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Archive for November, 2008

Some less happy election follow-up. If you have an aversion to harsh language, I would recommend you not read my thoughts in this post.

Thanks. Let’s keep on keeping on, folks. We can’t afford not to.

(more…)

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Dear Dad,

I am astounded. Our country just elected Barack Obama!! This is the first election in which I’ve been able to vote where I can say, “Yes. That is my president.” I called swing state volunteers. I brought up the tough issues with Mom. I gave my sister that extra nudge to register to vote. I feel like this was very much my election.

But I sit here thinking how much this is even more so your election. You grew up in Chicago, amid racial tension I can only imagine — the grandson of an Irish immigrant family made you the member of a population pitted against the adjacent local black population, due to both of your being situated in low-income families with minimal access. It took me a long time to understand your discomfort with racial issues, especially since you gave me the benefit of living in an area where everyone was going okay.

I remember, at the beginning of my college career, interviewing you about growing up. You told me how much you wanted to get out of Chicago, because everyone was so angry, and your only experience of whites and blacks relating was of it as violent and impossible. I was impressed, though, at how you narrated to me that as you grew older you came to understand that this tension was a product of poverty and class, of the recent immigrant population with which you identified being pitted against a similarly disenfranchised population. I realized what a difficult understanding this must have been for you to come to; beyond that, I was filled with a new understanding of what it meant that you did not pass the racial tension you experienced on to your daughters.

So today, I can’t help but think of you as I watch tens of thousands of people gather in Chicago, where you grew up, to cheer in our first black president. You told me yourself that you never would have believed the possibility of this moment when you were my age — a multiplicity of races gathered in a public space to celebrate a black president, in the very city where you witnessed first-hand so much conflict. How things have changed.

I am so glad I got to share this night with you. To call you, excitedly, because the person we wanted had been elected. And, for the first time in history, he is not white. I’m excited because it’s Barack, I’m excited because of the symbolism of this moment. Maybe more than that, I’m excited because this is a sign of what can happen when people try. Desegregation happened in your generation because young people who believed in basic rights — people like me — refused to allow discrimination and hatred continue. Look where that got us. I have to say, I believe more than ever: Yes We Can.

There is so much more work to be done, and although this is one significant step, there are so many forms of inequality — racial and otherwise — that we must continue to work against. Thank you though, Dad, for raising me with not just the belief but the knowledge that inequality is unforgivable, and that I can be a part in moving towards a more equal and just society. I really believe today — for the first time in quite a while — that America can be a place in which I can once again put my faith, and that a better tomorrow is truly within my grasp, one day and one step at a time. It certainly appears that it was for you.

I love you.

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Ready? Set?

VOTE!!!

It is crucial that you get out and vote today.
But I bet you knew that already.

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Being a Lolcat for Halloween was really fun. Some people had no idea what I was, to which I replied, “Well, it’s this internet phenomenon… pictures of weird cats with silly captions… cats like cheezburgers…” and received questioning stares. But! Those who recognized my costume were really stoked.

Regardless, everyone loved the crochet cheezburger. That’s right. I crocheted a cheezburger for my Halloween costume.

Needless to say, this was a test of my crochet skills. Also of my stamina, as I was up until 2 in the morning the night before Halloween. I chose to crochet my cheezburger instead of knitting it because crochet offers more possibilities as a structural element — while knitting offers better drape for garments, I think, crochet is great for constructing an object because each stitch is a little bit like a Lego. Crocheted fabric is also stiffer, which means it holds up well in a toy.

All the yarn used for this was Cascade 220, my absolute favorite yarn. The yarn’s cheap, comes in a wide variety of colors, and is an all-around great yarn to work with. Also, I always have many colors of it in my stash.

So, today, I’ll post on how to crochet the top and bottom hamburger buns for the cheezburger (the correct kitteh spelling of “cheeseburger”). Tomorrow, I’ll fill you in on how to crochet the lettuce, cheez/cheese, patty, and tomatoes.

Here goes!

Top Hamburger (or Cheeseburger or Cheezburger) Bun

Piece 1 of Top Bun:
– Ch 3.
– Sl st to first chain to create a small circle.
– 8 sc into 3-ch circle. 8 st.
Increase: 2 sc in each sc around – 16 st.
– *2 sc in one sc, sc* around (you are increasing every other st) – 24 st.
– *2 sc in one sc, sc, sc* around (you are increasing every third st) – 32 st.
– Continue in set pattern, increasing 8 stitches every round, increasing the number of sc between each inc st until there are 6 st between each of your inc stitches – 64 st.
— To clarify, the last inc round you do will be *2 sc in one sc, sc 6x* around
– Work 4 round even
– Fasten off.
Piece 2 of Top Bun:
Same as for Piece 1, but do not work even rounds. Fasten off after last inc round.
Finishing the Top Bun:
– Embroider sesame seeds on larger part of bun using broken chain st (AKA lazy daisy st).
– Whipstitch top and bottom pieces of top bun together, leaving a small hole at the end through which to stuff — I used cotton balls!
– Pretend to eat your new bun.

Bottom Hamburger (Cheeseburger, Cheezburger) Bun


Proceed as though making Piece 2 of Top Bun.
– After finishing last inc round, do not fasten off; instead, work one round even but through the back loop only. This will give you a little bit of a turning row.
– Work 3 rounds even.
– At this point, cut out a circle of cardboard that is slightly smaller than the base of your cheezburger bun. This wil stabilize the bottom.
– Begin working decrease rows; on the first row, again work through back loops only.
Decrease: *(Insert needle into next st and pull through a loop that stays on your hook, repeat into following st giving you three loops on your hook; finish sc by pulling a loop through all three loops on hook, thereby decreasing one st but not leaving a hole in your work), sc 6x* around
– Continue to decease with one less sc b/t dec sts. When you are getting smaller, put cardboard in bottom. Continue to decrease until you have a very small hole — stuff the bottom bun at this point. Do final decreases until you are down to as few sts as comfortable.
Note: Pull yarn tight during these steps, as it will be a little bit of a struggle to decrease the circumference this quickly.
– Use crochet hook to close up final hole — this does not need to be neat, as it will be hidden inside your cheezburger.

Success!

Weave in all ends and pat yourself on the back. Begin to get excited about cheezburger fixin’s.

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