Saturday, July 28, 2012

Olympic Fever!

Friends and family keep asking me, "Don't you wish you were in London right now?" Guess they don't know me very well because my idea of hell is being stuck in loud, sweaty crowds with no easy means of escape. Not to mention if you want to watch the Olympics, the best seat in the house is usually at home where you can see everything much better thanks to network cameras. I'll save London for another day. I'm content to see the sights from this side of the ocean.

I did stay up last night to watch the opening ceremonies. Well done, I thought. Not much of a surprise there as I like Danny Boyle, but I did find it odd that it overly emphasized British literature, film, and music over than sport and athleticism. I'm not going to complain, though, because the soundtrack was outstanding: the Clash, Bowie, the Sex Pistols, the Chemical Brothers, the Pet Shop Boys, Clapton, and more. We did not see Elton John or Coldplay. And I loved that when Queen came on, their music got an extra cheer from the crowd.

Speaking of queenly matters ... did you like the James Bond short? I thought it was fun. And good for the Queen for playing along, although she looked rather glum all night.

Another thing I enjoyed about Boyle's direction? The homage to Britain's sense of humor. The Brits just don't take themselves so seriously, unlike Americans. (A huge generalization, I know.)  I doubt you'd see the likes of an American director let someone like Rowan Atkinson goof around with a renowned orchestra. I mean, look how offended we get when Ricky Gervais pokes fun at Hollywood celebrities? Wait -- I guess it's the Hollywood celebrities who get offended. But I stand by my original assertion.

I loved the look of the Ralph Lauren-designed uniforms for the U.S. athletes, though I was dismayed to find out they were made in China. Grr. And while I've seen the athletic wear that Stella McCartney designed for Team UK, I wasn't thrilled with the look of the uniforms they wore at last night's opening ceremony. (Those gold patches under their arms? Yuk.) I also liked Canada's outfits -- they were simple, but really stood out.

Anyway, it was a pleasant way to spend the evening and I managed to get a good bit done on my 2012 Ravellenic Games entry, my Go America! socks:

socks for Ravellenic games

I had to rip them back a bit after I'd discovered I'd cast on an extra stitch, but otherwise good progress. This morning I manged to add another two inches to the leg, and I suspect by the end of the weekend I'll have the heel turned. My son is down in Connecticut this weekend, so I have some extra free time.

Are you watching the Olympics over the next several weeks? Are you participating in the 2012 Ravellenic games?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Storm's a brewing



A rather impressive storm hit early this afternoon. I just wish it had dumped a bit more rain on my garden.

Friday, July 6, 2012

We sound that bad? (Friday funny)

I'm not sure how I found this video, but it's both fascinating and hilarious. Have you ever wondered what American English sounds like to a foreigner who speaks no English? I have. This video reminds me of when my younger brother and I were kids and we'd pretend to speak German or French, making up Teutonic- or ou-la-la-sounds and stringing them together. Yeah, we were short on entertainment in the day.


I also found this skit quite funny. I believe it's from an Australian show, but it looks like the skit takes place in London. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Knitting at Wimbledon

Who would have guessed that a woman quietly knitting on Wimbledon's center court could cause such a media uproar?

"A MYSTERY woman stunned tennis fans as she spent the entirety of Andy Murray's thrilling match – KNITTING," opened one article.

The Daily Mail sniped, "The woman seems more interested in her pink knitting than Andy Murray's match against Marcos Baghdatis at Wimbledon."

The Telegraph asked, "Who brings their knitting to a sports match?"

I teach my writing students to avoid opening an article with a question because the reader may offer the answer you're not wanting. As in this case. A great many knitters would answer, "We would."

When my son graduated from third grade, I brought my knitting to the ceremony, which promised to be a long drawn-out affair in a stifling hot community hall. No one really seemed to pay me much attention as I worked on my sock. I put my knitting down to clap after the speeches, which I actually listened to -- had I not had my knitting, my mind surely would have drifted to thoughts of what to make for dinner, whose calls I should return, and the work that waited for me at my desk. I snapped pictures, videos were taken, and I knit a full ten rows of my sock by the time we were released from our seats and into the refreshment area.

A couple days later we attended the school picnic. I was taking to a group of parents about the graduation ceremony, and one dad commented, "Did you see the older woman up in front knitting? Why would anyone knit in public?" Everyone tittered, and once I got over the shock of being referred to as an older woman, I admitted, "I was the one who was knitting."

The father tried to backtrack, claiming there was another woman at the ceremony knitting, but I assure you readers, I was the only one there with needles and yarn. I am certain of this because had there been another person knitting, we would have gravitated to each other afterwards to admire and fondle handiwork. You knitters know how this goes.

I wanted to lecture him that knitting isn't just an older woman pastime. Men knit. Tattooed Insane Clown Posse fangirls knit. I'm pretty sure there's an NFL player who plays with sticks and string. I wanted to tell him that knitting helps me focus: I actually listen better and process information more quickly when my hands are at work. Moreover, if you watch me knit, I rarely look down at my work. I can watch television, my son's swimming class, and read a book with nary a glance at my lap.

Instead, I said, "Did you notice how many people were checking their iPhones during the event?" I noticed, because like I said, I don't have to look down at my knitting to pay attention, so I could look around the hall. Most parents had their cell phones in hand, and many of them were typing and clicking away. Last I checked, you have to look at your iPhone to read e-mail, send a text, or surf the web.

He changed the subject. He had his Crackberry in hand at the picnic.