Monday, December 31, 2007

As 2007 Draws to a Close...

Every New Year is the direct descendant, isn’t it, of a long line of proven criminals? -- Ogden Nash

Tonight is the last night of 2007, a year which I will be glad to see go. In some ways, it was a good year, and in many other ways, it flat-out sucked. It feels like everything went to hell when I turned 40, some sort of giant cosmic "that'll teach you" to someone who was feeling pretty good until then. I'm not sure if 2008 will start out easily, but I hope overall it will be better than 2007. It's an election year, so at least it will be interesting, and could provide some hope. One thing I like to remember is how much I love and appreciate my husband and kids. I did not grow up in a warm and fun family. I grew up in a household of anger and silences, grudges and punishments. I try very hard not to let my household turn into that. I'm not always successful, but I do always try. I think I did well with my choice of husband. He grew up in a family that was, if not perfect, at least a place where he was always confident that he was loved and valued. He never questions that basic fact, the way I always have. It leads to a supreme self-confidence, although he'd be the first to admit that there are a lot ways in which he doesn't always feel self-confident. But he's always given me that feeling of unconditional love, no matter how difficult, bitchy, or obnoxious I'm being. I'm not the most easy person to live with, but he puts up with me. My children are great too, even if I complain about their fighting or how they give me headaches :) I hope that I can help them grow up into the wonderful people I know they can be.

On the global front, obviously one of the most important parts of the year will be the elections here in the US. The last 7 years have so damaged us, nationally and internationally, that how we choose our next president is critical. In the last 7 years, gas prices have risen 200%; the trend toward decreasing homelessness was reversed; the trend toward increased healthcare coverage was reversed; real wages have fallen; we lost many years that we could have been taking concrete steps toward addressing climate change; the country's fighting a useless and tragic war that has bankrupted us morally (torture? preemptive war for trumped up reasons?) and financially; and not least, we've lost so much credibility around the world. Whatever your political beliefs, I hope that when you go into the ballot booth, you make a clear-headed, well-thought out choice. I'm anxious to see how this all plays out over the next year.

OK. Enough navel gazing.

Has everyone seen the latest cover of Vogue Knitting? The '80s are back, baby!

As for knitting, I finished one of the dove socks:

Cat included for scale.

I also decided, for the moment, to go back to the Flower Basket scarf. I do want to knit the Swallowtail shawl, but I want to knit it using some lace yarn from Blue Moon's Raven series. I have the Corbie colorway, but there's what seems to me to be a dye flaw in it, which probably wouldn't be a problem for something like a smoke ring, but would be for a shawl. You can see it in this picture -- it's just a sort of a line where there's some extra lightness that doesn't look as if it belongs:

That's not a shaft of light, that's the spot I'm concerned about. I've also got some of this yarn on order in the Rook-y colorway. Even though I ordered the yarn on December 19, it hasn't been shipped yet. There's nothing on the Blue Moon site about being shut down for the holidays, and I haven't gotten any emails telling me the yarn is out of stock, so I don't know what the problem is. I know they are a small operation, though, so I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, given that it's the holidays and they probably want to spend some time with their families :) It does throw off my ability to start the Swallowtail, however. So, to occupy my time, I can whip out the Flower Basket scarf.

This is not the same one I pictured before, although it's the same yarn. The last time I started this scarf, I used a US size 5 needle, but for this one I went down to a US4. I like the way it's knitting up using the 4. It's hard to see the color very well in this picture, but it's a great blue -- slightly teal, but not too green. It's Alpaca with a Twist alpaca and silk yarn. I used this same yarn in a deep burgundy color to make this same scarf for a friend earlier this year, so I know it blocks out beautifully. I figure my Rook-y yarn should arrive just as I'm finishing this up.

I hope everyone has a great New Year's Eve! I also hope that 2008 turns into a year we can be proud of, individually and collectively. One of my wishes for the new year is that more people comment, so we can get a good conversation going :)

Friday, December 28, 2007

A Multi-Part Post

It's been a while since I had much that was substantive to say, either about knitting, life (small) or life (large), so I'll try to make up for it now, in separate parts.

Plain Old Life

The holidays have been nice, if not exactly restful for me, but then again, school vacations are not at all vacations for moms :) The boys, big and small, are enjoying their booty, but the young'uns are getting to the "I'm boooorrreeed" portion of the proceedings.

The other night we all trucked out to have dinner out with my FIL, his wife, and her daughter, daughter's boyfriend, and wife's sister and her husband. Dinner was at a nice restaurant -- the kind without a kid's menu. This is fine for Sr. Jr., who eats adventurously and well. Jr. Jr., on the other hand, is usually a chicken nugget kind of a guy. Dinner started at 6:30 and ended after nine, which would normally tax even the most patient of children. I have to say that my guys were SO well-behaved! They sat still, used their table manners, and didn't whine about how long dinner was taking. They got lots of compliments all around and made me very proud.

My FIL was diagnosed in the Spring with lung cancer, and he's supposed to start chemo and radiation next week. Originally, he wasn't going to do chemo and radiation, because the doctors felt that the kind of cancer he had was slow-growing and not responsive to that kind of treatment. However, six months after removing the nodule that they found, they discovered a new one, in his lymph node. So they decided chemo and radiation were warranted. For Christmas, we got him the iPod touch, so he can download music, videos, or books to keep him occupied during treatments.

It was our first time meeting the daughter's new boyfriend and I really liked him a lot. I think she'll end up marrying him :)

Knitting, or the Lack Thereof

Obviously, the holidays are a busy time. The kids are home, there are gatherings to attend and errands to run. Gift cards must be redeemed, games played, and the house still must be cleaned, and meals prepared. Alas, this leaves little time for serious knitting. At these times, socks are about as much as I can swing. As I noted in my last post, I started the Dove socks from New Pathways. I've turned the heel and started up the leg.

I'm contemplating what to knit once things settle down and the kids go back to school. I'm hesitant to start something right away, just in case my life gets thrown in a tizzy after my mammogram on the fourth. Otherwise, I keep coming back to the Swallowtail shawl. I look at the pattern in IK and decide not to do it. Then I see all these beautiful shawls on Ravelry, and it turns out every time I click on one I like, it's a Swallowtail. I think the universe is trying to tell me to knit that. I also LOVE the sweater Anne Hanson of Knitspot knit for her husband. I think it would look spectacular on mine :) He, however, is kind of blase about the idea of me knitting him a sweater, so I may not waste the yarn. I also like her Simurgh stole and have purchased the pattern for future knitting as well.

Mike Huckabee Scares the Crap Out of Me

As readers of this blog and my posts on Ravelry know, I'm extremely opposed to the idea that religion belongs in the government in any way. I believe that the First Amendment and the Founding Fathers intended this to be a country in which religion of any kind could be freely exercised, without the interference of or the endorsement of the government. Some argue that the Founding Fathers were Christian, and that the country was founded on Christian principles, and therefore this is a "Christian Country," and the government should reflect that. Without going into a PhD dissertation, I can simply say that those notions are patently false. Just because the Founders were Christian in name does not mean that they supported the idea that Christianity would hold sway in this country. They were fiercely independent in their thinking, in a way that might be called humanist today. In contemporaneous writings, Jefferson asserted that the country was not founded on religious principles and that people should be free to believe -- or NOT believe -- as they saw fit. An early treaty (the Treaty of Tripoli, 1797) even announced that "As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen…"

Now comes Mike Huckabee, former minister, disbeliever in Evolution, believer in the literal truth of the bible, believer in the idea that gay marriage will cause the collapse of civilization, to run for President. Huckabee has stated: "I didn't get into politics because I thought government had a better answer. I got into politics because I knew government didn't have the real answers, that the real answers lie in accepting Jesus Christ into our lives." And why would anyone expect him to respect the separation of church and state in this country? If all he wanted to do were to preach, he would have stayed a minister. His glib and evasive answers ("Jesus would be too smart to run for President") hide a real and serious risk. My husband says that I shouldn't worry about him, because he's way too far out there to make it very far in the primaries or to be the Republican nominee. But I've heard him say things like that before ("How bad can Bush [GWB] be? Presidents don't have that much power"). Me, I don't know. I think there are a lot of evangelicals out there looking for someone to lead them to the Promised Land -- a Christian Country. I don't think that die-hard Republicans who are NOT religious are going to vote for Clinton, though some would probably cross party lines for Obama. Unfortunately, it's the evangelical tail that's wagging the Republican dog these days, and frankly, that scares the shit out of me.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Happy Holiday to All

It's Christmas morning, and all is quiet. Presents were opened, breakfast was eaten, and now Sr. Jr. and his dad have gone out for a mountain bike ride, so I'm home with not much to do.
The kids were happy with their presents, and I think hubster was, too, although his big present is a mountain bike that he has to pick out for himself. The guys race cyclocross, which started in or is associated with Belgium, and waffles are a big part of the fun around the sport, so I got a waffle maker for the family. We all had yummy waffles for breakfast this morning.

Then Jr. Jr. and I played Othello (another gift), and I dusted and vacuumed. Fun. The other day I started making the Dove socks from New Pathways for Sock Knitters out of some Socks that Rock that I have in the Corvid colorway, but I haven't picked them up today. Pictures will come when there's more to show.

We saw The Golden Compass the other day. I really liked it a lot. The books, of course, were wonderful. I thought that the movie did a great job of making that world come true. The girl who plays Lyra is spectacular. One of my favorite snarky movie review sites, Pajiba, harshed on her, but I disagree. I thought she was not only beautiful, but very talented as well. It's been a while since I read the books, but Sr. Jr. tells me that they did depart from the books a little bit. My guess is that they did that in order to make the trilogy easier to follow, but who knows.

Off to start working on the turkey dinner, but I hope everyone has a very healthy and happy holiday.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Can the Holiday Rush Please Stop Now?

It's Friday, the kids are officially out of school for Winter Break, and the only other party we have to go to isn't until New Year's Eve. Phew. (Well, there's the day-after Christmas dinner with the in-laws, but that doesn't really count.) After school parties, work parties, playgroup parties, birthday parties, open houses, and just plain getting ready for the holidays, I'm beat. Plus I'm fighting something that's wearing me down.

I'm looking forward to some low-key time. I'd like to do some baking with the kids, maybe catch a movie, go out to dinner, and just relax. Hey, maybe I'll get to knit for the first time in ages! What a novel concept.

I'm sorry that I don't have much more to say, but it's been one of those weeks. The aforementioned parties, a couple of doctor appointments for me and Sr. Jr., and there goes the whole week. I don't even have anything interesting to say about current events.

I'd like to say hi to Kippi, who's commented here before. Since you don't leave an email addy with your comment, I can't get back to you directly, so I try to respond in the comments section. But welcome! It's nice to have you here. If there's anyone else out there who's reading this, please say hi.

Finally, some cute kiddy kraft stuff. This is Jr. Jr.'s "gingerbread" house, made today at school:

And here's the cutie pie himself, digging in:

Monday, December 17, 2007

Tell Me Why (I Don't Like Mondays)

Senior Junior remembered this morning before breakfast that he has a Social Studies project due tomorrow. Luckily, I pressed the issue, otherwise I would not have learned until 4:30 this afternoon that, in order to complete the project, he needs gold paint and modeling clay. So I added that errand to my already loooong list of things to do (laundry, bills, post office, toy store, shoe store, supermarket, more laundry, wrapping presents obtained at toy store, etc.).

I abandoned the flower basket shawl, although I may revisit it soon. I'm just continuing work on the Milkmaid's stockings while I ponder what to do next. This is when I wish people actually read this blog, and could help my indecisive ass figure out what to do next. There are so many ideas swirling about in my head that it seems ridiculous that I can't decide what to do next, but there you have it. Knitting ADD, I suppose.

We saw "Spamalot" this weekend. It was funny, but unsatisfying. It had most of the funny bits from the movie, with some Broadway parody stuff thrown in to round it out and make it more stage-worthy. The problem is that it almost seems as if it's just an attempt to capitalize on everyone's love for the movie. In that way, it reminds me of the Brady Bunch stage show that went around years ago while the hubster and I were still in law school. (The show was just a tongue-in-cheek reenactment of the "Oh, my nose!" BB episode.) But they did manage to work in "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life," (one of my favorite songs) from "Life of Brian."

To wipe away some of the whininess of this post, here's a cat picture. This one's Fiona, because she hasn't been given equal time thus far, but you can see some Gabby butt, too:

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Busy, Yet Filled with Ennui

It is, of course That Time of Year, when gifts must be thought of, purchased, wrapped, and delivered, and parties must be attended. There are school Holiday Concerts and class gingerbread house building parties. There must be Cheer, damnitall, Cheer! (Makes me think of the Grinch: "But what the Grinch hated most of all was the noise, NOISE, NOISE!")

I don't mean to sound like a grouch, because it's wonderful to get together with friends and have an excuse to show appreciation for those I love. And tomorrow we get to see Spamalot, too. But it does mean a lot of running around and not a lot of time for anything else. My house looks quite disgusting right now.

It also doesn't leave me with much time to knit. I've been sluggishly weaving in ends on Autumn Rose, in anticipation of dunking her into some hot soapy water in an attempt to shrink her down a bit. But my fingers itch to work on something new.

This is the wee beginning of a Flower Basket shawl or scarf, in Alpaca Fino laceweight, in a pretty teal blue color. I made a FB scarf for a friend last year and it turned out nicely, but I'm not sure I'm feeling the love this time. I originally thought I'd do the shawl, but now I think I'll stick to the scarf. It'll be a nice accessory and a quick knit. While I'm working on it, I can give some real thought to what I want to knit next. I'm wavering between doing a more complicated shawl using the Socks that Rock laceweight I have in the Corbie colorway, and cannibalizing an old Yarns International Fair Isle kit to design my own fair isle sweater. I've had the itch to design my own fair isle for a while, but there's nowhere quite close enough to see the Jamieson's yarns in person. But I do have this old kit in the stash. At this point, I don't really like the original design that's kitted up, but I can certainly recycle the yarn. On the other hand, if I can't get Autumn Rose to fit, I may be too dejected to go down the fair isle route again right away.

Any opinions out there? Please don't be shy!

I don't have much in the way of political commentary lately, either. The campaigns are in their final swing through Iowa, and we're beginning to see some nasty tricks and low blows. I agree with Anonymous's comment from a few posts ago -- I'm already sick of the spin and the games. I'd love to see some down and dirty political discourse, where the candidates agree that there aren't necessarily any easy fixes to things, but really debate what can be done, what should be done, how, and why. For example, what would constitute "universal health care"? Is passing a law that simply says that everyone has to carry health insurance even remotely useful if health insurance is too expensive for so many? How can we make it more affordable? At what income levels do we subsidize it, and at what levels don't we? This reminds me of some of the uproar over the Democrats' proposed SCHIP reforms. Under the proposals, children in families with incomes up to $82,000 (I think -- I'm not sure of the exact number) would have subsidized health care, but the subsidy would only go up that high in certain locations where that income is considered sub-middle class. Republicans screamed about subsidizing well-off kids, but I can tell you that if you live in the Metro New York area, especially in the city itself, a family income of $82,000 is NOT middle class. Expenses in New York are so high that you really can't compare how far that $82,000 goes to how far it goes in a small town in Nebraska, for example. Unfortunately, that $82,000 figure made a convenient straw man for the Republicans to attack and derail the bill. Political points were scored, yet children remain without adequate health care.

Well, back to weaving in ends...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

In Which I Am Whomped by the Gauge Bitch and a Few of Her Friends

The good news is that I've finished the knitting on Autumn Rose. Here she is after knitting, before I cut the steek:Here's the back view:

After I cut the steek:And, finally, after I picked up the neckline stitches and knit the neck border:

Unfortunately, somewhere along the way my gauge went awry. After knitting three different sleeve beginnings as swatches, I finally settled on a US3 to knit the sweater and get gauge. Somewhere along the line, I must have relaxed quite a bit, because my 39 inch sweater is now a 42 inch sweater. This might not matter in a boxy sweater that was meant to be oversized, but this sweater was meant to be somewhat form-fitting. The shoulders, especially, are meant to fit precisely. I would need some serious padding to fill out the shoulders as they are now.

The question of the day, then, is -- should I risk ruining the sweater by trying to *gently* full it down a little to get a better size, or should I call it a day and try to find someone it will fit? I know the shetland yarn will full, but I'm afraid it will full too much. Any thoughts?

In non-knitting news, I went out today to find a present to give to a friend at a playgroup get together later this week. I found something for her, which wasn't easy, but I also got something for my family as well. I had to wrap the family gift so they wouldn't see it when they got home, of course. This was not as easy as one would think. The first wrapping paper I tried was not quite opaque enough to hide what was inside. The second roll of wrapping paper turned out not to be one continuous sheet of paper, but two different sheets on one roll, neither of which was big enough to wrap this gift. I finally found wrapping paper that would work when, yes, you guessed it, I ran out of Scotch tape. Luckily, I had some clear packing tape on hand to finish the job, but I can't help but wonder what I've done to deserve these frustrations?

Friday, December 7, 2007

Warm Thoughts on a Cold Day

On top of the snow we got the other day, today we have sleet and freezing rain. Yay. Sr. Jr. had a dentist's appointment this morning, so after getting Jr. Jr. on the bus, I had to get him there and then to school, then off to Target for some last minute holiday stuff, to Safeway to pick up prescriptions, and finally home, to warm up.

Despite my fears, there was no fighting on the snowy early-release Wednesday. Both boys played together nicely all afternoon. Because of the whopping 2-3 inches of snow we got on Wednesday, on Thursday, the school's opening was delayed by 2 hours. We all got to sleep in a little. Since the bulk of the accumulating snow hadn't fallen until after dinner, we hadn't shoveled. I told the boys that I'd shower and make breakfast, then we'd all shovel. When I was getting dressed, Sr. Jr. asked me if I wanted an English muffin for breakfast. It turns out that he and Jr. Jr. had shoveled while I was in the shower, and now he was making breakfast for the three of us! Does anything warm a mother's heart more that a scene like that? They're growing up!

Without the yarn to finish up Autumn Rose, I had the chance to finish up the first Milkmaid's Stocking and start the second. I love the way this sock turned out.

My poor picture taking skills don't do the yarn justice. And, for the final piece of happiness for the day --

The last bit of yarn arrived for Autumn Rose so I can finish her up!

I'm still trying to decide what to knit next. The beauty of Ravelry is that it allows people to post pictures of their ongoing and finished projects. Many times, a picture of a project in a knitting magazine does not do the real object justice. For example, there's a pattern in the 75th anniversary issue of Vogue Knitting for a pair of cabled gloves. The pattern is knit in a slightly fuzzy, slightly sparkly gold yarn, and the photo doesn't show all the details of the pattern. When I first saw the magazine, I skipped right past the gloves, because they didn't look at all appealing. When I found pictures of the gloves knitted up by other people in more appropriate yarns in more detailed photos, I realized that the gloves were quite nice. I'm torn between knitting them up (or turning them into mittens), and starting the Swallowtail shawl.

Finally, since I've written about this before, I should comment on Mitt Romney's religion speech. I watched part of it, and found myself -- at the beginning -- nodding along and thinking that I liked what he was saying. He said that his religion wouldn't come into play in his decision-making as president; that one of the strengths of our country was religious diversity and religious freedom; that there were parts of all religions that he respected, etc. Then, as far as I'm concerned, he went off the rails. He declared that religion needs liberty and liberty needs religion. Sorry. This country is founded on religious freedom, which, as far as I'm concerned, means freedom NOT to believe as well as to believe. Much of the rest of his speech was devoted to the idea that the "religion of secularism" had gone too far in this country, and that more religion was needed in public life. Nuh-uh. This goes further to prove my point that there is a de facto religious test for president than just about anything else I've heard so far this election cycle. Secular does NOT mean amoral. Just because one doesn't believe in the Judeo-Christian religions does not mean that one cannot see the inherent moral value in the principles encompassed in the ten commandments, or in the idea that all men, women, and children have inherent value to be protected. I'm so sick of people equating non-religious with morally defective.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

A Snowy Afternoon

It's snowing here in the greater DC Metro area, which means that people are freaking out, traffic is asnarl, and schools are closing early. We're only projected to get, at most, 2 inches. Yup, 2 inches. But the stores are already out of milk and toilet paper, because the DC area just can't handle a few flakes of snow. It's early release day for the boys, so I made them some hot chocolate. We can look forward to a nice day of indoor activities, until the fighting begins. Any bets on how long that will be?
I've made some progress on Autumn Rose, and now I must stop. I haven't yet gotten the extra balls of yarn that I need to finish it up, so it's stuck here --

until I get the yarn. Looks like a pile of crap, doesn't it? Blocking will help, of course. Hopefully, the yarn will get here tomorrow. I can work on my neglected Milkmaid's stockings until the yarn arrives, but it's just not as satisfying. This has been a fun sweater to knit. Fair Isle in the round can be very relaxing.

Got good news from the doctor yesterday, so some of my irrational health fears have been dissipated. I feel much more relaxed. Plus, my absolutely wonderful, loving, strikingly handsome, muscular, brilliant, and witty husband gave me this for Hanukah:

It's from around 1900, and it's beeee-yooo-ti-ful. Him? He got sweatpants. (And a new mountain bike.)

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Bad Knitting Karma and Election Cawfee Tawlk

One step forward, one step backward. That pretty accurately describes the progress of late on Autumn Rose. I got the neckline steek started and joined the sleeves to the body. However, I've just kept making stupid mistakes on a couple of recent rows, requiring tinking and reknitting more than once. What's more, I've very nearly run out of the Old Gold and Sunrise colors, and I still have an entire motif using those colors left. I ordered some more from Nestucca Bay yarns, from whom I bought the kit originally, and they were so very nice about sending out another skein of each. I'm at the beginning of the next band of the circular motif, so I can at least work on that until the new yarn arrives. I don't know why I've run out. I even used the scraps from my swatch early on, because I was afraid I would run out of just these colors.

I have no picture of my current progress, because the cat is sitting on it right now.

And yes, I do think about things other than knitting.

Take the US presidential election for example. I'm completely unsure of who I would want to vote for at this point. Not a Republican, that's for sure. Among the Democratic candidates are a lot of worthy options. None are perfect, but several are too close to call for me. I'm not a huge fan of Hillary Clinton. I find her too conservative. I also believe that she might be unelectable. I know she goes to great pains to convince us that she's the only Democratic candidate who is electable, but I disagree. I remember all too well the completely viscious and visceral hatred she inspired in people while her husband was President. There was a certain faction who thought she was the most evil person who walked the earth. Those people have not disappeared. I also believe that she shares some of Shrub's less stellar qualities -- defensiveness and an unwillingness to admit when she's wrong. A lot of people complain that she "voted for the Iraq war" and that she hasn't fully recanted that vote. That's a completely bullshit argument. The vote that people are now calling the vote "for going to war in Iraq" as if Congress was rubberstamping whatever Shrub wanted to do was NOT a vote for immediate armed action in Iraq. It was a preemptive vote to give Shrub the power to go to war should the UN inspections process and attempts at diplomatic solutions fail. At that time, UN inspections were continuing, but inspectors were already saying that there didn't seem to be any weapons of mass destruction. Congress didn't know that Shrub was going to manipulate intelligence and make Colin Powell fall on his sword in an attempt to give credibility to his lies, thus forcing war. Moreover, Congress was seeing the manipulated (fabricated?) intelligence, and had no clear reason to doubt its veracity at that time. We really need to remember what kind of fear and paranoia the nation was working under at that time, mainly because the Administration was peddling it hard. There was a strong current of "if you're not with us, you're aiding and abetting the terrorists." Therefore, I don't think that every member of Congress who voted for that resolution should be tarred and feathered with it now.

Barack Obama, to me, seems a bit green to be running for President right now. He doesn't have a whole lot of experience to draw on that makes me believe he'll be the right man to be President. He does, however, make a strong argument that he can be more of a unifier as President than Hillary can. This is not an insignificant argument as far as I'm concerned. We have been subject to such bitter partisanship for the last 15 years. It has really hurt our ability to have rational discussions about appropriate policy decisions that could help the country. That level of bitter partisanship exists not just on a governmental level, but a societal level as well. Republicans decided that demonizing Democrats and turning the word "liberal" into a virtual curse word was the best way to gain power. I am just as guilty of being vehement and extreme in my hatred of some Republicans. I do think that Obama can be a President that both sides will be willing to work with. He does seem to be able to transcend some of the bitter partisanship in the current climate.

I was originally quite interested in the possibility of a Bill Richardson campaign. Now HE has a lot of relevant experience. He also seems thoughtful, smart, and reasonable. Which probably makes him unelectable :) I was disappointed in his response to a debate question on gay marriage, however. He did try to backpedal it later, but the impression hasn't gone away. I was hoping for more visibility and passion from him. I haven't seen him take charge of any of the debates or any of the issues. In order to be elected, he's going to have to break out and make people pay attention to him.

On a gut level, I don't like John Edwards. Just don't like him.

So there's my dilemma. Unfortunately, it won't be up to me who ends up heading the Democratic ticket.

My biggest fear? The accelerated primary season means that the nominees will get chosen so early that the candidates from both parties will have so much time to tear each other apart in the run-up to the general election that everyone will be so disgusted with them that they won't want to vote for either.

So far I know my husband is reading. If anyone else is, please drop a line and say hi!