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Long-Assed, Lots of StuffJanuary 25, 2005

Oh, so much to tell you! I have not been blogging, but not because I am a Lazy Blogger (which is usually the case when I'm absent without leave), but because I have been a Very Busy Blogger. Too busy, in fact, to even check email, let alone blog. If I owe you email, please forgive me. It'll be a'comin'....

And a Responsible Blogger would parcel out the fun stuff, would make three posts of this, but I am not responsible. I am a Frivolous Blogger, and plan to frivol all over this post.

First. The March on Saturday.

It was really kind of amazing. First of all, Lala and I got there at right about the right time, had it been a peace march, which it wasn't. The rally was at 10, the march started at 11, so we got there about 11:20, expecting the people to be just starting to move. There was no one there! The streets were full of bored-looking tourists and street vendors. We asked a cop (Lala told me to boss him around, but I restrained myself), and he pointed, "They went that way, right at 11. I hear they're at 3rd now -- you can still catch 'em."

We realized that this march had been planned by mothers, not peace activists, thus it had left on time and in an orderly manner. We marvelled.

We caught up with them, and marched to Embarcadero, happy to see so many. Then they did something that we didn't quite get (yet) -- they stopped us marching and spread us out on the sidewalk, from Pier One down to Thirty-Nine. The pro-life march was coming, and instead of them yelling at us from the sidelines, as usually happens, it was our turn to line THEIR route.

Here, you can see them coming:


And then they're here:


You can see the same guy with the rosary here:


The cops were SUPER vigilant about keeping them within their lines, but you can see how incredibly close we all are to each other.

It was really something unimaginable, to be standing on the sidewalk, chanting "Back alleys, no more, abortion rights for rich and poor" or "Our bodies, our lives, our right to decide," right INTO the faces of people who believe so differently. Looking right at them. Into their eyes. There were moments of anger, moments of humor (like the little girl who marched with her tongue stuck out at us the whole time -- oh, she was so MAD that everyone was laughing), and moments of compassion. One woman in a wheelchair looked at me and then raised her fingers in the peace sign. Lala and I raised our hands in peace back to her. There were a lot of peace signs, actually. But that was the one that connected, that hit my heart.

Oh, there were so many MEN in that march.

They didn't chant, or sing, or yell, and most surprisingly of all, there were none of those horrific maddening pictures of aborted fetuses. Apparently they'd been given a last minute directive to tone it down, and I think it had a lot to do with how peacefully it went. Two people ended up getting arrested, which wasn't bad, considering that the cops had two city buses standing by as paddy wagons (which got covered in NARAL stickers as they moved slowly along):


This was taken after their march had gone by -- our march followed them, which created a bottleneck at Fisherman's Wharf, and they had to take another route to their rally site -- this was, I believe, the goal. Lala and I, however, left at this point, fearing both violence (which didn't happen) and that ArtFibers would run out of yarn (also, didn't happen, but it's better to be safe than sorry).

I'm making a little store model for them. I'll show you as I go. It's got a little bit of fairisle in it, which I started at a dark bar the next night. I am officially crazy. Lala's band The Whoreshoes was playing, and a bunch of my friends came to see her. Two of them passed me right by while I was sitting at the bar, probably because I had my head ducked all the way down until my forehead was practically IN the alpaca. The muttering kept the other crazies away, too. Never attempt charted fairisle in the dark. Believe me.

And did you know that all the Rach(a)els in the whole wide world live in the Bay Area? At one point during the show, there were FOUR of them sitting in a row, while another sang onstage. Last night, at the knit-out, a gal came by to say hi and introduce herself as a reader of this blog, and when she left, Rachel said, "Who was that?" I said, "Dur. That was Rachel!" (Hi, Rachel T.!)

Anywho, the show was fabulous, even though the vocal mikes sucked. I was pretty durn happy, though, that m'girl got one of the good ones, so her "Drinkin' in my Sunday Dress," in which she sings lead AND plays the banjo, sounded great. I didn't get too many good shots, as the curtain was a deep red, but you can see her playing her lap steel in the back:


And after the show:


I look drunk, yes, but I'm not. I was the sober driver (and roadie -- I totally got into being a roadie). Lala, well, you know. She didn't have to drive. Although I do believe she's sober in this photo. This was early.

Damn, she sounded good. And I'm not being (that) prejudiced, really. She's really good. I was struck proud.

And our knit-out! I apologized last night to Laine about all the hearts and flowers on my blog, all the romance mushy stuff that I really do try to keep at a minimum (if you can believe that) and she said, "WHY? That's why I read! You're like my own little romance novel!" So I guess y'all will read over the romantic gushing looking for the knitting content (I had some! Up there! I did!) or you'll close the link with a snap (silly old knitter-in-love), but I can't help it. She's just so durn cyoo-t. And I'm sure she would like you to know that she is Very Tough. Yes, she is. (And cozy.)

So. The knit-out was fabulous (it is at this point I should start another post, but hell, I'm on a roll). The beautiful and fabulous Monica was in town:


and in honor of that, we met up at the New Zealander in Alameda. I think by the end of the night there were about ten of us -- Elizabeth and Stella were the other bloggers there. Also in attendence were Rachel, Kira, Anna, Laine, Martha, Laura in Alameda, Won-Ju, and this guy:


He's also seen here:


We have no clue who he is. He's sitting in Rachel's spot while she takes pictures, and he's pretending to knit. He was very friendly. Hi, guy!

I committed a major foh-pah in the scheduling of the knit-out, though. There's a new knit-bunch in town, and they were meeting at the very same time, just three blocks down the street. What are the odds? So when the New Zealander closed, some of us marched (lot of marching going on) down and joined 'em. The Coffee For Thought Stitch and Bitch, y'all, meets in Alameda (1545 Webster)  at 7pm on Monday nights. They're the ones in the back. The group in the front is a sea-shanty singing group, and I gotta tell you, sea-shanties and knitting go very well together. In a weird SCA kind of way, sure, but they do go well.

Here we are in our new knitting place:


Is it possible this is long enough? Sheesh. I am off to Hoover Floormate my house. It works GREAT, by the way. I've been putting off using it all week, so I can get that gratification of sweeping up LOTS of dust'n'stuff. You know what I mean.




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Great post - not long enough :-)
but well worth the wait!

Wow! You did cover a lot of ground! I was so sorry to have to miss the knit out. I couldn't miss rehearsal though and I was already double booked. Alas and alack, the woes of a busy girl.

Oh and the hearts and flowers stuff, we eat it up! The world loves a lover, you know.

whew! i think i need a nap just from reading about your fabulous and exciting life. me? i've been studying, contemplating the snow and how icky it'll be to walk in it, studying, watching football (sorry about the steelers...), stressing about how i'm NOT studying, getting grades and thinking for one brief moment that maybe i don't really need to study more, and finally trying to learn how to sleep on my back so that cricket can snuggle under my chin. I'm failing miserably on that last one, but I think she appreciates the effort. :) Glad to hear that you're having a blast - as usual! :)

Love to read your posts. That accordian brought back lots of memories. One that big is a killer for your back so I hope the player has a back strap for it. What kind of music does Lala's band play? Is it widely available in places like Border's?

Oh, Rachel, you are the cutest. Your blog always makes me smile.

Before the march someone told me that the pro-life group was touting themselves as "feminists" opposed to abortion. So in telling the story to friends I have been saying, "I had no idea there were so many feminist men who opposed abortion! And so many feminist men of the cloth! Who knew?"

Man! Wish I had been at all three places! I had to sit and work instead of knitting with you guys, alas... (if I hadnt gone to Tahoe on the weekend for a ski, I would have been able to go out knitting. My last minute lifestyle occasionally has drawbacks)
Lala's band looks like a lot of fun, which is no surprise to me based on what a fun person she seems to be.
After getting beaten up and dragged down the street by the Wash DC cops in '02, I have been a little adverse to marches (class action lawsuit still pending). Leave it to San Francisco cops to be cool AND keep the pro-lifers on a short leash. I totally [heart] this city.

Okay, all that info in your post and I can't stop laughing about you saving up dust bunnies so you can get a REALLY good hoovering! That's my new excuse...the "I don't give a crap" lacked something.

I'm glad you guys were able to join us for the pirate knitting festival! Hope to see you Monday!

Wow, what a weekend! I so enjoyed reading about it. And dayum yes, keep those hearts and flowers coming!

Nice to see you waving from your perch 'neath the Kiwi silver fern. Have been a member/writer/editor of and for a mothers' feminist group here in Canada for a couple of decades. We are prompt, orderly and KNOW when to break the rules. And FOUR Rach(a)els in a row! Such abundance.

Per usual you're out making the world a better place - what an inspiration.

And I *heart* the hearts and flowers!


There's something strangely appropriate about a knitter named Laine. And sea shanties! Wonderful!

WOW! My mother took me to a big pro-choice rally and march on the Capitol Building in D.C. when I was 11- it was my first activist experience and I had so many memories when reading your post.

I love the traveling Knit-Out! How fun. Artfibers=yum. I squirrel away money to spend at that store when I go home to visit my family. Kira is so nice.

Sigh, I love your frivolous blogging.

I also love the frivolous blogging-- I like to hear about everyone's lives and loves.

And you're right. Sea chanties + knitting = SCA. (longtime SCAdian, new knitter here)

I am exhausted after reading your post! whew!

There is a new anti-choice ad campaign on NM tv - "if you were born after 1973 nearly 1/3 of people your generation were aborted" then the ad cuts to a bride and groom at the altar - and the bride disappears! ARGH! So blatantly inflammatory I can't even deal.

Oh I am SO going to get that floormate this year!

"We realized that this march had been planned by mothers, not peace activists, thus it had left on time and in an orderly manner. We marvelled."

Yes, we mothers not only demand choice, we demand that it be on time! I'll be enjoying this sentence for awhile, Rachel. It's so true. Thanks!

Now, Rachael, there's no need to try and be modest or shy here -- we all know that you must have left the march early more in regards to empty-yarn-store fear instead of march-turns-ugly fear. Fer cryin' out loud, girl, you -ran a marathon- AND you're a roadie! There is no doubt in my mind that you could scrap with the best of 'em ;) And as for Lala -- hell, she's -in a band-. Everyone knows that Chick Musicians are Tough Chicks. (Hell, I'm a Chick Musician, and I'll never deny my Tough Chick credentials...unless there's chores to be done and I'm feeling lazy. Then I claim loudly that I am a Delicate Flower who Shalt Not Defile Herself In Such A Way. Sure it gets me nowhere, but it's worth a try, right?) *laughs* And to cap it all off, you were doing -Fair Isle-. In a room that doesn't have, like, the brightest lights ever in the whole world shining down on you. That's, like, ten tons more badass than I could ever lay claim to. In fact, I hereby proclaim that it is the -definition- of badass.

Oh, and as a side note -- feel free to post -allllllll- you want about being a Knitter In Love. The happy-squishy-giggly-warm-glowiness? Yeah, I totally dig that. In fact, reading your giddy glowy posts totally makes my day, and I really look forward to them! :D

Dude - you have such knit-cred that you could go for MONTHS without blogging about knitting and I would never doubt you. And I'd be giddy right along with you, dearest knitter-in-love. ;)

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Rachael loves it when book clubs read her work! She's happy to attend book clubs that read her books either in person or via Skype. Contact her at rachael@rachaelherron.com to make arrangements.


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