Friday, January 23, 2009

Post-Partisan? That's not it!

I keep encountering or hearing about people encountering those who are cynical. Those who still have no hope, no faith, no optimism. I've been one of you. I've been ranting and raving, sure that the election would never take place, sure that the cheating would overwhelm the numbers, sure that it would never, ever end.

But on Tuesday I took off my tinfoil hat and cried.

And I gave up my cynicism.

Now, mind you, I'm going to hold their feet to the fire when I think it's necessary. And I'm determined to stay active, stay informed, stay vocal.

But I'm no longer going to be afraid. I'm not going to fear that the NSA is tapping my phone and computer (they were). I'm not going to fear that my children won't be able to get a decent education (this will change in time for them). I'm not even going to fear that I won't be able to take them to the orthodontist.

Most of all, I'm not going to be afraid to not be cynical. I'm not afraid to look stupid in my optimism. I don't think it looks stupid.

I think a lot of people out there are afraid that if they aren't cynical, they look like idiots. Well, you're wrong. Cynicism is a defense mechanism for powerlessness. We're not powerless any more, can't you see that? We are the ones we've been waiting for.

And if we stay involved, stay active, stay vocal, let the Administration know what's important to us and why and how we think they should solve problems, we are powerful. We are the change, not Obama. President Obama gives us, is giving us right this minute--go over to the website and see it--the chance to be the change. Sure, it takes people in power to ask us to participate. If they don't let us, we can't do much. But the President is asking us, is encouraging us, to take the reins of power in our own hands and make America what we want her to be.

Let's roll.


Monday, January 19, 2009

The Day Before (x-posted at

Tomorrow will be crazy again, so I thought I would put something down today. I'll be making videos for Video Your Vote and posting them here later today and tomorrow.

It hardly seems possible to believe that it is over. And of course the Bush administration still has today, shudder. But tomorrow it really will be. Over.

In the eight years since Bush was "elected," my first child grew from a toddler to a fully self-aware 10 year old. My second child has never known any other President.

Our country was hit by the worst attack on our soil since Pearl Harbor, even though we were warned and warned and warned.

We have watched our leaders rape and pillage the Treasury, spy on us regardless of Constitutional protections, torture. We have seen people who speak of "Christian values" admit to acts which would have even Jesus throwing stones.

I believe in the not so distant future, we will discover a plethora of even worse acts by these persons of no conscience, no shame.

Well, I have felt shame. I have felt shame for my country, my government, myself. We are not those people. And, yes, I thank God that those people are leaving.

What have we left? Hope. A President my children can look up to for the first time in their lives. An administration that will not necessarily succeed in everything they need to accomplish, but will absolutely work as hard as they can and use all of their intellect and empathy to improve all of our lives, not just the lives of the rich and powerful. A President with children the same ages as mine who will be asked by his daughters, what did you to to help? What are you doing about that disaster? Why is that person homeless? How can my friend go to college?

There is no bubble with kids in the house.

Tomorrow, I will be watching. And crying. And thankful. And hopeful. And then the real work begins.

If you can serve today, our National Day of Service, please do. Do it along with the Obamas, along with the Stackhouses, along with the Batsons and the Smiths and the Joneses. Let it be a down payment on the work we will have to all do to get America back to where she belongs.

"We must be the change we want to see in the world." Be the Change. Change.


Friday, January 9, 2009

11 Days to Go!

I've been asked to report for Video Your Vote again on Inauguration Day so I will do my best, although it will be 9:00 in the morning here AND the first real day of work at the new job. On the bright side, my new boss (and old boss while I'm wearing another hat) just sent me a thank you note that ended, "P.S. January 20th almost here!" So I don't think he'll mind if I'm watching it on the computer while I work. My office-mate is a very close friend and I think all will be well.

I plan to interview the children again on the way to school. That might be the best I can do until after noon.

I also plan to have the streaming video of the Neighborhood Ball on at home in the afternoon. It will be a great day!!

In fiber news, I have been spinning the gray singles and have started the second bobbin. This was the first one at about the 1 ounce point: first ounce of singles I absolutely adore this fiber, so soft, slightly sheepy smelling. And I also enjoy spinning from the fold so it's fun so far. I have another half hour if I get off the computer before the kids come home from school.

Sunday is my daughter's 10th birthday party, amazing! I've been a mother for almost 10 years. It seems both like forever and like a moment. I have less time left with her before college than I've had already. I wish I were better at this, but I try and I think they know it. They are very loving, affectionate, bright and entertaining children, and charming one at a time. They are neither shy nor easily intimidated. I have absolutely no idea what they will want to do when they grow up. They are a great frustration at times and a great joy all the time. They certainly show up my weaknesses and childishness. But at the same time, they help me keep cynicism at bay. I am incredibly grateful to have them, these two, and none other. They are mine, mine, mine and a miraculous gift.

Happy Birthday, Pie!


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Progress Report

New job (temporary) is now official, yay!

I start training tomorrow, also yay!

As soon as jet lag wore off (mostly) I started the Handspun Sweater Project™ (hereafter HSP) and interesting things were discovered.

I had already spun a sample in June or so when I ordered 8 ounces of the fiber for that purpose and entered some 2-ply yarn from it in the Fair (red ribbon).

Here's the 2-ply: Oatmeal BFL 2ply

And the 3-ply sample: worsted at 28 Nice yarn, but I want a little more twist. Worsted spun, singles 28 wpi.

So I started this time with worsted spinning at 32 wpi, to see if it was too thin at that size or if I could use it and get more yardage out of my 2 pounds of fiber.

Sample skein: worsted at 32 Nice yarn, definitely. Would be lovely at 5 spi. But at 4, it's just too thin and floppy.

Here's the swatch on 8's: worsted at 32 swatch You can't really see from this how flat the cable is and how airy the fabric. This just would not work at 4 spi, which is the gauge I got with it on these needles.

Next I spun from the fold at 28 spi for the singles and ended up with this yarn: fold at 28 The yarn is fuzzier, as expected, but a really easy spin, very soft and lofty and Aran weight, yipee!

The swatch: fold at 28 swatch The cable stands up very nicely and the gauges is still a bit off, so I will swatch again with the real yarn on 7's to see if it's perfect. But I think this yarn is the winner. And I enjoy spinning from the fold a lot, that will help my process with all this gray.


Down to the spinning today, I think.

My plan is to do 6 ounces of finished yarn a week until I'm done. I don't know if that is really possible, but it's 2 ounces at a sitting and then a day of plying a week. The spinning should take me 5-6 weeks at that rate and gets me knitting by March 1. The nice part is the sweater should knit up pretty quickly at 4 spi and I might be able to wear it before it gets too hot here. That would make me SO happy!

Wish me luck at the new job. I'm doing perfectly easy stuff at a perfectly pleasant place with perfectly lovely people. Bummer, huh? Only wish it would turn into something longer term, but you never know.