Nancy and I really are twins. We're having the same focus problem at the same time. Mine seems to deal with words. I haven't been reading much. Every time I start to answer e-mail, I get distracted and, well, you know, no one has heard from me in a while. I'm hoping that a post about some of the things that have been bouncing around in my mind will chase away the squirrels of distraction.
1. Breathe Right Nasal Strips
I have used them before, but in January I decided to purchase a box of Breathe Right Nasal Strips as a bit of a present for El Esposo. I tend to snore when I am very congested, and, though he snores all the time, he loves to tease me when I snore. So, I thought I'd get into the habit of wearing a strip to bed in order to spare us both some aggravation. They work. I knew they would. They open up my nasal passages just enough to allow me to breathe easily and sleep quietly. However, they also have an unintended effect that boggles me. When I go to bed with a strip, I wake up uncongested. When I go to bed without a strip, I wake up all stuffed up. How can opening my nasal passages more make me less congested?
2. Yarn Dominance
I have never understood the whole thing about which color is dominant when you are doing stranded knitting. I have asked other knitters and have been told they don't get it either, or they don't pay any attention to which yarn goes where because they can't see the difference in the finished knitting. Well, I can't either, though I do try to keep my background yarn in my right hand and the other color in my left. (I knit with one color in each hand, picking one and throwing the other.)
I think I understand a little bit more now. On the left is the steek for Sheep Carousel. I knit with the white yarn as the background color (in my right hand, thrown, over) and the brown as the accent color (in my left hand, picked, under). And I can see how the brown stitches pop out compared to the white ones. My understanding is that this is because the yarn that is knit from under the other yarn travels further and for that reason more yarn is used and it stands out.
The thing that bothers me about this is that this is all as clear as day to me when I look at this photo, but I can't really see it in the body of the knitting on this or any other stranded project I've done. Here's the body of the Sheep Carousel:
I can kind of see the vertical brown stripes as standing out, also the sheep's faces (where I took the white from under the brown in order to make them stand out more), but I can't see the brown sheep bodies standing out. Looking at this too long makes me crazy. Looking at photos in fair isle books where they show you how yarn dominance works makes me feel like a color blind person taking one of those hidden number tests.
3. Libros en Espanol
In an attempt to cure myself of my reading boredom, I thought I would try to read a book in Spanish as a little challenge. Well, I do not understand this at all, but all the stores around here that sell books in Spanish seem to carry books revolving around two main themes, religion and self-help. What's up with that? El Esposo likes to read, but religion and self-help are not big on his reading list. Honestly, I think that having those two narrow categories of books in Spanish is going to do nothing but discourage people from reading in Spanish, whether it's their first or second language.
4. Nike Fuel Band
I love my Nike Fuel Band. I wear it all the time. I've noticed recently that there is a strange glitch in the way it works. It tracks your activity by arm movement, so, as one reviewer put it, you can earn more Fuel points by sitting in the pub lifting pints than you can by actually running. That's why you are supposed to wear it on your non-dominant hand. This is my first winter with the Fuel Band, and the one positive about going outside to shovel (particularly the two-plus feet of snow that Nemo brought) is the thought that my Fuel points are going to skyrocket. Well, newsflash, all that shoveling barely earns any Fuel points. I earn more Fuel points doing two loads of laundry than I do for two hours of shoveling, even though I'm doing a lot more work with my arms (and the rest of my body) when I shovel. That's enough to make a girl not want to shovel any more.
5. Culture Clash or Racism?
We watch Despierta America in our house, which is like the Today show or Good Morning America if they had a male presenter who dressed in drag as a cleaning lady, a small dog, a fake security guard who interrupts scenes, a female presenter who always seems to be wearing the same outfit she wore out clubbing the night before, a daily horoscope and lucky lottery numbers, and a group of men reviewing the current story lines on all the telenovelas. Well, today they had a large musical group (I forget the name, but there had to have been 2o musicians.) and they pointed out that one of them is Asian. That's fine with me, and it's even of interest to see that there is someone of Asian descent who speaks Spanish and plays in a band that plays Mexican music - who doesn't like diversity? Well, after they identified the Asian man and singled him out by making him come to the front of the stage, they played the song Gangnam Style and expected him to dance. I couldn't tell whether he didn't know the Gangnam Style dance, didn't want to dance, or was nervous, but the poor man made a half-hearted effort at dancing and then went to sit down. They stopped the music. Then they pulled him to the front and played the music again.
This really aggravated me. My thought is that it is racist. El Esposo thought it was funny. I have a problem with singling that man out as Asian and then expecting him to dance to a wildly popular Korean song as though that was what Asian people do. In my mind, this is similar to inviting Shakira on Good Morning America, throwing a sombrero on the floor, playing the Mexican Hat Dance song, and telling her she must dance around the hat. It's offensive. I love the idea of celebrating diversity, but I abhor the idea of stereotyping an individual and expecting them to entertain you in a manner that reinforces the stereotype. This one is going to be rolling around in my mind for a while as I try to understand how a national television program would find this okay. Maybe I'm being too sensitive about it, but it just doesn't feel right.
And now I'm off to find more mysteries to contemplate, hopefully with more focus.