Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Am I No Longer Quirky?

Despite what you might think, I'm not going to go on about what I perceive as the idiosyncrasies of Canadian culture and how they make me feel more normal. There are many, but since I'm going to be here for four years, I feel the need to spread them out in the interest of good blogging. I'm just lookin' out for my readers, that's all. And anyway, since those oddities are general habit here, I'm thinking that even if I feel normal, I'm not.

In this case, I'm actually talking about knitting and running. The two never went together in my mind until today. I went out for a run this morning, and it was cold. It was below freezing, snowflakes were drifting slowly toward the earth. I wore appropriate gear-- gloves, tights, a jacket, a hat to keep my cute little ears warm. As I was getting dressed, I realized something: wearing a pair of my hand knit wool socks wouldn't be the worst idea ever. My feet wouldn't overheat in those socks going out for a run like they would of a month ago. Instead, they kept my feet warm.

But I've realized something: knitting warm, woolly socks in Nashville is something of an odd affectation. (Sorry, guys, but it kinda is. Not that I didn't love knitting socks there, too. Just hear me out.) You don't need them for most of the year. There is always that cold snap in January when they become useful, maybe if you spend a lot of time outdoors in the winter months, then maybe they are a necessity, but for most of us, they're nice, if a bit odd. It's kind of like wearing a beret; it works for some people, but it isn't normal and it isn't a necessity for daily life. But here, those socks have a purpose. They are here to keep my feet happy, warm, and (perhaps I'm being melodramatic) frostbite free. A well made pair of wool socks is worth their weight in, well, wool. The same goes for most of my knitting projects: I need hats, scarves, and mittens. (Lace shawls are another story, but I can't be entirely rational, my husband wouldn't recognize me.) I need something to keep my hands busy (protestant work ethic and ADHD + idle hands= trouble on a destructive scale). Therefore, knitting is not longer completely nutty.

Monday, November 17, 2008

When Life Gets Away From Me...

I neglect my blog. Sad but true.

The past couple of weeks have been nutty. I had an odyssey of travel, because it turns out you can go home again, if they are holding an academic conference there. I went to the annual meeting of the American Musicological Society (which this year was a joint meeting with the Society for Music Theory), which was held in Nashville. It was outstanding but completely exhausting. In an attempt to save money, I decided not to take the shuttle to get my flight out of Toronto, but instead decided to take the train and then the bus to make it to the airport. Not worth the $30 I saved. Next time, I'm taking Robert Q. The end result is that I started a pair of socks on Thursday 6 November and finished them on Saturday, after reworking the toe (otherwise they would have been complete on Thursday). I was, however, able to spend time with my beloved husband, see my lovely city and my dear friends, go to church, and make it down to my favourite knitting store.

I've graded a huge stack of tests, and have another stack of papers to read. And, in about 12 days, I get to go home and spend a few days with my family in Nashville.

I've read recently that if you have a blog, you need to manage expectations; you should let your readers know how often you intend to post, and stick to it if at all possible. They are probably right. I'll be thinking about this in the days to come and letting ya'll know.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Change Is On Its Way

Obama Pictures and McCain Pictures

I know it is no big surprise that I supported Obama in today's election. I'm listening to his victory speech right now, and I admire him. I admire his willingness to listen, his willingness to think.

I also have read what McCain said in his concession, and I admire his graciousness and humility.

In other news, my cousin appears to be winning her election for the Michigan House of Representatives. When we were kids, Jen always said that she would be president someday, and this seems like a good start.

The thing about this election is that after all of the ugliness, we need to find a way to talk to each other again. We need to find ways to disagree in thoughtful and well-reasoned ways. We need to respect each other above all. My first exposure to Barak Obama was not his address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, instead I hear about his 2006 Call to Renewal Keynote Address. He said, "... before I went to bed I said a prayer of my own. It's a prayer I think I share with a lot of Americans. A hope that we can live with one another in a way that reconciles the beliefs of each with the good of all. It's a prayer worth praying, and a conversation worth having in this country in the months and years to come." Two and a half years later, it is still a good prayer. It is a prayer of reconcilliation and of hope.