Sunday, November 30, 2008

Two Cents

With the movie coming out, there's been a lot of hype about the Twilight series. The first book came out in 2005, but the books are still quite the rage with teenage girls. I tried the first book, got halfway through, said to myself, "Oh my giddy aunt, can this girl become any more pathetic?" and returned the book to the library. My general opinion is that it's a lot like cotton candy -- which looks and sounds pretty, but has no nutritional value whatsoever.

There are some sections (that don't necessarily have anything to do with the whole vampire thing) in the books that I feel rather uncomfortable reading, and, without giving away any spoilers to anyone who is really enjoying them, let me just say that I wouldn't necessarily want just any young teenager (assuming I had access to any to whom I could dictate what they were allowed to read, which I don't) reading them.

But the hype, as well as the big to-do last year when The Golden Compass hit the theaters, has got me thinking: How much does an author's religious or moral beliefs affect your desire to read a book by that person? Even if the author claims he or she isn't trying to preach (or, for that matter, even if they are)?

I asked a Morman friend of mine about Twilight, and she answered that the fact that Stephanie Meyer was Morman was an added bonus, and that it was great to see a Morman author go mainstream, but that she didn't see it as a big deal to the books, and that there were other Morman authors out there popular with young adults (like Shannon Hale, for instance, or Orson Scott Card -- but then neither Enchantment nor The Goose Girl deals with half the controversial things that Twilight does).

So I'll pose the question to the blog and see if I get anything back: How much does it matter? Even if the author claims that there is no preaching, does the fact that Stephanie Meyer, Shannon Hale, and Orson Scott Card are Morman affect whether you would read Twilight, The Goose Girl, or Enchantment (or anything else they've written)? What about The Dark Materials Trilogy and Philip Pullman's atheism? Or The Lord of the Rings and JRR Tolkien's Catholicism?


Monday, November 17, 2008

Just Another

I usually don't post on Mondays, but I'm so proud of myself, I can barely stand it. Because I can't believe how productive I was yesterday afternoon.

I did three loads of laundry -- and it almost was four. This is not because I have been extremely dirty in the past week or two, but rather because I decided to change the sheets on my bed. Note to anyone who doesn't already know: sheets take up a LOT of space in the washer. The pillow cases will be done tomorrow.

Also, (insert drumroll please...)

I finished spinning the green yarn.

(I swear it's greener in real life.) Wool top of undetermined species bought at one of the LYS. With flecks of red and blue and yellow. Luscious. 8 oz, somewhere around (calculated to the best of my approximate abilities, which means counting the number of times it was wound around the niddy-noddy) 718 yards.

I also finished spinnning the dark blue yarn.

Merino, bought at Rhinebeck. Dark navy blue, with streaks of red and a little green. Absolutely yummy. 4 oz, somewhere around 350 yards.

The really interesting thing about it though is that even though there is twice the amount of green yarn as blue, both in terms of weight and yardage, the green is slightly bulkier than the blue. Weird.

Oh, and the first person who asks what they're going to be given out of either one of these yarns gets banned from the blog for life.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Because I have nothing else right now (other than progress on the Dr. Who mitts, but I haven't taken a picture of them, yet), here a few prompts. A, have fun.

The red leaves of an oak tree.

The empty gray sky.

A blue bench.

Running down the street...

Friday, November 07, 2008

It had better be cute

The Obamas' are getting a dog.

This is not (I am sure) news to any of you -- the President-elect promised his two daughters that they would buy a dog to accompany them to the White House, and regardless of the general opinion of politicians and promises, I'm pretty sure that this is going to be one he's going to keep. And owning an animal is sort of an unofficial requirement for growing up in the White House (every First Child in US history has owned at least one pet) But a dog? Their father is going to be the most powerful person in the world, and they want a dog?

Tad Lincoln had two goats, two ponies, a pig, a turkey, and a rabbit. The dog the family had owned was given away prior to coming to Washington.

Jessie Grant had a parrot and a couple of gamecocks. His sisters had ponies.

Russell Harrison had goats.

Quentin Roosevelt had snakes and a macaw. His sister Alice also owned a snake, and brother Archie had a pony. The family also had five guinea pigs, five bears, an assortment of lizards, rats, and roosters, a badger, a hyena, a wildcat, a coyote, a zebra, and a raccoon.

Cal and John Coolidge had raccoons, lion cubs, a wallaby, a bear, a bobcat, a donkey, and a pygmy hippopotamus.

Caroline and John Kennedy had two hamsters, three birds, a rabbit, and three ponies.

And Malia and Sasha Obama want a dog.

Now, there's certainly nothing against owning a dog (I myself would not own one, but some people like them). If that's what the girls want, and it's ok with the parents, it's certainly all right by me. But given the long history of such a colorful menagerie of animals owned and cared for by the country's First Children, and the fact that the care and upkeep of this animal is probably going to be funded in part by a certain percentage of my tax dollars...

It had better be a cute one.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

It's Over! At Last!

Before I begin, I would just like to say that I sincerely hope that every single one of my American friends voted yesterday. (You did, right? Yes?)

On one of the listserves I read, there has been talk this morning regarding the outcome of yesterday's election, and someone said that she was glad she could now say to children that they could grow up to be whatever they wanted and it would be true. Someone else responded by asking if they would still say that to a little girl if McCain had won, and the answer was an immediate yes -- that a female VP was still a crack in the glass ceiling.

Regardless of how anyone voted yesterday (I am not going to use this posting to spout politics -- there's already been enough of that), or how anyone may feel about either of the candidates, yesterday truly was history in the making. For the first time in US history, the country will have as her leader someone of African descent. No matter of how you may feel of Obama, it is wonderfully amazing to see that we, as Americans have come this far in racial equality. That we can elect someone whose race had been for centuries considered second class or worse says a lot about where we have come as a people. We have come an incredibly long way since 1619, when the first group of African slaves set foot on American soil. On behalf of Crispus Attucks, Dred Scott, Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Dubois, Bessie Coleman, Marian Anderson, Jackie Robinson, Martin Luther King, Jr and so many many others I am feeling very proud to be an American today.

But I'm proud for another reason too, and it goes back to the listserve comments. A female VP is still a crack in the glass ceiling. If McCain had won last night, we would have had, for the first time in US history, a female vice president (and yes, if I had been old enough to care about politics 24 years ago, I would have said the same thing). We would have had as First Mate someone whose gender had been for centuries considered second class or worse, and the fact that we came as close as we did to electing one also says a lot about where we as Americans have come as a people. Sarah Palin (regardless of how you feel about her) has proven that we have come a long way regarding gender equality since the first women of European descent came to America, and on behalf of Virginia Dare, Pocahontas, Abigail Adams, Sacagewea, Mary Lincoln, Elizabeth Blackwell, Susan B. Anthony, Amelia Bloomer, and many many others, I am feeling wonderfully proud and inspired to be an American woman today.

I'd also like to second a lot of the sentiments that were being expressed last night. This is all America, and we are all Americans. So let's put aside our differences and be proud of our country. Because, as President Bush said (I have never really been a fan of the man, but he has expressed the main idea of this posting admirably, and I don't want to get into a debate regarding him or his administration right now because he's still the President for the next two months), "No matter how they cast their ballots, all Americans can be proud of the history that was made yesterday."

Well said.

And now (thankfully) the election is over.

Monday, November 03, 2008


So, as promised, here is the Rhinebeck. It was actually done several weeks ago, and I've worn it a bunch of times, but you ever have those moments when all you need to do is do something that will only take about five minutes (in this case snap a photo and download it onto the computer), but you have about a million and a half other things that will also only take about five minutes, and on top of that you're going out of town where you won't have access to your computer, and then you get back and you've been away for so long that everything at work is so hectic and it takes you about a week to catch up, and then right when you get all caught up you go out of town again, so the task that is only going to take five minutes never gets done?

My middle school grammar teacher would be absolutely appalled by that run-on sentence. *whew* Moving on now.

The Rhinebeck:

Want a closer look?

Don't you just love the buttons? For anyone who is interested, this is from Lisa Lloyd's A Fine Fleece. The yarn is Cascade 220. I love it. It fits perfectly.

But, remember a couple of posts back when I said that I was almost finished and wondered if I could get anything else done before the festival?

The Victorian Wool Peddler's Shawl, from Cheryl Oberle's Folk Shawls, made from Plymouth Sockotta. I really like how it turned out, though clearly I need some practice with the blocking. I even had leftovers with the yarn, which I totally wasn't expecting, since the model in the book said it would use somewhere from 708-826 yards of yarn, and I had exactly 828. But I finished it with well over 100 yards to spare. I think it even blocked out bigger than what Cheryl said, which is good, because I like shawls big and drapy. This was a lot of fun to do, because after the incredibly mind-numbing rows of garter stitch, the lace pattern at the end was just complicated enough to keep me entertained, while still being relatively simple and easy to work.

*Deep Breath* Ok. Back to finishing up some socks.

I can't believe the Yarn Harlot quoted me in her latest posting...