Monday, October 30, 2006

KIP report.

The Texas Book Festival happened this weekend, and although I missed most of it, I did manage to ride my bike down to the state Capitol for the event with Gore Vidal and Maureen Dowd. I vaguely knew about Gore Vidal as the writer of hefty tomes, but Maureen Dowd I adore--I frequently used her op-ed pieces as rhetorical analysis exercises in my Rhetoric and Composition classes.

So I'm sitting there in the Paramount Theater in the half-dark, knitting away on my Mistake Rib scarf in Noro chenille (which used to be the Opera Scarf, but no more, I'll tell you later). The Paramount is one of those beautiful vintage theaters, reminding me so much of the theaters in The Prestige, which I got to see on Friday. The seats, therefore, are somewhat narrow, and the woman next to me, who'd been chatting away with her friend, abruptly peered into my lap and said, Oh, you're knitting! Aren't you too young for that?

I explained that there were lots of young knitters these days, but she looked doubtful. I floated my theory about the post 9/11 drift back to tradition, and she nodded, and then her friend asked me if I'd been to Hill Country Weavers (which is really the only LYS in the city limits and therefore like a church to me) and volunteered that they had a knitting group there called Stitch and Bitch. She said my yarn looked like it came from there. Meaning colorful and not acrylic? Well, the line is getting more fine with the new yarns at Hobby Lobby and Michael's, but it was true, I did buy the Noro there.

I'm not sure why I was amused by her comment about my age, although i guess I'm not surprised that there are still people out there who haven't rediscovered knitting (imagine! ;-) She looked like she was probably in her 50s, which makes me wonder...knitting obviously is expected of the over-60 set, and has clearly taken hold of many young women in their 20s and 30s, but does this woman represent a demographic that either deliberately rejects the knitting (it's for grandmas), or has otherwise been just out of reach of the marketing?

Because to know knitting is to love it, right? Why would you reject it?

Anyway, Gore and Maureen were entertaining--he is a crotchety old man who makes thudnering, unequivocal pronouncements about GWB, and Maureen surprises you at first with her dry, nasal voice, but then wins you over with her wit and humor. One of the most interesting things they talked about was the speculation about who would run in 2008, and of course the question of the day is whether a woman or a black (Maureen's term, but I just heard it today again on The View...what, is "black person" or "African-American" too much of a mouthful?) would have a better chance at winning. She opined that a black man would probably have the edge, because people ultimately seem more concerned about masculinity than race (I'm paraphrasing here), and a woman would have a harder time proving herself there.

Which is interesting, and I could go on about, but I have to shower and get out of here, so let me just say that this is exactly what nauseates me the most about Iraq rhetoric--the "cut and run" arguments, or the "you can't play Monday morning quarterback." You could just choke on the testosterone.


At 10:42 AM, Blogger Freddy the Prayer Warrior said...

She said you were too young to be knitting?

Whenever someone tells me that, I just
punch them in the nose and say, "How's that now, eh? Not too young to punch you in the nose!"

At 11:27 AM, Anonymous Kristin said...

I get that comment a lot from women in their 50s. I sometimes feel like I'm disappointing them. Like they're thinking they did all this hard work being feminists and here's this 20-something knitting. I don't have the energy to explain it to them.

At 4:06 PM, Blogger Ashley said...

I think I would have turned to her and said, "Oh, actually, I look really young--I get carded all the time--but I'm actually 64."

At 4:46 PM, Blogger Jenna said...

I got Maureen Dowd to speak at my high school graduation! Love her. Anyway, since I've been knitting at work I've gotten a lot of comments like that - a client was a little baffled that there were actually stores that sell yarn and stuff. Huh!

At 9:22 PM, Blogger Kodachrome Knits said...

I've seen Maureen Dowd a few times on Letterman, and, like you, her voice always throws me off at first. But then comes the content of that voice, and I fall in love with her again, and end up thinking her voice is perfect.

And indeed, who could resist knitting once introduced to it?

At 5:23 AM, Anonymous amanda cathleen said...

I get that a lot too! : )

At 7:05 AM, Blogger Elizabeth said...

Amen, sister! About both the knitting and the masculinity. Although I have to agree with Maureen... I frankly think a woman has a snowball's chance in hell of becoming president of this country anytime soon... unless she's Margaret Thatcher Redux.

At 7:14 AM, Blogger Legalfrugalbabe said...

Ooooh, Olga, did you get pics of the inside of the theater, by any chance? Sounds like a wonderful place to have that kind of event.

Loved the 48 questions, chica. I felt like a learned a bunch of stuff about you! Maybe I ought to steal them and do the same.

Eh, yeah, the Iraq rhetoric... Not to get too political here, but hearing Dubya criticize Dems for wanting to get out before "the job is done" (whatever that means) and "not having a plan" - because he has a plan? Gimme a break.

At 10:16 PM, Blogger shinerbrats said...

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