The Circus is Back (Thank Goodness it’s not Here)

This is the week of the Republican Party’s National Convention in the US. When I was younger, politics was like a game. A weird, sometimes hilariously funny, mysterious game where the winner and loser didn’t really matter, because the world still went on.

Then Donald Trump decided he was going to run. For President. Now it’s not so much of a game anymore.

8 years ago, Barack Obama, the junior Senator from Illinois, won the election for President of the US. Some people said it was the end of racism in our country, because we finally had a Black President. As it turned out, not so much. There were questions about where he was born, because if he had a Kenyan father, he couldn’t possibly be One of Us. There were questions about whether or not he was a Socialist. (On a personal note, it is a dream of your blogmistress to actually have a socialist president. But I don’t think our country is ready for that today.) He had more threats to his person and his family than any president in my living memory who hadn’t actually been assassinated. But he kept going, no matter what horrific racist garbage was tossed his way. The Democratic National Convention was held not far from us and it was amazing. Even with police roughing up protestors and keeping the press at arm’s length whenever possible, it was amazing. I don’t remember where the Republican convention was that year, but it was pretty entertaining.

And 8 years later, we’re getting political party conventions again. The Republican convention is, from my personal perspective, a horror show. I cannot describe it in any other way. It was so bad that the Colorado delegation walked off the convention floor em masse on the first day.

Let me say that a little slower. A. Delegation of elected delegates. Walked. Off. The convention. Floor.

The cover story was that “they were going to dinner”. At 4 in the afternoon. Of course.

The next day, when the official verbal vote count went out, the results told the true story. Out of Colorado’s 37 electoral votes, 31 votes went to Ted Cruz, later amended to 33. 2 delegates abstained. The other 4 voted for Trump, now the official Republican party nominee for President.

That’s not even mentioning the blatant racism, sexism, and homophobia proudly on display over the past few days. Like the dinosaurs howling their last after the cataclysmic event that brought their demise, the vast majority of party speakers can’t seem to stop being the party of Proud White People.

As of today, I’ve spent the entire RNConvention writing this post. Last night was the big speech in front of the Reichstagacceptance speech for the Republican nomination. Apparently, clocking in at 74+ minutes, the longest speech in the history of nominee acceptance speeches. I was busy recovering from our trip to the Fancy Amusement Park with Baby Goth and her BFF and wasn’t in the proper frame of mind to watch last night. This morning, between Twitter and our local news, I’ve managed to make up for that. My goodness, that looks truly frightening.

So, now that the convention is over, register to vote in November. Do it today. If you live in a state that offers mail-in ballots, please please take advantage of that. I can assure you it’s worth whatever hoops you have to jump through, especially if you live in a state where the weather is unpredictable in November. Register today. This is no longer a joke. This is our new reality. If we don’t want it to be our reality for the next 4 years, please vote in November. If you’re not bothered by that, I’m not certain you’re reading the right blog for you.

I’ll write more spinning-related posts this weekend. Promise.

Changing the curtains, tidying up

I thought I’d distract myself from this past horrific week (JFGI for now, please) by doing some badly needed, long put off housekeeping.

For starters, the theme I’ve been using is one I’ve been using for a very long time. So I’ve changed that. It needs a bit of work, particularly the sidebar – I’m still trying to figure out how that works and what to make more readily visible. But I think I like it. I’d like to know what both of you who still read this think too, so hit the comments and speak up.

There’s a new header that more accurately reflects what I’d like to show here. Mostly. Frankly, it was the nicest black bobbin picture I have up here. I think I’d like to move patterns to another page so they’d be all together. I’d also like to move some patterns off the site altogether. But we’ll see.

And now, I’m going to cuddle with my dog, finish breakfast and work on making yarn for somebody. See you soon.

Cross-Stitch and You

3 weeks ago, Steotch started the 2016 Steotchalong. It’s the cross-stitch equivalent of a mystery KAL/CAL, and I have to admit it’s a hell of a lot of fun. This is the fourth one, I think? So far, there have been homages to Pulp Fiction, Snoop Dawg, Star Wars, and…? I’ve got no idea what it’s going to be this time.

Here are some pictures. Week 1:

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No idea.

Week 2:

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Still no idea.

Week 3:

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Nope.

And tomorrow is Week 4. Maybe I’ll have an idea by then.

I’ve written about my cross-stitching before. It’s kind of relaxing, even though I kind of looked down on it when I was doing “regular” free hand embroidery. There are a lot more kinds of charts than there were when I was a kid, and they’re a lot more fun to work on. There’s even a chart on the side menu as well. It needs to have a new border, but you’re welcome to put whatever you’d like as a border there. Come join the Steotchalong!

Music to Spin By: The Tiger Lillies

I love this band. They are, I guess, a part of the New Cabaret scene, mostly because they use an accordion in their band.

This is from a collaboration with the Kronos Quartet. The whole album, The Gorey End, is a setting of some of the poetry of Edward Gorey. This and The Brothel to the Cemetery are my favorite Tiger Lillies recordings. “Gin” is slightly less NSFW than some of their other works. Enjoy.

A Long Time Ago and Very Far Away

I’ve meant to write about the mass murder in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, FL for almost a week now. I’ve almost stopped crying for long enough to write something coherent, or as coherent as I get.

A long time ago, right after I left college, I lived in the New York metropolitan area. I had been out, more or less, for about 8 years by that point and figured out that I was bi. I was working in the service department of a big electronics chain, in the service shop doing quality control before the repaired equipment went out to the customers. My coworkers and I became a lot like a family. We’d go out together on the weekends or hang out at our boss’ apartment on a Saturday afternoon.

One week, one of my QC coworkers talked about the club his friend worked in on the weekends. Now this guy was a DJ himself and created a lot of mixes that we’d listen to at lunch. This club was supposed to be the best, only open on Friday and Saturday nights, and you could get a membership for either one night or the other. Sadly, I can’t remember which night it was anymore; if you know, tell me in the comments. We all went to the business office one day after work. Got our pictures taken and answered one question – “Are you gay?”

That was the first time I said “yes, I am” out loud.

The club was amazing. A huge warehouse space in downtown Manhattan. It didn’t open until relatively late, but made up for it by staying open until sunrise or so. The house DJ, my coworker’s friend, saved his best work for us. Dancing, mango juice at the juice bar, other things… Those were wonderful weekends. Even when I was with my by-then abusive girlfriend, I never remember not feeling safe.

And all these years later, in a different club hundreds of miles away, some asshole with a machine gun took someone else’s feeling of safety away.

We’re hearing more and more about the murderer. I don’t care about him. I care very much about the people he murdered, the people who are recovering physically in the hospital, and the people who will spend the rest of their lives recovering emotionally. I hope that the survivors are safe and will heal someday. biheart

I made this when we heard the news, after a couple of beers. It’s from the LGBT Pride Hearts pattern by Hannah W on Ravelry. The bi colors are for obvious reasons; there are directions for other flag colors with the pattern. It’s free, so have at it.

Bad Dalek Mitts

Last night I finished the Bad Robot mitts. Here they are, drying:
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Like I said before, it’s all my handspun. I’ve been trying to figure out why one seems bigger than the other. I measured them against each other, and they appear to be the same size – except when I lay them next to each other. Maybe when they’re finished drying it’ll even out. Maybe.

I also thought I’d try changing the order of finishing ops to see if it makes a difference. Blocking first this time, then weaving in the ends. It’s a little more nerve-wracking than I thought, but that may work itself out too.

Today is Memorial Day in the US, and my dad’s birthday. Before the Monday Holiday Law here in the US, Memorial Day was always my dad’s birthday, a fact that I vaguely remember. He lives a pretty good distance from us, so a phone call and a card will have to do until we see him again sometime this summer. Baby Goth and her twin cousins all go to high school this fall (how the hell did that happen?), so we’d like to see everybody again. If all goes well with a new thing I’ve got going – and there are enough ifs that I don’t want to talk about it yet – I won’t be able to go anywhere until after December. So I’d like to go see them soon.

Happy Memorial Day – that always seems odd to say, there’s nothing really happy about it. Remember those who gave their lives for our country.

High Schooler

Yesterday was Baby Goth’s last day as a middle school-er. Apparently it was a weird day; there was a half day consisting of a)signing yearbooks and b)queuing up for the snow-cone truck. As usual on a last day of the week/year, I waited in the car outside. Obligatory Knitting Info: I worked on the second of the Bad Robot mitts I started last weekend. That and some podcasts kept me normal.

It was weird watching the kids wandering around, going from the truck outside back into the school. Many of them were doing that for the last time. Some of the kids I’ve known since Baby Goth was in kindergarten. They’re “big kids” now, almost unrecognizable when you see them from a distance. Up close, they are the same as they were (for the most part). Not quite adults, far less adults than they think they are. But not children either.

As my mom’s always said, teenagers are weird.

Finally Baby Goth got to the car, along with her friends/our neighbors. The chatter was non-stop: summer, with songs from High School Musical and Frozen accompanying them; signing yearbooks/what people wrote; what are we doing this afternoon. It was good.

I’ve been thinking for the past couple of days – well, I think about it almost every day, but a lot more now – about how fleeting time can be. In 4 years Baby Goth will be an “adult”, far later than she’d like to, and she’ll be able to live on her own. I can’t stop seeing the kindergartner who couldn’t bear to see me leave when I dropped her off from school. She may always be in there, underneath everything else. I guess it’s good that I’ve got 4 years to figure out how I can let her go.