Photo by Angelica Glass.

So, like many a blogger before me, I succumbed to the most complex project/Finished Object of All Time: a baby. This is our little daughter, Margot, who arrived in the middle of summer. Of course, since she basically requires being fed and/or is pooping all the time, my knitting and blogging time is non-existent.

I did manage to knit her two sweaters (one of which had 2 rows and finishing to do after she was born, which took me weeks), mostly before she was born:

Pattern: Sunnyside, by Tanis Lavalee (free)

Yarn: Sundara Sock, from my old Seasons subscription, color, deadly nightshade.

Needles: I have baby brain and I have no idea. Probably a 2.

Project begun/ended: Maybe April to June 2012?

Notes: Easy to knit (well, if you don’t have a baby with you), but you have to keep track of the numbers.

Pattern: Baby Surprise Jacket, by Elizabeth Zimmerman, from The Opinionated Knitter

Yarn: Southwest Trading Bamboo.

Needles: I think the same needle as above? A 2?

Project begun/ended: June to August 2012

Notes: This is a very non-intuitive pattern—I depended heavily on the Ravelry BSJ notes to help me knit this. Cute and unexpected though.

Posted in Baby, Finished Objects 2012, personal at September 9th, 2012.

minstrone

Minstrone

So I thought I would update you all on the co-habitation/engaged/housewife front. Though I am a fairly good knitter, you may noticed that I rarely blog about food, the way other knit bloggers do. The thing is, I enjoy eating food, but I am not particularly overcome with a need to document it. I eat it, it’s in my tummy, yay. But co-habitation has changed this.

First of all, I have enjoyed a New Yorker’s relationship to food since college and beyond.  I ate out (by myself and with friends); I ordered take-out; and I ate cereal for dinner. And sometimes, I would cook a big batch of something and then eat it at work for lunch for a week–bean chilli, etc. This has been going on for more than a decade. I will say, in my parents’ defense, that I grew up with great food–my father is an excellent cook (my mom, not so much, sorry mom), and after working a whole day at the office, my dad comes home every night and makes a multi-course meal. With my dad, there’s always a soup, a starch (generally rice), and at least two to three family style dishes, often a meat and a fish, and vegetables. We never ate packaged food or “semi-homemade.” The most my dad would resort to is occasional canned chicken broth, but everything was from scratch. And of course, on the weekends, we went out for dim sum.

But as an adult, I totally did not live up to my dad’s example. New York is not only filled with great restaurants, it’s filled with lots of mediocre and cheap places to eat. I never lived in the suburbs, but I could see how one might be more incentive to cook if it’s hard to get anywhere without getting in the car and then having to eat at a crappy chain or something, but in most neighborhoods in New York (okay, maybe not Staten Island, but Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan, and probably the Bronx), you can walk out and get a taco from the bodega or Chinese takeout or a sandwich at the deli or a late-night grilled cheese at the diner. Hence, my slackertude. It’s not just me! Beyond the famous example of Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City keeping her shoes in her oven, I just read TWO articles in the real estate section in the New York Times about people who used their kitchen as regular storage, since they never cooked. Both were middle-aged bachelors–one a retired schoolteacher and the other, a fabulous interior decorator. (Both kept files on their stove.)

Anyway, but now that I am working at home and Adam is living with me, I felt that I should at least try to cook regularly. What I have learned over the past couple of weeks is that three nights/week of homecooking is enough to do me in. Perhaps in time, I can build up to my dad’s seven days/week skill set, but three days a week is hard enough. And you have to start early! You have to start prepping at 4:30 or 5 AT THE LATEST. Man, being a housewife is hard. (We won’t even talk about the rooms I have to clean and whatnot.) If I had kids and had to make three meals a day, let me tell you, I completely understand why you would be chained to the stove. And forget my dad’s multi-course meals, one dish is about all I can put together.

So I told my mom this (my mom, who almost never cooks) and she snickered. She was all, “Maybe you should get an office job where you make a lot more money so you can hire a housekeeper. Maybe you should go to law school. Besides your knitting, I’m not sure you really have any good homemaking skills.” Then I told my friend about my plan to cook and at first he was all, “Hmm, dinner when I get home at night? Maybe this is why people get married.*” But then he started thinking about this and was like, “Wait, is this just a scheme to get Adam to end up making dinner for you?” (No.)

*This same friend recently told me how to broil chicken breasts. I was like um, I know how to broil chicken breasts, ye-who-did-not-even-own-a-can-opener-in-college.

Like all cooks, I’ve had my successes and my failures, but because cooking is more of a process, I guess I understand why people feel a need to blog about it–it’s so DIY. Anyway, above is a photo of my biggest success to date–it’s a minstrone from scratch from the January 2010 issue of Cook’s Illustrated. (I have the web subscription.) It really was very tasty (lots of delicious secret ingredients including porchetta, parmesan rinds, and…V-8! Highly recommended) and received the highest of housewife rewards: raves from one’s man. I say, WHATEVER to raves, give me a tax break already. I swear, cooking has made me all Betty Friedan.* But then I remembered one of my friends who is the best home cook I know is also a full-time doctor. Sigh. Way to make everyone look bad, FRIEND.

*”Each suburban wife struggled with it alone. As she made the beds, shopped for groceries … she was afraid to ask even of herself the silent question — ‘Is this all?” (<–you have to say that quote in a very ominous voice, because it’s obviously the voiceover to a movie where the wife starts an illicit suburban affair or something.)

Excuse me. I have to go clean.

Posted in personal at January 22nd, 2010.

FOs 2009

Oh hello, it’s only January 17… Sigh. I don’t know, I developed the blog flu and lost the will to blog for a while there. Though not the will to knit. So. 2009. Kind of a bummer for everyone I guess, but I don’t know if I exactly see it as a bummer, more like a year of thinking about the future. I don’t know, maybe that’s overly euphemistic, like “It’s not a problem, it’s a challenge!”

Also known as the year where my industry (publishing) officially died and fell into a giant canyon. Anyway, I managed to knit 12 things, some of which I never blogged about, but here’s a recap, with thoughts and in non-chronological order.

Top row, left to right:

Rowan Felted Tweed Helmet: The hat I made after reading Barbara Walker’s Knitting From the Top, knitted (obviously) from the top down. This yarn was from the closing sale of Yarn Connection, in midtown, which was near my office. Sadly, this was an ominous sign for both New York’s yarn stores and for my job. Yarn Connection was the first of many New York’s yarn stores to close last year and soon after I bought the yarn, I was laid off. Then my grandmother turned 80, and I ended up giving it to her for mother’s day. (I gave her a shawl for her big milestone birthday.) Adam and I went to Montauk for Valentine’s Day, hence the spectacular setting in the back.

NYU Stern Creativity Project: This was a child’s scarf that I knitted for a creativity study at NYU”s Stern Business School. This briefly led me to consider (a) going to business school and (b) working in a yarn store. I went to a meeting about applying business school and it was so horrible and un-fun-seeming that I was like, ugh no. I did apply to work at a yarn store and was interviewed, but sadly, I was not chosen. Let us be a little depressed that I could not get a job at a yarn store. Sigh.

Algae Cowl: In another bit of sad news, one of Adam’s grandmothers passed away and we went to Milwaukee for her funeral. I did get a chance though to go to a yarn store in Wisconsin, and bought this hand-spun yarn from Just 4 Ewe. I pretty much knit this whole thing in the Milwaukee airport while watching The Big Bang Theory. Embarassing secret: I find this show strangely enjoyable.

Second row, left to right:

Medusa Cowl: I knit this during a yarn entrepreneurial phase where I was convinced that my original designs were going to be my ticket to my fame and future. Too bad the cowl turned out to be kind of a loser.

Adam’s Civil War Socks: Aww, I finished these socks up in the emergency room waiting with my dad, when he very sick earlier this year. Fortunately, even though he has a very rare disease, he seems to be doing much better, but I remember the hours spent in the emergency room with him, after he suddenly got very very sick. So, actually, this was a period when I was glad I got laid off, because I got to spend more time at home with my dad when he was being diagnosed and going through all these surgeries.

Ugly Monkey Socks: I finished these socks during our annual vacation at the Jersey Shore. So something happened at the Jersey Shore that I never shared with my blog readers, mainly because I like to be kind of private and whatnot, but what the hell. Adam proposed! Yes, we are getting married this year. And yes, I am burying the lede, as they say in the news biz, deep into my post. Also, I am blogging about weddings (of course) on wedding.newyorkminknit.com and funnyweddingthings.tumblr.com. The first one is about my wedding and style and whatnot, and then the second one is just about ridiculous things I find about weddings. Maybe this is why I haven’t been blogging that much…I am putting all of my creativity into wedding planning? Oh dear, that sounds super super lame.

Third row, left to right:

Flamingo Socks: Okay, I don’t think there is any actual life significance to these socks. Though the yarn was from my FMIL, as they say on wedding boards. But these were just regular old socks that I knit. But this is probably the last photo I’ll ever take of my socks at Adam’s apartment because he moved in with me on New Year’s. Yikes!

Sherbe(r)t Socks: The socks where I couldn’t find any DPNs and was forced to learn how to knit two socks at a time on one long circular needle.

Seeded rib mitts: One of my 2009 projects I never blogged about because I am lazy. Also, why blog? Perhaps I developed some sort of blog existentialism in the past couple of months. Why blog, what does it mean to blog, is there even a point to blogging? Also, for knitters, Ravelry seems to do so much for us, blogging seems unnecessary. It’s kind of like this photo/cartoon. Also, Twitter. It continues to confuse me. Anyway, I did put this project on Ravelry, if you want to go see it there. It’s Patons Jet, knitted up into mitts. More yarn gifted to me by my FMIL that came with a one-skein project book–actually, now I will take the time to say that I am particularly lucky that my FMIL (future mother-in-law, in case you have not yet figured it out*) is not only very nice, but she always thinks of  cool knitting presents for me. Also, my hands look like mannequin hands in this photos.

* A friend of mine recently told me that she thought FTW stood for “F*ck the world” and not “for the win” and couldn’t  figure out why everyone kept using it on the internet.

Fourth row, left to right:

Adam’s Christmas Noro Hat: Another thing I never blogged. Adam and I ended up having a really belated Christmas this year, but I do try to knit him one thing each year, and his old Odessa hat was getting pretty old looking. It’s the Turn a Square pattern by Jared Flood, aka Brooklyn Tweed, aka the most famous male knitter on the internet. Whenever I tell people I knit, they’re always like, “Oh, do you read Brooklyn Tweed?!?” I’m like, yes, yes, we all know and love Brooklyn Tweed. He’s the classy Jackie Kennedy to the rest of us Mamie Eisenhower dowdy frump-a-dumps.

FO: Hat

Here’s another photo. I guess you could say 2009 was also the year I really got into Noro. I’m like NORO!!! It’s so fab. Especially because of…

Noro Shawlette: This really is a spectacular project and probably my favorite from the whole year. There was a period where I thought I had lost it (well the past few weeks, but it turned out it was hidden underneath my wedding dresses that Adam had moved into my closet) and I was kind of depressed for a while. It’s fab. And I love it! And I love everything Kate Gagnon designs, especially because I freaked out one of my former co-workers who is also my Facebook friend and who happened to go to Kate’s wedding. I was all, “[male co-worker name!!!] I can’t believe you know Kate Gagnon! Did you know she is very famous in the knitting world!?” My male friend/former co-worker probably thought I was insane, also because I decided to write all this on his Facebook photo page.

Leafy Elf Hat: Nothing life changing associated with this hat either. I did knit it at Thanksgiving, but you know Thanksgiving. It comes every year.

Okay, New Year’s Resolutions to come tomorrow. Or uh, later this week.

Posted in Finished Objects 2009, personal at January 18th, 2010.

I have a driver’s license, but I never drove regularly, so I never really was comfortable driving a car, so I have been using my time off (*cough* funemployment *cough*)to take some intensive driving lessons in my neighborhood.

A bit of back story: When I learned to drive in my 20s*, here in New York’s Chinatown, I was taught by this man I called “The Driving Guru,” and who was the best driving teacher ever. His name was Steve, and he was actually a year or two younger than me, and he was the world’s calmest dude. He taught me completely in Chinese, and only spoke in Ye Olden Chinese Confucius-like epigrams–like if I didn’t slow down for pigeons, he would say, “Each life has its own worth, and we must respect the life of each living being,” and when I gave him grief about giving me different advice on different days, he said, “Each situation has its own solution, and we must honor the uniqueness of each,” etc. Once, I was freaking out on one of Chinatown’s narrow streets, and Steve assured me that nothing would ever happen while he was in the car, and I believed him. We almost never spoke about our personal lives–I can only remember one instance where he randomly asked me the English words for how to order different kinds of eggs (scrambled, sunny-side up, over medium, hard-boiled, etc.), which is hardly personal. Anyway, I knew he used to be a long-distance truck driver, and sadly, when it came time to relearn, Steve had moved to California to return the long-distance driving.

*I had a learner’s permit at 15, like a normal red-blooded American, but somehow I fell off the learning on-ramp and never got a license until my 20s.

(I have also found there is a small subset of people, namely neurotic New York women writers, who learn to drive as adults, and who tend form strange attachments to their driving teachers. I chalk it up to the intimacy of spending so much time in a small space with a man who has so much control over your life, and spending A LOT of time with him on a regular basis. See The Nation‘s Katha Pollitt’s essay “Learning to Drive,” Vanity Fair‘s Amy Fine Collins’s “Vroom at the Top,” and songwriter Suzanne Vega’s, “Street Legal, Finally.” As a neurotic New York woman writer myself, who was, um, driving-chellenged,  I was always especially aware of these articles, and kept a metal talley of the many famous non-drivers I would hear about, like Studs Terkel, who I would always trot out, when people rolled their eyes at my lack of driving skills.)

Anyway, I have two new driving teachers, neither of whom I love, but they are intense in their own ways. I have been going on the highway and Northern Boulevard (a hellish boulevard here in Queens, filled with what my California driver’s ed teacher would have called “The Final Factor”: unloading trucks, people talking on their cell phones, children dashing out into the street, Totally Insane Youth driving sports cars in terrible ways, aggressive people who like to yell at me, etc.) while listening to my driving teacher explain about (1) her first arranged marriage to an abusive drunkard; (2) her only child, who lives in India, and their tortured relationship, which is so complex that it’s like a Faulkner and V.S. Naipaul novel rolled into one, combining issues of class, family, immigration, emigration, and patriarchy; (3) her second marriage to a Pakistani man (I have a small personal interest in The Partition, based on my fondness for arranged marriage novels, and when she mentioned this Southeastern Asian Romeo-and-Juliet Indian-and-Pakistani pairing in her life, I was vaguely fascinated); (4) her plans to quit her driving teaching career of 16 years to work for the MTA (the NY transit authority); and (5) the differences between America and other countries.

I was a history major, I’m a writer, and I grew up in an immigrant family, so I am always at least a little interested in how immigrants view America and Americans, and especially how women perceive America. But I have to say that there were times in the past week that I have been like, “While I am fascinated by your complex immigrant story, I am also about to be killed by being smushed between a fruit truck and the M60 bus on Northern Boulevard! What should I do!?” I am not always sure that my personal StoryCorps experience has been beneficial to my driving skills. But I have finished my current stint with this teacher, and begin tomorrow with my other teacher, who is an old-school dude (read: mildly sexist and fond of saying things of his students like, “Well, she wore the pants in that family and he wore the dress if you know what I mean, haha,” which I would normally find kind of offensive, but have decided to accept to improve my driving skills) who has been teaching for 40 years. I will report back after I am done.

On a positive note, I think I’m actually a fairly decent beginning driver now. None of my driving teachers are believers in positive reinforcement. (I think “positive reinforcement” might be an American philosophy, and since all of my teachers have been immigrants, they believe in the tough love stance. Or as my current teacher said, “When we compliment students, then they think they are doing well, and then they stop learning!” I inwardly groaned, remembering my various aborted stints at Chinese school, where teachers are always quick to rank students and point out your failures.) But as an American who grew up in woo-woo San Francisco, I am big on positive reinforcement, so I have taken to saying things like, “Aren’t I doing so well? Did you notice how great I was on the highway?” which makes my teacher laugh. I told her that I needed to be complimented (who cares if I’m fishing?) and she was like, “um, I don’t do that, but okay.” The truth is that driving isn’t so difficult, and though I was kind of mentally stressed about it for a while, I finally was like, if I can knit an entire sweater, I think I can learn to drive.

Posted in personal at July 13th, 2009.

wisteria

I’ve been thinking a lot about how much we, as bloggers, share on the internet about our personal lives. I like to steer toward less info about my personal life and more about knitting, but I wonder if it’s weird NOT to share about our personal lives occasionally. I know that I was really saddened to hear about the passing of Kay’s husband over at Mason-Dixon Knitting. I have never met Kay, I just read her blog, but I was glad that she and Ann told their readers. Reading a blog makes you feel connected to the blog’s writer, even if you don’t actually know them.

So, in the spirit of a bit more sharing, I’m back in New York, as I mentioned. My dad has been diagnosed with sclerosing mesenteritis, an extremely rare disease–about 300 people have ever had it in the recorded history of modern medicine–and he started taking some medicine to treat it, and we are hoping that it will be helpful. As far as work goes, I’m going to be working on a demanding freelance project next week, so we’ll see how that goes. And in other news, I also went to the new Citi Field to watch the Mets play (they lost to the Marlins, 2-3) and ate a Shake Shack burger.

In yarn news, The Point closed this week. I stopped by and picked up a few balls of yarn, and it was filled with knitting mourners. The Point is the fourth knitting store to close this year, after Yarn Connection, Stitches East, and Knit New York. It’s probably a sign of the economy that weaker stores are struggling or leery of making new lease commitments. People often ask me about my favorite yarn stores and I am hoping that those three will survive the downturn: Purl, Knitty City, and Downtown Yarns. I think Purl and Knitty City are pretty safe–Purl has kind of a unique upscale niche going, and Knitty City has a huge selection (and a huge staff), and they both seem to always be hosting lots of events. Downtown Yarns is a bit more vulnerable I think, and I hope it will survive because I really like their staff, yarn selection, and vibe.

As for the photos, Adam and I went to the cherry blossom festival at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens (which was strangely overrun by cosplay fans–it seemed to be part of the festival), and checked out all the flowers.

Sakura Matsuri

Posted in personal, Shawls, travelingproject at May 2nd, 2009.

My posts might be a little less frequent–my father is sick*, and I am flying out to California tomorrow. I did, however, pack an entire bag of knitting, so I’ll try to post updates on that along the way.

*I mock cancer in The Friday Knight Knitting Club and Julia Roberts’s career, and now fate mocks me. Damn you, fate!

Posted in personal at March 20th, 2009.

I don’t really have anything to add to the many Updike obits that have been printed in the past few weeks (I already shared my one interaction with Updike in this post), though my parents, knowing of my long-time Updike fandom, did mention it to me this weekend, when they were visiting. My father, several years ago, when I was complaining about how I missed seeing Updike, was like, “Oh, don’t worry, he’ll be back in New York–those kinds of readings happen all the time.” As a matter of fact, I did get to see him speak (as mentioned in that post), but I’m glad I went, because now he’s gone. (What I said to Updike: “I have always loved your work.” What he said to me: “Have you?” That was it. I was rather embarrassed and took my autographed book and hustled off.)

Moral of the story: If you can afford something, go see it now, because you never know when it will disappear.

Oh! I do remember, in high school, for a class in American literature, we had to write a paper on an American novelist of our choice, and I wrote mine on Updike (of course), and when my teacher handed back our essays, he said, “I have never liked Updike, but your paper made a compelling case for him.” (Or something like that, excuse the horn tooting, but it probably was a good essay, because I do/did really love Updike.) And then my friend, (who had written hers on Zelda Fitzgerald, as befits a young feminist), snickered and was like, “Bleh, Updike,” and my teacher was like, “Yes, I know! Who likes Updike?”

Oh, and I remember a high school friend once saying that he never knew any women who liked Updike, but I always have–somehow, I always associate reading Updike with sad summer days, and the language has stayed with me all these years. I have two favorite Updike lines–one is not in this giant Updike compendium I have here, but the other is: “So I am taken by surprise at a turning when at the meaningful hour of ten you come with a kiss of toothpaste to me moist and girlish and quick; an unexpected gift is not worth giving.”

No knitting content today. Maybe tomorrow!

Posted in personal at February 9th, 2009.

Washing Knits
Two pairs of my hand-knit socks get ready for a spin at the laundromat.

Well, it’s February, but it’s also Chinese New Year, which means for those of us (*cough* me *cough*) who are a little slow with New Year’s resolutions on the Western calendar, it’s a chance to start over. My birthday (which I am not going to disclose, because I fear sharing such information on the internet) is somewhere in these winter months as well, so that gives me another “new year” to look forward to.

I have lots of new things planned for this year, partially spurred on by some seemingly bad news: I was laid off. But actually, I’m rather happy about it because I think it gives me some time to think about the future and to develop my own projects. I’ve worked in publishing* since I was in college, briefly in books, and then in magazines, working for a decade now, and the landscape has changed. The pressure to generate profit in a dying industry is awful–I joke that we’re like monks illuminating manuscripts after the invention of printing press, insisting to our customers that our gold-ornamented capitals have a value that no Gutenberg-come-lately can match.

With my newly freed up schedule (I’ve held on to some freelance clients, including a small column at my old job, but these commitments are relatively few) I have lots of plans: (1.) Some just general life experiences (I’m lured by becoming a television extra–someone must want to hire me to walk around in the back of an episode of Law and Order, no?); (2.)  a desire to return to truly “old” media (I was a history major, and I have lots of random things I want to research, study, and write about); (3.) knitting and blogging (I’m going to try and blog every day–we’ll see how that goes, maybe every weekday will be more likely); (4.) learning more about “new” media (I’m sick of trying to deal with the internet from a user’s perspective–I’m going to try and sign up for some computer programming classes); and (5.)  yes, improving this website and my own professional site (I know that if you’ve been signing up with your own website to comment here on newyorkminknit.com, the links aren’t working, which is because this theme is not compatible with the latest version of Word Press–see number 4 for why this drives me crazy).

* All copy-editing errors on this blog are mine. I know, I know, sometimes I am not the best speller or grammarian, though in my defense, I was never a copy editor, I only date one. Every time I think about lie vs. lay I end up humming “Lay lady lay” and wondering why Bob Dylan starred in a Victoria’s Secret commercial. I get stuck thinking about this despite the fearsome warning from my high school English teacher that a person who didn’t know when to use lie and when to use lay would never get a job. (A curse that might be true for me, if not for Bob Dylan.)

Posted in personal at February 2nd, 2009.

Knitting in my neighbor’s yard.

I smiled a bit when reading Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Knitters Almanac this weekend. Writing about her apprehension about moving to the United States in 1937, she wrote:

“My idea of this country had been gathered from her traveling citizens, from the movies, and from ‘Babbit.’…I was convinced that we should have to live in a shabby brownstone walkup with four families to share the facilities; that we should spend our summers panting on the front steps, or walking along something called a boardwalk eating popcorn and cotton candy, and our vacations in a landscape strongly resembling the Jersey Flats. I knew we could never aspire to Cadillacs, to estates on Long Island, and the cool Adirondacks in the summer.”

I smiled because anyone who has read kids’ books from a certain era (like the All-of-a-Kind Family series, and yes, click through to read the cute Jezebel.com review of it), or were forced into watching too much early Woody Allen (Radio Days, anyone?) has a similar view of New York. I moved to New York in 1996, 59 years after Elizabeth Zimmermann came to the U.S., and even I thought of New York like that. But the funny thing is that it sort of still is. Despite all the carping about gentrification of the city, people here still sit on their front steps, multi-families still share apartments, we still go to the boardwalk, and Adam and I even go to the Jersey Shore every summer. (Though I think EZ meant the Jersey in the UK.) And by and large, I think that’s great. Elizabeth Zimmermann saw it as something to dread, saying that she saw the Statue of Liberty with “apprehensive gloom,” before launching into that description above, but I think it’s something to savor, and something to love about New York.

For every person like EZ, who sees stoop-sitting in the heat as some kind of urban misery, there’s someone who loves it. I don’t always; sometimes I just am dying to go on vacation. But actually, I often do love it–I love going to Coney Island, I love going to the Shore, I love eating bodega popsicles, I love eating outside for dinner, I love picnics in Central Park, I love walking around in the hot evenings, and I love how the city seems to belong to me. There’s a stillness in the heat that always seems filled with hope, for me and every other New York immigrant who comes to the city with their own dreams and images of what it will be live here.

There is nothing like New York in the summer, and for all of the heat and madness, I love summer in the city.

Posted in personal, Printed Matter at June 16th, 2008.

New Shawl 

I smell like DEET…ahh the smell of summer.

* Random political thought: Why doesn’t Obama pick Al Gore for veep?  I know that my knitting blog, which has three readers, is the most influential place to put this idea. Anyway. My suggestion for McCain is Condoleeza Rice. Or Joe Lieberman.

* Random political thought #2: Oddly, the most thoughtful column I read about the weird use and connotations of phrases like “white working class”  was in AM New York.  

* Random weather thought: Heat waves reminds me INXS’ Never Tear Us Apart. I’m not totally sure why–since I am somewhat notorious for my lack of pop culture, particularly music, knowledge–INXS made an impression on my brain, but there you go. By the way, one of my friends calls Never Tear Us Apart “the middle-school dance song.” “Don’t ask me / what you know is true / Don’t have to tell you / I love your precious heaaaart” Ha! Now it’s stuck in your head too.

* Random summer thought: That INXS song always reminds me of a summer I spent in Boston.

* Random summer thought #2: That summer always makes me think of all the John Updike I read that year. Favorite John Updike book: Too Far to Go.  

* Random John Updike thought: When I waited to have John Updike sign his book of collected short stories a few years ago, I waited in a very very long line, and one woman said, “Reading one of his stories is what made me realized I had to get divorced,” and then a man in front of me said, “Really? One of his stories was why I decided to get married.”

And on that cheerful (or not) note…here’s to knitting on the subway, a surpringly air-conditioned oasis in the sweltering city.

Posted in personal at June 12th, 2008.