UPDATE If you want to learn of the safety of family or friends affected by Katrina, or can provide resources to those displaced (perhaps offer temporary housing at your place for those with kids or pets?), or if you want to find out about volunteer opportunities, please see Craig's List.
Over 260 animals from the Louisiana SPCA have been moved to the Houston SPCA, and they would really appreciate your financial assistance - especially as there's probably no Louisiana SPCA to which they can be returned. Please join me in making a donation here!
You can help human hurricane vicitms by donating to the Red Cross through this Amazon.com link. (The Red Cross does not accept pets in their shelters, as they have enough to deal with.)
Other ways to help companion animals in the region are through PETsMART Charities or through the Humane Society of the United States relief fund.
Pride is not always a "bad" thing. Pride is justified when you've done something good. So you'll have to indulge me in a bit of bragging today, as I've lots about which I'm proud.
My baby sister was featured in our hometown newspaper for her work in the film industry. You can read about it here and here. I guess her film accomplishments are a bit more impressive than the fact that she made it into the Elm Leaves, but still, it was neat.
In the same timeframe, my brother, who runs a letter service business (bulk mail), was pictured with the Postmaster General. Here's the picture. We are stamp collectors, so that seems fairly cool to dorky old us. It's like meeting the Mick Jagger of the USPS. Hope Jim didn't hold out his arm and a Sharpie and ask the guy for his autograph...
Personally, I got my head all puffed up wtih pride just because a question I asked was featured in Wendy's blog. Yes, that Wendy. I was blushing at my 15 minutes of knitting fame!
Speaking of Wendy, and as I mentioned, that dratted Summer Of Lace bug has bitten my behind in a major way, as evidenced by my growing collection of lace knitting patterns, and growing wishlist of more:
As if that weren't enough - and, dare I even admit this? - a voicemail question of mine was featured in the MuggleCast podcast, Episode Four (you can hear me at around 37 minutes into the show). Me, and 11-year-old "Yoda" - how embarrassing is this, considering I'll be 40 in mere days? That's what I get for getting sucked into listening to the Jim Dale unabridged version of Harry Potter Book 6 on my iPod... you get used to it being there, and before you know it, you want more, and suddenly you're subscribing to a podcast run by kids who aren't even out of high school. (Oooo, look, Ralph Fiennes is going to play Voldemort in "Goblet Of Fire".... oh, sorry...)
In the ultimate expression of dorky pride, I'm pleased to announce that my first podcast has hit the "airwaves". You can find it at iTunes by searching for "Stasia" or go here to subscribe/download directly. If you're going to listen to it, do please download it to your computer, as the server where it's stationed doesn't have a lot of transfer allowance for repeated playbacks. Thanks!
The podcast was a good learning experience but a lot of work (scripting, interviewing, composing music, recording and editing) and as I've exhausted the only topic I can think of doing a podcast about, there may not be another one unless I receive some good suggestions... you can e-mail them to me at podcast AT charter DOT net.
The main person I'm proud of is this guy, Sgt. Chris:
MySoldier.com matched me up with him and we are e-mail and snail-mail penpals. I get to wear the nifty red bracelet to show my support of him. He is a really brave guy, as his job is to go out and detonate bombs that insurgents plant, before they kill anyone. He has saved literally thousands of lives. He is very positive about, and proud of, his missions, and fiercely protective of the men for whom he's responsible.
MySoldier.com is a non-political means whereby we can provide direct support and comfort to U.S. troops helping out in high-risk zones. You are matched with a soldier by telling a director about your interests; Sgt. Chris loves music, as we do, and he has three dogs back at home, so we had common ground from which to start a dialogue. Our correspondence has helped me to understand current events by communicating directly with someone involved, rather than by reading about someone's opinion of them in media outlets with one agenda or the other.
Human beings, one to one. A person to whom I can send knitted helmetliners and neck coolers and Rush CDs. I can relate to that on a human level, instead of a political one. Because I cringe at politics - or at what
discussions shouting matches of positions have done to polarize our great country. Discussing politics doesn't change a darned thing, but giving emotional and crafty support to a guy who is willing to lay his life on the line for me - whatever war we may find ourselves in, and whatever its causes, notwithstanding - that has meaning for me.
Here are some more helmetliner and neck cooler links:
And here's the button I made for the HelmetHeadsKAL group - steal it, put it on your server and blog, and join the list!
In Other News...
So, prior to doing the podcast, I discovered iTunes. How danergous is it that I can download, for a buck apiece, just the "good songs" from The Essential Clash? (OK, so they're all good...) And podcasts for free? I'm in deep doo-doo now.
This must be the weirdest iPod playlist ever: Avril Lavigne, Kelly Clarkson, Talking Heads, The Clash, and Elgar's "Pomp & Circumstance". What a dork I am (as previously mentioned).
Wendy over at Knit And Tonic turned me on to Madeleine Peyroux - Amazon has a couple free downloads of her smoky music, reminiscent of Billie Holiday, if you want to give it a try.
While we're on the subject of Itunes and podcasts and music in general, Jeff's company is distributing this handy book, a copy of which he (so sweetly) brought home for me yesterday:
I finally ordered a new French press for coffee and tea - love it, love it, love it! This thing is fantastic and I can't break it like the others. Woo hoo!
In Fibery News...
I'm still putting off continuing the top-down raglans (two of them). I don't know why this underarm body/arm split is freaking me out so. I've read about it, I understandit... but fear of failure makes me instead focus on...
Lace! This is a Cat's Paw patterned scarf in Cherry Tree Hill's Suri Alpaca laceweight yarn in the "Indian Summer" colorway. I'm making it up based on a similar pattern in the book "Lavish Lace":
I've knit two Leaf Cravats from an the Winter 02/03 issue of Interweave Knits in Louet Gems Merino superwash yarn - one is shown below after blocking, but before weaving in the ends:
I had to replenish my lace yarn after those, of course. These goodies are from KnitPicks - the Alpaca Cloud is to die for - and so inexpensive! The colorway (on the right) is "Moss" - I have "Iris" as well and it is fabulous.
Speaking of lace knitting, have you seen the lace patterns that Nancy Bush of The Wooly West (Knitting on the Road -
Sock Patterns for the Traveling Knitter; Folk Knitting in Estonia - a Garland of Symbolism, Tradition and Technique; Folk Socks) has had published in recent knitting magazines? Well, as it happens, you can expect more from her - an Estonian lace book is due in 2007 or 2008! She writes,
"I will do my best to get it done as soon as possible!"
We finally have our third replacement digital camera, and this one appears to work - I give you some unretouched photos from our practice "roll". The end of summer sure is beautiful here in Wisconsin. Hope your days are as lovely!
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