Saturday, March 31, 2007

Music to Knit By

I did tell you that I was going to be boring, right? Today was my once a month (or so) day to teach people to knit and crochet and play with string. My standard line "It's STRING and two sticks. You are smarter that it is. Trust me." I naturally had my beloved MamaPod with me, but I need a knitting playlist. Here's what I came up with, on the fly.

  1. The Old Spinning Wheel; Edward James Richard
  2. This Hill is Filled with Children; That Guitar Man (only because it was mentioned on Cast On a long time ago, and I liked it
  3. Before I Go; Yanni (kind of embarrassing, but it's calm -and the title sounds a bit like "Just let me finish this row". Ever said that???
  4. Live and Learn; The Cardigans
  5. Silver Threads; Peter, Paul, and Mary
  6. Oh Had I a Golden Thread; Judy Collins
  7. Sound of the Looms: Anne Hills
  8. Silken Dreams; Anne Hills
  9. The Goofing Off Suite; Tony Trischka Band
  10. Knitting Bee; The Cubby Creatures
  11. Knitting Factory; Emiko
  12. U.S. Knitting: Momus
  13. Knitting and Knitting: The Swims
  14. Knitting for Pleasure: Palomar
  15. Knitting Song; Rainbow Chasers
  16. Plenty is Never Enough; Tenement Halls
  17. Knot Knitting: cinc
  18. Knitting Buddha: Kamile Kapel
  19. Knitting Front: Chris Chalfant
  20. Knitting Circle; The Low Country Messiahs
  21. I've Got the World on a String: Frank Sinatra
  22. I Guess Things Happen that Way; Raul Malo
  23. World Hold On; Bob Sinclair

Got better ideas?

Friday, March 30, 2007

Friday Random Ten

You know the drill. Set your iPod to shuffle and tell us the first ten songs that appear. And no fair leaving out the ones that make you look like a dork. here are mine for the week:

  1. A Woman's Heart; Celtic Connection
  2. I Am a Rock; Simon and Garfunkel
  3. Wildwood; Emmylou Harris and Iris DeMent
  4. Mitwa; Udit Narayan
  5. Happiness Runs; Donovan (oh, my!)
  6. Except for Mondays; Lorrie Morgan (VERY country, but I love it anyway!)
  7. She Talks to Angels; Hootie and the Blowfish
  8. Sweet Dreams; Emmylou Harris
  9. Ya Salam; Nancy Ajram (pretty fun!)
  10. Time After Time; Cyndi Lauper

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Great Firewall of China

Hat tip to VirusHead for this one. (How DO you find such cool things??? You probably know where to get your hair cut too, and then I'll have to hate you, for sure!)

My blog is blocked in China. (For all I know all of blogspot is blocked. Or maybe anything that tags posts as "human rights" or "activism" or some such thing is blocked.) Check here to see if yours is, too.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Dear Me

Things I know now I wish I'd known when I was 25...


Your body is young and beautiful and strong. Love it. Don't fret about it, but that body is going to visit all kinds of troubles upon you. Had you not been young and strong... well, you'd be chatting with Achilles trying to decide if the short and glorious life really had been all it was cracked up to be. It sees you through.

Dave is as good as he looks. You could give the guy a break and stop testing him every which way. But even if you don't stop (which I happen to know, you don't), he'll stick. You could do a little more to deserve him, I suppose.

Stop squandering your chances. It's the worst kind of waste. Put on your big girl pants and claim some of these opportunities.

Good things await you. A husband whose eyes sparkle when he's got a naughty idea. Beautiful healthy children who actually like you. Solid relationships with your multitudinous siblings, who are weirdly different from you and yet eerily similar.

There are things you get really good at. I know you think it won't happen, but it does. Your path takes a long time to unfold before you, but it does show up. It wouldn't hurt to pay a little more attention. The kids distract you, but that's more because you're afraid than because they need you. (Well, they do need you, and you turn out to be a good mother... but you also hide behind them. Knock it off.)

You know what? Spend more time on you. Stake a claim. Take up some space on the planet. And if you forget, or lack the courage at 25 (which I happen to know, you do) then do it as soon as you notice. Leave fear behind.

Now.... what would my 70 year old self write to my 48 year old self?????

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Breathe In, Breathe Out, Move On

Oh holy crap. I'm tired of myself. I find that I have nothing to say. Who would ever have thought that I'd say that?

I know that Ann Coulter is on a rampage about liberals. I don't care. The 4th anniversary of the war in Iraq has passed. I care, but have nothing to add to the hand-wringing and despair. People are being executed. We're still polluting the planet. Priests are still inflicting pain on children and other parishioners. I care -but only sort of. I do my work -but only sort of. My house hasn't seen the appropriate end of a dust mop in more time than I want to admit. What is WRONG with me????

I've decided that the only place where my whining shuts the #_)$ up is on my yoga mat. It certainly doesn't happen at church, which would be the other likely choice. Living alone has not brought out the best in me. Oh, you noticed, did you???? Well, it would be hard not to. I can get on a real rampage about how pathetic I am -that I don't know what to do when the car makes that noise, when the dryer won't dry, when there's a picture to be hung, when there's company that I want and don't have.

But yoga focuses on what is right with me. You can't sort of hang a picture or sort of dry clothes, but you can sort of do triangle pose (or whatever). There are modifications that work with whatever your body offers today. And since I can't see myself do yoga, I fondly imagine that I look like Shiva Rea or Desiree Rumbaugh. (Delusions R Us!)

So... maybe what yoga teaches me is that I need to modify my world so that I can live fully in it. I don't know how to do that, but I need to do SOMETHING. So I'm giving myself permission to create boring blog posts for a little while. Perhaps my brain and compassion and my ability to take someone else's perspective on injustice just need some props and assistance before they can fly on their own again.

Now, if only those props were available at amazon or Target, like my yoga props.... Alas, no.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Fighting Fair

You Fight Fair

For you, a fight is not about proving you're right.
Instead, it's about discussing and resolving difficult issues.
You don't look for fights, but you don't avoid them either.
You realize that clearing the air is good, when you go about it the right way.
Do You Fight Fair?

Well, little wonder, I suppose. I teach this stuff, for crying out loud. Nonetheless, I'm always surprised by the tragically low level of conflict transformation skills, even among very, very smart people. My first five minutes of internet access ought to have convinced me that there is plenty of work to be done in this department. But, alas, I also score high on tests of "insane and contra-indicated optimism".

So, why do we care here? Conflict transformation demands that we consider why we do this work. What are we hoping to contribute and build? If human societies are to move toward their potential for just and creative relationships, we need to replace patterns of violence and coercion with respect, creative problem-solving, increased dialogue, and nonviolent mechanisms for social change. So, the next time you pick up a dropped sock that has been there three days and was dropped by a person with several advanced degrees and who knows perfectly well how to bend over and pick it up himself (just... you know... hypothetically), remember that dealing well even with things such as this, does in fact change the world.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Friday Random 10

You know the drill. Take out your iPod and set it to shuffle mode. Tell us the first ten songs that appear -and no fair leaving out the ones that make you look like a dork. Here are mine for the week:
  • *Breakaway; Kelly Clarkson (which is from the soundtrack of The Princess Diaries, so we're off to an embarrassing start!)
  • *By My Side; Godspell
  • *The Magi; Peter, Paul & Mary
  • *Yes We Can Can; Allen Toussaint
  • *I Feel Lucky; Mary Chapin Carpenter
  • *Come, Baby Come; Elvis Crespo (I'm thinking all kinds of bad things re: the juxtaposition of these last two songs. But I will behave!)
  • *Thank Heavens for Little Girls; Maurice Chevalier
  • *Why Don't We Get Drunk?; Jimmy Buffett (Ok, I'm officially embarrassed.)
  • *Homebird; Foy Vance
  • *Hey There, Lonely Girl; The Stylistics

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Blog Resurrection??!!

I was beginning to think that I had run out of things to say. (I know... alert the press!) Or, barring that miracle, perhaps I had just run out of blogging oomph; it happens every day to better blogs than mine. But no. I've isolated the problem.

We have now established the upper bound for the endurable amount of time spent away from marital...ummm.... comforts. And believe me, the upper bound -the absolute maximum amount of time possible- was about three days ago. If I get any crankier, more disorganized, or wound up any tighter, the people in town are going to take up a collection and buy me a plane ticket to go visit my husband. They'll be thinking of it as enlightened self-interest. Get this girl out of town and out of our way!!!

But there's a respite in sight. Dave will be home for spring break (and our daughter's 25th birthday), starting Saturday night. I have accumulated a shamefully long list of things I either haven't wanted to do, don't know how to do, am too short to do, or have lost all patience with and just decided that he could jolly well do things around here rather than stroll the groves of academe and have the graduate students drop peeled grapes into his mouth.

Did I mention I'm crabby???

But it's going to be so nice to have two people to deal with the trials and tribulations of daily life. I'm a nice, competent girl (when I'm not... you know... on a flaming TEAR!) but it's exhausting to do everything alone.

And acknowledging that humbling fact leads me right back to the blogging project. The sad fact is that the world is still in need of a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens. Not the blog so much, but the actual thoughtful citizens. I have no illusions that this blog will accomplish much at all. Really I don't. But I do think that it's important to get in the game. And stay in the game. Play until the end. The world needs us and we need each other.

So I'm back at it. I will write. I will think about issues of social justice. And I will totally welcome and be grateful for your comments.

But it will NOT be a funny practical joke for anyone to call at odd hours of the evening while Dave is here. Trust me. We'll be busy ;)