Thursday, September 29, 2011

Where the Wild Things Are

So in a moment of sheer insanity, about two weeks ago I cast on this sweater, with the intention of finishing it for Rhinebeck (which is in two weeks).

Last night, I sat down to finish the two sleeves. I had maybe ten rounds left. Things were going well. This was great, I thought. I'll finish the sleeves and the ribbing on the body of the sweater tonight.

Right. This is how last night went:

7:00. Sit down in front of tv and turn on Orioles/Red Sox game to knit to. Marvel on the fact that this is actually my tv knitting.

8:30. Finish the sleeves. Perform happy dance.

8:45. Cast on stitches for body after measuring gauge on sleeves. Twice. Place stitch markers every 50 stitches in the process.

8:45-9:20. Work on the ribbing of the body of sweater.

9:25. Realize that, in spite of careful placement of stitch markers, I have failed in the most basic of skills that is counting and cast on 40 extra stitches. Rip out.

9:30. Rain delay in Baltimore. I console myself with restarting my ribbing by switching channels to watch the Yankees/Rays game.

9:30-11:00. Work on ribbing, after counting twice to make sure I have the correct number of stitches this time. Swtitch back and forth between the Yankees/Rays and the Phillies/Braves.

11:00. Play resumes in Baltimore. By this point, I have worked approximately 7 rounds of ribbing.

11:00-12:15. I'm not entirely certain what exactly I did during this stretch of time. I thought I was knitting, but by the end I had only worked a little over 2 rounds.


12:15-12:45 Finish the tenth round of ribbing while trying to catch my breath and get my heart rate back under control.

12:50 Take a few very deep breaths and realize I need to go to bed, despite the fact that I am still super-adrenaline filled.


Bucky Dent and Mookie Wilson? Meet Robert Andino, Dan Johnson, and Evan Longoria.

Where the wild things are. Maurice Sendak truly has never said it so well.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Best Time of the Year

Today, I woke up, and there was fog outside.

Now, I realize that to many of you, a foggy September morning doesn't seem like much, but to me, it speaks of wonders and miracles and awesome loveliness that comes but once a year.

One of the most wonderful things about the world is that there are four seasons, and what happens between September and December is nothing short of miraculous. Every September, I can count on the maple tree in front of my house beginning to blush red, on whispers of fog curling down the street, and the apple trees becoming heavy laden with red and yellow freckles. And each year, I am struck dumb with the awesomeness of the beauty of it all.

I could say that fall is my favorite time of year because the kids have gone back to school, and the chaotic, oppressive heat of summer is over. And they do, and it is. But that's not why fall is my favorite.

I could say that fall is my favorite because it's that inbetween time of the year, when you don't have to worry about your heat or your A/C, and you can just lounge around in your jeans and be comfortable. And this is true. But that's not why fall is my favorite.

I could say that fall is my favorite because it's full of apple dunking and hay rides and corn mazes and all sorts of fun things that I loved to do as a child. And it is. But that's not why fall is my favorite.

I could say that fall is my favorite because it's the time that kids get to dress up as pirates and princesses and Lost Boys and roam the streets like ghouls, scaring away demons and devils. And they do. But that's not why fall is my favorite.

I could say that fall is my favorite because it's the time of festivals. Of people bringing the harvest in, of apples and pumpkins polka-dotting the fields, of the celebration of harvest and home, and of food and warmth and love. And this happens, and it is absolutely wonderful. But that's not why fall is my favorite.

Fall is my favorite time of the year, first and foremost, because of its utter beauty. Fall is the time when God reaches out with His paintbrush and covers the earth with a loveliness that is never seen any other time of the year. It is the time of the year when trees burst into flame, when ice faeries dance on the grass in the early morning, when the sky is full of an ocean of blue-ness, and when the smoke of little cat feet fog creeps and curls around the fields. It is my favorite time of the year, because there is nothing, NOTHING more beautiful in the natural world than a maple tree in the fall, and after seeing one you know you could stand before one all day, almost crying at the loveliness of it all.

Happy first few days of fall.

Monday, September 12, 2011

What About the Rest?

Yesterday, I was watching the Mets/Cubs game on tv, and the big story during the game was all the ceremonies throughout the game. Yesterday was, of course, a big anniversary, and since the Mets were home, well, it was important for the city to remember.


Ten years ago, I was living in an area that was within broadcast range of all the Boston news stations. And when I was watching all the ceremonial loveliness last night, it got me thinking. New York lost that day. She lost A LOT, and the events of that Tuesday morning will forever be engraved in the hearts and minds of the people of the city. But the two planes were both out of Boston, and they were both headed to Los Angeles. Which means those two cities both lost, too.

But last night, there was no mention of the victims from Boston or L.A. In fact, it feels like the passengers on those two planes have become the forgotten ones, the ones no one really remembers, or even cares about. Whenever anyone mentions 9/11, most people focus on the police and firefighters who lost their lives when the towers fell. Or the passengers of Flight 93, who gave their lives so more would not be lost. But that doesn't mean that we should forget the people who were on the two planes who crashed in New York. But we have. We have forgotten them, and last night was a perfect example of the fact. And I find that horrifically sad, not just because, during the original aftermath, I saw the local news put faces to some of those people, but also, because every passenger and crew member on those two planes was a loved one to somebody. And they deserve every bit of remembrance as anybody else who died that day.

So, to all the people of Boston and L.A. who did lose a loved one ten years ago --

Here's to you.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011


This is just about the awesomest thing I've seen in a long while. Enjoy and share with everybody!

Thursday, September 01, 2011

The Wind Blows Backwards All Night Long

And rain makes applesauce. (With apologies to Julian Scheer)

So Hurricane Irene came through this past weekend. It gave us about sixteen hours of steady rain, and tropical force wind on Saturday night.

So on Saturday night, I came home from work, and promptly sat down on my couch with my crock pot, my paring knife, and a peck of apples, and began to cut them up. They simmered in the pot all night long, and on Sunday morning, I not only had a well-drenched lawn, but a yummy bowl of applesauce.

Homemade applesauce is, to me, the epitome of comfort food. Not the Motts stuff you buy in a jar at the store. But the kind where you actually cut and peel and season the apples yourself. Where you put everything in the pot and drift off to sleep and wake up in the morning with the whole house smelling of cinnamon. Applesauce was something my mom would make in the fall when I wee, and on cold, rainy days, I would enjoy coming home from school to a bowl of warm, yummy sauce. Mmmmmmmm. Comfort food.

The world needs a little comfort these days. With everything that happened last week, the earthquake on Tuesday, the suicide on Wednesday, and the hurricane on Saturday, homemade applesauce seemed just the ticket.

And what better time than on a night when a hurricane is blowing outside? The wind blows backwards all night long...and rain makes applesauce.

Next stop: steeking the vest