Retail Therapy – Okay, Wish Therapy

What better way to survive the crashing stock market and the complete abdication of responsibility of our biggest financial institutions than to indulge in a little retail therapy?  Well, 2 days before payday, I can't spend a dime, but here is a great way to window shop for a new bag and hey, they're having a give-away and why not you?  Or me?  I found one I like.

If outdoor equipment is more your style, this weekend is Texas Parks and Wildlife Expo.  That's where I'll be.  ALL weekend.  It's a long weekend but it's a great party that we throw and if you are in Central Texas and have kids, you must come some time during the 2 day event.  Did I mention it's FREE?  Just bring money for food, sunscreen, maybe a hat and a camera cuz you won't believe all the fun stuff there is for your kids to try.  Look for me.  I am still trying to wrangle a Blackberry or iphone in order to twitter the whole event. 

PTA has kept me really busy, but I am hoping to get to Kid N Ewe in November.  Anyone else going?  Maybe we can have a small gathering, I don't think I can handle organizing something big.  I am starting to get some serious sweater fever – need new ones – have yarn, need time.  Now need rest, busy week, this one.

Taken to Task

I really haven't had a lot of time to blog lately.  The busy time of year at work AND I just had to volunteer to be the PTA Fundraising chair this year.  I cannot believe nobody warned me about this.  Ya know how sometimes you don't feel like blogging about knitting in particular, but something happens in the world that motivates you to post something to your blog and that urge is completely overwhelming and maybe not that well thought out?  Has it ever happened to you?  It happened to me.  And honestly I have been too busy to go back and try and make some sense of it all.  Well, then along comes a commenter who gets all bent out of shape about your position on say, Sarah Palin and they go off on you in the comments.  Well, I've been blogging for a while now and found it somewhat remarkable how civil almost ALL of my encounters have been with knitbloggers.  But I guess no community is free from those who think it's okay to come take a shit in your backyard, just because there's no fence around it and after all you have a dog.  Well, it IS my blog and I can say any thing I damn well please that does not cross legal bounderies AND considering how bad a mouth I have in person, I spare my blog visitors most of the time.  But I don't really care if someone who doesn't like my politics says they won't return to my blog again.  It's not like they have really engaged me before.  Or linked to me.  And as far as I know, this was her first visit. 

It's true that i should probably have made my edits to my last post more obvious, but I haven't had time and since I have all but stopped blogging since the spring, I don't have a lot of regular visitors anymore in the first place.  But it's true that the book list I published in the previous post was debunked by Snopes and has been passed all around the internets as a viral hoax, but forget the list – my original sentiment remains steadfast and potent.  If John McCain and Sarah Palin prevail in the upcoming election, we stand to lose more than anyone can imagine.  Have you read The Handmaid's Tale? Well, I can see it happening and all we have to do is be scared enough and gullible enough to pull the lever for the old white man and his idiot cheerleader and do it in the name of god, that's what they're counting on.  Don't like my politics, feel free to use the back button.  I don't have a problem with evangelicals.  I have a problem with anyone who tries to tell me, on my blog, I don't have a right to my opinions, or my voice or my lifestyle or anything else that our constitution guarantees all of us.  Even in a time of war.  Even in a time of financial crisis.  

I read an article the other day which gave me pause.  I had not heard of "White Privalege" before, but my husband had, he is far more widely and better read than I.  The premise to me is awful.  I thought we had come farther, but apparently not and even though I consider myself to be color-blind, I had to admit when I understood it that I had and perhaps still do benefit from it unknowingly.  I felt ashamed and yet, had no idea what to do about it.  Tom says he thinks we won't be past it till the generations who remember the civil rights movement are gone.  Young people do seem to be much more free of prejudice, I observed.  Tom said racism is learned behavior and that since it's not part of our laws anymore or part of our curriculum, the most likely place that kids get racism now is from their families. 

Where I am going with all of this is, well, in case you hadn't figured it out yet, I like Obama in the upcoming presidential election.  I think he's the most intelligent candidate we have had in maybe my lifetime.  I think he has tremendous integrity.  I am concerned that White Privilege might cost him the election and it makes me feel angry and helpless.  I am afraid that people can say "he seems sketchy to me" or "what do we really know about him" and get away with that being a sufficient reason to vote for McCain.  At least be honest.  If you want to know Obama, it's easy, read about him, listen to him, but don't act like we don't know this man who has been running for president for 2 damn years.  If you're white, think about your reasons.  Think about your background.  Think about the tapes from your youth, your past.  What really informs your decision?  Reason?  Or something else?  Because we really are overdue for some reason coming from our next president.

Anyone else want to tear me up?  Feel free – I only delete spam.

We need an army of librarians

Update 09/08/08: Snopes weighs in…finally.

Sarah Palin and John McCain must be stopped.  If for no other reason in the whole world than the following list of books she wanted to ban from the library in Wasilla, AK.
Here is the list:

  • A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L Engle
  • Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden
  • As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
  • Blubber by Judy Blume
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  • Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
  • Canterbury Tales by Chaucer
  • Carrie by Stephen King
  • Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  • Christine by Stephen King
  • Confessions by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
  • Cujo by Stephen King
  • Curses, Hexes, and Spells by Daniel Cohen
  • Daddy?s Roommate by Michael Willhoite
  • Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Peck
  • Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
  • Decameron by Boccaccio
  • East of Eden by John Steinbeck
  • Fallen Angels by Walter Myers
  • Fanny Hill (Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure) by John Cleland
  • Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keyes
  • Forever by Judy Blume
  • Grendel by John Champlin Gardner
  • Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
  • Harry Potter and the Prizoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
  • Have to Go by Robert Munsch
  • Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
  • How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
  • Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  • Impressions edited by Jack Booth
  • In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
  • It's Okay if You Don't Love Me by Norma Klein
  • James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
  • Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. Lawrence
  • Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
  • Little Red Riding Hood by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
  • Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  • Love is One of the Choices by Norma Klein
  • Lysistrata by Aristophanes
  • More Scary Stories in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz
  • My Brother Sam Is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
  • My House by Nikki Giovanni
  • My Friend Flicka by Mary O'Hara
  • Night Chills by Dean Koontz
  • Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  • On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
  • One Day in The Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
  • One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Ordinary People by Judith Guest
  • Our Bodies, Ourselves by Boston Women's Health Collective
  • Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy
  • Revolting Rhymes by Roald Dahl
  • Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones by Alvin Schwartz
  • Scary Stories in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz
  • Separate Peace by John Knowles
  • Silas Marner by George Eliot
  • Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
  • Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
  • The Bastard by John Jakes
  • The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  • The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
  • The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  • The Devil's Alternative by Frederick Forsyth
  • The Figure in the Shadows by John Bellairs
  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  • The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
  • The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
  • The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Snyder
  • The Learning Tree by Gordon Parks
  • The Living Bible by William C. Bower
  • The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare
  • The New Teenage Body Book by Kathy McCoy and Charles Wibbelsman
  • The Pigman by Paul Zindel
  • The Seduction of Peter S. by Lawrence Sanders
  • The Shining by Stephen King
  • The Witches by Roald Dahl
  • The Witches of Worm by Zilpha Snyder
  • Then Again, Maybe I Won?t by Judy Blume
  • To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
  • Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary by the Merriam-Webster Editorial Staff
  • Witches, Pumpkins, and Grinning Ghosts: The Story of the Halloween
  • Symbols by Edna Barth

How many have you read?  Banning books is not okay.  Trying to ban books is not okay.  Firing people because they will not remove books from the library is not okay.  Sarah Palin is not okay.  I don't really care what religious beliefs Sarah Palin or any politician has, but they aren't going to tell me or my kids or the kids in Alaska what they can or cannot read.  Honestly I think John McCain may have lost his freakin' mind. 

And if you've been wondering about that Kilkenny woman, she is for real!

The list of books I got from my aunt, she is a librarian.  She has connections.

ETA – Upon reflection: Should this list prove to be a hoax, and that may take some vetting because there seems to be a bit of difficulty getting straight answers out of some folks in the campaigns, I thought I would just post the definition of censorship as provided by the American Library Association's Intellectual Freedom page:

What Is Censorship?

Censorship is the suppression of ideas and information that certain persons—individuals, groups or government officials—find objectionable or dangerous. It is no more complicated than someone saying, “Don’t let anyone read this book, or buy that magazine, or view that film, because I object to it! ” Censors try to use the power of the state to impose their view of what is truthful and appropriate, or offensive and objectionable, on everyone else. Censors pressure public institutions, like libraries, to suppress and remove from public access information they judge inappropriate or dangerous, so that no one else has the chance to read or view the material and make up their own minds about it. The censor wants to prejudge materials for everyone.

So, even if the list proves invalid, the record shows she tried to get books banned AND fired the librarian.  That's enough for me.