Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thursday, November 20, 2008


You thought I'd left you, didn't you? No such luck. I've simply been lurking about in the basement, hunched over my drafting table, or stuck in horror novels behind closed doors (and covered in blankets). I raced through "Heart-Shaped Box" by Joe Hill in a matter of two days, a thoroughly satisfying quick read about an aging death-metal rocker who purchases a ghost through the internet and things begin to go awry. Following completion of the book, this little number came to be. Rather appropriate timing in my opinion. The victory dress gone goth...the collar, skirt and bias binding are made from my old college curtains, the bodice crafted from a T-shirt dug out of the bins. I must admit, I am rather proud of this collar, having drafted it myself (with the assistance of my sixties/seventies craft and sewing books) and look forward to further adventures in dressmaking details...

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Victory Dress

Never in my life have I felt "proud to be an American" until now. Glad that I come from Oregon, happy to say I've lived in California, sure. I remained, however, riddled with doubt and cynicism about America. This cynicism was amplified by living abroad and a constant duty to explain the disparity between America's politics the beliefs of its citizens. While in Germany, I almost felt it was my job to prove to Europeans that we are not what we might seem. That the ideals on which this country was founded might still be put into practice. That the policies of the past eight years have been extremely unpopular not just abroad, but at home. That we don't necessarily agree with the way our country has been run. But I dared not hope for something different. Honestly, since Kerry lost in 2004 I have never even gone so far as to imagine an America governed by someone other than an inept embarrassment and a calculating, sinister puppet-master. On Election night it all melted away. The constipated nightmare that has been American politics for the past eight years ran down the drain with Barack Obama's impeccable acceptance speech. Of course he cannot fix everything. But this is a sea change on the side of hope and positivity. This is a man I can admire as president. A man who will create a government we can unite behind. A man who thinks things through, who speaks eloquently, and finally a man who truly represents the racial and cultural melting pot that is America. For the first time ever, this is a president elect who represents not just the country I come from, but ME.

I remember once reading about how John Lennon met Yoko Ono. It was at one of her art shows, and he recounted climbing up a ladder to look into a sort of magnifying device at something written almost microscopically on the ceiling. As he peeked into the eyepiece, the word "YES" appeared. He described how overwhelmed he was with the positive energy of this word, the simplicity of it. How just one word can conjure a world of good. I think of this when I hear the slogan of Obama's campaign. "Yes we can." It is inclusive, positive, and hopeful. It indicates that although we have chosen a leader to set the example, change is everybody's responsibility. It is inspiring to know this is our future.
P.S. When was the last time a U.S. president inspired anything in the media other than criticism and fodder for the Daily Show? Think about that while you watch this.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Trick or Vote!

Sure, it's been a little while...but does this make up for it? At the suggestion of an organized and responsible friend, several of us donated a couple hours of our Hallow's Eve to reminding the good folks of the greater Portland area to vote their hearts out. Not like they needed it too badly. About two thirds of our respondents cited "mission accomplished." The volunteers were all in costume, including our fifteen-year-old group leader in a homemade bacon getup. The neighborhood we were assigned to canvas was just north of my new abode and many a household was decorated in dedicated Halloween spirit. Lucky for my door-knocking partner and I, everyone we encountered was friendly and/or amused. I was surprised at how many people offered us candy! As we reminded them to fill out their whole ballots and distributed literature about drop spots, little boxes of Nerds, lollipops, and full size candy bars were dropped into our complimentary tote bags. When I was a kid doing actual trick or treating, full-sized candy bars were the stuff of legend. Trick or voting gifted me no less than three. Anyway, we had a blast. By the way, I bet you know exactly what I am. Don't try too hard. What did you say? Yes! That's it! I am a...
"White girl! Yeah, you. White girl. Whatchyoo s'posed to be?"
"I'm a mummy rabbit."
"Huh. I like your costume."
Don't forget to cast your ballots!
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