Movable Type 3.2
November 05, 2009
(Hey, I just realized that the Yankees have the same number of championships as years I've been alive! Nifty. Anyway.)
Baseball is stressful. I don't even care that much, honestly, and it's still stressful. I don't actually watch unless I'm with people who are watching, but I'll open up MLB.com Gameday in a tab in my browser and check back to see how things are going. And, of course, these days it's pretty easy to follow along on Twitter. I don't really follow many sports-specific Tweeters (with the exceptions of my friend's husband who's a baseball reporter and NPR's Mike Pesca), but, of course, a large number of the political journalists and other people I follow happen to be big baseball fans. (Really, if you're not already reading Spencer Ackerman for his national security stuff - although YOU SHOULD BE - read him for his Yankees commentary.)
And I certainly don't talk about baseball much, because I live up here in the middle of Red Sox land, and even if I don't care about baseball that much, I know which side I'm on. My parents are Yankee fans. My grandparents are Yankee fans. It's really not even a question. But I really, really am not interested in getting into big discussions about it with friends or coworkers, so I just don't mention it and let them think that I'm just oblivious about the whole thing. I wear a cap that looks suspiciously Yankee-colored but is in fact for Colby football, because no one can possibly argue with that.
But even when I'm not really paying much attention, this latent Yankee whatever is there in the back of my mind, and things do seem vaguely out of whack when they're not doing well. And I get caught up in the excitement and the season and post-season progresses, to the point that by the World Series this year, I was checking Gameday fairly obsessively as I went about my evening, and stayed up later than I had intended to see how things were going. So. All of this was an overlong and disjointed way of saying that even I am surprised by how happy I am this morning. As Spencer Ackerman tweeted last night, "The Universe. Restored."
September 29, 2008
Any thoughts on the bailout issue?
I've been reading everything I can find, but I don't feel like I know enough to really start talking about it. Anyone have opinions? Good links?
Actually, my main conclusion so far is that some form of economics should be a required class in, oh, eighth grade or so. Because a) if I'd had that I might be doing better at understanding what's going on and b) if everyone had to take that class, maybe we wouldn't be in this position in the first place.
I just spent my lunch break reading the text of the bailout bill. Not the most fun lunch hour ever, but I'm glad I read it. And it was more readable than I'd expected.
Update: Yeah, apparently I read it just in time for it to maybe be voted down, so far.
Update 2: And it fails. Now what?
Update 3: Chris Cillizza's analysis of it all.
September 18, 2008
It's like the economy is affecting my real life or something.
There is apparently a huge round of layoffs going on at my company today - only the second time they've had layoffs in at least the past ten years or so. Wow. The office is in a minor uproar. (Yes, my job is fine, and so far I haven't heard that anyone I know was affected, although I have gotten a few worried e-mails from friends in other departments. "You all okay over there?" "Yeah, we're fine. What about there?" etc.)
August 20, 2008
We're not really surprised...
A guy I went to college with, Brian Conley, was nicknamed "Disaster Boy." So it's not really surprising that he has been detained in Beijing. (More surprising that he has avoided serious trouble before this, really, as he was previously in Baghdad.) But still, you know, concerning. More here. I know I keep asking you for good thoughts today, but it sounds like he could certainly use some. I'll update if I hear more.
(And the other thing I was asking for good thoughts for is... over for now, still waiting for results. I'll let you know if anything comes of it. Thanks.)
August 05, 2008
Oh my goodness!
Tomorrow's expected high is 67. I am beside myself with glee.
July 28, 2008
Random Target Tip - Burt's Bees
I love Burt's Bees Baby Bee Buttermilk Lotion. Yeah, it says it's for babies, but I have sensitive skin and it works wonderfully. I go through a lot of it, so when I went to buy a new bottle of it at Target the other day, I was disappointed that the only ones in the general Burt's Bees section were quite small. I knew I'd gotten larger bottles there in the past, so I asked a Target employee. She suggested that I try the baby section - and there they were! Nice big bottles. Just a tip for anyone else who might be looking for this lotion.
June 13, 2008
Tim Russert is dead.
Russert collapsed and died this afternoon of an apparent heart attack. Wow.
June 02, 2008
Knew it would happen eventually...
For the first time ever, I just spent over $40 to fill up my little Civic. Sigh.
May 03, 2008
The end of an era
The singer/pianist at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York - who plays Cole Porter's own piano, no less - is being laid off for "economic reasons." Sad.
April 18, 2008
The Olympics Thing
In all the back-and-forth about who thinks the Olympic Opening Ceremonies should be boycotted by whom, I don't understand why no one seems aware that the president usually doesn't go, anyway. According to Slate, no president has ever attended the Opening Ceremonies when they weren't in the United States. So what's the significance of a "boycott"? Sure, sometimes the president sends a proxy, and maybe this means Bush won't do that. But it just doesn't seem like that big a deal. So why is it being made such an issue? Are people just not aware that the president usually doesn't go, so it's being used by everyone as an easy way to suggest action or inaction that sounds good but doesn't mean or change anything?
Meanwhile, in Russia...
Not that we all thought Putin was exceedingly reasonable before this, but seriously? What did he think? "Oh, it worked so well for Sarkozy, so I think I'll leave my wife for a gymnast?" And seriously, not even a real gymnast. A rhythmic gymnast. Huh? (I mean, nothing against rhythmic gymnasts, but it's not like she's Nadia Comaneci or something.)
March 20, 2008
Yay, it's spring! Theoretically, at least. Actually, it is feeling very vaguely springlike outside here today - the snow is melting, and it's somewhat rainy but warm enough to wear a corduroy jacket instead of a parka. Now, it's no secret that I love winter, but this winter has been extra-snowy, and I'm just... done with it, I think. So I am way more excited about the coming of spring than I usually am.
Is it springlike yet where you are?
November 12, 2007
Remembering World War I
Veterans Day, of course, used to be Armistice Day, in honor of the armistice at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918. We don't seem to talk about World War I much - it hasn't captured the national imagination in the same way as the Revolutionary War or the Civil War or World War II. Richard Rubin has a nice piece in the Times today about this void and the last WWI veteran.
November 08, 2007
Harry Potter in Pakistan
Pakistani schoolchildren equate their president with Voldemort. Wow.
November 07, 2006
Just a reminder to those of you in the U.S. to go out and vote today.
I successfully registered in my new town this morning and voted. It all went pretty smoothly. I'm still amused that polling places around here have bake sales. And then I was reminded of why I usually avoid the center of town around rush hour: it took forever to get to work. Now to obsessively check news sites all day...
Interestingly, Garrison Keillor just told me that it's the anniversary of the Russian Revolution. Hmmm.
August 08, 2006
Grammar is magic.
(The roots of "grammar" and "glamour" come from the same word. So it really is magic.)
July 01, 2006
I... can't even... gah.
It is way too early in the morning to wrap my brain around this, but I had to share. A new anti-abortion movement has a bold new plan: get pro-life men to marry single pregnant women so they don't have abortions. Um. Right. Do you see why I'm having trouble even finding the words?
Two favorite lines from the article:
"The motif of a man proposing marriage to a woman pregnant with another manís child is a common one on soap operas that are a fairly good gauge of female fantasy. These stories represent the truth that many pregnant women donít really want to abort, and would not, if marriage and commitment were offered to them."
"Most women are quite rational people."
Yes, the first quote clearly shows how rational the author thinks women are. (Women? People? What? Dorothy Sayers review coming soon.) I'm not sure I want soap operas to be taken as an accurate gauge of "women's fantasies." Maybe some women, sure, but, um, no thanks. If you must have an accurate gauge of my fantasies, please use Jane Austen.
It seems like this would be setting up a really bad dynamic for a marriage: "I saved your baby's life. Without me, you'd be going to hell." Umm, Godlike husband much? Of course, that's probably the point.
(Thanks to Feministing for the link.)
May 12, 2006
Dinner and a movie
January 22, 2006
Happy birthday, Roe v. Wade
Today is the 33rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Honestly, this is an issue I've struggled with, but I have come to realize that the goal is the creation of a world in which abortion is not necessary. Since we do not live in that world, however, abortion needs to be safe, legal, and available. So I am joining hundreds of other bloggers in "Blog for Choice" day. Click on the icon for more information and to see the list.
January 06, 2006
Various appalling links
Yeah, I'm still here. I've just been trying to actually do work at work, and spending less time online at home, and that means less blogging time. But meanwhile...
... and not that it's surprising, but people said really horrible things in 2005
... and Jon Stewart is hosting the Oscars, which is good, but read the comments on this page
Okay, now that I've distracted you from my lack of content... December book list is coming soon, I promise. And maybe even something about knitting.
Posted by Kat at 10:47 AM
December 14, 2005
Random Wednesday ('cause I can)
Yeah, I know, twice in one day. But I had stuff I felt like saying and liked the idea of posting Random Wednesday on Wednesday for once. (It is Wednesday, right? I think?)
1. First, because Lauren asked for it:
The five scarves-in-progress, albeit a bit blurry. The stray needle and brown yarn coming in from the left belong to another scarf-in-progress, but that one is my roommate's, not mine (thank goodness).
2. Tonight was my last class of the semester. We had pizza and wine and cookies and then left early. Really, all classes should be like that.
3. During class, my professor asked me: "Could you make your life any more difficult?" Hah. He doesn't know the half of it.
4. I also discovered that when I e-mailed my final paper to my professor yesterday, I didn't actually, you know, attach the paper. I am so smart.
5. While walking to the train after class I started calculating my Knitting Hours Per Day for the next ten days or so. Let's just say that it's looking rather appalling. Details, and hopefully a Plan, will be forthcoming. Tomorrow. When I'm bored at work.
6. I have decided that Green Day's "Holiday" is what I wanted Franz Ferdinand's second album to be. Not necessarily politically (because Franz Ferdinand is/are British [Scottish?], for one thing), but musically.
7. Today is the thirteenth anniversary of the fatal shooting incident that occurred at my alma mater. Although I was there long afterward and didn't know anyone involved, the reverberations are still felt throughout the tiny community, and I felt I should mention it and that everyone affected is in my thoughts today.
8. On a happier note, it is also my dad's birthday.
9. New Dunkin' Donuts favorite: Vanilla Spice coffee. Yum.
10. I'm dreaming, not of a white Christmas (well that too), but of all the things I will have time to knit after Christmas: the baby Aran, Birch (which was going along swimmingly until I finally had to admit that I should stop on it until after Christmas), Trekking XXL socks, and some sort of freaking head covering, already. I am in New Hampshire. It is cold. I do not seem to own a hat. What I really want is a hooded scarf, but I'm not letting myself think about it yet.
11. It sounds weird, but I have discovered that sleeping in hoodies (yes, with the hood on) is SO cozy. Another thing for which I can blame my roommate. Caffeine, Auden, alcohol, Michael Nava, Six Feet Under, cilantro, sleeping in hoods... what will be next?
12. Since I am home in time to go to bed on time, I should really do so, huh? 'night.
December 01, 2005
If I hadn't already pretty much decided that I can no longer in good conscience consider myself a member of the Catholic Church, this would be the final straw. I'll give you a few highlights, in case you don't have time to read it.
First of all, the main point: "Even if they have never had a gay sexual experience and are fully committed to celibacy, homosexual men are not suitable candidates for the priesthood."
And in case anyone was unclear, here are some "warning signs" of potential homosexuality:
students who had trouble relating to their fathers; are uncomfortable with their own identity; tend to isolate themselves; have difficulty in discussing sexual questions; view pornography on the Internet; demonstrate a deep sense of guilt; or often see themselves as victims.
Here are some of the reasons given for why even celibate gay men make bad priests:
He said they tend to have few friends, to close themselves off from others in "a clan of persons of the same type," to resent the claims on their time made by parishioners, to encourage other gay men to enter the priesthood and to deal with authority predominantly as a matter of "seduction and rejection."
Umm, pardon? Who has he been talking to?
The article goes on to explain that candidates for priesthood must be mature in their masculine sexual identity and theoretically capable of being good spouses and fathers. It seems to be accepted without question that any man with "homosexual tendencies" could not possibly fill any of those criteria.
Really, who are the ones making statements with no social or moral value now?
EDITED to add: I just found the actual text of the Vatican document here, in case you were wondering about the thing itself.
November 09, 2005
(Yes, we had Random Kat Facts just last night, but that's a different kind of randomness. This is the "Here are twenty things I've been meaning to tell you but didn't have the time/energy/inspiration to write a whole post on" sort of randomness.)
2. I'm feeling cautiously optimistic about the election results. Yay New Jersey and Virginia and Maine. Boo Texas.
3. Whoever decided to play "Saturday in the Park" (you know, the "every day's the fourth of July" one) right when the majority of listeners would be headed to work on one of the coldest days yet this autumn really should not be a DJ. (Or computers shouldn't be picking out music. Whatever.) That said, it did make me smile and it's a good one to sing along with. Can you dig it? Yes I can! (Of course, listening to "My Immortal" next didn't exactly do wonders for my mood, but who can resist the line "Your voice, it chased away all the sanity in me"? Yeah, I'll be listening to that the rest of the day...)
4. I finally finished the school assignment that had been hanging over my head being impossible for two weeks. Turns out I was making it far harder than it actually should have been. (What, you, Kat? Making something hard for yourself? Really? Shut up.) I'm ridiculously excited about it being done.
5. I'm also ridiculously excited about the fact that I'm wearing my "skinny jeans" that haven't fit in about a year. Whee!
6. Novel? What novel? No, really, it's... coming. I'm a bit behind but not irreparably so. As I said to my roommate this morning, I have nothing planned this weekend other than working all day Saturday (yes, he laughed), so I'm hoping to get a few good sessions in and get ahead.
7. Meg Cabot blogs! I somehow just learned this last night. Happiness ensued. (I know what I'll be doing during my down time at work today...)
8. I took a vacation day yesterday and Erica and I headed out for a day of excitement involving Harrisville, the Woolery, and crazy fundamentalist pizza. I'll let her tell you her big news herself, but let's just say that she picked me up at nine and by noon we'd managed to spend about $500 between us. And that was before the Woolery.
9. At Harrisville, I found a copy of Knitting Fair Isle Mittens & Gloves: 40 Great-Looking Designs by Carole Rasmussen Noble. A friend, with whom I had never before discussed porn of any sort (I don't think), recently told me that this was one of his "favorite books of knitting porn." It's out of print, and I didn't want to order an expensive used copy sight unseen, but there it was in the bookcase at Harrisville! And - yes. My friend was absolutely right. (And yes, I have started a glove.)
10. I may have also started the Irish Diamond Shawl from Folk Shawls: 25 Knitting Patterns and Tales from Around the World1 in Harrisville Shetland in Evergreen2. I bought the "weaving" version of the yarn, on the cone, because it was a fraction of the price (and it's what the pattern called for, technically). I'll let you know how it goes.
12. I finally went to an orchard and got local apples, unpasteurized cider, and cider doughnuts yesterday. Yum.
13. Okay, my computer here at work is freaking out, so I think it's time for some quality time with AdAware.
14. But I don't want to jinx my bad mood by leaving off on number 13, so let me just mention how annoyed I am that my online registration for next semester is at 5 pm on Saturday. Because that is clearly the best time for everyone to be at their computers. (I get out of work at five, so I'll be at least a half hour late and probably not get my first choice of classes. Bah.)
November 03, 2005
Can we call it "opting otherwise" instead?
So everyone has been up in arms about Maureen Dowd this week, and who am I to let a perfectly good bandwagon roll on by? A lot has already been said, better than I could say it, so I'll give you some links on Dowd's elitism and the truth behind Dowd's examples of "backlash" and how Dowd's "data" is questionable at best. And, before I get into my main point here, I'd like to say that my first reaction upon reading the article was that dear Maureen needs to get over herself. Maybe she'd have more romantic success if she, you know, tried being nice to people, or didn't make it quite so abundantly clear that she feels she is superior to everyone around her. I was also a bit unclear as to how Dowd would actually like women (or, for that matter, anyone) to behave, as she seems to disapprove of, well, everything.
But anyway. The part that most bothered me was her take on the whole concept of "opting out." To her credit, Dowd does admit that "to the extent that young women are rejecting the old idea of copying men and reshaping the world around their desires, it's exhilarating progress. But..." And, of course, there's a "but." It's exhilarating progess, but she doesn't like it. She sees it as spoiled, pampered women turning their backs on long-sought education and opportunities in favor of dependence on rich husbands. This strikes me as a narrow view, to say the least.
A little background, although you probably all know all this: I am currently single and self-supporting1. I work for a reasonably large corporation as well as a very large retail chain. I'm in grad school, ostensibly to become qualified to be a professional in a particular field. And, given the chance, I would (I think) "opt out" in a second. But I don't think but reasons are horrible and unfeminist.
1. First of all, corporate life really isn't that great. Theoretically, some people like it, but I haven't met many of those people, either male or female. Other than for reasons of job security, I really couldn't care less whether the company I work for makes money. This isn't the greatest motivation for trying to climb the corporate ladder. I'd rather be doing something I thought actually mattered, somehow.
So there are some of my reasons. Please note that "I want to be pampered and spoiled" was not among them.4 More importantly, though, I refuse to believe that corporate/business/career "success" is any more intrinsically valuable than raising children or knitting a sweater or baking fabulous cupcakes or, for that matter, fixing a car or playing a musical instrument. It's all a question of what you want to do and what makes you, not some ideal, happy and fulfilled. Dowd pays lip service to the idea that feminism is about having choices, but she clearly doesn't actually believe that any choice other than "the old idea of copying men" is a choice worth making.
November 01, 2005
Libby and samurai and bears, oh my!
Hey, who knew? Everyone's favorite chief of staff is also a novelist! (That article is worth a read1 just for the phrase "the long and distinguished annals of the right-wing dirty novel." Really.)
Posted by Kat at 01:27 PM
October 10, 2005
Apparently the flooding in New Hampshire has made national news, because I've been getting a lot of calls and e-mails from worried friends and family. So I thought I should mention here too: I'm fine (although I appreciate the concern). We've been getting rain on and off for the past few days, and combined with the fallen leaves it has made some roads rather slippery, but I haven't seen any flooding in my area, at least so far! Keep your fingers crossed for me...
Posted by Kat at 11:02 AM
September 30, 2005
Another kind of meme
Posted by Kat at 02:54 PM
August 31, 2005
I'm not even sure what to say, so I'm going to just leave you with a list of groups that are accepting donations to help with their hurricane relief activities. I have included both religious and secular groups and tried to get a decent variety, but this list is by no means intended to be exhaustive.
(Note: I am not personally vouching for or endorsing any of these organizations; I'm just trying to provide some information.)
America's Second Harvest
Posted by Kat at 11:43 AM
August 23, 2005
This is just wrong on... so many levels. I can't even get my mind wrapped around it.
Posted by Kat at 08:27 AM
August 18, 2005
I might like armies better if they were all run by penguins.
Nils Olav, penguin, promoted to Colonel in Chief of the Royal Norwegian Guard. I wonder how he feels about his military service? He was more or less drafted, after all. He is awfully cute.
Posted by Kat at 10:38 PM
August 03, 2005
July 20, 2005
(They never said "Beam me up, Scotty." I wish all the obituaries would stop quoting that.)
July 07, 2005
Real post later, but I just wanted to say that my thoughts are with those in London and all affected. See Stephanie for some great quotes. And see Northern Sun (which I just discovered today) for some great bumper stickers and other peace-promoting items.
Posted by Kat at 10:30 AM
April 03, 2005
As we all know, it's opening day for major league baseball. And, of course, the first game for the Red Sox is in New York, against the Yankees. (Why? Is it just for the drama? Do they do that deliberately?) This means...
that a large percentage of the population of the greater Boston area will become pathologically incapable of speaking about anything else
that we will get to hear, again and again and again, the blow-by-blow of last season, in which the Red Sox apparently did something comparable to defeating Hitler
that Red Sox t-shirts and caps will somehow suddenly qualify as "business casual" dress for work
that I will go back to being awestruck and amazed as I try really hard to believe that yes, people really do care that much
and that I resume the precarious activity of trying to like both the Yankees and the Red Sox. Wish me luck.
March 25, 2005
As if I wasn't hungry enough...
Look at this. Can you IMAGINE the size basket needed for that Easter egg? The $20 I spent on candy for my boyfriend's Easter basket is suddenly seeming not so outrageous.
Posted by Kat at 11:41 AM
February 17, 2005
February 01, 2005
The First Amendment
This is pretty scary. I don't think it's necessarily directly related to whether the Constitution is taught in school, though. I don't remember ever being taught about the Constitution, but I don't think that newspapers should only publish things with government approval. And I'm positive I didn't think that in high school, either.
Posted by Kat at 01:01 PM
January 13, 2005
What is with the sons of the British ruling class?
How . . . bizarre.
Posted by Kat at 08:50 PM
January 12, 2005
They just want us to forget about it?
Have you seen this? Apparently there weren't any WMD after all. Apparently they stopped looking for them a month ago. There weren't any, and we know that now, but the Bush administration tells us that they weren't really the point, anyway. And we should just trust them, of course, because they're in charge.
Now, that's all one thing. That much I might not even find worth complaining about. But here's the clincher. At least according to the NPR story I heard, the administration stopped the search and didn't tell anyone. They only admitted it today after the story broke in the Washington Post. Ugh. That just seems so . . . cowardly.
Okay. Just had to get that off my chest. Back to knitting tomorrow.
Posted by Kat at 10:50 PM
January 04, 2005