Friday, January 16, 2009

Baby, It's Cold Outside

We bottomed out at 10 degrees this morning. Brrr! Yesterday was cold, too, in the 20s all day. I had a lot of running around to do, involving walks and parking meters, so my hands were nice and frozen for most of the day. But today will be worse. It's no fun standing at the bus stop in weather like this. Poor Sr. Jr. has to walk to school in this weather. It's a good thing he has a mom who knits him hats on demand. Oh, wait. Hmmm. He's lost it already.

Lord Love A Duckie

When I was a kid/teenager, my father had this horribly embarrassing tendency to break out into way off-key song at the mention of certain words or names. I had a friend named Lydia, for example. Every time I mentioned her name, he'd break out singing "Lydia, oh Lydia, the tattoo'd lady!" Drove me nuts.

I swore I wouldn't do this to my children. Believe me, I'm well aware that there will be, and probably already are, a million little ways in which I will embarrass my kids. But that won't be one of them.

But Sr. Jr. has a new friend. I haven't met him yet, but I've heard a lot about him. His name is Blaine. And wouldn't you know it, every time I hear his name, some compulsion overtakes me and I'm forced to blurt out "Blaine! That isn't a name! That's a major appliance!" (Hey, at least I'm not singing.)

Yes, this does drive Sr. Jr. nuts. I've explained to him that it's a line from a favorite movie from the olden days of the 1980's, but he doesn't care. I've explained to him that a good number of people from my general age group will have that same reaction, but he scoffs. He thinks I'm the only weird one.

So when Mr. T got home last night, the kids ran down to greet him. As they were all walking upstairs, I said, "Hey, J, tell Daddy about your friend Blaine!"

And echoing in the stairwell from behind the boys, I heard, "Blaine! That's not a name! That's a major appliance!" followed by a loud groan from Sr. Jr.

(Though I must say -- young, thin James Spader? Yum!)

Knitting Content, Allegedly

I still haven't finished up Madli's Shawl. The second border is re-knitted and ready to go. I need a good chunk of time when I will be completely undisturbed in order to do the grafting. I was hoping to have that today. We'll see. There are a couple of errands I need to run, and I don't know how long they'll take.

I've turned the heel on the second Twisted Tweed sock. I'm looking forward to having these finished. I like them a lot, but I'm getting sick of working on them. So...

When it's really cold outside, like it is now, the socks I routinely reach for are the ones I knit using Schaefer's Anne. The mohair makes these socks exceptionally soft and warm, cozy on a day like today. It's been a long time since I knit socks using Anne, so I went to my sizeable Anne stash to pick out a skein. I found a gorgeous one in blacks, reds, and oranges, very dramatic:

As usual, my pathetic camera skills don't do it justice. I can't remember when or where I got this skein. I'm debating now between knitting a plain vanilla stockinette sock, one I can carry with me to Sr. Jr.'s dentist appointment on Monday without fear of complicated patterning, or finding some pattern for it. Thoughts? These will be toe-up. I've divided the yarn so that I can just keep knitting until I run out of yarn.


In between dentist appointments, trips to the supermarket and the post office yesterday, I found time to stop at my favorite local chocolatier, Artisan Confections. I picked up a little box for myself, including their new flavors commemorating the inauguration of President-elect Obama -- a pineapple passionfruit, to honor his Hawaiian heritage, and a Kenyan coffee hazelnut one to celebrate his, yes, Kenyan heritage. One is labeled "Hope," the other, "Change."

Here's a closer look at the "Hope" chocolate:

At Long Last, Buh-Bye!

The Bush Administration is limping to a close. Despite all that's happening around him -- economic crisis, crisis in the Middle East, etc. -- Bush seems to be more concerned with his "legacy" (I'm so sick of that word) than with actual governing. One pundit, I can't remember who, said, "When President-elect Obama keeps insisting that there's only one President at a time, he's vastly overestimating the number of Presidents we have." Bush is spending his time on press conferences and speeches designed to offer one last stream of excuses and rationalizations for the ignorant, idiotic, and downright tragic decisions and omissions of his presidency.

I was outraged watching his last press conference. I couldn't decide if he was drunk or insane. He was "disappointed" at Abu Ghraib? The policies that allowed Abu Ghraib came from the highest levels of his administration. Those soldiers did not act in a vacuum.

He was "disappointed" that they didn't find any weapons of mass destruction? Why? All the intelligence and the inspectors on the ground said there weren't any. And hundreds of thousands have died, a country is destroyed, an entire region in peril -- and he's disappointed? As John Stewart said, "Disappointed is when they leave the lettuce off your sandwich. Disappointed is when you look at your Diet Coke cap and all you've won is another Diet Coke."

He said no one should say the government didn't do enough after Katrina. He didn't know what he could have done differently, save for landing Air Force One in New Orleans or Baton Rouge??? This was a disappointment??

These were not disappointments, these were tragedies. Moreover, these were tragedies brought about by the hubris and ignorance of his administration. His responsibility.

Good bye, and good riddance.


Sharon said...

Wow--I have so much to comment on after today's post, I don't know where to begin. This will have to be a 2 part comment, as I'm trying to work! I fell off my chair laughing at the "Blaine is not a name" sitcom at your house. Yes, nothing exasperates my kids more than one of their parents' esoteric zeitgeist references in connection with something going on currently in their lives. Thank God your husband had the same response. As far as I'm concerned, that's reason enough to stay married to the man for another few decades!!!

On my (newly amended) list today is to stop by Artisan Chocolates for some of those chocolates. With the inauguration around the corner, I can justify the indulgence, all in the spirit of renewed patriotism!

Comments on the socks and the yummy Anne, as well as the Bush rant (thank you for articulating my reaction so perfectly) later.

Best and stay warm,


Scott T. said...

1. I note that my exact quote was "is he a major appliance?" (a little variation on the riff don't you know).
2. I admit I never got that joke. Was "Blaine" a brand of appliances in some part of the country where I didn't live? Or was it just supposed to be nonsensical?
3. Mr. Spader is now bloated -- I am not (nor am I a major appliance; but if I were, what would I be....I'll think about it).
4. Don't forget who turned you on to the Artisan Confections.
5. OMG!!! I just thought about don't think his parents named him Blaine specifically based on Pretty In Pink??

Loren T said...

Yeah, Spader's giving Shatner a run for the money in the bloat department. Still laughing at Scott's OMG!!!

Sharon -- what a treat awaits you! I hope you like the chocolate. And yeah, I've renewed Mr. T's lease for another year or so. But he's still on probation.

kippi said...

Question: is the mohair on the socks itchy? I always equate mohair with itching. Just reading the word makes me want to scratch something. I didn't realize that you could use it for socks. Admittedly there are a lot of things I don't know.

I have little to say about your political rant, except the part about Katrina--plenty of blame to go around in that one--starting with the people not wanting to leave in order to not lose their government checks because they don't have direct deposit. So I don't put entire blame on the Katrina situation on the President, whomever he may be. That was a clusterf**** waiting to happen.

Pretty candy! It looks like a little candy quilt.

I preferred Sixteen Candles to Pretty in Pink. And it isn't okay to sing the names of your children's friends? huh, I must not have received that memo. Or was it a mission statement?

Scott T. said...

I'll sign on with Kippi a bit on the Katrina thing. W's biggest mistake there was (a) not admitting that the federal agencies weren't quite on the ball (ok, claiming they were doing a great job) and (b) "appearing" not to care too much. But on some level, the problem was one that no one was set to handle and he got caught in that position of guy in charge gets all the blame (like a coach, if all the players suck, he can only do so much, but they'll sure fire the head coach).

Now, should we blame him for letting them re-build a city in a bowl below sea level surrounded by water??? Somebody is to blame