Politics and Purl

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Butterflies in Formation



We have, at our disposal, a captive audience of schoolchildren. Some of them don't go to the blackboard or raise their hand 'cause they're think they're gonna be wrong. I think you should say to these kids, 'You think you get it wrong sometimes? You should come down here and see how the big boys do it.' I think you should tell them you haven't given up hope and that it may turn up, but in the meantime, you want NASA to put its best people in a room and start building Galileo VI. Some of them will laugh, and most of them won't care, but for some, they might honestly see that it's about going to the blackboard and raising your hand. And that's the broader theme. -CJ Cregg


So now I sit, ready to post, while my totebag is in my washing machine. I have done a first check. The two colors of yarn are felting at the same rate, so it all looks good. I am still nervous. I will be nervous until it's done and dried. I'm serious about the Jacobellis curse. I could totally jinx myself(I shouldn't pick on that poor girl).

We all need to back off Cheney about this shooting incident. It was a hunting accident. It didn't happen because he's an evil nazi bent on ruining the world. While I'm not sure he's not an evil nazi bent on ruining the world, this was a total accident. I happen to believe that there's nothing wrong with responsible hunting. It is not only a nod to our past as Americans, it's a nod to our past as human beings. And as always when guns are involved, accidents can happen. It was a relatively mild incident. Someone whom I respect a great deal used this to sustain an already great hatred toward the man. I share that hatred, but it doesn't serve us to dwell on this.

And as I write this, the bag has gone through the felting process! It looks great and it's in the rinse now. I am feeling better about how this process is going and about doing this in the future. So, people, working on your projects. Keep going, no matter how daunting.

Words, Words, Words, Words, Words



Abby: ... I mean, women talk about their husbands overshadowing their careers. Mine got eaten.
C.J.: Your husband got eaten?
Abby: My career...
C.J.: I know, I was on dangling modifier patrol.


The olympics are on, people are going for the gold, and I am way ahead of schedule on my project. I added a bit of a fair isle wave to raise the level of difficulty. I have the attached pouch left to do, I've started on it. Of course, as that adorable Lindsey Jacobellis found out today, it's not over until you reach the finish line. I still have to felt the thing. I have never felted anything in my life. I run the risk of ruining the entire project.

Not that I find it likely that I will ruin it. I read up on felting and I'm felting two yarns of the same brand that are the same type of color. They should felt just fine. I'm using the same brand and weight as the pattern calls for. I should be fine. Really. Even if I grab the board in midair.

The Article came out Monday. All in all, it wasn't a bad picture, nor was it a terrible article. I have some issues with it. Susan Levine did a wonderful job of illustrating just how badly we need our medications. She stressed how important our medications are, and how important particular medications are. I think she was trying to emphasize that psychiatric meds can't be swapped out for cheaper alternatives. I know that's where she was going when she listed mine.

Unfortunately, I think she missed. She made us look more fragile than we are, and I don't think she effectively made the connection between how badly we need our meds and why Medicare part D isn't working. Of course, I am coming from the standpoint of being upset that my medications were so expensive when I went to the pharmacy. She didn't even mentioned that. Well, not in my case.

It wasn't bad, but it wasn't what I envisioned. And I really can't blame anyone for that, I didn't write the article. The pic wasn't great, it wasn't terrible, it just was. It was my fifteen minutes and now it's over. There.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Always Wear a Hat



"I didn't realize babies come with hats. You guys crack me up. You don't have jobs, you can't walk or speak the language, you don't have a dollar in your pockets, but you've got yourselves a hat. So everything's fine." - Toby Ziegler


My story didn't run. I am going to assume that it will run tomorrow or at least by Monday. I'm going to call the reporter if it doesn't run by then.

So I will use this time to catch up. For Christmas, I made hats and scarves, but mostly hats. I became obsessed with hats. I made baby hats, I made hats with earflaps, I made hats out of dk weight and out of two strands of chunky yarn put together with big fat needles. I was cranking them out every couple of days.

I have left the hats for socks. I made some with the leftover dk wieght acrylic that I made a hat for my cousin's three-year-old. They were great, but I made them too big and wore them with shoes, so one of them has a big hole. I may just throw them out, the yarn was cheap, and it's about the process. They were more fun to make than to wear. I also made some with Lion Brand Magic Stripes yarn, using the pattern on the strip that holds the skein together. I love them. I will get a picture of them soon. Now I am making a pair of toe-up socks out of this handspun alpaca/angora yarn I got at the Virginia Renaissance Faire last summer. They are going to be gorgeous, but they're being knitted on size 00 needles. I hope I get them done before the Olympics.

I participated in the Leadership Empowerment Advocacy Project(LEAP) in December. I had a wonderful time, learned a lot about leading in the Public Mental Health System(PMHS), and met some cool people. One of them is my new friend Miriam, who runs the Silver Spring Drop-In Center. I have been hanging out there.

On the last day we were asked what two things we'd change about the PMHS in Maryland and our communities. Mine were affordable housing(which I have covered in length) and GLBT mental health services. I have been volunteered to do something about the second. I am actually quite excited about putting something together. Miriam has already offered the drop-in center as a venue. I just need to learn what I am doing. Susan Kadis, the LEAP coordinator, has been incredibly supportive of this goal and has connected me with some people in Baltimore who offer the services that I'd like to see here in Montgomery County.

To that end, I leave you fine people and wait for my check to come in tomorrow...

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

And he shall, from time to time...



Since I have entered the the knitting olympics, I suppose I'd better come back to you all. Besides, a lot has happened. Hell, I haven't been here since the election! None of my candidates won. Rockville is still a place that Michael Stipe would beg someone not to go back to.

"Partisan politics is what the Founders had in mind. It guarantees that the minority opinion is heard, and as a lifelong possessor of minority opinions, I appreciate it. But if you're troubled by it, Governor, you should know in this campaign, you've used the word liberal 74 times in one day. It was yesterday." -Jed Bartlet


I watched the State of the Union and the Democratic Response last night. There was nothing really surprising in there, except that he actually said that America is "addicted to oil." I loved it when he complained about a bill not passing and the Democrats stood up and cheered.

There wasn't much substance to this speech. It sounded good in spots, but as some reporter at ABC said, the devil is in the details. We need to fund alternate energy sources, true; but what wasn't mentioned is the easiest way to cut emissions, mass transit. He said that Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid need to be reformed; what he didn't say was that he'd do that by making sure that the recipients of Medicaid go from almost nobody to absolutely nobody. He made a lot of declarations that on the surface appeal to the left, but in reality won't serve to help the working poor with no insurance or the disabled.

The last day that I posted, I said that I had sent a letter to Congressman Van Hollen. Well, I got a response to that letter today. I'm not going to gripe about the fact that it took three months to get a personal response. I'm going to be in the paper tomorrow. My fifteen minutes is about to come and go.

Anyway, it's only fair that I post both sides of the correspondence:

Dear Michelle,

Thank you for contacting me to express your opposition to provisions restricting voter registration in H.R. 1461, the Federal Housing Finance Reform Act. I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.

I share your strong opposition to the provision of this bill that bars low-income housing groups from participating in nonpartisan voter registration efforts. I believe we must do all we can to encourage voter registration, and that provision is designed to block such efforts. To this end, I voted in support of a motion designed to strip this provision while preserving other measures of the bill containing needed reforms to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Unfortunately, that motion was defeated.

Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts on this matter, and please do not hesitate to contact me whenever I may be of service.

Sincerely,

Chris Van Hollen
Member of Congress

[P.S. removed for lack of content]


I think that's pretty cool. I'm going to be in the Washington Post tomorrow. Last week, a few of my peers and I were interviewed in regards to our problems with Medicare part D. I am not going into detail tonight, I'll post a link to the article tomorrow and respond to it. I think it will speak for itself. The cool part about the article is that Gerry and I got to pose for a picture, too! I shouldn't be excited about this, but I am. I even called my mom.

Finally, I will talk about the knitting olympics. I came across it, and I can't resist. I mentioned it in the Development Committee meeting at St. Luke's, and I will be donating the finished product, a felted tote bag with an attached pouch, to St. Luke's for the silent auction fundraiser on June 8. This is exciting, since I'll for once get to post pictures! Seriously, people, donations accepted to get this poor, knitting, liberal, sporadic blogger a camera! I'd post more, I promise!

Anyway, good night, and good luck.
-M