Russian grafting. But right now? Well, the Marketplace is about to open so this fiberholic babe actually ate breakfast this morning for the extra, and absolutely necessary energy surge to make it through at least half the vendors.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Red Looks Good From Here

Reasons to relocate to Canada 1. Better National Anthem 2. Road signs in French are funny 3. English translations of French road signs are funnier ("Squeeze Right") 4. More donut shops per capita 5. Canadian drivers are polite 6. Canadian U.N. Ambassador Allan Rock hung out with John Lennon at peace rallies Our new ambassador to the U.N. is such a rogue nation onto himself that he couldn't win approval from his own political party and needed a sneaky political maneuver on the part of "W" to gain the appointment. Desperate times + desperate men = more desperate times ahead. But, hey! Is that a toolbelt on my Mountie?