The bikers are gone, the geese are here, and ugh, the frantic pace of the Ravelympics and the summer weather put me off blogging for a while.  And after it was over, detox was necessary.  That said, the sox I made are truly gorgeous, and the WendyKnits pattern was very easy to adapt to larger feets.

If you can get your hands on any STR Knitters Without Borders, I highly recommend it, because it works up gorgeously.  The skein seemed a bit questionable, then it became lovely when I put it into a ball, and knitted…well.  Take a look at one sock as a WIP:

a Ravelympics project!

Sans Frontieres: a Ravelympics project!

I’m considering one of two options–either donating the completed socks, or selling them and donating the proceeds.  If you’re interested, let me know.

Did I mention I winned some yarn from tuabella‘s raffle for the arthritis walk?   If any of my readers donated, thanks so much.  We had a great time walking, and then I had some Reuben Rolls–that’s fried Reuben sandwich egg rolls–which were pretty darn good for something that sounds so problematic.  You can get some of your own at Slim McGinn’s here in Milwaukee.  Bring your own cholesterol reduction pills.

What’s your favorite weird fusion dish?  Or, for that matter, fried dish?  And should I try to go to WI Sheep and Wool this weekend?  We here at Not Be Televised occasionally have a hard time with weekend plans.

I’ve decided that at some point I need to turn my hand to YA fantasy fiction, because it seems like you can throw any compulsively readable crap at the wall and see if it sticks, these days.  Add fairies, vamps, or witches, a tense romance, and a not-actually-feminist-but-it-sounds-good ‘Girls can do anything!’–and bob’s your uncle, you’ve got a bestseller and a script option!

I mean, srsly, this stuff makes Rowling look like Tolstoy.  And I’m not here to kill anybody’s buzz, because I realize it’s fun, but wow.  Just…wow.  Not to mention the messages this stuff sends.  Though if it’s either that or Rich Young Women In [Big City] Spending Money And Name Dropping, I’ll go with the lame urban fantasy novels any day.

Personal preference.  If you DO want to find good YA fantasy, check out Sharyn November’s stuff over at Firebird.

Off topic, you can now catch my Twitter at the top of my sidebar, or directly here.

So it’s been nearly a month, but this time I have a pretty darn good excuse, being that Matt was here to visit (and he brought Percy Pigs, the best British sweetie you’ve never tried).

Well, more than visit, actually.  That disturbance you felt in the Force two weeks ago today was a feminist getting engaged, as if a million friends of mine cried out in complete and utter shock and suddenly were sil…

Right, I haven’t lost any geek points, that’s for sure.  Though I have lost some patience with the constant ‘no date yet, not for a couple years, grad school, moving there’ litany of explanation.  In the future, the world just needs instant blog or Facebook access for this stuff, or maybe I just need little business type cards to hand out.

Anyway, Matt’s gone back and things around here are the usual.  Foodie-wise, we did pop up to Cedar Creek Winery in Cedarburg for their tour and tasting (fairly interesting), and had dinner at Harvest in Madison (food great, service a bit OTT and patchy, people sitting at the next table a royal pain).  Craft-wise I finished the front left side of Arwen and one Hera sock, finished Sidewinders off finally, and mailed the Pomatomus.  I’ve also settled on a yarn and pattern for Ravelympics 2008.

Incidentally, my SNB friend Jen is walking for arthritis in August, and is raffling off some of her seriously excellent stash to those who pledge $10 or more to the charity.  She’s got lots of gorgeous handpaints and even some Wollmeise, so check it out and help her out.

For some reason, Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle has been more successful at getting me into foodie consciousness than Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser combined.  This is probably because of the guilt.  It’s pervasive, partially because it’s somewhat prescient of the current downward spiral of American ag and food production, and partially in a ‘we did this project and before that ate free-range grass-finished meat for years, you could at least make a vague effort towards not causing our inherent destruction’ way.

Unfortunately, I live at home and my mother does the food shopping, in the old school coupon and sale flyer way, so I’m afraid, Barbara, this is a little more difficult than you anticipated.  The farmer’s market’s on the other side of town, we’ve had a crap season, and I can’t even talk Mom into buying fair trade coffee.

P: Do you think we could maybe cut down coffee consumption a little and buy fair trade coffee?
M: [looks at P like she has suddenly grown a second head, possibly a hippie] No.
P: What?  Why not?
M: I need my coffee.  And we don’t drink that much anyway and we go through it fast.
P: But…

Implied in the above conversation, but not actually stated, is ‘expensive’ and ‘pain in the butt’.  I’d really like to be a child of the revolution, but as long as I get fed on a discounted basis from House Of Mom, it’s not worth the effort.  Besides, while the idea of supporting local businesses is a very good one, there’s some evidence to show that pound-per-pound, the carbon footprint of a Wisconsin tomato at a farmer’s market here in the urban world is similar to the carbon footprint of one that’s been flown from California en masse…

Okay, okay, the truth is, I don’t have the willpower to give up eating nearly everything we have at home, or to fight the good fight with my mother over why we should start a whole new spending and consumption plan in a time of economic turmoil.  I fail at locavore and activism in my own lifestyle.

Maybe driving my car less makes up for some of it?

Anyway, the book’s good, but it’s preachy, and it’s stuff I’ve heard before.  Even so, I’ll be over here in the flagellator corner.

After a week or more of delightfully dry weather, the Humid is back, and with it the ridiculous sinus pain, ick ick ick.  Also, the flood brought, as expected, a bumper crop of Aedes vexans, commonly known as the Northern Floodwater Mosquito, more commonly known as DARN FRIGGIN MOSQUITOES AUGH.  While I’m a magnet for bugs (because I’m so sweet…or something), I at least don’t have the reaction a lot of my other family members have.

I am Paige’s long, put-upon sigh.

The knitting is going well, for summertime handiwork, and the cooking isn’t going much of anywhere at all.  Does anyone else have the problem where one’s hands just feel gross after a while when knitting in warm weather?  Generally sticky and unpleasant and dirty, even though all you’ve been doing is sitting on the couch watching reruns or random documentaries?  Or do I just have weird hands?

I’ve been working with worsted lately, as I’m doing Arwen (front left panel in under a week, woot), and that makes it even worse.  Big needles, big movements, thick fabric, yes, but I needed to take a break from fiddliness.  Sometimes details are just not necessary.

Oh, on the food front, the New York Times decided that Milwaukee’s own Sprecher root beer was the best they could acquire.  Of course, that just tells us here what we knew all along–it’s just that darn good.

Right, I’ve come to the conclusion that the headache I had all last week and continuing onward into this one is not, in fact, humidity-based, but is instead the result of either a nasty allergen or a nasty bacterium wafted this way by one of the…god, I stopped counting…nine or so thunderstorms since last Saturday afernoon.  Either way, it’s lodged itself in my sinuses and will not be assuaged by ibuprofen, decongestants, or Excedrin, so my guess is less allergen and more bacterium.  I’m not even snotty, either, it’s mostly just pressure.

Oh, yeah, if you hadn’t heard, I now live in a Federal Disaster Area.  I find it interesting that FEMA decides this based on estimated damage costs.  Do they take cost of living into effect?  My guess is no–considering that damage here in Milwaukee County was, in comparison to other places, fairly low.  And so that means people in Shorewood who had a few trees fall on their half-million dollar homes could get better assistance than a whole small town in, say, Dodge County, that had every last basement flooded, or that people with a summer home washed away in Lake Delton may get more help than a farmer in Sauk County whose entire crop was flooded out, just because of overall cost.

It’s all a tragedy.  It’s just that some animals are more equal than others, I think.  If someone could prove me wrong on this, please do, as I really really wish this wasn’t the case.

In happier news, I learned how to grill bratwurst this weekend (because it did NOT rain, praise be), despite my fear of being in close proximity to Stuff That Could Burn Me.  I do a pretty darn good brat, actually.  Unfortunately there are no pictures, but you can take my mother and brother’s word for it if need be.  The fact that yours truly was the grillmeister on Father’s Day makes my feminist heart go pitter-pat.

What also makes my feminist heart go pitter-pat is Yonmei’s review of this past week’s Doctor Who episode (warning, spoilers!) at Feminist SF – The Blog.  Actually, feministsf.net as a whole is a fantastic resource; I kept running into it but didn’t really register it mentally until Liz Henry mentioned being a contributor.  I think I may fangirl.

Actually, I have a lot to say about Doctor Who, women in filmmaking, women in SFF, why the Guardian sees fit to enable Steven Wells, and so much more.  But I’ve used up my rant for the time being.

Unless Steven Wells googles himself and shows up here, in which case: unless you can clearly delineate the source of your hatred for my hobby, Steve-o, kindly stuff it.  You violated Godwin’s Law twice, and that’s pretty lame even if you’re trying to be funny and all punk rawk or summat.  I’ll try not to yawn at your Angry Young Man shtick, ’cause your beloved country got that over and done with fifty years ago, yo.

Righto, a whole bunch of smaller things to talk about.

The mother and I, jonesing for TexMex in the heat of last Friday, ventured over to Guadalupe Mexican Restaurant; we’d seen it about twenty times and never ventured inside.  It’s rather gaudy on the outside, brightly painted with a big sign advertising Happy Hour from 2-6 PM on weekdays and an All You Can Eat Crab Night.  Needless to say, while I’m a gringa from WI and my expectations are fairly moderate, I was not expecting to be impressed, but in actuality, it was quite good, at least as good as Hector’s on State Street.  I was pleased with their selections and the fact that they put enchilada sauce in their chimichangas, which kept the inside from getting dry as well as was terribly rich and tasty.

So yes, worth a go if you don’t care about authenticity, even if their margaritas are overpriced (but at least not from a blender).  It’s on 114th and Bluemound, next to the Delhi Cafe, which is being turned, sadly, into a piano bar.  wtf.

Unfortunately, Friday was the last nice time of it as then Saturday we got flash floods and tornadoes.  If you live in the US, you’ve probably seen the footage of the house and highway being swept into Lake Delton.  A lot of people here with flooded basements and ruined stuff, and we’re getting hit again tomorrow, apparently; everything smells damp and feels damp, and the humidity does a number on my migraines.  Oh sure, massive man-made climate change is a myth.  We aren’t affecting the environment that much.  Right.

In terms of changing times, my mother made a particularly interesting comment to me the other day, about how she doesn’t think she could handle being without email access for a week at a time.  My mother, who isn’t exactly a wired person, who is completely amazed that iChat’s video function is free and real time, said this to me.

I’m not sure what this says about culture here in the developed world, and our desire for instantaneous connectivity and information access, because it’s in so many aspects of life.  I got my first still-functioning permanent email address ten years ago last month, and I’ve online journaled and/or blogged for eight years.  In that time I’ve seen both things move from geeky fringe to de rigeur.   And as problematic as the Internet and digital media is, I think we could very well be better off with it than without it, for one very big reason: now the whole world really is watching, and there will always be someone, even when you’re hiding under anonymity, who might hold you accountable.  It’s not always fair, and it’s not always justified, but when things fall apart, it is, in a sort of odd way, a comfort to have that kind of global street justice.

I’ve made my peace with that, or I’ve tried to.  It’s unfortunate that a lot of people haven’t.