In which I am tired and ranty Tuesday, Apr 28 2009 

Sorry that I haven’t had a lot of things to post lately. I’m just feeling really tired, and apparently having some sort of late-arriving quarter life crisis. (What? 26 is still quarter-life-ish, right?)

Part of it has to do with work–I love my job, and I’m incredibly blessed and lucky to do what I do, but sometimes it can be rough. The Internet is an interesting place, and unfortunately, I find that I get to spend less time with the happy, inspiring parts than I do with the negativity, fighting, and general jerkiness that comes from anonymity.

The thing that gets me is that so much of it seems pointless. I’m not talking about the truly horrible stuff (like the recent news story, which I am not linking to for my own sanity, about the people posting some extremely graphic accident photos of a dead young woman and even emailing those photos to her family–the family’s legal battle is in Newsweek and on Jezebel, if you care to find it) because I think there has to be something truly wrong with people who do that. It’s just–the constant cynicism, fighting, and us-vs-them battles. The dehumanization.

The internet offers some amazing opportunities to connect with people from so many different backgrounds. But instead of taking the opportunity to ask real questions, to look for similarities, to find common ground, it seems like all anyone does is accuse the other side of lying, of being deluded, brainwashed, evil. And some of it is backlash from groups who haven’t had a voice–but really, it only perpetuates the problem.

I think it affects me more now, because I’m also working in other areas of my life on things that are so positive. That are about growth, and change, and community. And I go from that to–the polar opposite. The thing is, positive community is what the Internet needs to be building, but how to get there? The prevailing culture is already the wild west where anything goes. Even with standards, everything that crosses the line is met with howls of protest, and even gentle suggestions are received with stubborn refusal to believe that anything else is possible, or accusations ranging from censorship to idealism. (Idealism is, apparently, something to be pitied, not revered.)

But really–is it just the internet? I’ve seen this on every site I’ve been on, from large-scale communities to niche knitting sites. But it’s also in real life. Think about it; anyone who has a new idea is not greeted with enthusiasm, but with negativity. It’s too expensive/hard/ridiculous/no one will go for it. Well, not if you don’t try! Government, rather than being a force of inspiration, operates more like a battle-wearied front line, fighting at each group of insurgents as they appear but unable to view the entire battlefield. And every attempt to do so is immediately sniped to pieces by the opposition–and this holds true regardless of which party is in power, and which is the opposition.

It’s gotten to the point where I, TV junkie, don’t even watch TV anymore. I don’t read the news anymore, unless I have to check it for work. (Well, the weather. I do need the weather.) My personal blog reading is limited to crafts, domestic, and pagan blogs–things that actually make me feel better about the world instead of worse. (Though, they do make me a bit ashamed about the state of my kitchen.)

Some days I dream of something that seems impossible. I dream of a having a community with my friends around me, close by, where we can support each other. Where artists get to make their living making art, and people actually have time at the end of the day to SEE their friends and family. Where you don’t have to fear getting bankrupted if you get sick, and where a house is actually an affordable dream for those who want it. Where there is food–real food, not processed things masquerading as such–and where laws and regulations actually protect the consumer rather than aiding large corporations in their attempts to earn a profit at the expense of consumers. Where we don’t have to live with a constant undercurrent of fear–fear that children are getting abducted/women are getting murdered/war is happening/the economy is crashing/the pandemic is coming/someone somewhere is doing something you don’t personally agree with so we must OUTLAW IT IMMEDIATELY.

It seems impossible.

But I really don’t want it to be.

Yarn buying expedition Thursday, Apr 23 2009 

I know I’m meant to be stash-busting. And I promise, I am! But gifts pop up, and I don’t always have the right yarn (or enough yarn) to make them without a trip to the yarn store.

Anyway, gift yarn totally doesn’t count as stash enhancement, right?

I can’t really say much about either project on the blog just yet, but look at this delicious yarn-y goodness.

Secret Project 2 Yarn

Secret Project 3 yarn

Now, all I have to do is get all my knitting done on deadline…without getting distracted.

Happy (hot!) Earth Day Wednesday, Apr 22 2009 

We’ve been in the middle of a heat wave here, so it’s been way too hot to knit around here. The past few days, I’ve come home and changed into my favorite new lounging outfit, a vintage slip that works perfectly as a summer nightgown, and laid around on the couch drinking cool tea and looking pitiful.

But–it’s Earth Day! Of course, I think we should be trying to honor and protect the Earth on ALL days, but Earth Day is a good day to kick off new habits, or do those things you’ve been putting off. If you’re stuck, here are some suggestions:

1. Green your mailbox by clearing up your catalog lists and putting a stop to junk mail.

2. Buy a reusable mug or water bottle for your desk at work. (I have the mug, but I suppose I should get  water bottle–maybe then I’ll drink more water?)

3. Get reusable lunch containers. I’ve been eyeing the ToGoWare tiffins for a while now. (You might have to wait on this though; looks like an Oprah mention crashed their site.)

4. Check out The Crafty Chica for even more ideas–she’s posting 24 eco-friendly crafts for the 24 hours of Earth Day, so surely there will be something you want to make!

Now go forth and be kind to Mother Earth!

Piercing farewell Wednesday, Apr 15 2009 

Alas, the time has come for me to bid farewell to my eyebrow ring.

This, as it turns out, was not really a matter of my choosing. I’d noticed that it seemed like I was seeing more of the ring over time, and I’d been a tad concerned about it migrating, but I hadn’t really thought too much about it.

Then, last Thursday, I noticed that I was suddenly seeing a LOT more of the barbell–it was hanging in there by a thread.

Farewell eyebrow ring

I came home and went to go take it out, hoping to avoid a scar, but when I went to loosen it the whole thing just fell right out into my hand! So much for avoiding the scar. It’s not too bad though, and I figure I can come up with some fantastic yet moderately believable story to tell if anyone gives me shit about it. (Knife fight? Ill-fated knitting accident?)

I’m sad to see the piercing go. I really did like it, but since this is my second failed attempt at an eyebrow ring I’m going to have to accept that this is just not to be.

But hey, there’s always tattoos, right? Those can’t migrate…

Easter box! Thursday, Apr 9 2009 

Okay, so technically I don’t celebrate Easter, but that’s never stopped my mother from sending me a box full of goodies. I suppose I could just look at it as a really late Ostara box…

Anyway, the sum total of my crafting this week has been to rip out my new project–the Apline Lace Scarf from Victorian Lace Today–three times, because apparently I cannot count to 121 with any accuracy and ripping out cross stitch because it seems I also cannot tell the difference between two shades of pink, despite the fact that one is bright and on is pale.

Possibly, I should not try to do anything requiring concentration while I am also watching Colin Firth be polite and charming while wearing breeches.

Anyhow–I did get these goodies in the mail! (Please ignore the mess and really fat cat butt.)

Easter Box

I love the bunnies–the bunny in the purple sweater? So adorable and SO SOFT. And of course lots of candy, and chick flicks–Save the Last Dance and Sense and Sensibility, becuase my mother is a wonderful enabler. But the most exciting thing? The set of prep bowls and a citrus juicer! I realize these may  not be exciting to some, but trying to get fresh lemon or lime juice by hand just sucks, and I haven’t been able to find a small, inexpensive citrus juice around here! And the prep bowls should be great–there is nothing more frustrating than trying to measure out a bunch of spices while I’m in the middle of cooking.

Other than that, not much to say. I’ve mostly been watching Pride and Prejudice movies and bemoaning the loss of manners and nice clothes…but that’s a post for another time…

Spring colors and crafts! Tuesday, Apr 7 2009 

Apologies for the radio silence–things have been a little nutty here, so I haven’t had much time to blog. I will be better in the future, I promise!

I have, however, had time to craft. I’ve been plugging away at my cross stitch and have finally escaped from the endless swath of blue.

Cherry blossom time!

I thought I’d be thrilled–no more blue! No more long runs of the same color! But now I find myself changing colors every three or four stitches while working the cherry blossoms. It’s beautiful, but tedious. And I don’t even want to talk about how bad the back looks. (How do people make the back of their work look so good!? I’m horrible at that!)

But–I’m over halfway done now, and I can’t wait to have a finished piece.

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