A Good Yarn

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

It was a merry Christmas

Wow! That holiday flew by. I haven't posted in a while because I've been knee deep in holiday preparations. I didn't get everything done I usually do or that I wanted to do, but it was a good holiday anyway. The busy work week contributed to that, but this week looks like a good time to recover. Last Wednesday we had a little gift exchange with my other knitting group and I received some lovely gifts - it's so nice to feel so known and understood. Thursday we FINALLY had a little snow. Great big fluffy flakes. I had a meeting in the southern metro that took more than three times longer than usual to get to, but I was just happy to see the white stuff. Unfortunately, it didn't stick around and we had a brown Christmas. I took Friday off and did the rest of my shopping and wrapped all the presents. I love to shop, but I was just EXHAUSTED by the end of the day. Happily, all of the gifts were pretty well received, so I feel good about that.

I did do a little bit of knitting for Christmas. I'm almost done with the second Alien tooth fairy pillow. I'm exchanging gifts with Bill and his family next week because my nephew Michael is at his mom's house this week. So, the deadlines for my knitting weren't pressing. Since I was knitting something for the boys, I knit this for Katie:

The pattern is called "Kiki" and it's a free pattern from the Berroco website. I used leftovers of Cascade 220 for the body and some stashed Woolease for the head. I think she's pretty cute. I also knit up another square for the mitered blanket, but I haven't blocked it or sewed it together yet, so a picture of that is coming. I'm getting close to finishing up the knitting on that project!

I also made a non-knitted gift. I got my sister, Laura, a gift card, so I made this little tin box to hold it. I think it's really cute and hopefully she'll be able to use it in the future:

Now I'm going to get picture heavy and share some pictures of my family - I love to see pictures on other people's blogs, so I thought I'd share my own.

My mom and her kids (Laura, Greg and me):

A very cute picture of my mom:

Greg and Michael:

A cute picture of Michael - he's an Eagles fan, as you can see:

Michael's sister, Jessica:

Michael and my other niece, Alexis (Laura's daughter):

That's my mom's side of the family. We had our celebration there during the day on Christmas Eve because Alexis was dying to open her presents and my brother had to get headed back up here to the Cities fairly early on Christmas Day. I spent the day over there on Christmas Day too, though. Alexis and Mom and I played Monopoly for a while and then Alexis went over to her dad's house, so Mom and I just watched tv and I knitted a bit and read some blogs. It was very relaxing. My dad lives in Orlando, so I didn't see him over the holidays. I did spend Christmas Eve night with my other sister, Kerry, and her mom, Kim, who I still call my step-mom even though she and Dad aren't married any more. She'll always be my step-mom. Here she is with her boyfriend, Bill:

My sister, Kerry, and her boyfriend, Raine. You can kind of see my future nephew, who's just a bump right now:

We had a great time opening presents and laughed our heads off. We also played Scattergories. I think I came in last every time. That is just not how my brain works, I guess. I always like to go to a movie on Christmas, so Kim and I saw this one Christmas night:

I'd give this one a mixed review. A lot of bloggers have mentioned they've already seen it, and even if you haven't, you probably know what it's about. Will Smith plays a real-life guy (Chris Gardner) who works his way from homelessness to become a multi-millionaire while caring for his son, played by Smith's real-life son. Smith and his son are both very winning in the film and you are drawn to them and want them to succeed. Things are pretty predictable, though. And everything that could go wrong, does, but you always know that things are going to work out in the end, so there's not a lot of dramatic tension. What really bothered me about the film, was that it seemed like Gardner was at least as interested in becoming wealthy as taking care of his son. He makes a risky move by taking an unpaid internship with a brokerage in the hopes that he'll be offered a position as a stockbroker at the end. He and his son end up having to move from homeless shelter to shelter because they don't have money for rent. He is trying to provide for his son, but might it not have been better to provide for his son by having a regular paying job instead of going for the big bucks? I did like how the movie showed the obstacles that the poor face that middle/upper class folks don't have to worry about - his boss asks for $5 for the cab and doesn't even think about it, but $5 is the difference between eating and not for Gardner. And he has to do the same amount of work in fewer hours because he has to go pick up his son, while his co-interns have wives or nannies to worry about that sort of thing. However, I also wondered how he could possibly get by with only the one suit and not stink or look rumpled or in other ways turn off his potential clients. How could he manage to do business without a home telephone number? How could he drag a five year old around all of these homeless shelters without social services ever being called? I was also bothered that his race was never even raised as an issue. There's one boss that seems to pick him more often than the others to do menial chores for him, which sort of hints at racism, but never more than that and he's never faced with any outright prejudice. Which seems extremely unlikely to me in the world of brokerage firms in 1981. I think whether you'll respond to this film depends on how willing you are to just open up to Gardner and his son and root them on.