Shiny Happy Beetle

I am sitting in front of my glowing computer screen, glass of Gewurtztraminer in hand, after the first preview of a fabulous little show. Maybe I've been staring at the screen too long, because my cat just did the "are you in there?" sniff of my face.

Some of you may recall the unfortunate run-in my car had with a concrete barrier in a parking lot recently. Volkswagens aren't made of steel like Buicks. The car got a little dirty (okay, filthy. Yellow shows dirt so much better than metallic tan) while waiting for the bumper to be fixed, as I was afraid that the undercarriage blast might dislodge the bumper screen entirely. Well, mellow yellow has been to the mechanic and the car wash and looks as good as new. Sure, the guys at the garage teased me about needing curb feelers (seriously pimp), but they also fixed it in less than an hour and charged me next to nothing. Now when I park, I leave some room for the holy spirit!

My tickets for the season have started arriving in the mail, which is very exciting. I've already had to give away one ticket, due to work conflicts, to San Francisco Ballet. I was really bummed, but I can't exactly skip last dress to take in some dance. I gave the ticket to a friend who really loves ballet, but rarely attends. All of my other tickets look good. There's plenty of opera and ballet ahead!

There's been a lot of political discourse around the theatre, which has been interesting. We're all Democrats, so there's a certain freedom to state one's opinions without fear of reprisal or disagreement. Sarah Palin has been an especially popular topic of conversation, which was probably the reason why she was chosen for the veep slot. She's a damned effective distraction from serious politics and important issues. I am horrified that she is running for national office and not because she gave her children horrible, made up "Scandinavian" names, or that one of them is knocked up (though the irony of that in light of Palin's abstinence-only stance is delicious), but because her politics are naive, insulting, and dangerous. She's a wolf in sheep's clothing. What kind of woman believes that abortion shouldn't even be allowed in cases of rape and incest?

I'm not very excited about Obama, but I can't wait to vote against McCain/Palin in November. I heard on NPR today that most people will vote as they did in their first presidential election for the rest of their lives. That really gave me pause, since I've yet to back a winning horse. Let's hope that changes, as I'd sooner die than vote Republican. Not too much danger of that in Chicago. You can still vote when you're dead here.

I'm trying to keep this upbeat, but lately I've felt pretty misanthropic. When I say it that way, it seems so much more sophisticated than "people suck". Not all people suck, but I keep coming across ones that do. Why must people park in front of the mailboxes when they are not using them? This has happened twice in the past week when I've need to mail something and it made me surprisingly angry. Yeah, it was inconvenient to have to get out of my car, but did they have to give me weird looks for using the mailboxes that were so close to their vehicles? I also got stuck behind some drunks in the McDonald's drive-thru. So selfish and careless to drive while drunk, but they also met up with friends (yes, in the drive-thru, in another vehicle. It involved honking and shrieks) and refused to pull up to the second window. Crazy.

Still, none of that was as irritating as being stood up by one of my friends. I felt like shit as I waited for them, unimportant and forgotten. Also a little angry at myself for putting myself in that position. It wasn't the first time they'd blown me off, but I was still surprised by the disappointment I felt. No apologies or explanations have been offered, and frankly, I doubt any will be accepted.

Now for some fiber talk. If you managed to get through all of the above, you deserve a little yarn time. Last weekend was Renegade Fest here in Chicago. Also torrential rain, which was not very conducive to shopping outdoors. My pal Bianca got soaked to the skin while merching for a friend, and I was pretty wet when I made my way back to the theatre. As tempting as curling up with a book or knitting busily on my Colgate socks were, I was on a mission to find Jennie the Potter. I'm a big fan of her buttons and spoke to her at Stitches about the perfect buttons to go with the Peace Fleece in my stash. She was tucked away in a cozy, dry tent and she had the buttons I wanted. She's really awesome and I'd suggest that you check out her wares. She makes fiber inspired pottery and distinctive buttons. She also has a tee shirt that says "Uff Da" on it, which is the height of nerdy chic.

The Colgate socks are flying along. The first one was finished during all of the hurry up and wait of tech. This involved a desperate phone call to a true knitting friend, Meghan, when I forgot how to do a sewn bind-off. She looked it up online and read off the instructions to me so that I could finish my sock and get started on its mate. She's a good egg. I'm really pleased with the patterning in the Ravelry colorway by Spunky Eclectic, but I'm not so sure about the base yarn. It already looks a little shopworn in the garment, and I've yet to wear it. It hasn't even suffered purse abuse, since it lives in the Pretty Cheap Bag that Carol gave me. Perhaps a quick dunk in Soak will revive it.

I'm also knitting a Felicity hat out of Dream in Color Classy that I bought at their factory sale. Now that I've started knitting with it, I understand why they'd pulled this yarn aside as seconds. It's not as squishy as their yarn usually is, but it's not horrible. Soon, it will be hat weather again, which has inspired me to start knitting this year's hats. Also, a few sets of dpns arrived in the mail from Knitpicks. Knitting hats in magic loop is such a pain in the ass that I finally admitted defeat and bought some dpns. Mysteriously, all of the appropriate sizes in my collection had only three needles. No good. My experience with Knitpicks' metal needles has been very good (wonderfully supple cables, great for socks), but I prefer wood for dpns. I don't want to kill my wrists. The Harmony needles are fabulous. Riotous to look at, but their finish is as smooth as silk. I definitely recommend them.

Now that I'm into my second glass of wine, I think I might lie down and listen to some old records. I'm listening to Jacques Brel a lot these days. He's really reawakened my interest in the traditional chanson.


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