Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Comfort Food and Comfort Knitting

I'm an expert on both.

Therefore I have been knitting socks. Socks for me. Baby socks to stash for gifts. Bed socks...which chose not to felt. (Yes, Bozo the Clown would like them. A lot.) I have a crazy pair on my feet, made from the remains of the multicolored skein I used in the potholders. They're knitted in a wavy lace pattern and the toes are quite pointy. On purpose.

Right now I have a pair of ribbed gray socks on the go. Also for me. Lots of socks for me (who appreciates them more, I ask you?).

In the food department, we have beef stock. Real beef stock. I've been stashing away beef bones as I find them in the market: marrow bones, bits of oxtail, you name it. And I added the usual carrots & onion. And a caramelized onion, and bits of leftover beef bits and pieces also stashed in the freezer. The house smells heavenly. Canned stock works in a pinch, but it doesn't have half the flavor of the real thing, with its darkly caramelized bones and meat and onions.

Tomorrow we'll have chicken, though. I'm planning on stuffed pounded chicken breasts, with a filling made of spinach, cheese and pork sausage, and sides of caramelized red onions and yellow potatoes.

Possibly some of this is in response to the news the NBC won't be airing the pilot of "Rex Is Not Your Lawyer" this spring. (I didn't name it. But it stars David Tennant. So, frankly, I don't care what they call it.) I needed something to compensate, and hand knitted socks and home cooking fit the bill.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Links still not working, so...

...go to Facebook or other sites where you can get safe information on donations from people you know.

Again, try organizations like Red Cross International, Doctors Without Borders (which you can also reach through the Yarn Harlot's website), UNICEF, and so on.

And pray for them and their friends and families. The new year is an important time in Haiti, but this is one lousy beginning.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


A one-minute earthquake in Haiti has destroyed lives, hopes and even relief agencies. Some news reports called it "The" quake. It's an horrific situation.

It comes home to me a bit more forcefully than it might, as a friend whom I was very close to has family there. None of his immediate family are down there now, but no one has heard a thing from extended family. All communications are down.

There's nothing I can do hands-on, but I'll ask this of anyone who can spare a few dollars: please make a donation. Even $5 or $10 will help.

Unfortunately, times like these bring out the bad as well as the good, so make your donations to well-known relief agencies: the Red Cross, UNICEF, Doctors Without Borders/ Médecins Sans Frontières, and so forth.

I wanted to post links for you, but Blogger is being more useless than is believable; it will not post the links when I insert them.

Please search for the legitamite sites and look for donations specifically geared toward Haiti, or where help is needed most. I will try again to make the links work, perhaps tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Dr Who and Shakespeare

(It's not a typo. In British English there's no [.] after the _R_ .)

Anyone? Even here in the States many of us saw the show as kids. Mind, I never thought of it as a kid's show. My mother is the one who wanted to watch it. I suspect she had a crush on Tom Baker. I have to admit, he's got a gorgeous voice. I'd forgotten how good, until the other day, when I watched an old episode.

If she had a crush, she wasn't alone. Now in the 2nd incarnation of the series, and just past the 10th Doctor, I'm with her. But my crush is on David Tennant. It helps that he is a mad Dr Who fan. (In fact, in re-watching Tom Baker I found that consciously or not, Tennant's Doctor has some very similar quirks.) I'm not familiar with the other Doctors, so I can't comment on their ways.

David Tennant is a fine actor in any case. I've been seeking out his other work, and it's impressive. Sometimes he just lets go and is full-out silly, but he can do any kind of character and make him real. My husband compared him to Cary Grant, which made me blink--I don't think of him as sophisticated and smooth. But DH explained that he meant endless charm and a certain clownishness, and David Tennant has that in limitless quantities.

This crush is quite recent, too. I have the cold that won't quit, and when BBC American ran a Dr Who marathon before the second part of the final special this year I settled in and watched for hours. I'd seen bits and pieces of episodes over the past few years, but didn't really bother to sit down and watch the show on a regular basis.

It's rather embarassing to go fan girl on a present day actor, but it's fun. I'm really looking forward to seeing his Hamlet. Especially as Patrick Stewart is in the cast as Claudius; in high school, I saw the videotaped production with Derek Jacobi in the title role, Stewart was Claudius then, too, and that production is what made me realize just how much I love Shakespeare.

Hamlet is supposed to air on PBS in the spring. April, I think. Unfortunately, the DVD is not yet available in US format, and our zone free DVD player isn't terribly dependable. Still, I might break down ahead of time and get it anyway.

Any other retrophiles with embarassing celebrity crushes out there?

Friday, January 08, 2010

2009 Was Not a Good Year

Mind you, there have been worse years. But it was difficult to lose my job. I do office work because I'm good at it, and it pays bills, and it generally brings things like a 401k and health insurance to me as well.

I don't particularly like office work, unless I particularly like the people I work with. I did like those people, from the workers in the factory to the CEO. I didn't fit in (I seldom do, unless I'm in a theatre or at some big Art Deco function) but people usually enjoy having an Office Misfit, if he or she is colorful and gives them something harmless to gossip about.

Still hurts to have lost that job. Granted, nearly no one keeps a job for many years at a time these days, but I still felt I belonged, in some fashion.

My husband and I have been lucky, partly due to the job I had and the perks I got, even more due to his foresight and habit of keeping an eye on the housing market. We still have medical, if not dental, and money in the bank. We're still able to go out (though far less frequently) and we can buy some luxuries.

Our families are still doing pretty well, and most of our friends are hanging in there, too.

It's the worry that gets to me. When you're in your teens and twenties it just doesn't, as a rule, stick in the same way. At forty and beyond, you're tired of starting over (and over) and you hope that some of the things you've done will pay off already and it doesn't quite work that way, if only because in middle age you know what can happen from personal experience.

However, you also know that even when things are difficult you can pick up the pieces; you've done it before. So do it again, already, and stop kvetching.

Time to move on.