Sunday, October 31, 2010

BadKitten Day 14

Happy Halloween!!!! And it's Bratty Girl's 17th birthday.  Really really good cake.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

BadKitten Day 13 1/2

I have no idea what happened yesterday.  It just got away from me.  Mea Culpa!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

So then...

They took my EZ Pass away.

And just so you know, the cop who takes the E-Z Pass from you (and demands $3) does not appreciate it when you do the whole "Charlie, they took my thumb" scene from The Pope of Greenwich Village.  (P.S.  That scene absolutely rocked my world when I was 15.  My sister had just gotten her driver's license and we went to the movies and saw that and I still haven't gotten over it.)

So they give you this little brown card that says you either have to go into the EZ Pass office with the card or mail the card into them to get your EZ Pass back.  As the mail-in directions were pretty vague and I have to pick up a friend up at Laguardia tomorrow, I decided to go over to the EZ Pass office.  In the rain.

I only mentioned the rain for effect--as if going to the EZ Pass office isn't a terrible enough thought, I had to point out that the whole day was dreary.

So when I got to the EZ Pass office, the first thing I saw was a sign on the door that the staff was "dressing down for diabetes awareness".  What?  I don't get it.  Wearing pink for Breast Cancer--sure, I get that.  Perhaps dressing down because they each donated a formal work outfit to Dress For Succesz--kind of a cool idea.  But dressing down for diabetes--hmmm.  Maybe I'm thick but it made no sense to me.

So I go up to the window staffed by a woman in an orange tank top (which made me think of Tang which is probably not good for a diabetic) and she said, "What's your account number?"  So I said, "I don't know."  So she said "What's your tag number?"  So I said, "I don't know, some cop took it away."  So she said, "You need to have your statement with you."  So I said, "But the card that the cop gave me only said that I had to bring this card.  Here, look.  It says it right here."  So she said, "How do you think I'm going to look up your account?"  So I said, "Can you use my social security number?" So she said, "We don't keep that information." So I said, "How about my driver's license or my license plate."  She just rolled her eyes and sucked her teeth (niiiice).  "So I said, look the cop said to bring this card in and the card just said to bring this card in so how was I supposed to know that I had to bring a statement."  So she said "The cop doesn't know what you have to bring in."  So I said, "But he told me what I was supposed to bring in.  How was I supposed to know that he was lying to my face?  Like a dog.  Was I just supposed to pull that out of thin air?"  So she rolled her eyes again.  So I said, "Look, there has to be a way that you can look up my account!"

So she said, "What's your phone number?"

And she pulled up my account.  (In the rain.)

But wait, it get's better. (In the rain.)

So she says, "You have $25 on your account and the new tag is going to cost you $10 so you'll have $15 on your account.  You can't use it until after noon tomorrow; out of state, you have to wait until after noon the next day."

So I said, "Why do I have to pay for a tag that you took away from me."   So she said, "You just put the $25 on the account the morning you were trying to use it."  So I said, "Yeah, and your phone system said "You have $25 available on your account.  Thank you for calling EZ Pass.""  So she said, "Well the computer doesn't know."  So I said, "Some computer somewhere knew because otherwise how would the liar cop know to take my tag."  So she said, "When you deposit a check in the bank, do you expect to be able to use the money right away."  So I said, "You're not the bank.  You're EZ Pass.  When I go the bank and deposit a check, it's someone else's money until it clears.  And it doesn't show up in my balance.  I get that.  But when I go to the A&P and pay with my money--like I paid you with my money--they let me take my groceries home with me.  They don't make me wait until noon the next day until I can pick my groceries up.  And if I make a pasta salad and try to take it out of state before two days have passed, they don't take it away from me at the GWB."

So she rolls her eyes again, hands me a slip of paper and says "Pick up your new tag at window 14."

That was yesterday.

You don't even want to know about today.

BadKitten Day 12 seems quite appropriate.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I Heart Matlock

I'm not ashamed to say that I love Matlock.  I love him long time.  And tonight has been an extraordinary array of 80s superstars--Linda Purl (twice), Parker Stevenson, Audra Linley, Desi Arnaz, Jr., Jimmy Baio, Greg Evigan.  I'm in heaven.

Here's BadKitten Day 11.

BadKitten Day 10

Okay so I'm a little late.  I was napping.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Just Barely Made It

It's almost midnight but I'm getting this in right under the wire.

BadKitten--Day 9.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I Don't Want Obama Beans Up My Nose

I am overwhelmed by the people around me. 

First things first, you must check out Nathan Spewman.  I don't care what your politics are.  This shit is hysterical and makes a really good point (especially Part 2).  And the women who made this are my friends. 

I am in such a state of TV bliss right now because Fox and Cablevision are fighting.  Like bratty little children.  And I can live a Glenn Beck free life until they work it out.  It's awesome. 

And BadKitten gave me this for today.  It's so beautiful.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

With Friends Like These, Who Needs Friends

I spent the day yesterday at the SVN conference.  Honestly, I would have loved to have spent the whole weekend but, damn girl, it's expensive.  I haven't been in a few years (is the whole I'm broke thing getting redundant?  Too bad if it is--I'm broke!) and I was slightly nervous about seeing my friends. 

It's funny--it's a place that I always feel profoundly loved but I'm always a little nervous walking in.  In the perfect moment of serendipity and joy, the first person who reached out to me and dragged me into a conversation was my friend Mike

I have to tell you a little bit about Mike.  This is a man who knows how to be kind and make you feel really really good about yourself.  He's the best drug I've ever taken.

At my first SVN conference--many, many moons ago--like many others I didn't know what the hell to think of the group.  But after the first night I was hooked.  At my second conference, in Santa Monica CA, I met Keith and Charles from Housing Works.  And we were instant friends.  So for the  next several years we spent the first night of every conference together having fun and catching up and goofing off and drinking and dancing way too much.  And it was wonderful.

On April 5, 2004 Keith died.  And it just about broke my heart.  But the thing is, I knew Keith would die.  So I had an array of snapshots that I kept in my head of him.  Every time I saw him, I intentionally took a little picture with my brain and stashed it away. 

Two weeks after Keith's death, I went off to the SVN conference.  I knew there would be a wonderful memorial for him there but I hadn't really thought the whole thing out ahead of time.  I walked into the first session, the first night--where I had always been with Keith--and sucked my breath in.  I didn't know where to sit.  I didn't know who to sit with.  I didn't know what to do.  But Mike and our other friend Jerry were waiting for me.  The were standing in the back, poised for action and as I walked into the room and realized my shock, they put their arms around me and we watched the first speaker of the conference in a wonderful huge warm safe hug.  I know this is not something that you normally expect at a business conference but, dude, this is how we roll and it's such a better way of doing business.   I don't know if they planned it and, frankly, I don't care.  It worked for me and whether it was planned or spontaneous--it was tremendous.

So this year, I walked in, joined Mike's group when he waved me over and was immediately sucked into the stories that were being told (it was a breakout group).  About 10 minutes into  it, I felt something warm and smooth on my thigh.  It was a perfect oval white stone that Mike had found on the beach that morning.  And it felt really really really really good.  So I left there.  And I stroked it.  And enjoyed the feeling of nature while we talked about business problems.  That's the kind of balance that I think we could use more of--nature and work together--perfection.

We all know that I love when worlds collide.  I recently got a message on Ravelry from Nancy  I had some yarn that she needed.  It's been in my stash for years (I think I bought it at a sidewalk sale at Katonah Yarns) and she asked how much I would like for it.  I really have absolutely no idea how much I paid for it but it was certainly way less than the sticker price. 

So I just asked her to make a donation to Housing Works in memory of Keith.

Can we talk about Generosity of Spirit?  Nancy made an outstandingly generous financial contribution.  It was way more that the yarn was worth.  It was more than a lot of people's budgets for Rhinebeck.  It was more than I could ever have expected and I am so so so grateful to her for carrying on the spirit of kindness and sharing that these crazy SVN friends of mine have inspired me with.

I only know Nancy through a short period of Ravelry messages but I know she is patient (it took me forever to get my act together and get the yarn to her), I know she has a sense of humor and I know that, even though I don't know her in real life, I love her. She--like Mike, Jerry, Charles, Keith and so many others, have made my life better.  I was always annoyed by the whole "You complete me" thing from Jerry McGuire.  I am already complete.  I much prefer "You raised the bar for me.  You expanded me.  You made my life larger and better and so very much prettier."

Which in a funny way, leads into BadKitten Day 7.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Amazing Day and BadKitten Day 6

Just got home from a wonderful conference but am too pooped and euphoric to write a cohesive blog post.  I'll tell you all about it tomorrow.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


My part of the deal was that I was supposed to make BadKitten a CD of great music from my generation.  I think I mentioned that I forgot to bring it with me last week so I haven't been able to blog the playlist yet.  For now, it's 13 songs. I think I'll go to 40 and when we finish 40 Days of BadKitten, we'll do 40 Days for BadKitten.

So my plan was to pick a bunch of songs from my (ahem--I'm not that old) generation that she probably hadn't heard.  I spent a lovely hour just scrolling up and down my iTunes and picking out some gems.

I give you, BadKitten Vol. 1

Planet Rock, Afrika Bambaata & Soul Sonic Force.  Arguably the first rap song. But I will win any argument to prove that this is definitely the first commercial rap song.  It's a great beat and the beginning of an amazing movement in music.

Life on Mars?, David Bowie.  I'm a huge Bowie fan.  I'll save the story of the bus ride from Maine (and back) to see him at Madison Square Garden.  This is such a stunning song.  Bowie's voice is at his richest and you can't help but open your heart to this song.

Maria, Blondie.  A late in career song for her but I just love it.  She is now, always has been and always will be the coolest chick in Rock and Roll (Chrissie Hynde be damned). 

Hip Hop Hooray, Naughty By Nature.  It's just fun. 

I Got You, Split Enz.  Greg Honoshowski gave me this album for my 16th birthday. It was "laser etched" and had all these cool 80's iridescent shapes etched into the vinyl.  It was just about the coolest damn thing I had ever seen.  And this is a great song.

Tempted, Squeeze.  Probably in the top two favorite bands of all time for me.  You can't help but love them. They're like that kid that everyone had in their neighborhood who, at first, you weren't sure if they were really cool or really weird.  And then you found out that they were really cool.

Red Shoes, Elvis Costello.  If you are not truly, madly and deeply in love with Elvis Costello then there is something wrong with you.  When I read Eat, Pray, Love, I thought that my version would be Eat, Squeeze, Elvis Costello.  But that's just me.

I Confess, The English Beat.  A definitive 80s band.  These guys were amazing.  I saw them open for Squeeze (big surprise) at Nassau Coliseum the night before Thanksgiving in my junior year of high school.  Hell No--we're not naming years here.  Suffice it to say, it was a long time ago.  Stray Cats and REM were also on the bill that night.  Ahhh--the 80s.

Me, Myself and I, DeLaSoul.  Probably the nicest group of all time.  And playful.  And thoughtful.  You just can't talk about music without talking about DeLaSoul.

The last two sort of go together.  I love punk music and I love country music.  Mary Gauthier, Your Sister Cried is a true, pure, old school country song. It harkens back to Patsy Klein and early mountain music.  But it has a roughness and a true spirit to it that has such a punk feel to me.  And let's stop for a minute and look at John Doe and the Sadies.  John was 1/2 of the punk group X.  They were amazing.  As his career evolved, he has taken on country music with a purity and a rawness that takes (as I mentioned in the previous sentence) my breath away.  His version of Help Me Make it Though the Night takes my breath away and brings me to tears.

Oh, and lest I forget.  Here's BadKitten--Day 5

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

BadKitten Day 4

To busy today for a full blog post but I did decide to go for the live version of this song.  I still think Cheap Trick at Budokon is the best live album ever made but this is a really close second.

Dig it!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Greetings From Rhinebeck and BadKitten--Day 3

Saturday morning was the kind of autumn mornings that poems are written about.  The light was perfect, the trees were in full blaze and the sky was that mix of dark gray clouds and bright blue sky that only happen this time of year.

I'm not sure if they schedule the NYS Sheep and Wool Festival for the fall every year so that we can all wear our sweaters and socks and hats or if they do it because all of the colors that you see driving there are so inspiring.  In the spring, the Taconic Parkway is awash in every shade of green.  In October, there's green, orange, yellow, red, brown, blue, gray, purple and even little hints of pink.  It's enough to take your breath away.

I found my favorite vendor in the first building I went into.  Snowshoe Farm has such wonderful alpaca and Terry is so very nice that I had to buy two skeins of lilac colored yarn from her.  I saw some great sock yarn but decided to wait and see what else was out there before I blew my whole budget.

And I had a very strict budget.  As you know, I've been broke.  So a few months ago, I started cashing in my cans and putting the little slips in an envelope in my car to save up for Rhinebeck.  I stopped at the A&P on my way and cashed them in (that's half the fun--not knowing how much I had) and walked out with $53.05.  Rockin!  A lovely, generous woman had thrown me a $20 the other day to "buy myself something nice" so I had a total of $73.05 and I only ended up going $4.95 over.  I think that's pretty impressive.

I came upon this sheep.

Hmm.  Who would expect the KKK grand wizard sheep to be at Rhinebeck.  We had a little talk, he and I, about the beauty of learning about others and sharing in their culture.  I think I got through to him.  I heard that later in the day, he and one of the llamas were trying to cut the line together to get chicken pot pie.

I almost came home with another kitten but stopped myself when I realized that there truly is such a thing as a crazy cat lady and I don't want to be one.

I stood for a while and admired the peace garden.

And I had me a nice lamb sandwich for lunch.  Yum.

At the end of my tour around, I realized that the only other thing that I really wanted was that skein of sock yarn at Snowshoe Farm so I wandered back over and it was still sitting their patiently waiting for me.

I didn't find of the friends that I went there expecting to meet up with but I did run into Earthtones Girl and I met Knitgrrl  who was very very cool.

On the way home, a hawk flew into my windshield which was kind of a surprise.  The hawk was fine as was I and he was really quite beautiful.  He may have  lump or two but I'm pretty sure he survived.

And of course, we shall finish things out with BadKitten Day 3.  Iron and Wine's "Boy With A Coin".  Very cool song.

Monday, October 18, 2010

I Really Enjoy It When Things Come Together

Several years ago, I met Kenny Loggins.  It was just for a second and he was really really nice. 

Several years ago, I also met my friend Mark and it feels like I only knew him for a second.  He was gone way too soon. 

Yesterday was his Viking Funeral and, as surprising as it may seem, Winnie the Pooh came up a lot!

And, in the most wonderfully synergistic way, this is our selection from BadKitten today.  I give you Day 2 of 40 Days of BadKitten and I do believe that Mark is listening.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

40 Days of BadKitten

Let's start out with the fact that, for the most part, radio is dead.  And I weep softly for the radio of yore.  I was raised in a household with a lot (and I mean a lot of music).  My dad had a kick ass stereo and he played it really loud (still does actually).  And his taste in music was really eclectic (still is actually).  On any given day we could be listening to The Elephant's Memory or The Student Prince or Japanese Folk Songs or Slim Whitman or Nelson Eddy and Jeanette McDonald. 

And I inherited that gene from Pop.  There are about 9,000 songs on my iPod of all different genres.  But, at some point, they just stop.

Because radio died. 

And if you are of my generation, that's where you learned about new music.  We had WLIR.  We had Scott Munie (I actually have a playlist on my iPod called Bless Me Scott Munie for I Have Sinned to keep all of my really embarrassing songs together.  Hello?  The Night Chicago Died?  Oh the shame.)

So I've suffered from new music withdrawal. 

A few years ago, I was at a family party and walked outside where the valet parkers were hanging out while they waited for us all to leave.  I think that's probably a pretty boring job--rush rush rush when everyone arrives, sit around for hours while everyone is inside have a good time, rush rush rush when everyone leaves--so they were playing some music.  As soon as I walked up they apologized for the noise and turned off their player.  I said don't worry about--I like Eminem.  And they looked at me like I had 10 heads.  We ended up having a really great conversation about music and agreed that the next time I came out, they would have a list of 5 bands that they thought were great and I would give them a list of 5 albums that they had probably never heard of that they had to check out.  The only rule--don't second guess what you think the other person would like, just share what you think is terrific.

And the list they gave me was great.  It's actually still hanging on my fridge.  So I started asking young people, on a regular basis, what they thought was great music right now and checking it out.  I feel like I'm creating my own personal network of Music Directors. 

At knitting group last week, I was talking to BadKitten and we started talking about music.  So of course, I asked her to make me a list.  I made her a CD of great songs from my day which, naturally, I forgot to bring last Thursday.

She showed up with a list for me on pretty blue paper written in pencil (I love pencils) and pink magic marker of, are you ready, 40 SONGS!!!

That's right, 40 SONGS!!!!!

So we are going to add a little feature to the blog for the next 40 days (I'll also be posting them on facebook) called 40 Days of BadKitten. 

And in the spirit of all things good, she started me out with a bonus track.

So I give you "Prelude 12/21" and "Miss Murder" by AFI (there's a little note on the list that says they're sort of connected).  Enjoy.

Sorry about the ad at the beginning of Miss Murder.  It's only a few seconds long.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Year of Living Generously--Part 2

I warned you that this generosity thing was going to be multi-parter. 

So the pillow wasn't the only great thing about knitting group the other night.  Last week, BadKitten and I had a really fun conversation. At least I thought it was fun.   Well, it turned out that she thought it was fun too because she showed up with something really cool for me.  I know this is a little bit of a tease but I'm going to launch a new feature on the blog tomorrow so you'll hear all about it then.

New topic--being generous is not always easy.  But I do think it's worth it and I like the way it makes me feel.  And, in an odd way, I'm glad that there has been a little bit of struggle along with all the benefits of it.  Because so far, each time I've ended up feeling like I did the right the thing and that was the point here, right?

Tomorrow I'm going to a memorial service for a dear friend.  And a few weeks ago, I realized that another person who really cared for Mark was no longer in my life but would probably want to know about the service.  At the same time, a few funny little things on the web came along (thank you facebook friends) that I thought would amuse him, so, even though I haven't seen or spoken to him in months, I forwarded them to him.  Yes, I know, that's a very passive way of reaching out to someone but I really wanted to start slowly.
And I got no response.  Crap.  My passive approach got me no closer to letting him know about the service.

So I took a slightly less passive approach (but yes, I know, still passive) and sent a text message.  I composed what I thought was a really nice message.  But maybe I was too honest.  I told him that I no longer had any hard feelings even though I still felt that I had some unfinished business with him.  And I said that I was still seeking closure and some resolution but that I was really progressing in that and that I hoped he was well and happy.  I asked if we could talk because I had a few things to tell him.

I expected to get a response to this (it's summarized above just so you can get the jist of it--it was a really nice message).  I thought he was say sure and I would get to tell him about Mark's service.  And I did get a response but, ironically, it was pretty snippy and he informed me that he saw no reason to talk to me.

Crap again.  I should have just sent the text about Mark's service and left out anything personal because, really, my life has been so much better without this person.  I just thought that, since we ended so poorly, a little kindness was in order. 

And  now here I was stuck with him still not knowing about the service.  And I'll tell you, I really struggled with that this week.  But, I knew all along that this was not about me--it was about Mark.  So last night, I manned up and left a very simple message with the details.  And it was hard.  I'm sure my voice was shaking and I probably sounded like an idiot but I did it and guess what? I felt great when it was done. 

Because I had done the right thing, even though it was difficult for me to do.  More proof that generosity is the right choice.   

I'm off to Rhinebeck for NYS Sheep and Wool and it's an amazingly beautiful day.  I'm going to be with my people--and I'm going to relish every moment of it.

To be continued....

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Year of Living Generously--Part 1

My New Year's Resolution this year was to be more generous of spirit in 2010.  Now please understand, this was not a self deprecating resolution.   I believe that, in general, I am quite a generous person.  But this idea was something different.  For me, it was about generosity of spirit with intent.

I've always felt that there is enough misery in the world and I should actively try not to contribute to it.  But I never tried to actively contribute to generosity in the world.  So that's what the resolution was about for me--to actively try to be nice.  For the most part I'm nice (I won't say always--I've had my moments) but it has always been out of habit rather than actually deciding to be nice. 

And guess what?  It has turned out that acting with intent has amazing consequences.  I've discovered that when you choose to act in kindness, then kindness comes back to you.  In spades.  Hello--I know that this is not a new idea.  Karma?  What?  It's just been really moving for me lately.   There's a reason that this post is "Part 1".  There has been a whole lot of karma happening lately but there was a big incident tonight that I need to tell you about.

I went to knitting group tonight with a bag full of beautiful new yarn that Granny and Pop bought for me this weekend. (On sale--even better.)  I thought I had the best treat ever.

And then Pat (of the tomatoes) showed up and dropped this in my lap.

It's a pillow.  And I love it so very much.  Because Pat (who by the way is an extraordinary quilter) made this for me from the button bands and collar pieces of my friend Mark's work shirts.  Mark died the night before Thanksgiving in 2009 and I miss him more than you could possibly imagine.  He was a brilliant thinker, a wonderful man, a good friend and a helluva lot of fun.  And on Sunday, we will be gathering to sprinkle his ashes in the Hudson River.  He was a boater and he profoundly loved that river so it is a wonderful new home for him. 

I know the photo isn't great--the lighting in my house is very gentle in the evening--but I wish you all could see this and I wish you all had gotten to spend 5 minutes with Mark. 

So Pat--who I am so proud to call my friend--used her talent and her vision to make me something beautiful out of something that was so terrible and painful.

If that's not generosity of spirit, I don't know what is.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Joy To The World

Did you ever see the episode of Friends when everyone is making fun of the way Phoebe runs and she explains to them that she always runs as if she is running for the swings?  Remember that wonderful feeling of running for the swings when you were a kid?  You didn't care what you looked like or what  you were wearing--all you new was that you were having fun.

Well that's the way my friend Joy knits.  She knits like she's running for the swings.  She does it purely for the fun off it.  She doesn't care if she knits "right" or "wrong" (that's a conversation for another day--there's no such thing as the wrong way to knit).  When she loses a stitch she makes a new one.

I have a group of friends that I gather with often to celebrate our birthdays.  Last year Joy sent out an email to all of us asking us not to get her things for her birthday but rather to do something special with her or find some tools for her creativity.  Oh by the way, did I mention that Joy is by far the most creative person I know?  Click on the link above to see her photos.  They're fabulous.

Now Joy is my oldest friend (I've know her since first grade--I do have one other friend that I've known longer but I didn't see her all through elementary school so Joy wins the oldest friend trophy) and I knew she would never knit herself socks.  In fact, she had once asked me to make her a pair of socks.  So I bought a sock blank, some dye and printed out the instructions and gave them to her to play with.  The plan was that once it was dyed, I would knit them up.  (They're on the needles now but that's a post for another day.)

Joy bought herself a lovely gift at her LYS as well.  It was a kit with some straight up gorgeous yarn and a pattern for a pair of mitts with a little ruffle around the top and the bottom.  I know that I said that there is no wrong way to knit but the way that Joy forms her stitches would totally screw things up if she was knitting in the round.  I gave her a little lesson on other ways to knit and sent her home with some dps to practice on.

Not surprisingly, this year Joy asked me to actually knit those mitts for her as her birthday gift. 

We figured out what she wanted (blue with pink trim) and I got them started.  They knit up so quickly that it was almost a disappointment until I realized that if I left off the bottom ruffle, there was enough yarn to make two pairs!  Woo Hoo!  I was so excited, I even took them on a trip to the beach.

Aren't they adorable.  And they're even cuter on.

And look how great they look on Joy!  I have a feeling that she may be wearing them as mismatched pairs more often than she planned because they just look so damn cute that way. 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Time Flies Like an Arrow, Fruit Flies Like a Banana

Or a tomato as the case may be in my kitchen right now.

I've been house cleaning this evening, and, as I have mentioned before, I am LAZY!  I am the worlds laziest housekeeper.  And, dag nab it, I'll take it.  I live alone so the only person who is affected by my laziness is me.  And having just watched my first episode of Sister Wives, I am renewing my vows to always keep my own apartment.  Holy crap these people are just nuts.  I mean really.  How freaking needy a man are you that you need four wives?

Sarcasm aside, this show is so profoundly degrading to women.  I was at a party recently and a woman was waxing poetic about certain rap music being degrading to women and it made her worried about her daughters.  And, of course I couldn't stop myself.  Hmm--let's see.  Some asshole singer wants to call a woman a bitch or a ho.  Fine.  I'm totally okay with that freedom of speech thing.  But guess what?  When some rap singer calls a woman a bitch or a ho, at least I have a specific person to point a finger at.  The reality, as I pointed out to the women that I was talking to, is that degradation of women is an accepted social norm.  And that is far more disturbing than some dumbass rap singer (not saying all rap singers are dumbasses--there are a lot of really talented men and women out there).   And while we're at it, let's point out the implied racism here.  I worked for a hip hop music company and was shocked when we were told by MTV that they would not play our video because it had strippers in it.  Surprisingly, they had a video by a white band (okay--it was Aerosmith) loaded chock full of strippers and that was fine because it was white guys.  

As if it's not hard enough being a woman.  We deal with the whole boob thing (my bras cost over $80 and within a few months, the underwires jump ship and pop out at the most inopportune moments--I have yet to see an $80 underwire jock strap).  We deal with the whole period thing ( I'm not even going to go there).  We deal with the whole we make less money than men for the same job--still--thing.  I mean come on girls--some dumb singer is going to be the biggest threat in my life?  I don't think so.

Anyway, I've been housecleaning.  Which means I've been tidying up my studio (okay--my dining room table) and I found some wonderful things that I have yet to stash.

Look at this.

Isn't it pretty?  It's loaded with silk and, although it is not a color that is flattering on me, it will be gorgeous on more than one person that I owe a hand knit gift to.

And then there's this.

I don't even want to tell you how much I paid for this Misti Alpaca Suri.  It was on a ridiculous sale and cost me less than coffee at Starbucks.  It's so damn soft that I can't stand the thought of putting it away until I need it.  I think I'll just keep it out and stroke it for the rest of my life.

As a last thought, I was once in the bathroom at a conference with Gloria Steinem.  She had just made a great speech during which she used the word cunt more than once.  Shocking! As we were walking out of the restroom, I had to say to her "Oh my God, I can't wait to tell everyone I know that I was in the bathroom with Gloria Steinem." 

And then I spent an hour terrified that I had said "Ladies Room" instead of "Bathroom".