Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spring and Art and Interviews

Ah, spring in Maine. Gorgeous one day, eight inches of wet snow the next. But there's something about the light this time of year that makes the world smile and gives you a sense of hope, no matter what's underfoot.

That is, unless you pick up the morning paper and actually read it. For those of us who are anywhere left of the Tea Party, times are tough in the ol' Pine Tree State. This morning, the news was that our governor thinks a percent-for-art mural in the Labor Department lobby is too pro-labor and not "business-friendly" enough. (Maine is "open for business" now. The gov. was pictured at the state line last week hanging up a sign saying that, so I guess it must be true.) Apparently, only government-approved art is allowed these days.

At risk of being business-hostile, I would just like to say that tomorrow is the 100th anniversary of the fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, when 146 workers died because the bosses locked the doors and stairwells. This event as much as any other led to the formation of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union and started us on the road to today's industrial safety standards. Some of them are silly (talk to a volunteer firefighter about OSHA some time) but by far the majority were badly, badly needed. We're lucky we have the luxury of complaining about them.

A group of artists are protesting under the mural tomorrow at noon. (All of them probably ingest heavy metals using their mouths to put a point on their brushes. Don't tell OSHA.)

The writing report: I finished reading the rough draft for CONNOR'S BANSHEE. I am considering going to work in a shirtwaist factory. One day at a time, Ellen, one day at a time. *Commences deep breathing.*

The knitting report: I'm heading for the toe on my second cotton sock. When I go up to the attic to look for my suitcase (more on that below), I will try to find the old Portuguese Fisherman's Sweater pattern. Oh god.

Infuriating waste of time update: I spent two hours on the phone with Microsoft this morning after downloading a critical update that turned my computer into a large plastic boulder. The update turns out to be something that checks you for pirated software, begging the question "critical for whom"? I did not download it a second time. (I don't pirate software, by the way.)

The shameless promotion report: Tomorrow, I go to Portland to meet Carrie Jones and Maurissa Guibord, first at MPBN to tape a brief interview for Maine Things Considered, then to WCSH-TV (Channel 6) for a brief interview for 207. The radio thing may air at 5:30 tomorrow night, but not if there's too much news about, for example, the governor attacking murals. The TV thing will air tomorrow night at 7.

The three of us will read and talk (not at the same time, most likely) at Bull Moose in Scarborough at 2 p.m. Saturday. And may I just say All Hail Gillian Britt, who has organized ALL of this and is a genius of shameless promotion.


Anonymous said...

Sooooo, you need the suitcase for Portland?


Ellen Booraem said...

Yep. Sorry. Guess that wasn't clear.

Never did find the old pattern, but I found a place on line where I could download it for $5. Watch out, world...I'm starting a sweater!