Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Cold front's here!!!

Wheee! Low temp tonight is supposed to be 50 degrees, with a high tomorrow in the low 70s. Too bad I have to go to work--I'd rather be at home with the windows open!

I think Fall's finally here--yay!

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Actual Knitting Contentâ„¢


Yes, I have actually completed one sock! WOW! I finished this last Sunday night while watching the Emmys--actually, it was skimming through the broadcast, waiting for a few select categories to be announced. However, my week was so busy that I haven't had a chance to cast on the second one--maybe today.

There's one weird thing with this, though--look at the length of the gusset:

It ends up halfway down the foot! I know I was bragging about how pretty it was, but I wondered why the foot looked so small--it's because the gusset's so long. Oh well, it fits just fine, so I don't care. I just hope I can duplicate it a second time.

I am finally past my Really, Really Big Event at work. This last week was an absolute killer, so I'm glad things are slowing down a bit. That doesn't mean we aren't busy, but I don't have to tie myself up in knots every day wondering if everything will be finished in time.

So this weekend has been mostly stress relief. I haven't really done anything constructive, except I did make some soup yesterday. Nanette recently wrote about making a yummy Corn, Tomato, and Basil Soup, and I had to try it. The only fresh ingredients I had were the onion and the basil, but it still was really good. I ate it with some leftover french bread from Zio's--even better!

At some point I need to start getting the "garden" ready for Fall, but right now we're still having 90+ degree days, and besides, I just don't have the energy. I'm hoping maybe next weekend after this cold front comes through that I might be able to get something done out there. It's looking kinda ratty right now.

Basically, today will be getting whatever needs to be done completed by 7 pm so I can watch the season premiere of The West Wing, so no phone calls between 7 and 8 tonight, okay?

Sunday, September 18, 2005

I seriously have nothing to say.

Too much stress has literately left with me nothing to say. Between being totally slammed at work, the news about the Gulf area and the total ineptitude of our administration, and just life in general, I'm just whuped. After next week, work will calm down a little bit, but we have so much going on right now that it's a constant struggle just to drag my sorry ass into the office every day.

Knitting slowly progresses on both the shawl and the socks. I'd post pictures, but neither one's very exciting. I now realize that the yarn I'm using for the shawl is pooling in places and doing other strange things, but I don't care--I have worked my ass off on this thing and I'm not about to rip it out and start over. It will just have to be the way it is--kinda like me.

My only saving grace right now is coming home to my Maggie girl. Every day I look at her and realize how lucky I am to have her. We were both strays, throwaways in life, and the day I brought her home I became truly blessed. I think of all the people on the Gulf coast who had to leave their pets behind, and it makes me literally sick to my stomach. The lucky ones will find their owners again, but there are many, many who won't, and it breaks my heart.

Ever since the hurricane, I've had trouble sleeping. Songs go through my head that keep me awake, or I lie there thinking how lucky I am to have a place to live and food and water and a car and a warm doggie sleeping next to me, and it makes me feel so guilty to have those few simple things. I honestly look at things so very differently now than I did three weeks ago.

I don't know if I'll ever be able to get certain things out of my mind, like the photo of an elderly woman lying alone by the side of the highway, unprotected from the 90-plus degree heat, with no food and very little water. She had been lying there for two days and no one had helped her. That photo made me cry harder than I have in years, and I still cry about it, wondering if anyone helped her or if she died. That woman was someone's mother, sister, grandmother, and no one was there to help her. When I saw that picture, I saw my own grandmother, and it made me sick to think that in another time, another place, it could have been her lying there, left alone to die. Or that one day it could be me.

I'm very, very scared for the future of this country. There's so many good people, so many generous hearts, but our leaders have somehow sold our souls to the highest bidder. I only hope that change for the better will come from these horrible times.

So I guess I had something to say after all.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

I found this quote today:

"The world is my country, all mankind is my brethren, and to do good is my religion."
Thomas Paine

I wonder how many people in this country today would think that this was blasphemous heresy?

What does FEMA stand for?

Borrowed from today's Cheers and Jeers at Daily Kos:

From The Hotline's Last Call 9/9/05:

For the uninitiated, the Last Call folks ask for submissions to some question from readers. Here are the things people said FEMA could stand for:

* Finally Emergency Men Arrive
* Federal Experts, My Ass
* For Evacuees, Missing in Action
* Fearing Every Mass Attack
* Funneling Everyone's Money Away
* Few Emergencies Merit Attention
* Federal Emergencies Managed Atrociously
* Flood Event Maims Administration
* Failure Eventually Means Asskicking
* Foreseeable Election Matter Already
* Federal Excuse-Making Agency
* Failed to Evacuate, My Ass
* Failure to Effectively Manage Anything
* F--- Every Minority in America
* F--- Every Man and Animal
* Farewell, Emergency Mike, Adios
* Former Equestrian Managers Association

Who says Americans have no creativity?

Sunday, September 11, 2005

My "Doh!" moment

I'm still struggling with the shawl I've been working on all summer. I was off five days last week and managed to actually finish my vacation farther behind on the shawl than when I had started. I was just about ready to chuck the whole project and get rid of the rest of my laceweight yarn (not that much, mind you, but I'm rather fond of it and would hate to let it go)when I thought about using markers.

Now, I remember when I started this project that Wendy had said that she used markers on her shawls. I also remember her saying that she had to move them a lot because of the way the pattern shifted around, and I remember thinking that this would be a pain in the ass. However, seeing as how I was relatively desperate, I thought I'd try it.

I'd say it was a "Eureka!" moment, but it was really a "DOH!".

It really works! I was able to knit row after row yesterday without any errors. I'm putting the markers on the needles as I knit and then taking them off when I do the purl rows. Voila--no having to move markers around, and I'm actually knitting!!!

I'm embarrased that it took me this long to figure it out.

I'll post a photo at some point--right now I'm having too much fun actually knitting lace!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

It's hard to focus on what's in front of you

after listening to the news for the last week. Every time I think I can't handle any more, I read or see something else about the absolute failure of this administration to assist the people of the Gulf Coast, and it makes me even madder than before.

Mark Fiore is a great political cartoonist. His work this week will stop you dead in your tracks:
Whoopsie Gras

WARNING: Unless you have a heart of stone, you will be bawling by the end.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Knitters are truly the best!

Thanks to Wendy, I've become aware of an effort by Margene and Susan to collect donatons for the Red Cross. Following the past efforts by our beloved Harlot, they are also asking for goodies to be given away. If you'd like to participate, please follow the button link for instructions.

Me, I've decided not to buy any more soda for the rest of the month. When I run out here at home, that's it, and none at work, either. I'll drink a lot of water, and every time I do I'll remember the thousands of my southern neighbors who haven't been that lucky.

Remember, every little bit helps.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

This author nails it.

This was found at Daily Kos, and I think it's excellent:

Olbermann, Limbaugh, Sharpton and the GOP Mindset
by mcolley
Thu Sep 1st, 2005 at 19:31:31 CST

Keith Olbermann just had an extraordinary exchange between himself and Al Sharpton.

The subject was the conditions in New Orleans, looting, and the question of where support is.

Olbermann remarked that he had heard Rush Limbaugh earlier today saying that those that were still in New Orleans deserved what they had gotten, as they had chosen to live there. Olbermann went so far as to call him, "that Limbaugh". Denouncing the inherent inconsiderate nature of such a statement.

But Sharpton made the point that struck me...

The Right, as embodied by Limbaugh, Frist, Bush, Hastert, DeLay. They would move heaven and earth to save the life of one White Woman in Florida to combat the very idea of euthanasia (which technically it was not). A woman that a decade earlier had lost her ability to so much as ask for help, much less have coherent thoughts about the quality of her own life.

And they would sit on their ass and watch as tens of thousands of poor men, women, children, babies, and elderly bake in the New Orleans heat surrounded by water, sewage, gasoline and an abandoned city, now devoid of anyone with the means to have escaped ahead of the storm.

This is the culture of life. The culture of life wants to save brain dead white women and unborn children. The culture of life wants you to watch endless non-news about the disappearance of one white teenager in Aruba. The culture of life wants you to support your nation as it kills tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians in its Quixotic quest against a non-threat. The culture of life wants a zero-tolerance for looters policy to sound authoritative as babies die of dehydration. The culture of life expects you to take care of yourself, and if you can't, then it is your own fault for getting into that situation in the first place. Fuck off. You had your shot. Station in life, where you hang your hat, and whether you have the $40 at the end of the month to pay for the overpriced gasoline to get out of that home in time is all up to you.

Always I have argued with Republican friends--the reasonable ones--that not everyone was dealt the same cards on their original Birth Day. Not everyone has been given the same gifts by God, friends, family, or luck. Always those Republican friends believe that they deserve where they have gotten in life, and that no one, including the government, should be asking for their hard-earned cash to help the less affluent. It is always the fault of the lesser-affluent themselves. Circumstances are irrelevant in all cases and constitute class warfare if the question is raised.


But that's their thing. That's how they see the world. They earned everything they got. Their parents might have given them a nudge, but nothing more. Get a fucking clue.

Bush came away from his mega vacation one day early...Wednesday. Hastert doesn't know why we should rebuild. Condie Rice went to the show on Broadway.

All of these people support the Culture of Life. But none seem to support American Culture. New Orleans, as much as any city, represents distinctly American Culture. A melting-pot of language, music and revelry unlike any other. But it is desperately poor. Over 50% of the children in the state live below the poverty level. But no matter. Mostly black folk down there. They shouldn't have lived there in the first place. They should have gotten out while they had the chance. It's their own fault.

Michael Chertoff was interviewed on NPR this afternoon. He was asked if he had heard of thousands of people at the Convention Center in New Orleans, without water or food or sanitation. Elderly dying. Little girls being raped. Mr. Chertoff was eloquent in his cluelessness. Completely unaware of what had been on the television all day long on both MSNBC and CNN. Unaware that he, at the top of the agency charged with bringing relief to the affected areas, had not been informed of something every American with a remote already knew. That the situation there was desperate. That people needed help. And that noone seemed to be providing it. The man in charge was not in charge at all, folks. It took the Bush Administration 4 years since 9/11...4 years of chasing ghosts and old demons in Iraq to not do a fucking thing about stateside preparedness. To gut the national guard's responsiveness by sending so many of them overseas. To cut funding for the levee system that allowed Lake Ponchartrain to roll into the city. To put someone in charge of Homeland Security and FEMA that is eloquent, but so impossibly incompetent that he is incapable of establishing a staff capable of letting him know the worst of a situation so large.

Mr. Chertoff said, that he had not heard of such things. That you couldn't believe every rumor from the streets of the area. That he wasn't in a position to argue about what the NPR Reporters had witnessed.

Get the people to our staging areas, he stated, and they can get water there.

Thanks, asshole.

I almost cried last night. A little girl was with her grandfather, their late model sedan stalled in hip deep water. She was standing on what I think was the highway divider next to the car. Soaked. Crying. Her grandfather, dismayed and dazed behind her. Both of them looked at the car, but it was the begging of the young girl that got me. She couldn't have been more than 2 years older than my daughter. And there she was, in the middle of a lake that wasn't there the day before, in the middle of a city that had been destroyed, begging and pleading for the people filming her, and those they were with, to help them. They just needed a push. To higher ground.

And there she stayed, as the vehicle the camera rode in pulled away.