This piece is 1.) NOT written by Hillary Clinton and 2.) FULL of swearing so don’t read it if you don’t find that sort of thing hilarious, but it is indeed hilarious and I think it’s the kind of open letter to America the real Hillary secretly wants to write. Bonus: It ends with the poem she quoted at her college commencement. (Keeping it classy!)
That is the question. And I think it gets asked about every year this time, namely: Do I want to spend a lot of time knitting something with potentially limited wearability? My inner hippie wants one and I never was brave enough to wear one of the baja hoodies back in the 90s, so maybe that explains the allure. Or the fact that this one just looks so comfy (and the knitwear designer is modeling the hell out of it):
The older I get, the more I’m ok with wearing blankies and comfy shoes.
1. This song from 90s band Built To Spill came up in my music and it sums up this late summer time, when you don’t want summer to have passed you by but you’re also excited by a cool morning. “You wait for summer, then you wait for rain… you wait for August, then you wait for May.”
2. This is interesting and reassuring and you should read it: “How to stay happy when the sky is falling in.”
I went looking for a poem about opera singers I remembered from years back (spurred by checking the Met Live in HD schedule for the coming season) and found this one instead. Which has maybe the best title of any poem ever. And would also make a really good name for a dog.
by Tony Hoagland
I’m driving on the dark highway
when the opera singer on the radio
opens his great mouth
and the whole car plunges down the canyon of his throat.
So the night becomes an aria of stars and exit signs
as I steer through the galleries
of one dilated Italian syllable
after another. I love the passages in which
the rich flood of the baritone
strains out against the walls of the esophagus,
and I love the pauses
in which I hear the tenor’s flesh labor to inhale
enough oxygen to take the next plummet
up into the chasm of the violins.
In part of the song, it sounds as if the singer
is being squeezed by an enormous pair of tongs
while his head and legs keep kicking.
In part of the song, it sounds as if he is
standing in the middle of a coliseum,
swinging a 300-pound lion by the tail,
the empire of gravity
conquered by the empire of aerodynamics,
the citadel of pride in flames
and the citizens of weakness
celebrating their defeat in chorus,
joy and suffering made one at last,
joined in everything a marriage is alleged to be,
though I know the woman he is singing for
is dead in a foreign language on the stage beside him,
though I know his chain mail is made of silver-painted plastic
and his mismanagement of money is legendary,
as I know I have squandered
most of my own life
in a haze of trivial distractions,
and that I will continue to waste it.
But wherever I was going, I don’t care anymore,
because no place I could arrive at
is good enough for this, this thing made out of experience
but to which experience will never measure up.
And that dark and soaring fact
is enough to make me renounce the whole world
or fall in love with it forever.
Still talking politics, still fascinated by the role gender bias, conscious and unconscious, is playing in this election. This is a long piece from earlier in the primary about Hillary and “The Gap” between how she is perceived and how colleagues describe her: Understanding Hillary.
One way of reading the Democratic primary is that it pitted an unusually pure male leadership style against an unusually pure female leadership style. Sanders is a great talker and a poor relationship builder. Clinton is a great relationship builder and a poor talker. In this case—the first time at the presidential level—the female leadership style won.
But that wasn’t how the primary was understood. Clinton’s endorsements left her excoriated as a tool of the establishment while Sanders’s speeches left people marveling at his political skills. Thus was her core political strength reframed as a weakness.
I got some sock yarn for the next pair for Doc’s dad because it is September in 8 days (let’s not even talk about that). He’s getting the 70’s appliance colors on the right, which is a nice thick sock yarn. I also got the skein on the left for me for the distant future, because the colorway translates to “saffron crocus” and because I never met a dollar I didn’t like to spend.
(Yarn from Webs–Opal “Sweet & Spicy 3, Safran” and Regia “6-Ply Color, Nature”.)
My dad is 69 years old today! Not only is he smart and analytical and capable and witty and tough and dedicated and creative and artistic and living his life “the cowboy way,” he’s in better shape than most people half his age. He’s been riding road bikes for over 20 years and just officially rode 100,000 miles (over two frames) (!!!).
He’s a great dad and a great example of how I want to be at 69. Happy birthday!
1. I found a shirt that is even more geeky and niche than my “Holden Caulfield Is A Phony” shirt and it is this:
Take my money, literary t-shirt!
2. Here is a quote from astronomer Annie Jump Cannon, which is as applicable now as it was at the turn of the last century:
“In these days of great trouble and unrest, it is good to have something outside our own planet, something fine and distant and comforting to troubled minds. Let people look to the stars for comfort.”
The Writer’s Almanac tells me that “on this date in 1920, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, giving women the right to vote.”
The first national constitutional amendment had been proposed in Congress in 1878, and in every Congress session after that. Finally, in 1919, it narrowly passed both houses of Congress and was sent to the states to be ratified. Most Southern states opposed the amendment, and on August 18, 1920, it all came down to Tennessee…It was a close battle and the state legislature was tied 48 to 48. The decision came down to one vote: that of 24-year-old Harry Burn, the youngest state legislator.
Progress: it happens in spite of ourselves. Let’s keep it going.