Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Winter novelty. Another grand find from Jumblelaya.

The color is skewed in this photo, since it is described as navy, red, kelly green and beige. I am finding it hard to visualize the green instead of the turquoise, especially since turquoise and red is one of my favorite color combos. I like that the tassels are different colors, love that asymmetry. Because of the three-cornered hats, I keep seeing the figures as Dutch, rather than Tyrolean. Is that just fantasy and projection on my part? I've been wanting a Dutch print for quite some time. Ideally a late 50's shirtwaist dress in a blue and white print that mimics Delftware with windmill scenes.

The lovely pewter buttons are a nice touch, typical of vintage Norwegian sweaters. But with a label that says Catalina, Los Angeles, I guess it's just a pseudo Pan-European sweater. It evokes the puppetshow from the "Sound of Music", doesn't it?

Yesterday, after my "Sound of Music" post, Christopher Plummer fantasy (who knew?) and finding Charmian Carr's memoir, I got to thinking about the peculiar trap of celebrity that Forever Liesl faces: the one-off that becomes iconic. There is no word for that, though Forever Liesl seems to describe the symptom well. Salon has an article today written by the son of an actress, Arlene Martel, who appeared on an episode of the original Star Trek. (Forever T'Pring?) It describes her working Sci-Fi conventions, selling merch and signing autographs, which is a whole niche market unto itself. And not a bad racket, at least, so I hear. I wouldn't mind getting such a gig myself. It would be a mix of glamour and pathos, though in the end not too different from working trade shows. But a step up from answering the phone or making coffee, right?

The article describes the convention as a cross between a pilgrimage to Lourdes and a freak show. Rather unkind, no? The author, Mr. Kaftan, looks for the hidden meaning that people find in the show and writes: "it seems sad that there's such a dearth of inspiration for how to be kind that people have to turn to "Star Trek" reruns."

Last night I went to a lecture on Tibetan Buddhism. (I know what you're thinking: how would that play in Peoria?) The topic was dealing with negative emotions, and this text by Thrangu Rinpoche was mentioned. As I understood it, the opposite of anger is a clear mirror-like mind. The opposite of jealousy is abundance. The other emotions I have conveniently forgotten. Though I spent some time rummaging around in my bag, I could not locate a pen. In the end what I took away was: it's not a matter controlling emotions, nor giving into their drama, but simply observing them. On my way home I ran into an acquaintance, and we spoke of this and that when I noticed some beautifully detailed pewter buttons on her sweater.

"Norwegian?" I asked.

She told me that her grandmother had made the sweater, but that she was not Norwegian. Opening her raincoat, she showed me a moss green sweater with large white squirrels knitted across the bodice. Yes, squirrels with big bushy tails. I plotzed.

I told her that this was indeed a glorious sweater, and she told me a bit about her grandmother, who made many intricate knitted items and had an awe-inspiring collection of buttons. Then she said that she supposed her grandmother was like all other grandmothers.

For some reason or other I wanted to respond: "Well, my grandmother who wasn't lost to dementia spent the last 20 years of her life drinking and putting hexes on people. I don't think I ever got so much as a birthday card from her." But instead, I said, "Hmmm."


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