Tuesday, January 20, 2009

45 for the 44th

Wow. It actually happened. I actually saw it (sort of - the video of the feed was a bit behind the audio). I know the nation did not actually decide to give me the present of an historic occasion for my birthday, but nonetheless, that's what I received. I'm a little stunned. In a good way. I was alive for the first time an African-American became the Chief. What was it like to be alive the first time an African-American could vote? The first time a woman could vote? What was it like to be alive when slavery was declared to be at an end? I was alive for the end of segregation by law, but I was very young and it didn't sink in.

I hope to be alive when we truly look at a person and judge them on their actions, words, and deeds. And not by the color of their skin or their religious beliefs.

That is what I have been given. Hope. That this presidency will be the answer to all our problems? Nope. That the minds of my fellow citizens may open more, may embrace their fellow humans as equals. Yep.

And that...

That is stunning.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Losing Battles - with myself!!

Crud, this looks like a lot of fun. And I really need to learn a new craft right now. Yeah, like I need another hole in my head...


It's weird to look at something on line and watch two sides of me begin battle....

Side One: Weeeee!! Look at this stuff!!! Isn't that cool!! And I have that little square loom that I could maybe use for some of these projects!!! Or I could build a little loom!! No problem - I've had all that woodworking practice of recent!!!

Side Two: You have got to be kidding! Haven't you looked at the massive pile of unfinished projects? And don't you remember that some of those projects are to build things to help organize your overflowing craft/fabric/yarn stashes? Haven't you looked at the house which so needs to be cleaned?

Side One: But, but, but... Doesn't this look like fun? Can't I just maybe do one simple project? And I can use yarn that I already have, so I would actually be reducing the stash! That's sort of like cleaning and organizing, right? And think how much fun it will be!! Fun, fun, fun!!!

Side Two: Get a %$*%^ grip! You'd tear apart the house looking for just the right yarn, which is pretty much the antithesis of organization, and you know it.

(I think Side Two makes an excellent point, there...)

Side One: Just one? One small project? Maybe a bag or container or something to organize my life a bit?

Side Two: Really... something that would organize a part of this crazy world of yours?

(yes, this is where the tide turns...)

Side One: Sure! It'll be great!!

Side Two: Well...

Side One: C'mon... you know you want to see something done this way, too...

Side Two: Yeah, but... But... Well, okay. But, first you have to finish the Christmas presents that didn't get done. And clean the litter boxes.

Side One: Yay!!!

When will it all slow down? Never????

Guess what?!? I get to write about something medieval for a change! How exciting is that? Yes, sometime last year I got the hankering to teach at a medieval event. So, I offered to teach two classes in my favorite stuff: nålbinding and sprang. Yeah. The first weekend after all the Christmas running around is done (which is not saying the projects are done, just all the traveling), I’ve got to have my fecal matter assembled sufficiently to teach. Oops! What was I thinking?? Wasn’t I thinking that I’d have to finish Christmas projects? Oh, well.

I’d done precisely none of the prep work before getting home on Sunday. And everything seems to be taking a long time. Possibly because I’m a little wiped out. But!! But!!! I now have 8 sprang frames and I rather like this construction: ½” dowels used for the sides, glues into holes drilled into 1 ½” x ¾” boards. What I really like about the new frame is that I could take it to Pennsic in an unglued-state and easily glue them. I think that I could even let people glue the frames together themselves! Suddenly, teaching at Pennsic has become much easier – much less bulk to transport! All the handouts have been printed and collated. Just have to determine which yarn I’m surrendering and wind them. Then assemble the little kits to hand out.

I also have 9 cute little nålbinding needles. I rushed them a little, so they aren’t as smooth as they normally are. But, they are done. 8 teak (for the students) and one reddish wood (maybe redheart?) that I didn’t like at all until I rubbed in the beeswax. Ah, beeswax! Beeswax rubbed in with a little nålbinded “cloth” that had a lot of lanolin in it! Ah! Beeswax and lanolin. I’d love to be able to say that the printed material for the nålbinding class is all done, but I’m having some issues with my printer. I can’t complain too much, because it was free, and came with a full cartridge of toner. And it’s a laser jet, which I like better than ink jet. But, the darned thing keeps thinking there’s a paper jam when there isn’t. I know what you’re thinking – something must be in there somewhere. That’s what I’m thinking too. But, why, then, will it print 4 sheets before thinking it’s jammed? Open the cover, close the cover, 4 more sheets, “I’m jammed!” Seriously. This is way so annoying. Especially since each handout has 8 sheets printed on both sides (and the printer does not have a duplexing unit – I am the duplexing unit…). I’ve gotten halfway through the job (printed all of the “backs” of the sheets, now just have to print the “fronts”…)

2 more nights. I think I can pull it all together in two more nights. Better still would be pulling it all together tonight. But, I’m not going to force myself to do that!

And then, I get to work on getting ready to teach sock knitting. At least I won’t have to really jump into that for a bit – the first actual knitting session isn’t until January 20.

January 20th. Inauguration Day. My birthday. Should be an interesting day!