Sunday, December 31, 2006

mine was good, how 'bout yours?

just back from cornland and had a terrific time. we weren't sure we were going to make it back there, due to "blizzard 2006" [insert dramatic newscaster voice here] in denver. fortunately we flew out two hours after DIA opened and had no problems catching our connecting flight to lincoln that evening. hurray!

upon arrival at my IL's house, i found in our bedroom a baby cradle with a clock inside. was this a subtle hint from my MIL that she wants grandbabies? she denied it. i still wonder... :)

we had five days in norfolk with mickey's fam, and all in all it was great. i got some knitting done, though i have to say i'm on very displeased with the end result. the cascade pima silk mentioned previously is still a dream, but my BO skills are poopy, and i think now the blanket looks more like a parachute. i'm crossing my fingers that blocking it will help. i also made progress on my eggplant scarf. i think i have about a foot completed, and so far, so good. i did not take my cabling needle with me, so instead i used a plastic coffee stir stick to hold my stitches.

on the way home, we encountered "blizzard 2006 take deux" at DIA. we ended up getting bumped off our first flight from DIA to PDX. in fairness, i should mention we volunteered, because if we didn't, UAL was going to boot off a grandmother traveling with grandbabies and a young woman who'd been bumped twice already, and who was sobbing in the aisles. heartbreaking. we were offered free tix on UAL, but they weren't sure when we'd get out of denver because the storm was causing cancellations of several flights. we fortunately got the next flight out on standby, and aside from sitting on the runway for nearly three hours (and going through de-icing three times after snow continued to collect on the wings), we arrived home.

i can't say my fam had the same travel karma this year. my sis's flight to arkansas was canceled because of blizzard '06, so she, my BIL and my favorite nephew were stuck by themselves in idaho. hearing from my sis that my li'l guy was crying in the airport after learning he wasn't going to see his gramma, i wanted to cancel my plans and drive to idaho to see them. they ended up having, what my li'l guy called, "the best christmas ever," so i guess all is good.

my ma also had bad karma, or should i say car-ma. on their way to colorado, they hit a deer, and more than likely totaled the subaru. bad news. fortunately they are in good health, and were close enough to the destination that my uncle could pick them up. i'm hoping santa will come late this year and bring her a new subaru.

today 2006 comes to an end, and we enter a new year. it's been a rough year, so i can't say i'm sad to leave 2006 behind. too much change, people moving away, bad habits resumed and not enough QT with friends and my husbot, especially the latter part of this year. i have high hopes that in 2007 i'll swear less, take more photos, eat more healthfully, lose 20 pounds, keep in touch with people, find balance in my life, and learn to better manage my stress. wish me luck.

wishing you and yours a safe and festive new year's, and a great year ahead!

Monday, December 18, 2006

guilty pleasure

i'm watching "love actually" for the second time in two days. pathetic, but i'll admit it's my favorite christmas-ish movie of all time. pathetic, probably. but i love every sappy, chick flickish moment of it.

we're headed to nebraska in four days for christmas, and i'm definitely looking forward to a break. i am hoping for some time with my knitting, as i have two projects i think i can finish while i'm there. i've just begun this dreamy eggplant colored scarf while on my trip to dc, and i've not decided whether i'll keep it for myself or give it to a girlfriend of mine. decisions, decisions....

hope you all are enjoying the holidays, and getting a bit of christmas cheer. go have some nog!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

highlights from DC

so, sadly, i didn't find albert, but i did find the new ww2 memorial, which was terrific. btw, DC is going to run out of water with how much is running through fountains and lying in ponds and pools.

WW2 memorial

i think they will get coal in their stockings, how 'bout you?

i didn't do much sightseeing, because i was busy in a conference during the day. as you can see, i was very busy. yeah, that's right, yours truly is the WOMMA rock paper scissors champion. i'm considering a career as an officiant of future rock paper scissors competitions, now that i'm qualified. thanks to the world RPS society for the fun time!

Monday, December 11, 2006

the other washington

greetings from the east coast washington! i'm here on biz for the WOMMA conference, and am having a delightful time. my hotel is right downtown, about a stone's throw (but don't tell the secret service) from the white house, and in the thick of all that history that comes with DC. i haven't been here since i was a teenager, but it's everything as fantastic as i remember it: bustling people, so much to do, a grandiose marble building of size and scale unimaginable around every corner. this trip, i've been struck by the rare feeling that i'm more than glad -- i'm proud to be part of this country, because i am reminded of the great men who came before, who shaped this nation into all the things i love, yet forget as soon as news of iraq comes on the telly or GW opens his mouth.

i walked up to the capitol today at twilight and watched the lights slowly twinkle to life inside the huge building. putting all politics aside, it's such a magnificent building -- so clean-looking and stately and powerful. at dusk, the reflecting pool caught the glinting lights of the building, and in the dark blue/black sky, that white marble gave the capitol a larger-than-life presence.

being here makes me remember my teenage trip to DC, with my fam. my dad was a history buff, and liked coming to DC. i remember the tired feet and the hot sticky feeling that july, but also remember feeling so happy being here, watching him wander around the museums and along the national mall with a look of both contentment and excitement. i have a photo of him and me trying unsuccessfully to hug a huge column at some building here. as i walked down the mall today and looked at the various buildings lining the promenade, that memory made me smile.

i have two more days here, and i'm hoping to walk to the reflecting pool between the washington and lincoln memorials, and also i hope to find the einstein statue where, as a kid, dad and my family posed for more silly photos. maybe i'll ask somone to take my photo sitting in albert's lap, just for dad.

Friday, December 08, 2006

quarterly issue of crack lovin'

knitty's here, knitty's here! as if i don't have enough fiber crack (went to the crack store tonight in fact...), seeing spanish dancer makes me fiber drool. and, how will i fit argosy into my already long list of projects in progress?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

haka-rific, but what do i know?

as many of you may know, i've got a significant love affair with new zealand, and specifically with the all blacks, the country's mighty fine and also the world's top rugby team.

and of all the things i love about the all blacks, perhaps my favorite (next to first five-eighths heartthrob daniel carter) is the haka. it's the traditional maori chant and dance that the team shares at the beginning of every match. the haka, as i understand it, is an homage to the legends of the country's maori people, and is an honor within maori tribes to perform it. on the rugby pitch, before the team begins the game, it's a way for them to unify and to build up energy in preparation for the match. aside from being entertaining, it's inspiring, riveting and chilling to watch.

mickey called attention to a recent article in the times, in which the haka is under fire from an american journalist who sees it as racist and inappropriate, relating it to a football player's celebratory dance in the end zone, or a death taunt at a sporting match. has this guy really watched the haka, and does he really understand how intertwined the haka is with the all blacks' history?

unlike those gestures identified in the article, which i see as egotistical, showgrabbing antics, the haka builds team and calls upon history to give them strength to succeed. and, i'm certainly no expert, but how is it tribally insensitive for the ruggers to recount classical tales to prepare them to perform at their best? with the passion and pride they demonstrate on the field during the haka, i see it as exactly the opposite -- as an honor, not only to the country and its people, but to people like me who now appreciate maori culture more than before, in large part because of the haka.

i say, let the all blacks continue to pay tribute to their culture and their traditions. let the opposing teams choose to invoke similar gestures to respectfully accept the challenge put forth through the haka. the lions
honorably did so during their '05 tour, using a blade of grass laid at the feet of the all blacks.

don't take the haka off the field and out of the eyes of people who could stand to know more about other countries' cultures and traditions.

PS: interested in seeing these guys in action? check out the thirsty lion on second ave downtown, where they show international rugby most days of the week. yeah!