Hot enough for ya? Knit something!

We are experiencing a heat wave in southern California, and I sort of think that a lot of us can’t handle it; actually, we tend to go right off the rails when it comes to any type of weather that is outside of the range of 68-74 degrees.  I include myself in this focus group – I was born and grew up in California, and if the weather goes above 80 degrees, I whine; same if the weather goes below 60, although I prefer warmer weather to cold.

It’s not just the crabbiness, though; Californians have never been patient drivers, and when the heat gets to us, we get even worse.  I watched cars speed around other cars in the parking structure at Bella Terra this afternoon (the temperature was 91 at around 3:30) to rush to get a place to park.  We do the same thing when it’s raining – we behave with entitled arrogance here, as if no one else exists, much less matters.  Even though the sheen is officially off the Golden State, we still behave as if we live in the land of eternal sunshine and riches, in which we are all the stars of our own reality shows, rather than in a broke and broken state in which manners and courtesy don’t seem to be evident, having been replaced by the celebration of street level stupidity.

Maybe the heat is getting to me, too.


I had a nice afternoon, in spite of the wicked weather. I went to Happy Nails at Bella Terra for a lovely pedicure done by Kayla, and my toes are remarkably cheered up, and so pretty! I also started working on a hat for Knots of Love, a charity that creates and donates knitted and crocheted hats to chemotherapy patients.  I’m grateful to do something with my knitting for a good cause, and also remember my father and sister-in-law, both of whom were lost to cancer. If you are interested in finding out more about Knots of Love, visit for information.

Summer’s knitting, inside and out

Here’s what I’ve been doing recently instead of writing:

These are all in various states of completion (two are actually finished); at last, a clear illustration of either my tenacity or my OCD – it’s a tough call.  They do look kinda cool all lined up like this, though…I’m knitting like a fiend, hoping to have these ready for the Christmas season.  I might have to throw some hats in there as well, dunno –

I can add the Turtles, and Micky Dolenz to my concert list – went to see the Happy Together tour at the Pacific Ampitheatre last night, and it was wonderful.  The Turtles, the Grass Roots (saw them at Magic Mountain when I was 13!), Micky Dolenz,and the Buckinghams; and when the Turtles launched into the beginning of “Peaches En Regalia,” which I determined was their way of saying “Hi, Frank (Zappa),”  I thought I was going to pass out from joy. Being surprised in life is….well, surprising, and I love when it happens. Well done, guys, well done.

I’m going to see “Savages” this afternoon; Oliver Stone is always over-the-top, so looking forward to some scenery-chewing, lurid, gory good times. “Moonrise Kingdom” was one of the two movies that I liked this summer; “The Avengers” was the other one.  We’ll see if I can add “Savages” to the short list – off to the movies I go!


Seems like all I want to do lately is read books and write – I’m still in the middle of “On the Road,” by Jack Kerouac, as well as a book of letters between Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg (I’ve changed my old rule of one book at a time to one fiction and one non-fiction book at a time).  I am at the point in both books where I’m not quite at the engrossed stage, mostly because other things have been on my mind.  One result of reading more is that I have less time for knitting.  However, recently I learned of a phenomenon that may get me back into yarn and needles; it has been occurring in Europe, Canada and the United States, most recently at Cal State Long Beach.

Here’s what happened at CSULB in the last two weeks:

Yarnbombing; I believe it’s also called graffiti knitting. I understand it as knitting in the urban landscape, either knitting directly onto the item or knitting something and finishing it on the piece.  Here are more photos of yarnbombing (and how spectacular is that bus?) The crocheted water tower cozy was designed by New York artist Robyn Love:

This discovery has made me giddy, I will confess to you. The combination of a passion for knitting with the potential for doing something that beautifies the environment, and confounds law enforcement, makes me happy in a way that few other things do these days.  I am on the lookout for yarnbombing gangs in the Lakewood/Long Beach area (I hope there’s no initiation, like being able to knit something directly onto another member against their will, because I’m liable to crack under the pressure).  If you want to see other small and large fiber art additions to the landscape, take a look at  Yarnbombing; lots of photos and resources for textile freaks who want to take their art up a notch.  For my knit and crocheted friends, we could start our own yarnbombing group….sssh, it’s a secret (oh, wait…)!

Doing time with Humphrey Bogart and Lindsay Lohan

Bringing the random to you this morning:

I figured out why I’m so irritated with Lindsay Lohan.  Aside from her parents, who seem to be opportunistic leeches, the fact that (according to what I read, and feel free to correct me if this isn’t accurate) she received  a ridiculous 84 minutes in jail for her last offense, and that her excuse for missing her court date was just lame, here’s why – I like her as an actress.  I liked “Mean Girls”, and I even liked “Georgia Rule.”  I think she is squandering her opportunities, and her parents should be ashamed for not being more aggressive with keeping her in line.  Of course, I know one of the main issues here is that no one tells her “No, Lindsay;”  and since everyone has been satisfying her whims for too long now, it is going to be difficult to reverse that trend, but shouldn’t someone who knows her at least try?  If not her soul-sucking parents, then maybe the California justice system can do the right thing, and make her see that her actions have consequences.  I might be asking for the moon, but it is aggravating to see someone that has such potential just toss it away, and that no one in her circle seems to be doing anything about it.

It’s rare these days that a movie that I see stays with me a week later; unfortunately for me these days, most movies don’t last as long as the time it takes for me to escape from the theater. City Island is an exceptional gem of a film, with Andy Garcia as a father of a loud, loving Italian family with lots of secrets.  Juliana Margulies plays his wife; if you like well-written movies with note-perfect performances, go see this movie. “City Island” is too good to get lost in the crowd of overheated summer blockbusters that all feel like they’ve been on the screen one too many times. An added pleasure in seeing this movie is rediscovering the great Staple Singers. I had to download “Heavy Makes You Happy” as soon as I could, and I still remembered every word from when I bought the 45 at Dooley’s for 89 cents. ( In trying to find that song to play here, I found this song, also by the Staple Singers; it’s indescribably delicious.) Don’t let this one get by, it’s worth a few hours for a lovely movie experience.

A fellow knitter reintroduced me to Ravelry, which is a website for knitters, crocheters, and designers. As I mentioned, I have about six different knitting projects going right now, but I tend to do this knitting thing in a bubble, and never really get an opportunity to interact with other knitters.  It was fun to talk to Carol about knitting, since it has been a while since we have seen each other – she is much more advanced than I am (she’s working on a great pair of socks right now, which I aspire to do this year for the first time), and she gave me  some good tips.  We live too far apart to get together for knitting, but it was a treat to talk to someone who shares the yarn love – and I now have a couple of new yarn stores to try, which is always an adventure. Even though half of the office at home is already full of yarn, a new yarn store with untouched yarn is like a new country to explore – all of you yarnheads are nodding in agreement, you know who you are.

I think I mentioned that most of our family is located in the Midwest, in Iowa, Michigan, and I think my mother has a couple of cousins that live in Illinois.  When I was growing up, I had one uncle who lived fairly close to us, and who would come over for dinner and for holidays.  He loved old movies, and I think he would be happy to know that he handed down that love of old movies to me – I don’t know if he ever had a chance to watch Turner Classic Movies, but it would have been his favorite channel, hands down. Whenever I watch TCM, it always makes me think of Uncle Paul; we would have a blast throwing the old-school gangster lines back and forth – “Dead End” with Humphrey Bogart and the Dead End Kids is one of my absolute favorite movies, full of  dames and mugs and coppers. As for Humphrey Bogart – for me, no one can touch him.  Watch “Dark Passage”; not one of his more well-known movies, but also one of my favorites.  And the chemistry between Bogart and Bacall?  Never lets me down…

I’m going for a bike ride, and tonight is “Measure for Pleasure” at the Garage Theatre on 7th Street in Long Beach (threw out my back, and missed opening night, so I’m pretty jazzed about going tonight!).  I will try to refrain my injuring myself before tonight – all of you do the same…So long for now, all youse dames and mugs!