Archive for October, 2008

28
Oct
08

Yes!

They can take “The Class”, “Dirt”, “October Road” and many more, but finally they just might be getting rid of the show I love to hate, Pushing Daisies!!!!  Thank you, Yahoo Fall TV preview.

Yahoo’s Fall TV preview also mentions shows that may have “jumped the shark”, like “Heroes” that I was never into, and a few more reality shows I could do without.

I have been pleasantly surprised with the Fall TV season.  When I read the list of what was coming up I was so depressed, but I have so much TV now I don’t know what to do with myself.  I’m watching:

SUNDAY:

Dexter

Californication

MONDAY:

???

TUESDAY:

The Shield – Oh boy, has this been a good year! I am so sad to see it go.

WEDNESDAY:

Sons of Anarchy – a very good new show about a motorcycle gang in Northern California.

THURSDAY:

The Office – what a great season!  Toby moves to Costa Rica, leaving the HR position open to a new love interest for Michael, Holly,  who seems to be perfect for him.  Ryan is back as “the temp” after screwing up royally in Corporate, and Jim and Pam, although getting engaged in a very cute, romantic way in a gas station between NYC and Scranton, PA, have been separated enough by Pam going to art school that they’re still just as cute.  And Angela is nuts to marry Andy when she’s got Dwight – I’d love to see a new love interest for Dwight, like the female basketball player he hooked up with last season, just to show Angela what she’s missing.

ER – This show is ready to go, but I will enjoy it through this season.  Oh, and Dr. Ross (George Clooney) is no match for Dr. Gates (John Stamos).  I wasn’t a big Dr. Ross fan, but Dr. Gates still doesn’t measure up.  This is an ad campaign they’ve been doing for ER, and I’m not having it.

FRIDAY:

Life – This show is still great.  I haven’t been able to hear the amazing sound as much due to 3 boys screaming all over the house, but I still enjoy it.

I’m also currently addicted to the I.D. channel. I used to watch TLC or A & E more but now I watch “Wicked Attraction” “Deadly Women” and “Deranged” religiously.   And also the documentary shows “True Life” (MTV) and “Secret Life of Women” (Lifetime? Oxygen? WE? Not sure what channel it’s on. I love you, TiVo.)

And of course you know I’m knitting, but I’ve had some camera issues recently, and no time to post pictures but I hope to soon. I’m on the second session of my machine knitting class and I still haven’t finished my pullover from the first session, but I only have sleeves to go.

And, you know I’ve ordered yarn.  Bad economy, be damned.

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21
Oct
08

Read it in Books

Hey Chris and Carrie:

“I read a book! 250 pages!” — Jim Gaffigan

I, a bona fide library school graduate actually read a book this week! Not counting the huge stack of machine knitting and crock-pot cooking books that I also borrowed from the library, I have been searching for books for DL to read (he is a big reader, and the other two haven’t learned to read yet) and picked up a few for myself as well. My favorite authors are Roald Dahl and Daniel Pinkwater, and as Roald Dahl is dead, I’m pretty sure I’ve read all his works already. However, I just discovered a huge selection of Daniel Pinkwater books that I’ve somehow missed out on so I’m catching up!

This week I read:

The Artsy Smartsy Club by Daniel Pinkwater: This is one of his longer books about a group of kids in Hoboken, NJ who discover art and go on to learn more about the classics and how to become better artists. It’s really cute. And Henrietta, the chicken from “The Hoboken Chicken Emergency” plays a large role.

Mush, a Dog From Space by Daniel Pinkwater: This is a cute book about an alien dog that comes to live with a girl whose parents don’t want her to have a dog, but want her to have a babysitter.

Fat Camp Commandos by Daniel Pinkwater: This book is really funny, about three kids who sneak away from fat camp and go around their city trying to show people how fat people can be just like them and you might not want to be harassed about your thinness just like fat people don’t want to be harassed about their fatness.

Ned Feldman, Space Pirate by Daniel Pinkwater: This wasn’t one of his best. This book was about Ned Feldman, who meets a space pirate in his rocket ship under Ned’s kitchen sink. They do go into space, but I wasn’t all that entertained. I guess I’m too old to get this book.

The Muffin Fiend by Daniel Pinkwater: Also, not that good. It includes a French policeman attempting to figure out why France and Austria are entirely out of muffins. The (spoiler alert!) muffin fiend ends up being an alien who uses the muffins for the fuel in his spaceship.

Jolly Roger, a Dog of Hoboken by Daniel Pinkwater: This book is about Jolly Roger, a puppy that is adopted by a sailor, then given to a kid in Hoboken and Jolly Roger’s rise to being the leader of the pack of wharf dogs in Hoboken.

I’m currently reading Daniel Pinkwater’s latest, The Neddiad. I really love his books Lizard Music and Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy from Mars, among others, so I would definitely recommend Daniel Pinkwater’s books for kids, books for adults and commentaries on NPR.

Fear not, I’m still watching TV and knitting, just fitting in some well roundedness back into my character!

14
Oct
08

Wha…?

So I was, ahem, ordering some yarn from Webs, and I came across this notice:

“To prevent errors in the automated system, do not submit more than one online order per day. ”

Oh, only one *online* order. That makes sense. I read it as only “one” order per day. Phew. I can order from Webs to my heart’s content (and my quickly dwindling bank account’s content). I only went on to order some of their cheap cone yarns for my knitting machine!

I’m just about at the end of my machine knitting class, the last day is Thursday, and I need to finish the front of my sweater and two sleeves, and sew them on. A tall order for 4 hours, but we’ll see. And then I also have to return my rented machine, or pay the other $300 to keep it. I really want to keep it, but I’ve been reading some machine knitting books and they all talk about the patterns it can make, and mine doesn’t have a punchcard so I can only do patterns by hand. So I’m not sure whether I want to buy this one or look for another one. I’ve seen used machines for sale for less and some with more features, but then again I pretty much know how to use this one. Such a dilemma.

10
Oct
08

The Politics of Dancing

I do try to keep this blog to knitting mostly and some television and other popular culture (which I guess this fits into, actually) but I have been very upset about the current economic crisis and politics and I found a great post by Chris Weigant on the Huffington Post today and I just had to share. These are what the Democrats have actually done in the recent past that I guess they’re too humble to advertise? I was impressed:

Friday Talking Points
by Chris Weigant

In the midst of an intense presidential campaign, I can get a little partisan and negative here in the Talking Points at times, so I’d like to take a one-week break and instead spotlight a few good things the 110th Congress actually got done. If you’re interested in countering McCain’s lies out on the campaign trail, there is always the Democratic Party’s Count The Lies website (now a wiki!) to glean talking points from (they’re up to 128 as of this writing).

But let’s focus on the positive, for one week. Here are Talking Points to show that Democrats have actually gotten some things done in the past two years. Of course, there is always room for improvement, but we should at least acknowledge the achievements they did manage to accomplish.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has a much more exhaustive list of these on her website, if you’re interested.

1
Minimum Wage Hike

I am at a loss as to why Democrats consistently hide this shining light under a barrel. This was historic, and directly influenced a lot of people’s lives, and yet you hear almost nothing about it — especially on the campaign trail. Which mystifies me. Democrats should beat this drum loud and long, since they deserve credit for it.

“Democrats in Congress raised the minimum wage from $5.15 an hour, where it had been for a decade, to $6.55 an hour today. Next July, it will rise again to $7.25 an hour. Any American worker making minimum wage is seeing their salary improve over forty percent as a result of Democrats fighting Republican obstructionism in Washington. So remember, Democrats put money in your pocket. Democrats gave some of the hardest-working Americans a 40% pay raise. And Republicans didn’t want you to have that money, and fought against it.”

2
New GI Bill

Again, one wonders why this isn’t front and center of all Democratic campaigns for all offices. Democrats, led by freshman Senator Jim Webb of Virginia, passed the biggest expansion in benefits for American soldiers of all time. So why aren’t they shouting it from the skies, every chance they get? It’s a mystery….

“I never want to hear that Democrats don’t support the troops ever again from any Republican. Democrats in Congress passed the GI Bill for the 21st Century over loud objections from some Republicans, including John McCain, who called it ‘too generous.’ You know what? I don’t think it’s ‘too generous’ to allow veterans to go to college. I don’t think it’s ‘too generous’ to pay a debt to our fighting men and women that can never be truly repaid. Democrats fought hard for the GI Bill, against Republicans up to and including President Bush. But we got it passed, because we consider supporting the troops one of our most sacred duties as elected officials.”

3
Stimulus Package

OK, I fully admit that passing out free money to taxpayers isn’t exactly the boldest thing to do in an election year, but still, people need to be reminded who got this passed.

“Remember that $600 that taxpayers got earlier this year? You can thank Democrats for getting that stimulus package through. Now, obviously, it wasn’t really enough, but it was a step in the right direction — a step that Congressional Republicans fought hard against. Democrats put money in the taxpayer’s pocket, Republicans fight such stimulus. That’s all you need to know on Election Day.”

4
Democrats better on energy

Democrats have actually been getting some things done on energy, although once again, you don’t hear about it much on the campaign trail. This one has gotten more exposure than some issues, though, because of the price of gas, mostly. But it needs to be pointed out who has a long-term answer to the problem, and who does not.

“Democrats, over the strong objection of President Bush and Congressional Republicans, managed to get some positive things done on energy. Democrats passed the first hike in fuel economy standards for cars and trucks in a generation. Democrats also saved the tax breaks for green energy that are absolutely necessary to move America off foreign oil and create green jobs for the future — again, over the loud objections of Republicans. Democrats are planning for America’s energy future, when the only thing Republicans have to say on the issue is ‘drill, baby, drill.’ We can free America from Middle Eastern oil, if the Republicans would only follow when Democrats lead on the issue.”

5
Democrats help Americans pay for college

Education is such a natural issue for Democrats, and Congress actually got quite a few things done on this front. But you wouldn’t know it from listening to candidates. Come on, people, this is one of the Democratic Party’s strong points! Drive it home!

“Democrats in Congress did everything they could to help Americans afford good education for their children, while all Republicans had to offer was obstructionism and vetoes. Democrats did manage to cut college loan rates in half in the biggest student aid bill in half a century, made sure that the credit crunch didn’t affect students needing loans, passed a landmark College Consumer’s Bill of Rights which expanded access to college for low-income students and reined in abuses in the student loan industry, and improved the successful Head Start program. If you are a parent who is worried about education costs being too high, there is simply only one party to vote for — Democrats.”

6
Health care

Once again, a winning issue for Democrats. Some of these laws actually did get some media coverage, but voters need to be reminded of them out on the campaign trail.

“While Democrats tried to expand health care to 10 million children, sadly President Bush vetoed it and enough Republicans in Congress voted with him to deny these children health care. But Democrats did manage to get some positive bills passed into law, including fighting back against the Bush administration’s attempts to gut Medicaid, requiring Medicare to bargain for cheaper prices on drugs by lifting the Republican ban on doing so, and ending discrimination against mental health claims by insurance companies. If you want to fix health care in this country, you need to help us get more Democrats elected so we can do so without Republicans being able to block our efforts.”

7
Republicans voted against Mother’s Day

And finally, one from the archives (from FTP [31], at the very end). I know this was supposed to be all about Democratic victories in Congress, but this one just begs to be repeated by any House Democratic challenger, as many times as possible.

“Republicans have become so obsessed with obstructionism and so blind to the voters’ wish that Congress get something done that they actually voted against honoring Mother’s Day. This is a disgrace. The Washington Post ran a story about it with the headline: ‘Republicans Vote Against Moms; No Word Yet on Puppies, Kittens.’ I mean, what is next? Are the Republicans going to come out against apple pie, too? America deserves better than this. Vote Democratic in 2008. You know why? Because Democrats love their mothers, but apparently 178 House Republicans don’t.”

03
Oct
08

Dreams of the Everyday Housewife

I was on fire this week.  Just look what I did:

1) I made lunch:

food

2) I made dinner:

food

3) I even made dessert:

food

4) Then I cleaned the living room (note our new couch, rug and blinds – thanks, IKEA – we finally are almost adults with a non-kid ruined couch):

clean

5) I finished my skirt from my sewing class at Yarn Paper Scissors:

skirt

(here is the gorgeous lining:)

skirt

6) And then after completing the back of my sweater for my machine knitting class, I came home today and in about an hour or hour and a half, I had most of a wrap that I’m hoping to wear to the wedding we’re going to this weekend in lovely Cambria, CA. On the drive there I plan to graft the two halves together, and maybe make an edging, because my knitting machine only makes stockinette, and it’s curling in this picture:

wrap

BTW, that’s maybe a foot wide and 5-6 feet long, total …




Elspeth

is a knitter, librarian and pop culture enthusiast in the San Francisco Peninsula. Email me at emmckee@rocketmail

Tweets, if I bother

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