Friday, June 29, 2007

- Busy me


Just wanted to pop in and say I've been soooooooooooo busy with work and life I haven't had time to blog or knit or anything.

I've been running nonstop for the past month, and only had time to breath a little bit today. One of these days things should slow down, but with life being as it is (good) and the end of the fiscial year, and the weather making my people crazy, and the upcoming holiday, I've not had time for blogging. I miss it and hope to be back in soon.


Monday, June 25, 2007

- I love these books!

Good video

Armistead Maupin takes new trip down Barbary Lane

Unlike his friend Nora Ephron, Armistead Maupin doesn't feel bad about his neck. Sure, it's a little creaky -- a touch of arthritis -- but he looks on the bright side. "I wake up in the morning with the loveliest guy in the world, with incredibly geezery aches and pains," Maupin says with a laugh.
His point is, he wakes up. And he does so -- with his husband, Christopher Turner, a Web site entrepreneur -- in a cozy aerie, tucked in the woods above Parnassus Avenue at the top of a zigzag of brick steps.
The house has a spectacular view of the city, as does Maupin, creator of the beloved "Tales of the City" series.
Started in 1976 as a newspaper serial following the adventures of the various eccentrics living at 28 Barbary Lane (a stand-in for Russian Hill's Macondray Lane), "Tales" ran for years in The Chronicle, spawning six books and three television miniseries.
After 18 years, Maupin has returned to Barbary Lane with a new book -- "Michael Tolliver Lives," out Tuesday from HarperCollins -- which is another love song to Maupin's adopted home.
Tuesday, the city returns the compliment; Mayor Gavin Newsom has declared June 12 "Michael Tolliver Day in San Francisco."
Unlike its predecessors, the new book is written from the point of view of Tolliver, the sweet male Southern belle.
"I was nervous that people following the series might be thrown off by a first-person novel that has all the characters treated equally," says Maupin, settling into a deep champagne-colored couch and looking very Brooks Brothers in a green gingham shirt and crisp khakis. But as the book took shape, he couldn't resist giving preferential treatment to some of the characters.
"They started auditioning for me, begging for a place in the chorus line," he says. These folks are still kicking, despite the devastation of AIDS and advancing age, and therein lies the theme of Maupin's newest "Tale."
"I wanted to illuminate the process of growing older as a gay man, and make it easier for people who think life is over," he says. "Gay men who are growing old are incredibly lucky to be here."
Maupin's life hasn't been untouched by AIDS; like so many, he lost a loved one. The optimistic outlook he has today has been hard won.
"But if I'd known that 63 was going to feel this good, I would have been a lot more cheerful along the way," says Maupin. He and Turner, who is 27 years younger, were married this year in Vancouver, British Columbia; Turner runs a Web site for gay men over 40 who are searching for younger partners.
"Age is the last closet you come out of in the gay world," he says, and that's more than just a snappy coinage.
"There are such gloomy visions of gay men aging. But if you worship beauty above all else, if you worship sex above all else, you're in trouble. If you're not working on your heart every second, you are going to have a very sad old age."
The walls of Turner and Maupin's terraced Arts and Crafts cottage are lined with paintings, photographs and mementos.
A photo-portrait of Maupin by David Hockney hangs in the tin-lined stairwell. Facing it is a sultry watercolor of Turner by Don Bachardy, partner of author Christopher Isherwood (a mentor of Maupin's). Nearby is a pencil sketch of Ian McKellen as Gandalf, a self-portrait the actor left as a gift on his last visit.
Among the treasures displayed on a beautifully figured oak table by the front window is a gilt-edged edition of "Mademoiselle de Maupin." French writer Theophile Gautier's 1835 novel is the story of a woman seeking truth and beauty through cross-dressing. The character is one of the inspirations for Anna Madrigal, the transsexual landlady in "Tales of the City" who was played on film by Olympia Dukakis.
Also holding places of honor in Maupin's home are the sepia portraits of his maternal grandmother. She was an English suffragist, theosophist, palm reader and actress who moved to Asheville, N.C., during the First World War. One photograph shows her wide-eyed and in character as "The Madwoman of Chaillot," a satirical French play from the 1940s. Maupin saw her perform when he was a boy, and still recalls the moment she took the stage in that role at the Raleigh Little Theatre, rising through a trapdoor in a curtain of dry ice.
She would often read his palm and ask what he wanted to be when he grew up. "A lawyer, like Daddy," he would say, and she would close his palm tenderly, with a look that said "probably not."
When he last visited her, at a convalescent home in Virginia, "Tales of the City" had just been published. At 95, she was dressed up as always, but she didn't know him. On an impulse, he reached out his palm. "Teddy," she said, using his family nickname, "you're in your 30s now."
Through "Tales of the City," Maupin became an activist.
"We've had a revolution over the years, and I'm really happy to have been part of it," he says. "My whole career has been motivated by my determination that people shouldn't have to be in the closet. I'd spent time there myself."
Some newer fans of "Tales of the City" may not know how far he has come. Growing up in a prominent North Carolina family, Maupin was an "adamant young conservative." He began writing while in college, with a column in the Daily Tar Heel at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill that was "part Art Buchwald, part William F. Buckley."
After serving in the Navy, Maupin returned from Vietnam a vocal supporter of the war. Through his father -- whose law firm ran the Congressional Club, a fundraising arm of the conservative right -- he went to work for North Carolina Sen. Jesse Helms. "It's my so-called dark secret. I was Helms' golden boy," he says. "I think I've done enough to atone." In a twist Maupin relishes, Helms later condemned the film of "Tales of the City" on the Senate floor.
But looking back, "being a conservative and in the closet go hand-in-hand, because it's easier if you insist everyone else keep the lid on," he says. "The Rev. Ted Haggard is no rare exception." Haggard, a Christian-right preacher, was outed last year by his longtime male escort.
A move to California helped spur Maupin's self-acceptance -- but not right away.
"I was moving to San Francisco to work at Associated Press when I got a call that the president wanted to see me three days hence," he says mischievously.
Helms had recommended him to President Richard Nixon ("a terrified little man") as a potential counter to John Kerry, the charismatic member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War whose 1971 speech -- "how do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?" -- electrified Congress.
"It's bitterly ironic to me now," Maupin says, "because in the last election Kerry was nowhere near left enough for me."
When he finally did report for his AP job in San Francisco, his editors -- intentionally, he thinks -- sent him to cover a peace march downtown. "That's when I saw my first public nudity," he says fondly.
His own coming out was gradual, and San Francisco, he believes, made all the difference. "It opened my heart," he says. "It let me examine my own bigotry. And it let me have a good time doing it."
Maupin has more than returned the favor. After all, in his seven Dickensian "Tales" -- inspired by his own adventures and those of his friends -- the real protagonist is the city by the bay.

Monday, June 18, 2007

- Rant, rant, rant!!

Ok, so this is going to be a bit of a rant.

I recently came across a discussion regarding homosexuality online. It started out pleasantly enough, then degraded a bit into "sin" talk. I am always disturbed by people who profess to be Christians and yet they 'hate' those that don't live the same lifestyle.

I was raised by Christian parents, in fact my father is a priest. I was taught that "alternative lifestyles" (a term I didn't hear until I was older), were fine and dandy providing they weren't hurtful to anyone. That just because I didn't live that way didn't make it wrong, just different.

My mother had many gay friends, I had friends with one parent, friends with gay/lesbian parents, friends who lived with their grandparents, friends who lived in foster care, friends who were only children, the youngest child, the oldest, the middle, lived in blended families, some had dogs, some cats, some pet snakes. I had friends who were white, black, Indian, Asian, mixed with everything. I had friends who were on welfare, some were rich, middle class, or just plain poor. I grew up with legal immigrants, illegal immigrants, people whose family came on the Mayflower, and some who came to the USA when they were 15 or older, some were adopted. Let's see, Jewish friends, Catholic, Episcopal, Methodist, Muslim, Wiccan, Agnostic, Atheist, Lutheran, Greek Orthodox, etc........I could go on. Here's what I don't understand. If I grew up with all of these people, all of these lifestyles, differences, both physical, emotional, economic.....which is the "alternative" lifestyle?!?

I mean seriously....If I look back at my childhood, my parents, and ONE other family I grew up with were the only ones with parents who were married, had been married prior to our conception and birth, and who were our natural parents. <----This was the "alternative" to everyone and everything I saw around me. I was the freak, I was the weird one, I still am.

So why in society is that the family dynamic/life dynamic/love dynamic/sex dynamic that everyone feels is "normal and okay"? Can someone explain it to me?

Oh, wait I know.....the bible says so, right?!? And we are a bible loving country in the good old USA, right?!?

Don't get me wrong, I love the bible, it's teaching, and stories, but really?!? That's the reasoning? Doesn't it also say not to eat pork? But on T.V. it says pork is the other white meat. Every Christian church function I've gone to has pork products. Doesn't the bible also say to rest on the Sabbath? But come on all the best sales are on the weekends! Hmmm, what else does the bible say to do that we as "Christians" don't follow. Why is it that we get to pick and choose what we want to believe in the bible, then we point to it as our moral compass, when we as a people, religious group, don't follow all of it's tenants?

But then it also says to love our neighbor, to turn the other cheek, and to do unto others.....but then we often choose to disregard those teachings too. Why do we choose the negative to live by rather than the positive? How can a Christian person say, "I hate the sin but love the sinner", there should be no hate.

How can you hate someone for loving someone else?!? Shouldn't we embrace any love? Shouldn't we celebrate positive feelings in this world? I just don't understand how you can hate/dislike someone for who they have sex with. Why? I want someone to explain this to me without the excuse of "because the bible says so". The bible says a LOT of things that you don't follow, how did you come to the conclusion that THAT particular issue is the one you should grab onto?

Personally, if you love someone, and that someone loves you back, the RIGHT ON! GOOD FOR YOU! Why is that my business or my concern?

I see things day in and day out at my job that baffle the mind and would assault the sensibilities of anyone in the "general public". Then I go home, surf the net, watch t.v. try to escape, and what do I see? The "normal" people, the "Christian" people who are bagging on others, spreading hatred and discontent. People who are trying to divide, who think their way is the only way, who say they are Americans and Christians, yet they want everyone to live their way, because obviously that is the "correct" way.

It's getting to the point that I go to work to escape from the "real world". Because at least there, I know who I'm dealing with, I know what I'm getting. And the people I work with know that they aren't perfect, know that there are different ways of living that are good, and just. Don't hate me because I'm different than they are.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

- Yarn swap (again)

Ok, so I have joined a yarn swap! This time we are swapping twice. The first one will be yarn, and the second swap is a knitted item or something for knitting!!! I have a cool swaper (the person who will be sending me yarn), and a cool swapee (the person I will be sending yarn to)! Here is a link to the swap forum on KH.

Here is what I have so far to send to my swapee:

5 skeins of Elsebeth Lavold :: Hempathy it will come with a pattern for a very pretty camisole.
6 skeins of Wool of the Andes
1 skein of Andean Silk
2 bottles of Jacquard Dye in my swapee's favorite colors....No I won't say what colors because I want no chance that she will figure out who I am!

I will be including some local supprises that can not be bought anywhere else. She has no food maybe some Sierra Nevada mustards....or a Chico Bag....hmmmm, so many choices. My swapee lives far, far away, and I want to give her a chance to get a little bit of my local flavor. We shall see. Perhaps some spices that are made right here.....I'll figure something out.

I'm hoping she will like what I send her in the first order, now I have to figure out what I'm going to do for the second package.

Now for those of you who know me personally, NO I didn't buy myself ANY yarn when I bought for my swapee....althought I did buy myself a book, Charmed Knits; Projects for Harry Potter Fans! I couldn't resist. For $10.00 it was totally worth it!!!!!!!!!!

I will be getting pictures up of some stuff next week, I will have some time. I think. I pretty much will be working 5 days 11 hours a day, but I'll have two hours when I get home at night before my bed time to post pictures, knit, clean, cook, do laundry, etc.....well, lately for me, that will be extra time. Life has been super busy lately. Very cool, and I'm liking my life more and more lately, just super busy.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

- Australian Charity Blanket

So my Scarfer has started her own charity blanket. Here is the link. I think this is so cool. The charity spirit is spreading 'round the world.

I also got my scarf from the ISE4, and all kinds of goodies!!! I haven't had time to take pictures, but let me tell you, my scarf is BEAUTIFUL, and I can't wait for the weather to get cool so I can wear it. Here is a link to my scarfer's blog. There is a picture on her site. The colors are wonderful, and the scarf itself is so wonderful. I only hope my scarfee likes hers as much as I like mine!

I will post pictures soon. Likely next week as all of my time is super booked until then.

Friday, June 8, 2007

- Jericho lives!!!!

WOOOO HOOOO!!!!! CBS has reversed it's decision on Jericho!! I adore this show, and I am so glad it is coming back. First off I have to say, TV networks are sooooo out of touch!!! Seriously, you take a show off in the middle of the season, for 6 weeks, and shockingly enough, people don't watch the second half of the season. Your viewership drops and they are supprised.

Anyway, here is a link to the Yahoo news story, and here is a link to jericholives. I think everyone should watch this show! They are going to replay it over the summer, so if you missed the season, or any episodes, check it out, and let CBS know you like it.

Monday, June 4, 2007

- Feast or Famine

I know, I know. I don't post for a week, then two in one day. So sue me, I'm a little off today.
So here's the reason I'm posting again. Everyone knows I am a big fan of KH. HUGE fan in fact. The people are great, the ideas and knowledge that float around that place are the best.....ok, I got distracted. Back to the point of the second post of the day. I'm getting kind of excited about a new site, that is not fully up and running, but looks to be very cool if you are into knitting. Ravelry.

Basically it's a site in which you can orginize your stash, needles, patterns etc. online, and share pictures of your work. It looks pretty freakin' cool, and I'm excited for it to get started!

Also I just wanted to show you all this site. I really like her patterns, especially "Matilda Jane". I think it's super cute!

- Too busy to blog

I guess you can tell when life is picking up, I've been waaaaay too busy to even sit down for 5 minutes and blog a little bit. Sheesh.

I've been working like a mad women, trying to clean my house, hoping to spare some time to have fun and hang out with friends. I've got a new boyfriend (come on now all together, awwwww). So I've had NO time for knitting, not even a little bit, not even a row!!! I'm going through knitting withdrawals, my fingers are itching to make something. The house cleaning isn't going as planned either. I have the best of intentions, and am finding myself muttering under my breath on a regular basis, "I've got to clean the kitchen tomorrow", "I'm going to mop the floor in the morning", "I'm gonna do some laundry tomorrow night".....yet tomorrow never seems to come, as it's always today.

But my kitchen is such a mess I don't want to cook, so I WILL clean it tonight. I did some dishes last night, in order to clear just enough room to put the grocery bags somewhere other than on the floor. AARRRGGGHHH, isn't life always like this? Too much to do and too little time to do it, or not enough to do, and you're bored all of the time.

So anywhoo, this is why I haven't had time to blog lately. As soon as I get a little bit of down time (and after my kitchen is clean), I'll get to knitting, and back to blogging!!!!