No, we will not sit down. We will not shut up.
None of us is free until all of us are free.
No, we will not sit down. We will not shut up.
None of us is free until all of us are free.
Quiet, peaceful. Listening to music. Sitting at the computer, knitting in my lap.
The PussyHat is finished. The pattern presumes you have a modicum of knitting skillz and a sense of adventure. It turned out like I wanted it to, i.e., a seamless analog of the pattern posted on the web. I am not a fan of k2, p2 ribbing. It’s not as elastic or as “springy” as k1, p1 ribbing, and that’s what I’d change about it. This was made with a cotton yarn.
I’ve got some more pink yarn that’s acrylic and I may do another one in acrylic, but if I decide to do one with it, I think I want to drop down a couple sizes on the needle and do it on a US6(4.0 mm) size needle. In order to do that, I’m going to need to get US6 circular needles in 16-inch and 32-inch lengths, which are not in the budget at the moment unless I decide to do some transcription work for that jive outfit in San Francisco next week . . . .
In the meantime, I’ve got a bajillion projects to finish. A reader’s shrug I need to write the pattern for and make up, and have bought the yarn for. There’s two cowls, two shawls to give away and a third shawl to finish for myself that I have out to work on, besides three drawers full of UFOs. I feel a binge watch coming on. I can’t start on the shrug until I finish one of the giveaway shawls because I need the US10(6.0 mm) 60-inch needle I’m using on it for the reader’s shrug.
The other day, I put what was left of the frozen ham from Christmas into the chopper and chopped it up fairly fine. Put that in a bowl and added some chopped black olives, chopped white onions, and chopped Kosher dills and some mayo and made a nice cracker spread. Ate the last of it earlier for lunch. I really need to do up a package of elbow macaroni and do some Wolf Brand chili and elbows to use up the rest of the white onion I used part of for the ham spread. I could also make up a batch of chicken salad while I was at it. I could eat on that for days. Think I might see if I can marshal the motivation to get up and do that. Might take a bit of marshaling, because I’ve got to empty the dishwasher of clean dishes and put the stack of dirty dishes into it before I do anything.
Toward the end of the month, I need to start thinking about raking up the locust pods out of the back yard. Toward the end of March I should maybe start watering so the grass can get going. I also need to be thinking about the front bed and what I want to plant there. I think the rose bushes that are already there are coming up in favor of some of those rose bushes that bloom all the time. They are way less susceptible to black spot. What I want is a bed full of low maintenance perennials that bloom a lot. That bed only gets the morning half of a day’s sun and gets a lot of runoff from the roof whenever it rains, which is another consideration. In the meantime, the bed needs some work and I still need some tools (pruners, spade, shovel, a bow saw) and some pavers for under the water spigots. That tree in the back yard needs some work. It’ll do me good to get outside and exercise, and yard work is nothing if not exercise . . .
Things are happening, and I’m not sure whether or not I’m going to blog about it yet, or ever. However, I will say, for those who were concerned about the fine needle biopsy result, it was negative for breast cancer.
This post is just a collection of goodies gleaned from current events and whatnot that I wanted to put where I could find them again.
ECM: When and how did you decide (or realize) that Jole and Aral were lovers?
LMB: “Decide” is probably too strong a word, but the possible development existed in my mind pretty much from the moment Jole walked onstage for the first time in The Vor Game, back when I was writing it in 1989. It rode along as a potential in what I called “Schrödinger’s Cat Carrier” for many years thereafter.
It’s that “Schrödinger’s Cat Carrier.” Of course, “Schrödinger’s Cat” refers to a famous “thought experiment.” Her random subatomic event was when she came back to the Vorkosigan-verse after a decade’s hiatus and wrote Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen.
I was heartened and glad to see the percentage of men marching in solidarity with the women. The thing I find most astonishing about the Women’s March — Millions of people marched in hundreds of cities all across the United States. Millions. There was no violence, no destruction of property, and only 4 people were arrested during the march. In the whole United States. Four.
Again, sans segue, when I was checking the weather forecast, I found that the Weather Channel had compiled a chart of the windiest cities in America: Cities #1 (Tx), #3 (Tx), and #5 (KS) are all out on the Great Plains of the central US, where there is a very noticeable lack of anything to deflect or divert the wind. No surprise that two of the top three cities are in the Texas Panhandle. In fact, City #1 is about 130 miles north of City #3, and it’s been right windy in both of those two cities of late, as in wind speeds of 25-40 mph (40-64 kph).
To change subjects again without the slightest attempt at a segue, I had an interesting conversation in a waiting room today. There were only three of us waiting, a Black man and a white woman, and me. There was a TV in the waiting room tuned to CNN, and Carrie Fisher was mentioned (see above). It was a short jump from Star Wars to Star Trek. The white woman mentioned how the communicator devices on the original Star Trek series inspired the invention of cell phones. I contributed that the idea of the automatic “self-opening” door also came from the original Star Trek series. The Black man mentioned that Lt. Uhura (Nichelle Nichols) was his first love. I told him that at one point Nichelle Nichols had decided to leave Star Trek to sing on Broadway, but Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. urged her to remain on the show as she was such a positive role model at a very crucial time in American history and in the Civil Rights movement. Dr. King convinced her to stay. The Black man had never heard that particular story, and I was honored to be able to share it with him and watch him embrace it. It was a gleaming moment in an otherwise long and rather bootless day.
In the knitting news, I ended up getting a second ChiaoGoo Red Lace size US10 (6.0 mm) 60 inch circular knitting needle as I am currently, and concurrently, knitting two “Malguri Morning” shawls. The longer needles will accommodate the large number of stitches I will end up binding off to finish the shawls. Each shawl uses 8 skeins of yarn and increases two stitches every two rows, so you wind up with a lot of stitches. I could only get 6 skeins of the Northern Lights color, which is the “self-striping” (variegated) color at right, but the Electric Blue solid color matches the blue in it so I’m adding in two solid stripes of it. The second stripe will be narrower. That’s the thing with the variegated yarn; as the “triangle” becomes wider at the top, the stripes become narrower.
Oh, and here’s a pix of my favorite knitting accessory — the fat(cat)boy. The lap robe covering my foots is one I made out of a twin-size microfleece blanket. We’re very leopard printy in the living room. My furniture is all brown leather and the print adds interesting visual texture. The red/oxblood/orange/gold of the flowers and drapes add that little pop of color among the earth tones.
Putting that pane of glass over the fireplace opening has made the room noticeably warmer.
Today is International Women’s Day. Today and every day work toward equal protection under the law, equal rights, equal opportunities, equal pay, equal educational opportunities for all women everywhere. Today and every day work for the day when all women everywhere have not only the opportunity but the right to be who they are without fear or hindrance, to realize their full potential as human beings, and to pursue their own destiny as members of a society that values every individual for her or his own sake.
“If mama ain’t free, ain’t nobody free.”
This is the proposed flag, not of a nation or group of nations, but of the whole planet. Oskar Pernefeldt proposes this as a design for the flag of Planet Earth.
Personally, I like both the flag and the idea behind it. That’s why I’m boosting the signal. We have to stop thinking in national terms and start thinking in planetary terms. We have to realize that what one nation does affects the whole planet — and act upon that knowledge. We have to stop thinking in terms of how we are different and start focusing on how we are the same. We have to stop thinking in terms of “race” and start thinking in terms of “species.” We have to get our collective act together. We are only one of billions of species on this big blue marble we call home and whether we like it or not, like the seven rings on the proposed flag, we are all interconnected.
Squirreling away at work tonight, trying to keep things within turn around time limits on two platforms (dictation that needs to be typed and dictation that the speech recognition engine typed that needs to be proofread and corrected) — Not unlike juggling plates on poles. Could not remember if EMLA cream was all capitals or not, and while I was googling to make sure, I found this which is essentially EMLA cream rebranded and aimed at a specific target market. When I stopped laughing at the name, I realized that there isn’t an equivalent product targeted at women since obviously women are long inured to Suffering for Beauty, have higher pain thresholds (as is well known), and can pull out large areas of body hair without batting an eye so there is apparently no demand for such a product and, yes, because men are basically big wusses when it comes to bikini waxes — or any kind of waxing, come to that
The cosmetics industry has already convinced women that having hairy legs and armpits is nasty, hair in the “bikini area” is suboptimal and that having hair anywhere except on your scalp, eyebrows and eyelashes is not desirable. They’ve succeeded in convincing men that nose and ear hair is yucky (finally!), that smooth shaven is best, that beard stubble is OK but you need to buy a special razor to “groom” it, and a hairy back and chest is suboptimal. Now they’re targeted the “bikini area.” Somebody must have gotten a huge bonus for coming up with this product name.
*Those whose job it is to invent “needs” in order to sell you products to satisfy them have already convinced women to spend a lot of money on products they didn’t know they needed to ensure that they are as bald as escapees from an Ottoman harem, and now the concept of the metrosexual has been foisted off on men in order to mine a new treasure trove of untapped dollars by convincing men to spend money on products that they didn’t know they needed — and, brilliantly, these are essentially the same products they sell to women, only rebranded and marketed specifically to convince men that using them will get them laid.
There’s something basically sick about a trillion-dollar industry predicated on making you insecure enough that you will believe there is something wrong with the way you look, but that you can fix it by spending a lot of money buying their products.
The saying, “History is written by the winners.” is intended to point up the fact that there is some kind of bias and/or some form of agenda in every historical record. Details are edited out, misrepresented or just plain usurped based on their relevance and/or importance to whatever the agenda happens to be.
Film and television have their own unique agenda and “historical” dramas can be biased in any of a number of ways by any combination of the writers, the actors, or the “funding body” — the network, studio, or sponsors who put up the money for the production. These dramas are well known for playing fast and loose with historical fact and period costume. It is ridiculous to expect any but a perfunctory nod to historical accuracy from any historical movie in general, especially those set in the Medieval period.
I mention this because Wednesday, I watched the first season of the TV series “Reign” purportedly based on the life of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scotland,” which is, as you might suspect, wildly historically inaccurate — as a case in point, it postulates a bastard son of Henri II and a young, sexy Diane de Poitiers (who in reality was 20 years older than Henri), who is called “Bash” — short for Sebastian — upon whom his father dotes at the expense of his legitimate sons by Catherine de’ Medici. Francis II is portrayed as blond and soldierly. He was, in reality, frail, a stutterer, and abnormally short — much shorter than his 5’11” bride — who was two years older than he was. Mary’s four ladies in waiting are called “Greer,” “Kenna,” “Aylee,” and “Lola.” (They were, in fact, all named “Mary” — Beaton, Seton, Fleming, and Livingston — which, I’ll grant you, would have been confusing.) The costumes are as, if not more, laughable than the historical accuracy. You could call it historical soap opera, but I call it “hysterical fiction.”
This historical revision for the purpose of entertainment is nothing new. Shakespeare is more than a little guilty of it. Of course, Shakespeare’s sources of information on the later Plantagenet kings (Richard II, Henry IV, Henry V and Richard III) and, in particular, Richard III, have a significant Tudor bias to begin with, but Shakespeare’s Richard III with his withered arm and hunched back has since turned out to be as much theatrical scenery chewing as Tudor propaganda. When the grave and the remains of Richard III were found, he did indeed have a crooked back — he suffered from scoliosis — but he did not have a withered arm or a “humped” back, and had no anatomical evidence of a limp, which brings up another point: History is not only written by the winners, but for the winners.
In the course of making it fit the winning agenda, history can be edited — conveniently leaving out inconvenient details, emphasis can be shifted — what we call “spin doctoring,” contributions by the less powerful group can be “hijacked” by the more powerful group who then take credit for them, outright lies can be promoted as historical fact — we can see this most clearly in the revisionist history of dictators and totalitarian regimes, or the talents and abilities of one group can be systematically minimized, subverted, ignored and glossed over in order to aggrandize the “winners.” I am thinking here of one group of people, women, whose contributions have been so consistently overlooked, marginalized, subverted and underrepresented for so long — millennia — that we are not even aware of the amount of bias that is built into the world we know. As a way of emphasizing how pervasive this bias is, works that set the record straight have come to be referred to as “herstory.”
I make this point because December 10th was the 199th birthday of mathematician Ada Byron King. Her daddy is world famous, but I’ll bet you’ve never heard of her. And December 11th was the 151st birthday of astrophysicist Annie Jump Cannon. You’ve probably never heard of her either. I wonder why that is?
The song inspired the rug for the youngest Soule at Soulemama. If you think the saga of seven Soules (+ granny) on a farm in Maine, where gardening and raising sheep, and shearing, spinning and dying wool and knitting and cooking happens, along with a good deal else of interest, then wander over and check out the blog. Now I’m going to have to close Winamp, so I can open Rhapsody (Rhapsody doesn’t like Winamp for some reason), and see what Rhapsody has by The Be Good Tanyas and listen to it.
I neologized that word a while ago: “companimals” — companion + animal. I like it. I’d like it to become the name of the cats, dogs, ferrets, bunnies, rats, guinea pigs, etc., who share our space and our lives with us, who become our companions, confidants, sidekicks.
The above one is relevant to me and to the baby girl, the grey one, who has been sneezing a lot more than I have lately, bless her.
I love this. I love his art. If you take The New Yorker magazine, you’ll have seen his covers.
I’d put this on my Tumblr blog, but it bears repeating … until the world finally gets it.
A little symmetry never goes amiss.
The video is heavy. If you’re an abuse survivor, here’s your trigger warning.
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Signal boosting this from Amanda Palmer’s blog: Her friend Sue Jones in Boston started a non-profit to teach yoga and meditation to women in Haiti, especially women dealing with life, post-earthquake. If you want to get involved with yogahope or find out how you can make a contribution, email Sue at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Voice over narrator is Amanda Palmer.
Art, like dreams, has its own internal logic. A red tree in the snow is as plausible as a burning bush in the desert.
FYI. Whattaburger’s chicken strip meal with only one container of gravy is not enough gravy to dunk all three chicken strips, all the fries and the piece of toast, but with an extra container of gravy, there’s enough gravy to dunk everything, plus enough gravy left over to have later on a biscuit. Good cream gravy with black pepper. Serious noms.
The other night, I was asleep in bed and the black kitty barfed on my head (and pillow). Very hesitantly put my hand up to my head and discovered, to my intense relief, that I had just awakened from a very vivid dream that I was lying asleep in bed and the black kitty had barfed on my head. Speaking of the black one, I wish I could just train him not to lie on me when I’m trying to sleep. He weighs a ton.
When I’m lying in bed reading, that is the place to be. I look away from my book to see the grey kitty lying by my feet, the black one in my lap and the white one lying at my left elbow. Quite a peaceable kingdom.
The most recent book I’ve looked up from to see all three cats lying on the bed with me is Patricia Wrede‘s four-book set of The Enchanted Forest Chronicles. (About to start book four.) They are witty, vastly entertaining and sneakily antipatriarchy (“King of the Dragons” is the name of the job. It has nothing to do with gender.), wherein we meet a princes who actually volunteered to keep house for a dragon instead of being kidnapped by one for the purpose and strenuously resists all attempts by princes and knights to rescue her, a witch with nine cats, none of whom are black, and wizards who are self-entitled troublemakers who believe that they have the right to appropriate magical power where ever they find it, whether it belongs to them or not, and who can be temporarily melted by a bucket full of soapy water with a little lemon juice added. Oh, yeah, and a rabbit that accidentally got turned into a bright blue floating donkey with wings.