Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Correlation Between Disaster Movies and the Economy?

While watching the Airport Disaster movie series last night which I wrote about here, I got to wondering about why these films were so popular back in the 70s.

In the 70s there seemed to be a running theme in the movie theaters, disasters like Towering Inferno, Earthquake, Flood, Swarm, When Time Ran Out and the list could go on and on.

In the 70s we were in a deep recession and then stagflation. I remember the long gas lines then gas rationing, and rampant inflation. It was an incredibly stressful time for families and I remember my parents were anxious about the changes occurring in government policy and the impact on our lifestyle. Our lifestyle was very middle class comfortable before the recession of the 70s but nothing that would be considered lavish or excessive.

It seems odd now looking back and seeing that the movies that people flocked to for entertainment were disaster themed. I admit to my own fascination in these type of films but I always chocked it up to the time in my life when these films first came out. I was in my teens and these were action packed movies and groups of us went to the theater and it was all good.

Now as an adult I find it curious that not only were the movies back then disaster flicks but that they are now being replayed quite frequently on movie channels when there seems to be so many similarities in the economy....high unemployment.....rising prices......housing issues (back then it was rising interest rates).

I realized last night between Airport 77 and Airport 79....that really the "disasters" were the back story to the "survival" of the characters. The characters of the movies finding their inner strength to overcome fear and fight tenaciously for their survival. Also, it was the good people that lived and almost always the mean and evil people died horrific deaths. There were tragedies but there were greater triumphs at then end of the movies which left the viewer feeling good in the end.

While sitting on the couch, on a wonderfully quiet evening at home, knitting and watching disaster movies, I figured it out.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Get your Frequent Flyer Card Ready!

Tonight, on the AMC channel there is an Airport-a-thon. Back to back Airport disaster movies!! Tonight's line up is Airport 1970, Airport 1975, Airport 1977, The Concorde: Airport 1979.

For this occasion I'll be starting the Turtleneck Tube Vest while watching hundreds of people crash and burn. My husband, Grant has the night off so we may sneak in some kanoodling to the romantic sounds of passenger's screams and moans, making this just about as perfect a night we have had in over a year!! (I told you all I have been stressed!)

Interesting point: In Airport 1970 the heroine is, a sweet old lady, Mrs. Ada Quonsett a stowaway who knits throughout the whole disaster without so much as slipping a stitch!

Now, put your seats and trays in their up right position and fasten your seat belts we are ready to take off. Our Cabin Steward, Grant has arranged for a Chinese dinner to be served.

Knit on.

UPDATE: Look at the In flight Snack Steward Grant, of Couch Sitter Airlines brought me.

Inflight snack

I don't think I will be bitching about Qantas Airlines after this flight.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Quiet Knitting

Is it just me?

I have been feeling stressed out, frazzled, irritated, agitated, high strung and overly anxious for the last 2 months. This last week I simply just hit a wall, I had enough. I was strung out from not sleeping soundly at night and having random thoughts that would interrupt my sleep. I have been miserable.

I think it is the cumulative effects of all the bad news about the economy, anxious about the unemployment outlook, the 401K looking more like a hole in my pocket, money going in balance going down. Getting our taxes done and ending up owing instead of getting a return and the government telling us that the $13.00 a week the feds are giving us is like this magic tax cut....but for those of us in California we are getting reamed at the State level with higher taxes and fees for just about everything. Not really feeling the "Golden State" right now if ya know what I mean.

I don't think I'm isolated in this crap bubble. Everyone seems to be pissed off and have hair triggers. More people are driving aggressively and tailgating for no particular reason rather than just changing into a passing lane and going by. In the grocery store a woman had a minor freak out last Sunday because she had to stand in line. Who doesn't expect to stand and wait their turn at the check out? I really don't think there is a magic happy pill for what is ailing all of us.....

This last week I stepped away from watching so much news coverage. I replaced it with DVDs like JAWS, Aliens, and tonight I'm watching Volcano. It appears that I'm comforted by watching movies of natural disasters, beach goers being eaten or a slobbering alien beast splitting the crew of a space ship to bits.

The other thing that I have been doing is whipping out smaller knit projects. This last weekend I knitted up two scarves both using the Just Enough Ruffles Scarf pattern.

Ruffle Scarf Light weight scarf

One made in a really soft worsted weight Malabrigo and the other made in a Cashmere Merino Wool blend. I really love the way they turned out and found the pattern to be very relaxing and quick knit. Perfect for gifts!!!

I am lining up some more disaster movies, like Dante's Peak, Leviathan and yarn to relax with in the evenings.

I am feeling better now.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Death Defying Shopping Trip for Knitting Needles

Friday the 13th, any other time one just thinks of the “bad luck” day and snicker a little. Last Friday was one of those I remember thinking “don’t break a mirror, watch out for black cats and don’t walk under any ladders” then chuckled and went on with my day.

I’ll admit to being a little stressed about work lately, my job security is only as good as the length of my current funding which runs out in June. I have had to step slowly away from watching all the doom and gloom in the news reports about the economy. I have not opened any of my retirement account statements in the last 6 months, what’s the point, really? I have a mortgage with one of the WORST mortgage companies…Chase. Chase deserves it’s own post on this blog which will come at a later time…stay tuned, but I suspect if any of you have a mortgage with that lender you’ll know ahead of time what I’m going to say and if you don’t have a loan with them and considering a refi on your home, unless you are a Congressman or Senator…stay clear of them……….but I digress.

Last Friday, I went through my day like any other Friday. In the afternoon I decided I wanted to start a project for my hairdresser. I thought the Just Enough Ruffles Scarf would be a great scarf for her and since I have an appointment in a little over a week I’d have a good chance of having it done by then. The problem I encountered is that this scarf really does require a longer cable needle in the size that I was using. No big deal and it didn’t seem to be a problem because I could run up to the LYS after I picked up Jillian from her school. She gets out at 5 and I’d have an hour to get her and to run to the store. Well, here is how that went down and how I nearly died or at a minimum cause a big mess…….

4:45pm texted Jillian telling her I was in the parking lot. (Sometimes she gets out a little early on Fridays)

Texted conversation between Jillian and me:

Jillian: “Great, I will be right out because I have to meet Megan at 5”.

Me: “Well I need to swing by the LYS to get needles”.

Jillian: some version of teenage pig Latin with symbols and abbreviations was texted back….I got the thrust of the message as having attitude because she was in a rush.

I decided to just sit in the car and grow irritated.

Jillian gets out to the car we load up her supplies and we get on our way. Jillian having time to think about my “quick trip” to the LYS was fine with it but warned that it really did need to be quick because she knows me only too well. A “quick trip” to the LYS for needles could end up lasting hours looking through books, patterns, feeling up yarn skeins…….in other words, she knows me. But I reassured her that the store would close soon so I could ONLY have a quick trip.

After an IN/OUT trip with needles in hand I jump in the car. Jillian smiling saying “I’m proud of you mom, that was a record!” Shared a giggle over that and we were on our way in time for her to meet Megan who we found out was running late.

First traffic light we hit was red but about to turn green. There was a car first, then a truck, I am behind the truck and then a long line of cars right behind me lined up waiting for the green light. The light turned green and the first car went through the intersection. The truck starts to move on and I follow……only the truck stopped short right at the light…I hit the brake hard and stop just short and the car behind me slams on his breaks. The light is green….no one is moving. I’m really getting irritated because it appears that the jackass in the truck is looking at instructions….is he turning left or right….does he go straight through….? Well the light turned red while he was deciding. I’m steaming the guy behind me was even worse and I am glad I couldn’t read his lips from the rear view mirror cause I’m sure it wasn’t nice.

Cross traffic now has the green light and they are speeding through the intersection……I thought that every driver was looking smugly at us as they whizzed by. Jillian and I start discussing her plans for the evening and having a light conversation.

All of a sudden we heard a loud bell ringing and THAT is when I realized that I was straddling the Trolley Tracks!! I look at the light and it is still red, the car behind me was too close so I couldn’t back up. I see the gates starting to come down and I’m starting to feel my heart rate jolt and the pounding of my heart up into my throat. I vaguely remember Jillian yelling, “MOM, GO!” and I yelled “WHERE”. I am frantically looking side to side to see if I could see the Trolley coming, then I saw it was coming from the right side.

All of a sudden the light turned green and the truck took off….but the gate is now smashing down on the top of my car and banging loudly. I look to the right and see the driver of the Trolley and his mouth was wide open as if he was yelling …..screaming to get out of the way.

In the car behind me….I see in the rear view mirror the panic in the guys face and he is motioning to the cars behind him to back off. He manages to back up a little bit.

I hear Jillian yell “MOMMY!” just as I’m able to back up a little bit off the tracks. The gate was bouncing down the windshield and resting on the hood of the engine JUST AS THE TROLLEY breezed by.

I looked over at Jillian, Jillian is looking at me just before we both bursted into tears. We both are covered in Flop Sweat (flop sweat = profusely sweating from nervousness when you are caught doing something totally STUPID) We both tried to quickly regain composure and look around us wanting some reassurance that no one we knew saw this spectacle. Once we realized that we were going to live, and that no one from either of our social circles saw this episode we started to calm down a little. For Jillian, meeting Megan didn’t seem quite as important now.

Jillian nearly completely recovered just quietly said “That was so lame.”

Silently we went the rest of the way home.

I came home and immediately went into the bedroom to lay down. I held a couple of balls of Alpaca wool and thought I’d hold off starting any knit projects. I figured my gauge would be way too tight.

While laying down I realized that the last time my darling daughter Jillian, whom I adore, called me “Mommy” was about two years ago when she was passing a Kidney Stone.

Monday, March 2, 2009

A Day Break

After a couple of days of excitement...... well okay, it doesn't take much to excite us here but participating in a protest was exciting enough. So much so we needed to take a break!

Janeva, Grant and I went to the Model Yacht Pond in San Diego. Not really sure why we picked that place because we don't have a Model Yacht but it sounded interesting so we headed there after stopping off to pick up some Subway sandwiches.

The sun was out and the day was warm which was a nice break from the rainy weather we had for the last couple of weeks. For California, we had "weather" with puddles and everything!

We got to the park and found a nice spot to set up with a full view of the pond.

Picked our spot for lunch

After we ate our lunch, Grant and Janeva decided to walk to the other side of the pond were the "Sailors" were walking along the side of the pond directing their yachts up and down the race route. One really nice guy started talking to Grant and then offered to let Janeva take his boat for a spin. First he had to explain the radio console to her but after that she was rounding the buoys like a pro!

Janeva learning the remote control Going solo

While Janeva was Sailing, Grant was taking photos of the Sailboats.

Sailing away Sailing race

All the while I knitted on my Columbia Berets using leftover yarn from the Texturized Tweed Coat.

Columbia Beret Columbia Beret

I have made two of these berets from the leftover with enough to have stashed away for snags and mishaps.

A great day for a picnic, a little sailing and some knitting projects to relax with.