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Go away! August 28, 2006

Posted by marymac in knitting.

The fabulous LAURALAURALAURA is a finalist in The Amazing Lace Challenge #6! Go! Vote! Come back later when I can write without using all these exclamation points!


Happy Women’s Equality Day! August 26, 2006

Posted by marymac in Celebrate!, Feeling historical, feminism.

Don’t know what that is? It’s the faux-holiday holiday name given to the anniversary of August 26, 1920 — the day when the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution became law. When we of the female persuasion were granted the right to vote. Less than 100 years ago, my friends.

I try to vote in every election for which I’m eligible because I consider it part of my job as a member of my union, a resident of my town, a citizen of my country. I vote, more importantly, because I think if you haven’t made your opinion heard that way then you don’t have much right to complain about how things are going. And oh, how I love to complain about how things are (or aren’t, as it were) going.

And then there’s this: women’s suffrage was first proposed as a serious issue at the Seneca Falls (New York) Women’s Rights Convention in 1848. The 19th Amendment became law in 1920, 72 years later. All those people fighting for this right for all those years; protesting and giving speeches and getting arrested and imprisoned and force-fed — just because they wanted to be heard. Because they wanted representation that they chose for themselves. And I’m gonna decide that it’s a little too chilly one evening in November to have to stop at my polling place instead of going straight home from work? I don’t think so.

I bought one of these banners from the National Women’s History Project. It hasn’t arrived yet because I was running a bit behind schedule so you can’t see it on my lovely wall, but it’s going up as soon as it arrives. Sometimes a girl needs a reminder of why she bothers to pay attention to the world in the first place. Go check them out — they have very cool stuff for feminists (and the feminist-curious) of all ages.

“We ask justice, we ask equality, we ask that all civil and political rights that belong to the citizens of the United States be guaranteed to us and our daughters forever.” Susan B. Anthony

Early in the morning August 25, 2006

Posted by marymac in I'm so deep, Poetry.

I’ve become a morning Person lately. This morning, I was lying on my bed and experiencing the beauty of the sound of the rain outside surfing the interweb when I heard something. A harbinger of the coming season, if you will. So….

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting–
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

© Mary Oliver

Then when I raised the shade I saw that a wasp had crawled in out of the rain. So I squished it. So much for nature.

Where was I? August 23, 2006

Posted by marymac in Excuses for not posting, Me me me!.

The book review is coming. I’ve been… busy… Um… Reading other books. And Skypeing! I’ve been Skypeing!*

Hey, you want it to read better than this entry, don’t you?

Anyway, to keep you entertained in the meantime, Story Value presents a One-Act Play in One Act.

Scene: Yesterday Morning. Marymac is leaving her apartment to go to work.

Me: (Unlocks door, opens it, it won’t open all the way) ??

Me: (Closes door, examines it, opens it again. It still won’t open all the way.) ?!

Me: (Opens and closes the door quickly several times, trying to dislodge whatever is… lodged. Still won’t open all the way.) #$%^&^%!!!!**

Me: (Closes door, realizes that security chain on door is still latched, undoes chain, opens door all the way) *sigh*

Me: (Emerges into foyer, grateful that neighbors weren’t around to see The Great 8:AM Door Battle.) *sheepish look*


Perhaps I need to go to bed earlier.

*Except I kind of hate Skypeing, because it hates dial-up and there’s all this lag and I turn into Creepy Listener Person on conference calls, anyhow.

**This is pronounced phonetically, obviously. Also, I may have said it more than once.

The Road’s My Middle Name August 20, 2006

Posted by marymac in Me me me!, travel.

I was going to be all deep and display my varied interests which I am so allowed to have, you’re not the boss of me neener neener neener, but I got tired and didn’t write the thing I was going to write that would have accomplished this. Follow-through is hard!

So what I was going to talk about was a book. A good book, actually — you should read it. Assuming I ever get around to telling you about it. Instead, I’m going to tell you about driving.

I love driving. Before I learned to drive, I was mostly terrified of doing it, but back then I was mostly terrified of everything. I took drivers’ ed in high school and barely got through after swearing on my (very, very scary) instructor’s life that I’d do some more practicing with my parents before I took the test. What with one thing and another, though (mostly the fact that my parents hated having to take me out for driving practice with the passionate heat of a thousand burning suns), and the kindness of strange friends (it helped that I lived closest to the mall), I didn’t actually get my license until I was almost 22 years old.

And then I immediately began driving myself everywhere. All the time. Alone. I got flat tires, I left my lights on, I even got into a serious (for the car) accident. I took jobs that had long commutes (a night job in a warehouse) or where I had to drive from one client’s house to the next (I did home health care — get your minds out of the gutter). And it turned out that that one serious for the car (and early in my driving career) accident aside, this driving thing was pretty cool.

But I haven’t taken a “real” road trip in a few years, and it’s making me antsy. About four years ago I accompanied a friend who was moving across the country (we took her car and I flew home), and then a year later I drove halfway across the country with a different friend who was going home for a while before doing some other travelling on her own. Both trips were around this time of year, and now I seem to get that itch to hit the road right around the time when vacations are supposed to be over and school is about to start and my office at Acme University is going to be very busy… erm… counting things. (It is so an important job — how would you know how many things there were without counting them? Shut up.)

So the road and I have had to do some renegotiating in order to keep me from hopping in the car on the spur of the moment and driving to, oh, Texas or something. So far, our deals include Labor Day weekend in Boston, Some Other Weekend in September in New Yawk City with the Knitting Posse, and a possible trip “Upstate” (New York, that is) for some big ‘ol fiber festival thing, assuming I have any spare change at that point for festing fiber. Oh, and I suppose I have to go see The Family in Connecticut at some point in there, but it’s not quite the same thing.

Vroom. Vroom.
(Okay, the title of this post is a total lie. I don’t have a middle name.)

Hey, baby, wanna go for a drive?

Don’t make me turn this thing around. August 18, 2006

Posted by marymac in knitting, Me me me!.

Now that everyone who’s visited so far has finished looking for their names on the blogroll, perhaps we can move on. (This is not a popularity contest, kittens. And for the record, all of the blogs I visit aren’t even on the blogroll. Because I thought maybe I should have some content, too.)

Content, right…. Well, if you have peeked at the blogroll (How many times can I write “blogroll” in one post? How many times will I misspell it in the process?), you may have noticed that there are a whole buncha knitting-related-type blogs there. Yes, I’m a knitter. Yes, I’ve started a blog. But I’m reluctant to call it a “knitting blog” for two reasons: a) I do have other interests, and 2) having a knitting blog implies that one will show off one’s knitting occasionally. As a member of the Wicked Slow Knitters Association, this creates a problem — either I will post so rarely that my guilt-tripped loyal readers have to blow the dust off the blog before they can read it, or all of my progress posts will look and sound very much alike.

A short demonstration:

Doublewide Starsky Swatch Swatch, day one (click for big). (Actually, about day 4, but that was because at first I was only working on it for a couple minutes at a time. Yes, it is very wide. Yes, it has a bump in it — that’s where I changed needle sizes. Yes, I love my Denises.)

Doublewide Doublelong Starsky Swatch Same swatch, next day (click for big). (Yes, it’s blurry, because I am a bad photographer and I didn’t feel like GIMP-ing it just to compare widths — I promise to say ten Hail Mapplethorpes if you’ll forgive me.)

It’s like a stop-motion movie of someone knitting. You could make a flip-book on the knitting of my swatch. Yeah, I think I’ll be talking about other stuff here, too.

(A word on the yarn, because I know there will be questions. It’s KnitPicks Swish Superwash in Bordeaux. It’s very soft and has a nice drape — the gauge is a little smaller than what’s called for in Starsky, but the sweater is supposed to have a lot of ease, so I think I can get around that pretty easily by making a different size. I could be here swatching for a while, though, so I’ll have to keep you posted.)

room with a view Yeah, now I’m just showing off that I (finally) figured out how to do the clickable thumbnails thing. (Hi! Dorky! Me!) That’s the view from the window above my bed. (I didn’t get the big round hay bales in the shot, though. Next time.)

And So It Begins…. August 15, 2006

Posted by marymac in Me me me!.

It seems to me that there are two ways to do this first blog post thing. You can spend some time describing yourself and explaining why the hell you decided to write about your sad little life on the interweb, or you can just jump right in as if the only people reading your blog already know you. To be honest, reading blogs that start the latter way always makes me feel like I’m watching the cool kids giggling in the cafeteria. You know how they are, when they start talking in code with all their in jokes and they’ve gotta be talking about you because, dude, it’s high school – what else would they be doing?

So, me. I like to tell stories, and have been pretty much ever since I learned how to write. When I was about six I begged my parents for a typewriter and they bought me a kid-sized one. I asked for the typewriter because I wanted to be a secretary when I grew up*, and the first thing I used it for was to write a story about my friend the kangaroo who hopped the mean boys next door to a cliff and dumped them over**.

Years later, my friend Melissa and I came up with the phrase “story value” in reference to any activity that could just as easily end up a horrible, humiliating mess as go well. Even the worst experiences, we reasoned, could provide good story value. We’ve been right, for the most part.

More later, after I find out what the cool kids have been saying about me.

*I thought it would be fun. Guess what I do for a living now.

**Fortunately this was the 70’s, so my parents and teacher just thought it was cute instead of sending me to juvie.