Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The measure of things

My granddad was pretty indulgent to his grandchildren on the whole, but not when it came to retracting tape measures. He said that he'd never seen one in the hands of a kid that didn't get torn up.

Unfortunately, his pronouncement only made already very attractive tape measures practically magnetic to me.

Right now, Buddy's tearing up a tape measure - and I'm just letting him.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

snow patrol

snow patrol, originally uploaded by London looks.

It's frosty cold in London this morning. We awoke to freezing temperatures and the threat of snow. Within the hour it was snowing. I got the Vol-in-Law to help me dress Buddy in some reasonably warm clothing and out we went into the garden.

I managed to capture a few pics in the snow before Buddy decided that it was too cold and that he didn't much care for snow. When I asked if he wanted to go inside he headed straight for the back door.

Just as well we took some photos when we did, as within a half hour or so all traces of the snow were gone - replaced by a miserable, cold rain.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Where I've been

Last Friday I had laparoscopic surgery. I've been in pain of varying degrees basically since I went into labor over 17 months ago. Turns out my pain was probably due to a dermoid ovarian cyst that was stuck in an awkward position due to adhesions which were a result of the c-section. So a variety of complaints. I'm now down one ovary, but apparently it was in pretty bad shape. But on the plus side, my other ovary is now freed up - it was also stuck in awkward position from the adhesions - and was probably also causing me pain.

It's too early to see if the surgery worked as I'm still in pain from having my insides mixed up and being puffed up full of gas to give the surgeons room to do the keyhole surgery.

I had considered spending the weekend in the hospital to avoid the rigors of toddler care while recovering. But I discharged myself in a hurry on Friday evening when the hospital staff tried to move me from a private room to a four bed bay. Most of the people in that hospital I wouldn't care to share a taxi with, so I'm not sure why they were so surprised when I decided to leave instead of taking my chances with random strangers and their even more random visitors.

I've been spending the week watching crime shows and Maury DNA test specials while doing needlepoint.

Spode in administration

If there's anything I'm addicted to more than coffee it's tableware. A beautifully designed ceramic bowl, an elegant glass, a well-weighted fork. Divine. Two of the most sparkling occasions of my life were visits to the Iittala/Arabia factory outlet in Helsinki.

This morning I hear that famous English tableware companies like Spode and Royal Worcester have gone into administration (the beginnings of British bankruptcy procedure). The traditional ceramics industry around The Potteries of Stoke are under threat. The latest victims of the credit crunch? A failure to innovate in terms of technology and brand development? Both?

Taking joy at the misery of others demonstrates a poor character, but I couldn't help but have a frisson of excitement at the thought of taking a trip up to Staffordshire to tour the increasingly desperate factory stores.

If the online store is any indication, fine China can be had at low, low prices. For example, this Christmas themed deviled egg tray can be had for less than a third of its original recommended retail price!!

What a bargain! And if I regularly made deviled eggs during the Christmas season, I would snap this up. And just think of the fabulous deals that might be available in Stoke itself.

The Vol-in-Law was not as excited by the prospect. He said that we didn't have room to store more crockery and if we did use it, Buddy would only smash it.

That's not really the point.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Happy Fifth

In the wake of the American elections, the Fifth of November, an important English holiday celebrating the complete failure* of domestic terrorists to actually explode their bombs and cause mayhem has almost been completely overshadowed.

It's a celebration with bonfires and fireworks. Though tonight it's been wet and drizzly, which also sort of puts a damper on things.

* plus ca change, eh? Let's hope all the terrorists are ineffectual.

Bitch, bitch, bitch.

I think it's good Obama won. Better than the alternative. But I don't feel bittersweet about the election results, I just feel bitter. To me this election says less "Anyone can grow up to be President," than "Forget-about-it, little girl. Not in your lifetime."

I don't think Obama is the uniter that folks are hoping he'll be. I say this as a disenchanted Hillary Clinton supporter. I never felt that he reached out to me or acknowledged my concerns. I never once saw that he understood women's issues. If anything, his expression was derisive and dismissive if sexism was mentioned. He dissed female reporters as "sweetie", he embraced misogynistic music (99 problems, but a bitch ain't one), he was disrespectful to Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin in a way that he didn't react toward his male opponents Democratic and Republican and his support for "choice" was continually caveated by how women need to consult partners and pastors*, the men in their lives. I simply could not vote for someone who accepted, used, manipulated and promulgated this nasty culture of women-hating.

We saw in this election that racist rhetoric is really unacceptable. Good. But we also saw in this election that sexist rhetoric is not only acceptable but mainstream. From Clinton to Palin, too much was put in terms of gender and too much criticism rested on their sex. I don't like Palin's political views. But as I saw her represent the often schizophrenic Republican views of the role of government, these contradictions were laid at the feet of her being a stupid, ditzy woman rather than the inherent hypocrisy of the GOP position (i.e. subsidies and gov spending bad, unless it's on things I like - roads and wars and stuff). Too much was made of Palin's perceived fuck-a-bility and too much was made of Hillary Clinton's perceived lack of same.

I suppose that some could feel optimistic that at least this rampant sexism has been exposed. But I'm not sure that it has. Obama supporters on the left denied it, accused us often of making it up, or of not understanding the bigger picture. Well, to me, the sexism that's been exposed is the bigger picture. I'm not sure if we will see change that we really believe in so long as it's built on the same old prejudice.

* I'm not saying you shouldn't, but I'm definitely not telling any woman that she should. Being pregnant is something that is really done alone.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Lame update

Well, the election is almost over - so now I can start blogging politics again. I didn't really want to blog against Obama, but as you know - I had no enthusiasm for him and was disgusted by the sexism in the primary. I hope he wins. I think he's the better choice. But I just couldn't vote for him.

Phil Fulmer is going. I feel a bit blah about that. I guess it was becoming inevitable.

Stop Phil Fulmer
Stop Phil Fulmer

I have a nasty cold. I feel like crap. I put on a Columbo DVD and slept the afternoon away.