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September, 2012:

First Yarn Bomb – Three Weeks Later

Much to my surprise, my first yarn bomb project is still up . . . technically. My beautiful yarn sleeve for this post started out snuggly wrapped around the post. Then gravity took hold and pulled the sleeve to the ground. Then it started slumping down the pole, aided partially by some rainstorms. Now it looks like the post is wearing a leg warmer instead of a sleek sweater. But it’s still there!

I’m surprised no one in the neighborhood has decided it’s an eyesore and cut it down. For me it’s become a question of how long will they leave it there. I see it every day when I walk my dog. The yarn is 100% acrylic so I don’t think it’s really at risk of growing mold or fungus. We’ll see how long it lasts.

I’ve learned a few valuable lessons from this experience.

  1. If you put a yarn bomb in an area that doesn’t get much foot traffic, it’s likely to stay up longer. It’s on a corner and not directly in front of anyone’s home so I think it’s less likely that someone will take offense to it being there.
  2. When you sew the seam of your yarn bomb, do it as tightly as you can. Consider using multiple shorter pieces of yarn instead of one long piece to do the seam. Yarn stretches over time and will loosen, causing your project to fall.
  3. If you’re yarn bombing a metal object, consider using magnets to help hold your project in place.
  4. If you want your yarn bomb to stand out, pick obnoxiously bright yarn. I thought this yarn was bright enough, but I think it had too many earth tones and blended in to the surroundings too much.

Yarn Bomb #2 In Production

I’m already working on my next yarn bomb. It will be in the Scottsdale Civic Center Park next to the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts on October 26th, the same day as Ignite Phoenix #13. This project will be a challenge because I’ve selected a tapered lamp post. I measured the diameter post as its base, the diameter as high as I could reach, and the distance between them. My plan is to create a rectangle based on the larger diameter and the height and to overlap my project to account for the tapering of the pole. The result will be a diagonal seam running down the post. I’m looking forward to seeing this final project.

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I Want Gay Couples on the Kiss Cam

I was at the Arizona Diamondbacks/San Francisco Giants game on Sunday, September 16th. Some time during every game they do the “Kiss Cam” where they put couples on the jumbotron and try to get them to kiss. This is also when we see marriage proposals during the game. It’s cheesy but it’s sweet.

Jamie and Lisa

I don’t go to many Major League Baseball games, but out of all the games I’ve gone to, I’ve never seen them put a same-sex couple on the Kiss Cam. I put the question out to my Facebook friends and none of them had ever seen a same-sex couple on the Kiss Cam either. It makes me wonder if the Diamondbacks are homophobic, or if they are afraid to acknowledge supports for gay couples.

One of my friends suggested that perhaps the Diamondbacks as an organization are not homophobic but they are concerned about the backlash that might occur if they show a same-sex couple kissing in the stadium. She brings up a good question: how many people would stop attending Diamondbacks games if a gay couple kissed on the jumbotron? Would there big protests like they had Chick-Fil-A?

Sam and Clinton

I’m of the belief that if you’re not attracted to people of the same gender, don’t date them. It doesn’t make homosexuality wrong. It’s like any other sexual attraction and everyone has their deal-breaker quaities. Just as some people won’t date someone if they are a smoker or have kids, other people require certain genitalia on their partners. I’m bisexual so the junk in your pants isn’t going to be the deal-breaker for me and that may help me view sexual orientation differently than others. To me, it’s ok if you’re not attracted to someone, but it’s not ok to say that another person is sick or wrong if they are attracted to them.

Tyler and Krys – They’re Straight

Another friend brought up the question of how would the camera operator know if two people are a couple or just friends. That’s a challenge that the camera operators already deal with. I’ve seen them put people on the Kiss Cam who are siblings or otherwise not in a romantic relationship. Innocent mistakes happen. If they see two people kissing during the game, that’s a good indicator they’re a couple.

The Arizona Diamondbacks, and all professional sports teams who have a Kiss Cam during their games, have an obligation to treat all their patrons equally, which means putting heterosexuals and homosexual couples on the jumbotron.  They have an opportunity as leaders in their communities to demonstrate their acceptance of homosexuality, that sexual orientation should be a non-issue, and that two people in love is not a threat to other relationships.

If you have professional sport team that does a Kiss Cam during their games, tell them that you want same-sex couples on it. If they already do it, thank them.

Special thanks to my friends Jamie, Lisa, Sam, and Clinton for letting me use your photos. Much love to all of you! Thanks Victor Moreno for letting me use your photo Tyler and Krys.

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Why Don’t People Return Their Shopping Carts?

I was walking through a parking lot the other day and I saw at least 8 shopping carts that the previous user did not return to the store or cart return area. This is something that has been bothering me for weeks – why do people think it’s ok to not return their carts? I think when you use a cart, you have a responsibility to use it properly and return it when you’re done.

Cart by Rick Hall, Undeniable Ruth

Cart by Rick Hall

I posted a question about it on Facebook  and I was shocked when the first 4 commenters admitted that they regularly don’t return their carts. These were their excuses in a nutshell:

  1. I have my kids with me.
  2. I physically can’t walk that far.
  3. By leaving my cart out, I’m keeping a clerk/cart attendant employed.
  4.  If the cart return is more than a few spaces away, I’m not going to use it.

I don’t buy any of those excuses.

  1. Take your kids with you to return your cart or lock them in the car for the 1-2 minutes it takes you to return the cart. If the kid is old enough, make the kid return it for you.
  2. The store will assign a clerk to assist you to your car, load your groceries, and take your cart back for you upon request.
  3. Bullshit – The store will still employ a clerk to collect the carts from cart returns.
  4. Are you fucking kidding me?

My mother had me 21 months after giving birth to twins. I called her and she said she always returns her cart. If she can shop with 3 babies and not leave a cart in the middle of the parking lot, you would be hard pressed to find a valid reason (besides an extreme emergency) for not returning your cart.

This problem and all the comments on my Facebook page about this issue made me wonder what’s the underlying issue here. Is it laziness? Entitlement? Selfishness? Thoughtlessness?

How would you feel if your car was dented by a rogue shopping cart that was blown into your car by a strong gust of wind?

How would you feel if the teenage clerk got hit by a car while retrieving the cart you failed to put away?

Shopping carts are expensive. When they’re damaged they need to be replaced. Stores pass that cost along to you. Don’t bitch about the cost of groceries if you’re part of the problem.

My obvious reaction to this problem is to scream “Put your fucking cart away!” but I think the bigger challenge is to address the pervasive underlying problem and ask how do we create a community where people think beyond the immediate moment and consider the greater good for themselves and others?

First Yarn Bomb!

I did my first yarn bomb this week!

For those of you who don’t know, yarn bombing is a type of public art where you knit or crochet a cover for an object. I think it’s so whimsical and charming.

My crochet skills are limited, so I only feel comfortable yarn bombing objects that can be broken down into a rectangle or a combination of rectangles. I decided to yarn bomb a street pole for my first project. I picked this because the pole is a uniform cylinder which is essentially a rectangle with the sides sewn together.  I also picked this over a stop sign because stop signs in my neighborhood have reflective tape on the post and I didn’t want to be accused of interfering with a traffic sign or causing a safety hazard by covering it up.

I measured the pole one day while it was still dark out. I didn’t want arouse suspicion by measuring the diameter when others would see me. I selected a colorful variegated yarn. I wanted the final product to stand out and look cheerful. Then I crocheted a large rectangle to fit the dimensions of the pole.

My project was done months ago. I didn’t want to put it up to have it be immediately rained on during the Arizona monsoon season. I had a few failed attempts at putting it up. This was a simple project to hang. I just had to wrap the rectangle around the pole and sew up the seam. The first time I tried to do it, I didn’t think to consider the length of the yarn I was using to sew the seam and it got tangled with itself. The second time around, I made the length shorter, and it was still too long. It was also 3am when I tried to hang it, so that probably contributed to a lack of hand-eye coordination.

I finally got my project hung this week. I put it up at 7pm – after sunset but not quite dark. I live in a quiet neighborhood so few people saw me, and those who did, didn’t seem to care. I was really pleased with how it came out. The biggest lessons I’m taking away from it is selecting a length of yarn to sew the seam that’s twice as long as the project itself was a good length to work with, I could cover a few inches with every stitch sewed, and it’s important to pick a bright color of yarn so the completed project stands out from the surroundings. I thought I picked an obnoxious color of yarn, but next time I’m going for something even brighter.