26 June 2015

Personal Opinion

The title says it.  I don't usually get into social/political/religious commentary here, so if you don't want to read any further, please just click close or delete or whatever, and though I hope you'll come back, that is your decision to make.

Today, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that same sex marriage is legal in all fifty states.

I was raised by a married couple who were male and female.  First and foremost, they wanted us to be good people, with good values.  They were religious and they were spiritual, but they were also realistic and worldly.  They expected nothing less from us.

When I was a kid, I didn't really know or pay attention to whether or not anyone was homosexual (the term "gay" didn't apply at that point), and I do not remember my parents talking about it at all.  As a teenager, I remember being shocked when my mother said something about one of their friends being homosexual.  When I asked who it was, she said it was none of my business.

I am not a perfect person by any means, but I have to truly say that it never even crossed my mind to care if someone was gay or straight.  I dislike a lot of people, but that is not one of the determining factors.  I have never ever felt threatened when I was around someone who was gay, nor have I worried that their existence was a danger to my morals, values, or marriage.

I used to work with a guy who lived with his female partner for fifteen years when I met him.  He was really upset when our employer changed their benefits so that gay couples could share benefits, because they were not offered to opposite sex partner couples as well.  I pointed out that all he would have to do to get those benefits would be to get married, and he said that marriage was a meaningless thing, and he was never getting married. I said that he and his partner could go to a justice of the peace, get married, and the only thing that it would have to mean would be they could share benefits.  I pointed out that gay couples were not allowed to do this no matter what.  He was not in agreement.  But you know what?  We somehow managed to continue working together and we got along, even though I thought he was a jerk, and I'm sure he had his own thoughts about me.

I was raised Catholic, and though I don't spend a lot of time in church now, I still identify as one.  Maybe it's because I attended a Jesuit college, where the most important thing we learned was how to think.  I found out that among clergy, there was as much difference of personal opinion as there was among the general population.  Truth be known, many of the local parish priests felt that the Jesuits were a really suspicious group.

I guess what I'm saying is that I am glad that anyone who wants to get married can now do so legally.  And even if your individual religious beliefs do not embrace the idea, and it makes you uncomfortable, it's still the way things are as of today.  Believe it or not, it won't change my day-to-day existence at all - everyone I know will still be whoever they were yesterday.

I think the Supreme Court ruling is a good one.  I am thrilled for those who fought long and hard for the right to marry, and the other rights and benefits that come from being in a legal relationship.

But mostly, I just plan to live my life.  As I hope everyone else will be allowed to do.

Rainbow crosswalk in Philadelphia

18 June 2015

WIPs Review

Every once in a while, I find that, without realizing it, I suddenly have more than just 1 or 2 WIPs (works-in-progress) on the knitting needles.  Occasionally, it's a situation where all that is needed is a toe on a sock, or a mistake to fix before binding off - you know, small and easily resolved things.

But this is not the case with any of these:

I cannot remember *ever* having six things going and none of them near being finished, ever, since I started knitting!  

Let's review, shall we?

WIP #1 -  Eternal Basalt

This one I am well aware is a long-term WIP.  It's straight garter stitch, and I bring it out when I am in the mood to knit, but not worry about looking at a pattern.  (I must admit that this does not mean I don't still screw it up and have to frog back a few rows ...)

If you click on the link, you see the start of something.  I love this yarn, I love the pattern, and I was loving the way it looked.  Then The Koodle found it.  So now I have my ball of yarn, and will start over.  This one takes more concentration at the beginning, so I don't want to restart until I have a block of time to focus.

WIP #3 - Border Socks

I did have three colors for these socks, and was going to make them as a Christmas gift for 2014 for The Tim.  But first of all, the needles I was using were too slippery for the chosen yarns, and the original third color did not provide enough contrast against the gray, which I will be using for the main color.  So I put these wound skeins away until I was ready to figure out what other color I wanted to use, and the knitting bag was folded and put away as well.  I guess this one is technically no longer a WIP ...

I started this at the end of October 2014, in a class at Loop.  I do want to finish it, I do like the yarn, and the customized pattern.  I just don't work on it that often, and I think it's because I am afraid that even though it's designed to my measurements, I made a swatch, etc., that it won't fit when it is finished.  I need to get over it, so that I have it next fall when the weather gets cool enough to wear it!

I was zipping along on this, and then two things stopped me:  1) I got to the part where you start to knit the edging, and got completely messed up!  I had to tink back six rows of 200+ stitches, and so this project is, er, "resting" for a while.  2) I had to get a longer needle, which has been purchased, so once the "rest" is over, I should be ready to get moving again.  But this one will take some concentration, so it's not to be picked up just anytime ...

These are fun, and I am loving knitting them, but the past couple of weeks I have just not knit a single stitch, so they are waiting for me to move along on them.  I'm starting to get itchy to start knitting again, so they will likely be picked up and be the first thing in this group to be finished in the next few weeks, unless I hit a slump again.  

I have been having problems with my right elbow, and knitting bothers it, so between that and some stressful things, I've only looked at the group of knitting bags with waiting projects, rather than actually working on them.

And of course, like so many other knitters with many projects underway, I really wish I could start something new!   But I have told myself that nothing else can be started until at least one of these is finished.  I don't want things to get any crazier or out of hand than they currently are for me.  

As long as I don't come home some day and find a group of people gathered for an intervention, I think I'll be fine ... ;-)

16 June 2015

Happy Bloomsday! and ... Ugh! Summer!

First and foremost:

Happy Bloomsday!

We are planning to have the same lunch that Stephen Dedalus enjoys in Ulysses, so the gorgonzola cheese, rye bread, and white wine are waiting ...


Then on to this week's Ten on Tuesday, with the topic of "10 Things on Your Summer Bucket List."  Since a bucket list to me implies things I must do before I die, I'm just going to list 10 Things I Hope To Do This Summer.  I don't want to think about dying, as I have enough stress right now as it is, you know?

Unlike most people in the universe, summer is my least favorite season.  I do not like hot weather at all, and add in the humidity, and I end up with Reverse Seasonal Affective  Disorder.  Seriously.  For instance, we've had 90-degree plus days with really high humidity for the last week, and it is not even officially summer yet.  This does not bode well.

But, summer happens no matter what I think, so here are things I hope to do, in no particular order.

1.  Try not to complain as much.  I actually started to consciously try this last year, and did pretty well.  So I'm gonna try again this year.

2.  Go "down the shore" (Philly talk for going to the beach) at least six times.  We love to go and spend the day, but it's hard for our schedules to mesh that often so it can happen.  Last year I didn't get to go at all, since my summer was pretty much taken care of with injuries and surgery, so I'm hoping to go this year.

3.  Find air conditioning whenever I can, and cool off.

4.  Get some Rita's Italian Ice, gelati, twist cones - well, you get the idea - as many times as I can.

5.  Convince The Tim to make Shrimp Summer Rolls.  One of his regular days off is Tuesday, and it's especially nice to come home from work and find that he has made these for dinner!

6.  Enjoy the concert with Diana Krall and the Philadelphia Orchestra in July.  My niece and her husband are joining us.  It should be a great concert, and a fun time.

7.  Finish at least one knitting project.  Everything I'm working on at the moment is languishing.  Surely I can finish one of them, right?

8.  Read even more.

9.  If it ever cools enough for me to be able to enjoy being outside, I'd like to get the garden cleaned up so that we can enjoy sitting out there.  We were otherwise occupied on the weekends when the weather was nice enough to do it earlier in May, so it's still waiting.

10.  DRINK COLD DRINKS.  Iced tea, lemonade, beer, wine, anything that I enjoy that is cold or frozen!

No matter what plans you do or do not have, I hope that your summer is a good one!

12 June 2015

The Good, The Bad, The Annoying

Let's see what is going on with me.

The Good:  I am off work until Wednesday of next week.
The Bad:  It's too hot and humid today to go outside unless you have to.
The Annoying:  I was told I had no vacation at all for this fiscal year, after my surgery last year.  Then I got a message Tuesday, saying that I would lose 5 accrued days if I didn't take them by June 30.  But of course, everyone else had planned their vacations.  So I have these days, plus a day next week.  This after a year of trying to get someone in HR to give me details of whether or not I had time off at all.

The Good:  Pip is home from the animal hospital, and feeling better.
The Bad:  He was at the Veterinary Hospital of the U of Pennsylvania for four days last week for a urethral blockage.  
The Annoying:  He is no longer friends with me since I am the one giving him his medications. 

The Good:  The Tim only has to be at work until 2:00 today, and is off tomorrow.
The Bad:  I have a dr appt at 4:40, so I can't just simply hang out with him when he gets home.
The Annoying:  My appt was originally set for a few weeks ago, in the a.m., but a co-worker said she would be out.  I switched it, and of course she was there that day.  Now I'll be lucky if I get home by 6:00 p.m. tonight.

The Good:  Tomorrow is World Wide Knit in Public Day.
The Bad:  It's supposed to be miserably hot and humid.
The Annoying:  Due to the weather and the fact that my elbow has been bothering me lately if I knit for more than 5 minutes, I'll miss the get-together.

The Good:  I have managed to get myself back into exercising regularly, even if not doing heavy-duty workouts yet.
The Bad:  I've lost so much of the progress I'd made over the past couple of years.
The Annoying:  I have to break down and get a new exercise mat, since Pip did a MAJOR pee on my current one this morning.  It soaked in to the foam, which is old and crumbling anyway.

I'm sure I could go on, but the important thing is that I know that I am lucky and that there are many more good things in my life that I could list than there are bad.  Though I think that sometimes it makes the bad/annoying things seem even worse than they are.  I mean, look at the list above - I have nothing to really complain about, right?

I hope you are able to find the good things as well.  Have a lovely weekend, and stay cool!

09 June 2015

Why The Face?

Today's Ten on Tuesday topic is one I find amusing:

10 Words You Use Instead of Swearing

I will admit that I am not really a heavy-duty swearer, though I do swear.  My parents used swear words as part of their normal conversations, so it was never shocking to me as a child to hear anyone use swear words (though they never used the f-word, as far as I know).  There were a lot of questions that started with things like, "Where the h*ll did I put ____?"  Or "D*mn it, did you say you wanted  ____ for breakfast?"

Oddly enough, my sisters and I are not much for swearing.  We do swear, but selectively, I guess.  I will admit that I often *think* in swearing language, more than speak it.  And I am really really really really tired of the f-word, though everyone I know uses it on a regular basis.  Sigh.

Anyway, here's my list.

1.  Crap, or some variation thereof.  As in, "Oh crap, I forgot to call so-and-so back."

2.  Why The Face?  I heard this on the TV show, "Modern Family" when the one dad character said kids liked him, because he understood their "lingo."  He gave examples like LOL, IMHO, and then said, "WTF - Why The Face?"  We only say that now, since otherwise, we'd just say WTF, since neither of us are fond of the other choice.

3.  Freakin'.  As in, "What is freakin' wrong with you?"

4.  Son of a mother.  You can probably figure out what this replaces.

5.  Darn, or when I want to amuse myself, dag nabbit.

6.  Keys to the car.  My father used to say, "Keee-rist" (instead of, Chr*st) a lot, and we found it amusing.  I don't know where I came up with "Keys to the car," to be honest.

7.  This one is still swearing, but if I know someone will only be amused by it, I'll say it instead of its more common variant - when we would be complaining about someone, something, etc., my mother would always tell us, "Well you know what they say in Russia - toughski sh*itski."  (I think this one A LOT.)

8.  H*ell-o, as in "Who in the hell-o thought this was a good idea?"

9.  Eejit.  Though I use this a lot, when not swearing, I also use it to replace "*sshole" in more polite circles.

10. Holy water.  Instead of "holy sh*t" ... and inevitably someone says to me, "You must be Catholic."

I have to say, this topic has amused me, both making my list and reading others' posts.

OK, I'd better get off the freakin' computer and get some crap done.  ;-)

02 June 2015

A Tuesday Post, But Not That One ...

I was going to try to participate in today's Ten on Tuesday, with the topic being The First 10 Songs That Play on Your Favorite Pandora Station.  Fun, right?

Except that I have started four different times, trying to note the songs, and each time I get distracted and pet one of the cats, think about pie, wonder how close I am to the end of my current book ... well, you get the picture.  Apparently I do not have a decent attention span at the moment, so no playing along this week.

However, I do have something to share with you, for any that are interested.  I know I have mentioned here that I have another blog.  I think I have about four or five regular readers (two of them even comment regularly!), and I wrote a post the other day that seemed to strike a nerve.  Two people sent me private e-mails about it, and being that I think I have eight to ten regular readers here,* I decided to go ahead and share it. 

Take a look, and if you are inclined, tell me what you think.  

*I know there are more, and I thank all of you! :-)