By Karen in Friday Unrelated Information
1. This interactive piece from New York Magazine covers the eight years of the Obama presidency along with other current events. It was shocking to me how recent so many things were (and how far away others feel. Angry Birds!).
2. This is some wise advice right here:
By Karen in poems, Stephen Dobyns
Everyone has election anxiety, the time’s going to change next week, I’m the only writer at work until we hire someone new, and last night within an hour I told Matt, “I just want to stay home and sew all day” and “Let’s go to Canyonlands and never come back.”
Sounds like it’s time to re-post this poem (last shared in 2009), with the key being in the last line: “answers to what comes next and how to like it.”
How to Like It
by Stephen Dobyns
These are the first days of fall. The wind
at evening smells of roads still to be traveled,
while the sound of leaves blowing across the lawns
is like an unsettled feeling in the blood,
the desire to get in a car and just keep driving.
A man and a dog descend their front steps.
The dog says, Let’s go downtown and get crazy drunk.
Let’s tip over all the trash cans we can find.
This is how dogs deal with the prospect of change.
But in his sense of the season, the man is struck
by the oppressiveness of his past, how his memories
which were shifting and fluid have grown more solid
until it seems he can see remembered faces
caught up among the dark places in the trees.
The dog says, Let’s pick up some girls and just
rip off their clothes. Let’s dig holes everywhere.
Above his house, the man notices wisps of cloud
crossing the face of the moon. Like in a movie,
he says to himself, a movie about a person
leaving on a journey. He looks down the street
to the hills outside of town and finds the cut
where the road heads north. He thinks of driving
on that road and the dusty smell of the car
heater, which hasn’t been used since last winter.
The dog says, Let’s go down to the diner and sniff
people’s legs. Let’s stuff ourselves on burgers.
In the man’s mind, the road is empty and dark.
Pine trees press down to the edge of the shoulder,
where the eyes of animals, fixed in his headlights,
shine like small cautions against the night.
Sometimes a passing truck makes his whole car shake.
The dog says, Let’s go to sleep. Let’s lie down
by the fire and put our tails over our noses.
But the man wants to drive all night, crossing
one state line after another, and never stop
until the sun creeps into his rearview mirror.
Then he’ll pull over and rest awhile before
starting again, and at dusk he’ll crest a hill
and there, filling a valley, will be the lights
of a city entirely new to him.
But the dog says, Let’s just go back inside.
Let’s not do anything tonight. So they
walk back up the sidewalk to the front steps.
How is it possible to want so many things
and still want nothing? The man wants to sleep
and wants to hit his head again and again
against a wall. Why is it all so difficult?
But the dog says, Let’s go make a sandwich.
Let’s make the tallest sandwich anyone’s ever seen.
And that’s what they do and that’s where the man’s
wife finds him, staring into the refrigerator
as if into the place where the answers are kept–
the ones telling why you get up in the morning
and how it is possible to sleep at night,
answers to what comes next and how to like it.
Game of Politics
Here’s your weekly read about campaign strategy, according to Vox.com: “Hillary Clinton’s 3 debate performances left the Drumpf campaign in ruins.”
I thought it was fascinating, especially this point (emphasis mine):
The dominant narrative of this election goes something like this. Hillary Clinton is a weak candidate who is winning because she is facing a yet weaker candidate. Her unfavorables are high, her vulnerabilities are obvious, and if she were running against a Marco Rubio or a Paul Ryan, she would be getting crushed. Lucky for her, she’s running against a hot orange mess with higher unfavorables, clearer vulnerabilities, and a tape where he brags about grabbing women “by the pussy.”
There’s truth to this narrative, but it also reflects our tendency to underestimate Clinton’s political effectiveness. Trump’s meltdown wasn’t an accident. The Clinton campaign coolly analyzed his weaknesses and then sprung trap after trap to take advantage of them.
This year’s Christmas socks for Doc’s pop have a “1970’s appliance” color theme and are coming right along:
I even figured out how to get the stripes to match on the pair. Groovy!
Not Shown: Cleaning
By Karen in weekend report
I spent most of the weekend going through closets and drawers to see how bad a carpet beetle infestation was. Turns out they really like J. Crew sweaters, so there was mending to do. (And chemical bombing. All my principles of ahimsa went out the window.)
I also finally felt strong enough after that cold two weeks ago to do a hard hike, and the upper mountains are looking like they’re getting ready for winter. So I did too and started working on my flannel shirt. Hopefully, it won’t be tasty to carpet beetles.
By Karen in Friday Unrelated Information
1. Infomercial footage set to The Smiths is both hilarious and oddly touching:
2. The “nasty woman” comment during the debater took off like wildfire (because what woman hasn’t experienced being called nasty, or opinionated, or argumentative, or shrill, or a million other insults for speaking her mind)–and now you can buy a t-shirt proclaiming your own nastiness.
Bonus: Proceeds benefit Planned Parenthood.
My Face Last Night
In Other News
The final debate is tonight, so get your drink in your paws and grit your teeth as we give a man’s ignorance the same attention and importance as a woman’s experience.
Until then, you may like this: Canada is tweeting nice things about America, just to cheer us up as we careen into November.
“The Garden, a Canadian creative agency that launched the campaign, said it was hoping to cheer up the U.S. during a particularly tough―and sometimes discouraging―election season… ‘As their closest friends and neighbors, we thought it was important for us to do something to cut through the negativity and help remind them that no matter how bad things might seem, there are a lot of reasons to believe that America is still pretty great,’ the agency said.”
Well done, Canada. Gosh, you guys are just so nice.
Fabric Service Announcement
I haven’t looked at novelty cotton prints in years and got sucked in last night. Did you know there are allover scenic prints of just about any animal or natural element you can think of?
(All these are at eQuilter.com–there’s categories for “Wildlife” and “Forests” and more.)
The prints are on quilting cotton, so not the best for a real garment, but think of the possibilities–seals in your pocket lining! Pheasant facings!
I don’t know why I’m so delighted by fabric that looks like hunting lodge wallpaper or airbrush van art, but I am.