Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Progress of Sorts...

Well, at least I have a To-Do list up. Nothing's accomplished yet, but I know where my day is going to go. Or at least where I plan for my day to go.

Elephant Journal...

No word yet. I'm wondering, doubting, a little scared. But whatever happens, it's apparently meant to happen, so I'm not going to cry in my tea. I'm rather obsessively checking my e-mails since they said they'd know Monday. And it's Tuesday. 

Well, I may cry. Just a little, if I'm not chosen. But it's not my first rodeo. I consider all of it a growth experience. And Lord knows, I've had plenty of those in my life! 

My Year in Socks...

Vanilla Latte
I'm progressing through the second of the Coral Fluro. It's a Vanilla Latte pattern, free on Ravelry. You have to sign up to get it, though. If you're any kind of knitter, Ravelry is the place to be. Heaven knows I have a crap-load of patterns stashed, marked as favorites, and downloaded. 

Hubby figures I'll need to live to be about 500 to complete all my craft projects. Which is ok by me, as long as I can still function, you know? 

Star toe
Anyway, here it is. At least, here's Sock #1 of the pair. I did a stupid thing that nobody but me will notice. Sock #1 had a 4-row section of knit on the top (note the small roll). Sock #2 mysteriously has a 6-row section. Because I mis-read the meticulous notes I took. Because I'm rushing to get these done by January 31 (not gonna happen unless I have The Doctor here to manipulate the time-space continuum), and because I started them late at night - well, late at night for ME - and thought I could have enough functioning brain cells. 


So here's the spec on the socks. Fluromania in 7184, Neon Beach (a perfect yarn, by the way, to knit with in the grey winter days). The Yarn Harlot heel from her book Knitting Rules, and a star toe (from any basic "How to Knit Socks" book). 

I did the star toe for the OTHER Fluro pair I made, and I like the way it works. The only thing I would do differently here, on the next pair of Vanilla Latte, would be to stop the pattern. So perhaps on the next pair, I stop the pattern on the top of the foot when I reach 7". And maybe the NEXT pair (it's an amazingly fun sock to knit that shows way more pizzazz than you'd think with these Fluro yarns), stop the pattern at the heel, so that the entire foot is plain. 

Lots of options. That's why I like socks. 

Why Inherit the Wind is Still Relevant...

So. Yesterday I was able to watch one of my all-time favorite movies: Inherit the Wind, starring Spencer Tracey. It's a movie about the Scopes Monkey Trial. And in a very sad way, it seems like the Republican uber-conservatives, including Cruz, Rubio and the rest of them, would very much like to re-try the validity of evolution. 
Scene from "Inherit the Wind"

I mean, look at the picture here: "Godliness, not Gorillas." And look at some of the more shameful "art" regarding President Obama. Anyone else see any parallels here? 

News reports indicate that the budget deficit has shrunk, albeit modestly. It's hard to shrink a budget bloated by unwanted military spending...Just my 2 cents. Apparently, according to Mitch McConnell, the budget deficit "miraculously" shrunk the moment the Republicans took control of Congress. 

Keep on drinking the moonshine, Mitch. 

Then there's John Boehner. Let's just invite Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to address Congress. Oh, and let's just NOT tell the White House. And then let's pretend that you and your BFF Benjamin think you are the smartest guys in the room. 

Not so much. 

In many circles, Israel is considered the bully here. And we give them aid - sometimes it seems we blindly circle the wagons any time Israel calls and hollers for help. But President Obama says "Not so fast," and then all the clowns start leaping and shrieking that he's "upsetting" Israel. Why can't Israel, who bills itself as the "plucky defender of the faith," actually maybe fight their own battles? 

And I know it's a larger problem than I can solve, but why is it so hard to come to an agreement with Palestine? It's been years - nay, generations - and it's about time everyone starts to play well together. 

Anyway, this is a small symptom of the larger problem of the US trying to go backward in time. Right now, the party of "smaller government" wants to be small enough to get into my uterus. Which is fine with me, since mine is pretty much retired. But for my future DIL? No, thanks, she can and should have a choice of what to do without some rich white republican nutjob making that decision for her. If the "party of small government" had anything to do with it, women would remain pregnant and in the kitchen and we'd have the biggest arsenal on the planet. 

And we would be the Earth's bully. Strutting around, parading much like Kim Jong Il in our deluded idea of our own grandeur, while our planet melts and burns. But hey, we'll be the smartest kid in the room, so who cares about the planet? We'll be the Big Man On Campus (because of course women are relegated permanently into the shadows), and we'll be King of the Mountain. 

Except that the mountain will have fallen into the sea and all of the life that we now enjoy will have been obliterated except for the fortunate ones who are rich and in control. 

Inherit the Wind reminds us of this. From the iconic line by the character who's in actuality William Jennings Bryant, "I do not think about the things I do not think about" (which should be the Republican tag line, in my opinion), as he denies the existence of a fossil millions of years old - because of course every good religious man KNOWS that the Earth is only 6,000 years old. It's somewhere in the Bible. 

To the character played by Tracey, who's supposed to be Clarence Darrow: "Fanaticism and ignorance are forever busy and need feeding." 

We are almost there, folks. The rebuttal to the State of the Union address by a congresswoman whose family got over $400,000 in farm subsidies, in which she chastises the "least of these" (a Biblical concept which must have escaped her)... The continuing assault on civil rights which were hard-fought and earned... The war on women which is a reality, not just a talking point... The vanishing middle class... The rising of the super-rich and the rise in poverty, which are not opposite concepts...

When are we going to wake up and smell the coffee? 

Now would be good.

Winter Birds...

Three in One
So this has been a prime time for taking pictures, and the birds at our feeder are accustomed to my presence in the window. They still fly off if I'm on the porch, and frankly, I don't want to be out there in the cold!

Here are a few of my favorites from this morning. I got this seed ring from the Ace Hardware in New Lenox when I was out there. And when I went back, I got the last 2 they had. The birds love it and so far the squirrels haven't gotten past the steel apron on the pole. 

Smile for the camera
The female cardinal is a tad more skittish than the other birds, so she's a little harder to catch on camera. She found safety in the big maple, and with a little bit of patience, I got this one of her trying her best to ignore me. 

I've seen goldfinch, rose finch (the one in the center of the hole above), regular sparrows and nuthatch. As well as junco, woodpecker and of course the inevitable invasion of the grackles. 

I don't know whether I like winter birding or summer birding. But perhaps it's just that we're lucky enough to have an array of feeders outside that are in the perfect spot to enable us to see them as they go about their lives. 

Job Search...

The phone interview was a bust. It seems their idea of "flexible" and my idea of "flexible" didn't mesh. Oh well. It was a good experience, and perhaps Tippi and I can get an extra therapy gig out of it. It depends. 

I looked up reviews of the facility and it's interesting. They weren't the state reviews, and they were exactly 50/50. Not sure if the two negatives were disgruntled employees, but they were bad. The good ones were positively glowing. 

Hubby and I talked. We agreed I could wait and not jump at the first thing I'm offered. I'm still looking, and since I'm on unemployment, I am still recording my job search. Prospects aren't great, unless I want to travel to Chicago. I'm sorry, but I've been there and done that. I think that at this stage, I want to stay closer to home...

Let's just say that when one keeps one's options open, all kinds of interesting things present themselves. 

Random Picture...

Yes, it's the end of January. Some folks back East are getting slammed with snow. Some folks out West are also in the same pickle. Right now, it's 29* out there (at least it's above zero) and we had a light dusting of snow. Just enough to make drivers stupid, honestly. 

So I think I can provide a bit of summer for you. These are Stella d' Oro daylilies. These bloom all summer and into fall. They were at a junction where there's a pull-off near an ice cream store. 

They're sunny, bright, and beautiful. 

Just what we need for today, right? 

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