Me vs. Crochet

I cannot knit.

This is not some sort of surprise revelation of the Gods or anything.  I have rheumatoid arthritis, and it mostly lives in my left hand.  I can do certain things with my left hand from muscle memory but most everything has to be taught or I need an extensive hack.  It means I can never get very good at fretting a guitar, but I have learned how to do hats with my left hand on Rock Band despite not being able to feel the hits.  Knitting means holding something small and thin in my left hand for hours at a time, and that is right off the table.  Even big fat needles are no good because my left hand needs to do something other than move up and down.

I had taken crochet off the table, too, because of the super skinny needles.  Sure it only needs one hand while the other hand works like a big wooden bobbin — perfect! — but I can’t really hold the skinny needle in my right hand for more than 2-3 hours, max. Then, for Christmas, Eric found this crochet needle set from Provo Craft for little old ladies with hands curled him like THE CLAW.  These work for me.

I generally suck at crafting.  I’m not terrifically good at it. But right now I am surrounded by little swatches of really ugly, lumpy, plausibly crocheted squares and a tiny plausibly crocheted hat because hey, I can do this with my right hand.  I am still working out how to get my left hand to work as a bobbin effectively but I’m vaguely happy because I need to do something that lets me just sit and veg and I despise just sitting and watching TV.

I have 35 year old practice yarn.  It is all the colors of the 70s.  It’s pretty awful.  But.  Practice yarn!  And perhaps I will get good enough to produce something.

I am considering taking a picture of all my little lumpy creations to share.

Also, Rock Band?  Eric bought me a new kick, and now I’ve gone from 100-150 in a row to 700-750.  Problem solved!  My kick pedal was clearly not registering.  Time to move to a harder level.

Bloody Revolution in Pixie Hollow

For Katie’s birthday, I bought her the first set of four collected junior novels, each one depicting some adventure of one of the fairies of Pixie Hollow, the imaginary Disney universe for Tinkerbell.  The general plan was to get her into the whole concept of reading books with chapters and stories too long to be resolved in a single evening yet be interesting enough to hold a four year old’s interest for multiple nights.  This turned out to be highly succesful if Katie was allowed to pick the fairy — which she is.

Since I am now reading about this universe every night, a bit at a time, I have plenty of time to ponder Pixie Hollow.  I realized, with the stories of baking fairies and serving fairies and laundry fairies and even entryway cleaning fairies, that Pixie Hollow is a very Victorian England Upstairs/Downstairs culture with rigidly set out life paths depending on where one is born with no hope for advancement.  Only the true Upper Classes may go to the Mainland and interact with humans.  The rest of the fairies must stay behind and serve.

The Tinkerbell movie revolves entirely around this theme: poor Tinkerbell discovers to her utter horror that she is forced forever to be working class as a pots and pans fairy, and no matter how hard she tries she cannot flee her caste.  Sure, she is promoted to Upper Class when she makes for herself a role as a master engineer over a mere tinkering fairy, but it is not without great effort and recognition from the Queen.

This is utterly unlike the plight of two other fairies of the Pixie Hollow cosmos: the fairy Prilla and the fairy Vidia.  Vidia is set up to be the “evil” fairy of the world, but Vidia is not actually evil.  She rejects the rigid despotic monarchy of Queen “Ree” Clarion of Pixie Hollow and shows her disdain for the caste system that holds them all enslaved.  And Prilla, well, Prilla has a unique talent which draws her automatically to the human world to keep children believing in fairies.  Her friends keep giving her mundane fairy-like tasks to do but her heart is not in it.

While I sat on the bed reading Katie her stories, I began to put together the bloody and horrible revolution, hatched by Vidia and Prilla in Vidia’s sour plum tree where no one ever goes.  From there, they explode with Prilla as the Charismatic face of the Revolution, explaining on the stumps and toadstools around Pixie Hollow how no fairy is lesser than any other and how they can all be free of their castes if they clap their hands and believe.  Meanwhile, Vidia plans, and executes a horrible Night of the Long Knives where she does away with the Ministers of the Four Seasons in a bloody coup and unleashes the anger of the animal talent fairies and their beast army upon the unsuspecting High Nobility light fairies.

Then, as the war reaches its zenith and Pixie Hollow is torn by war and death, a proud Vidia and a woebegone Prilla watch as Queen Clarion, broken and dashed against the revolution, is forced to sign the peace treaty with harsh terms in her own blood.  Then the monarchy is done away with, crowns are forgotten, Clarion drifts off to spend her days tending to Mother Dove, fairies are freed from their bonds of talents by birth! (to appear and become a laundry fairy — the horrors!) and Prilla takes the reins of government…

We are undecided if Over the Edge or FATE would make a better system for playing out the Bloody Fairy Revolution in Pixie Hollow.

The Failed Bailout

I am attempting to figure out, and failing, what the Senate Republicans got out of blocking the $14B bailout for the Big 3 from coming to the Senate floor.

It was okay to hand over $700 billion to financial institutions and AIG with no strings attached so, say, completely worthless institutions that should die and die horribly like the insanely crappy Capital One can go acquire a very nice bank like Chevy Chase at the taxpayers expense. It is okay that AIG sends executives on junkets and gives out “retention bonuses” (who exactly would ever hire an AIG executive?) with taxpayer money. They’re Republican Senate Donors!

But no, it is the evil unions who would not suddenly, without any negotiations, give up huge chunks of benefits and pay for the workers so no bridge loan. I would like Senate Republicans to be forced to give up pay and benefits with no negotiations.

And of course, the US Treasury is handing the money out of TARP because they have to. The alternative is GM goes under the first week in January and unemployment spikes to 10% and entire Midwestern states are wiped off the map.

I am so full of froth I have no idea where to start.