Friday, October 31, 2008

Ready to cry “uncle” on the campaign?

Posted in Liberty, vote tagged at 6:09 am by Elaine Petrowski

Have you had just about enough presidential campaigning?  Me too.

In the last few weeks I’ve cooked up my own plan for true campaign reform. For the next election cycle I’d like to propose that “we the people” demand to limit all the campaign hoopla to a single six-month period.

I’d actually like to see it be even less time than that, but then someone pointed out we need time to not only elect a president, but actually to find a nominee. (Frankly, it makes no sense to me that anyone in his/her right mind would want the job to begin with.)

In addition to limited campaign time, we would ban all TV and radio ads that are not issue-related, perhaps sparing ourselves the likes of the “Ayers/Keating” accusation/backlash advertisements.

I propose we have four debates – one  per week preceding the election. Each time a candidate wanders off the issues and dips even a little finger into the mud, or actually starts slinging it, (indicated by  a bar showing the thought waves of Ohio voters who were forbidden to drink coffee that day)  s/he  would  be obliged to forfeit one minute of talk time during the next question.

Do you think you could make up your mind in six months time if the twitter and buzz was actually all about the issues, and not about spin and mud slinging?

Happy Halloween

Posted in Pursuit of Happiness tagged , at 1:00 am by Elaine Petrowski

jack-o-lantern at the New York Botanical Garden

jack-o-lantern at the New York Botanical Garden

Thursday, October 30, 2008

More fun with politics

Posted in Liberty tagged , , at 7:30 am by Elaine Petrowski

Play the political “match” game

Click on the statement that you agree with most.

See if your thoughts on the big issues match those of your candidate.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

This will make you smile

Posted in Pursuit of Happiness tagged , , , , at 5:49 pm by Elaine Petrowski

What an idea. Peace through music. We are all one.

Watch this clip. It just might restore some of your faith in humanity.

If it was up to me, I’d nominate Mark Johnson and Jonathan Walls for the Nobel Peace Prize based just on the little bit I’ve seen of  what looks to be an AMAZING 75-minute movie “Playing for Change: Peace Through Music” and for the music education foundation Playing for Change, that grew out of the ten-year production saga.

It isn’t really a documentary as much as a global concert film, recorded on the streets of New Orleans, Barcelona, South Africa, Tibet and elsewhere, as the filmmakers (Johnson being an award-winning engineer and producer) traveled across the globe, finding musicians to record tracks on versions of “Stand By Me” and Bob Marley’s “One World” without any of the individual musicians ever having met each other.  The purpose of the project, which led to the formation of a foundation to help impoverished people in the areas visited, is to show how music brings people together regardless of their cultural differences.”

Read more about their fine, uplifting work here.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Cut thru the campaign bull

Posted in Liberty tagged , at 8:08 am by Elaine Petrowski

Have you  discovered  PolitiFact yet?

If so, you’re onto something GOOD. So spread the word.

If not, please click here

“PolitiFact is a project of the St. Petersburg Times and Congressional Quarterly to help you find the truth in the presidential campaign. Every day, reporters and researchers from the Times and CQ will analyze the candidates’ speeches, TV ads and interviews and determine whether the claims are accurate”

Well isn’t it about time some real journalism showed its face? Now if only we could get “them” to stop wasting our time and money on these garbage ads.

Think about it: We send the candidates, or the political party of our choice our hard-earned dollars, and they turn around and spend gobs of it spewing incessant misinformation back at us.

Does that make sense?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Mason-Dixon knitters help answer a nagging question:Why knit?

Posted in Life, Pursuit of Happiness tagged , , at 11:50 pm by Elaine Petrowski

One part of the fun at the amazing NYS Sheep and Wool Festival last weekend was taking a  break with a cup of coffee (and in a much-welcomed chair, after several hours of walking) to listen to the Mason-Dixon knitters who were meeting their fans and talking up their new book Mason-Dixon Knitting, Outside the Lines.

The Mason-Dixon knitters - Ann Shayne (l) and Kay Gardiner

The Mason-Dixon knitters - Ann Shayne (l) and Kay Gardiner

These two funny, bright, personable, approachable women, Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne, first met online, sharing info about their knitting projects. Kay lives in NYC and Ann in Nashville ( hence the Mason-Dixon)  and they became fast friends who eventually decided to write the knitting book they couldn’t find, and are now on ragingly successful book #2.

As a lifelong knitter, ( I don’t even remember who taught me. Seems I’ve just kind of always known how.) they helped me to clarify an answer to my knitter’s eternal existential question: Why do I knit ?

Because, they wisely point out, knitting:

  • is ongoing creativity
  • allows us to make things with our hands
  • allows us to play with color
  • is hypnotic
  • is meditative

So then, if you knit,  why is it that you do?

About those Sunday morning glories

Posted in Life tagged at 12:06 pm by Elaine Petrowski

"Heavenly Blue"

Just in case you were wondering, the morning glories are the “Heavenly Blue” variety and my absolute favorite. I’ve planted them somewhere, every year, for at least the past decade.
One reason I think they are happy this year is the very sturdy lattice that allows them to climb up about 15 feet so their heads are in the sun all day. (Forget growing them in a pot– not enough soil to flourish in.)
And don’t bother saving the prolific seeds that are produced… they revert to that behind- the- garage- just- comes -up -every- year- purple morning glory, which is certainly a nice “volunteer”, but not nearly as amazing as these.
These were, I believe, from Renee’s Seeds and packed in a simple, black and white line-drawn envelope with the only spot of color a blue morning glory.

I fed these exactly 1X, back in July. They did not begin to bloom in earnest until late August. I’ll be so sad when the frost does get them.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Yet another obsession?

Posted in Life tagged , , at 11:07 pm by Elaine Petrowski

Everyone, it is advised, should have a hobby or two they partake of when not doing things like “working” and “writing”, correct?  One of my hobbies is knitting. Or rather, collecting knitting “stuff” in preparation for knitting.

And there’s so much to collect.  All manner of soft, lush and rainbow-hued, hand-spun, hand-dyed, alpaca, cashmere, merino, Icelandic, silk, bamboo, ribbon, novelty and rayon yarns, along with the finest smooth and quiet knitting needles in materials that include space-age metals and plastics, exotic and sustainable woods, and even jewel-toned glass (!), not to mention buttons, knitting books, knitting patterns and knitting gadgets. Oh, and did I mention the yarn?

Those who share the obsession, go right ahead and snicker. But you know exactly what I’m talking about.  Those who don’t should know that a favorite slogan among the yarn obsessed is “The one who dies with the most yarn wins.”

Though I have been on a self-imposed “knitting probation” (perhaps more about this later?) for just over a year now, I did use this past weekend’s New York State Sheep and Wool Festival at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck, NY as an opportunity to joyfully wallow in the obsession with two like-minded friends.

Here’s a peek.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sunday Morning Glories

Posted in Life tagged , at 11:46 pm by Elaine Petrowski

These stunning specimens are still blooming in my northern New Jersey garden. A small thing to be thankful for on a bright, brisk Sunday morning. The vine still has literally thousands of buds and is tirelessly chugging along, apparently unaware of the likelihood of frost. Being in the moment.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Are you a political “junkie”? Participate in my poll

Posted in poll, Uncategorized tagged at 8:50 pm by Elaine Petrowski

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