Sunday, September 20, 2009

Fabulous Friday and Productive Saturday

Sorry, I couldn't think of an alliterative word for "productive."

I hit a double on Friday--two beaming 2.5-year-old granddaughters, who live 70 miles apart--each demonstrating the use of her new potty seat. Pride of accomplishment doesn't get much better than that! I also attended a very productive professional conference on vertical teaming Pre-K through Bachelor's Degree, but who cares? In the great scheme of things, the potty chair is probably more important for a life skill.

On Saturday, I altered a jumper that I knitted a few years ago to fit a little sister, I hope. I moved straps over and added side ties to the bottom of the bodice so that width could be adjusted. I don't think my alterations would have worked in a smooth yarn, but this was TLC Wiggles, so the little confetti-like bits everywhere hid a number of little irregularities.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Lost in Austen--Jane Austen Challenge #4

The DVD of the British miniseries of Lost in Austen is a very entertaining romp through the world of Pride and Prejudice. I liked the central idea of the piece—a modern British young woman unexpectedly changes places with Elizabeth Bennet, but as herself, not as Elizabeth. The result is something of a mix of a romantic comedy and the gentle satire of Austen, with perhaps a touch of A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court thrown in.

I particularly enjoyed the performance of Alex Kingston as Mrs. Bennet; she was always a favorite of mine on ER. Eliot Cowan’s performance as Mr. Darcy was not only a satirical take on Austen’s character, but a wonderful parody of Colin Firth’s performance in my favorite miniseries. Morvan Christie’s performance as Jane Bennet was also reminiscent, deliberately so, I think, of the former film. Since to much of the public, P&P is a movie, not a novel, these references were perhaps necessary.

To me this work was somewhat marred by the unnecessary intrusion of a few extraneous and really gross sexual references that just didn’t seem to fit with the mood of the rest of the film. I know that British humor and television is somewhat different than ours, but those items were a jarring note in an otherwise outstanding performance.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Sports Page

All I know about children’s sports activities is from living in one small town. Our baseball/T-ball/basketball teams are sponsored by businesses. Fees are low. Each team has appropriately numbered shirts in different colors with the names of the sponsors on the back. Therefore, the green-and-white shirts of the ABC Canvas Repair team are quite distinct from the yellow-and-black shirts of the XYZ Fertilizer group. Games are played on weekday evenings, not Saturdays or Sundays because people need or want to go out of town on those days.
I never lived anywhere big city enough to be a soccer mom. However, now my first-grade grandson is playing with a local group of children his age who go to a nearby city to play. Now I am a Soccer Grandmom. I wikipediaed the term “soccer mom” just to see if I fit. I do work outside the home; I no longer actually have to shuffle the children to the event although I do help out occasionally; my minivan years are in the past, but I do drive a small SUV (Which I dearly love, but not as much as I loved my minivan); I may still be middle class although I feel my position in that class is dropping rapidly; I am married. I am thirty-something. Twice. I am not actually a swing voter, but I vote conscientiously and almost never vote a straight ticket. My town is much too small to have suburbs—we probably don’t qualify for any kind of “urb.”

This morning I went to the first game of the season. I did not have a lawn chair or a blanket—I fully expected bleachers. If small town Texas can have bleachers, why wouldn’t small city New Mexico have them? On the other hand, I do have an SUV with comfy leather seats that made it just fine down the slightly muddy back road in back of the soccer fields to park facing the field. I watched in comfort, joined by my son and the player’s 2-year-old sister, who watched in some delight by standing on the console and sticking her head out the moon roof. The biggest shock, however, was actually finding the game. I knew that grandson would be wearing an orange shirt (Are they called jerseys?). I knew that he also has a blue shirt. Dumbly, I assumed his team colors were orange and blue—rather zippy. I considered this when I dressed for the game. My blue shirts were all in the laundry, and I don't own an orange one. Texas high school football has me trained. You do NOT show up wearing the colors of the opposition, even if you don't know what they are. Therefore, I carefully dressed in gray sweats, gray handknit socks, and black shoes. I was noncommittal and without group identity. When I arrived, I looked hard for the orange team. There were, I think, 8 games all going at the same time. ALL the games were orange against blue. How confusing! And how unimaginative! There was also no scoreboard. I have no idea who won, but perhaps beginning soccer is like T-ball in that no one really cares. The point is just to be there and practice some of the skills. On the other hand, watching was lots of fun even though it lacked the everybody-stare-at-one-kid-at-a-time intensity of T-ball.
After the game we split up to run errands. I did my grocery shopping and then sat in the parking lot waiting for the family to show up and Chili's to open and read much of my assignment for the Bible study class that I am taking--the part of Genesis from the call of Abraham to the meeting of Jacob and Rachel. I still have a little bit more to read for this week. I also listened to an audiobook on the way there and back--London Is the Best City in America. Fun so far, but I'll reserve my opinion until I finish it.

I had intended to take a sock to knit, but it is just as well that I did not have an active 2 yr. old and size 1 ½ needles in the front seat at the same time.

Thursday, September 03, 2009


If you live in a larger town, a "you" that includes most of the population of Earth, you may not notice the insidious little customized advertisements that appear in the sidebar of some of the web sites, particularly some of the news sites.

Since I live Very Small, Texas, the ads have a flavor all their own. . . .

  • "8 out of 10 doctors in Very Small, Texas, recommend our green tea extract for ingrown toenails." I can't tell you how excited the local hospital is going to be about that. It took a two-year search to hire local doctor number four last year, and we suddenly have six more with no effort by the community.
  • "Local woman in Very Small, Texas, loses 245 pounds on our secret diet." In a town this small, anyone who lost that kind of weight would be featured on the front page of the local newspaper--and I can guarantee that diet would NOT be secret.
  • "Buy local concert tickets in Very Small, Texas" Oh, come on. The only places big enough to have a concert in Very Small are the school auditorium, three or four of the bigger churches, or the city park. Those elementary band concerts are free, churches are not going to turn away people by requiring tickets, and the city park is wide open on all four sides.

Now obviously, the same sites that host this advertising can do better, because waaaay down at the bottom of the page, someone obviously figured out I had been looking at wall ovens and broomstick skirts--and that broomstick search was a couple of months ago. Don't they have some way to figure out that those of us in microcities (like my new word?) can recognize quickly how fake their ads are?