Friday, May 27, 2005

Really Weird Google

Check out my new snarky addition to the Template --> over there about half way down. "Really Weird Searches That Drove Traffic Here".

A turban harlot??? The Yarn Harlot might be interested that her site comes up in this way. Perhaps she could indulge us with a photo of her wearing a knit turban? Then there would be a turban harlot for all to see.

Mafia uniform pictures??? Doesn't the mafia want to remain secretive. Don't you think that a uniform would spoil the anonymity? What would a mafia uniform look like anyway? Hmmmm... The Feminist Mafia uniform is typically jeans, clogs, fleece/sweater, long sleeved T (complete with toddler boogers on shoulder), and reading glasses on head (yep, useless, but they're dark-rimmed-lesbian-chic when on face). However, the Super Hero version of The Feminist Mafia would look like a crossover between Wonder Woman (yes, scantily clad ... I am a lesbian afterall),

and Cat Woman (either one-meow!). For those times when a satin suit isn't advantageous, there's black leather to protect the sensitive Mafia skin.

My only request is a few more curves on these sexy ladies. I like the curves. The Feminist Mafia uniform would come in all sizes, but would be designed to look best on real women.


Happy Birthday to my best Little Man. He's 2 years old today, and such a sweet and wonderful little person. He's kind and gentle and caring and affectionate and strong-willed and defiant and smart and stubborn and loyal and funny and musical and adorable and MINE. I love this Little Man more than I could've imagined 2 years ago.

I've been involved in several conversations lately about parenting and the politics that go along with it. Here's a fascinating look at teenage parenting over at Feministe. Check it out. Although I'm a 30 year old parent, I can still completely relate to her story. We've dealt with plenty of judgments about our parenting choices, particularly when those decisions are related to money. My favorite part is her terms - FIP and KEI. Hooray to all of us struggling parents!

To all 2 of my readers, light a candle tonight (shabbat shalom, from the Irish girl) in celebration of my cutie blond curly headed Little Man. I wish I could share him with you all, but there's none to spare. I wanna eat him up, he's so perfectly 2.

P.S. Why doesn't the Blogger spell check include "shabbat"? WTF? I'm sending an email. That's annoying.

P.P.S. Okay ... I'll share a little bit of him, since he's so perfect. Here is Little Man (blond) with his BFF Grace (brown).

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Women's Business Leadership

I'm thinking about getting an MBA. I'm shopping for schools in the greater Boston area. So last night I attended a forum at the Boston University School of Management called, "Women's Business Leadership," where many Massachusetts b-schools converged to recruit women into their programs. For opening statements, the Dean of the BUSMG offered words. And words is about all he offered.

He started out by saying that we can all agree that poverty, world hunger, child labor and other such social ills are undesirable. We can all stand in opposition to them. And we can all agree that the arts, music, schools and other such cultural institutions are essential. Our niche, as future global leaders, is to understand that businesses are the solution to the world's problems.

[I'm getting skeptical, but he's still not too evil. I suppose he could take a jog down the 'socially responsible business practices' track.]

The reality is - businesses create resources and resources fund the organizations that solve social ills.

[what? uber-self importance.]

World hunger could be solved if all people were part of the wonderful engine of commerce.

[simplistic, perhaps?]

If we spread successful business practices across the globe, we could see a radical shift in the quality of life for all people.

And on-and-on-and-on he went. Please, Mr. Dean, don't insult my intelligence. Perhaps this is a room full of idealistic, impressionable young(ish) women who, according the latest stereotype, care deeply about the problems of the world. But perhaps there are money-hungry, power-monger, get-ahead-at-all-costs women in the audience too. This soft-peddling commerce as 'good for the world' shit is completely dismissing the rapid capitalists in the crowd. So those pointy-toe-and-heel ladies are aggravated.

And my clog-wearing-ass is aggravated because this man is speaking to me as if I'm ignorant. It's simple math ... right? World problems + good businesses = fat happy people. Huh? Does he actually believe that if U.S.-style business spread to every little area of the globe, that all those profits would naturally be spread among the world's people to create harmony and equality? Or might I believe that those profits would line the pockets of the executives and shareholders? Yeah. Simple math indeed.

Please, Mr. Dean, don't play your stereotypical "women care about world hunger" shit with me and then insult my intelligence with your simplistic analysis. Thanks, but no thanks.

Knitting Content

I finished the tea set this past weekend, and the cute little cups, pitcher and creamer are drying on my sickeningly large collection of travel mugs. The photos are currently trapped in my Canon Elph, but I'll get around to posting 'em soon enough. I am also working on the plaid placemat that matches the Fiesta Tea Set. Weeks ago I scoured the web to find a picture of the finished placemat, to see if I even liked it. Plaid? I don't know. Multiple bright colors in a plaid formation? Serious Yuck potential. So I emailed the designer, Annie Modesitt, to ask her for a photo of the dreaded placemat. Again, the gods of computer crashes and erased photos were against me. So I embark, willy nilly. And now it has become the dreaded "monster project with deadline." So far, I have 8 bobbins hanging off a band of kntting that's only 8 inches wide (and embarassingly 2 inches long)! By the end of the placemat, there will be at least 10 bobbins. WTF? I now understand why all those knit bloggers who posted adorable picturesof their tea sets did not include the placemat. Unlike my stupid ass, these people probably looked at the directions and thought, "hmmm...looks complicated and intricate and annoying. hmmm... this will be a gift for a kid who will never understand how much work went into the placemat, and will probably, in the course of normal and expected playing, mangle the poor thing. and hmmm...Not.A.Chance." I, however, am Not.As.Smart. I am bull-headed. I plunged right into the evil plaid placemat with no consideration and now find myself reluctant to drop it. BTW - I'm also reluctant to turn the placemat into a nice striped piece. Don't ask why. I'm stubborn. So I'm chugging along with a Saturday deadline nagging at me. Wish me luck, will ya?

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Class in the US & Working Class Gays in MA

If you haven't been reading the fabulous New York Times series on class in America, you can find it here. My mind is swirling.

Class is something I think about a great deal, probably too much, if truth be told. Obsessed? No, not me. My obsession is based on a life-long interest in all things political.liberal.controversial.difficult, as well as a multitude of personal experiences. Championing the underdog and exploring the social structures that develop and sustain class differences has always been a part of my wiring. Yes, I have spent many hours/days examining where this may have come from, and I don't know.

I was raised in conservative upstate NY by two Republicans who are conservative fiscally; moderate/liberal on women's issues; downright scary right-wing on immigration/international issues/war and welfare; and conservative/moderate on race. As you can see, this was a confusing experience for me. I distinctly remember asking my father what a Republican was, and if I was one. He explained a couple of the main areas of departure, welfare being the most significant in his mind, but to his great credit, the majority of the conversation involved him asking for my opinions on various issues. He let me make up my mind, and even then, and much to his chagrin, I identified as a Democrat.

Even in grade school, I championed the underdog. When a new person was introduced by our teacher, and all the other children preceeded to needle and poke the new kid, I felt it my moral obligation to make that person feel comfortable and liked. Sometimes this went a little too far. The new kids didn't always enjoy being my pet project.

We have a family joke that my younger brother never had to worry about neighbor kids picking on him. After all, I, his sister who was older by nearly 7 years, would kick the ass of any kid who dared to pick on MY little brother. This didn't prevent me from locking said little brother out of the house, destroying his carefully created Lego constructions, or other such sisterly torment. After all, I was allowed to treat him like crap. No one else was afforded this luxury. By the way, that's still the case. His Legos led him to engineering school and now that he's 6+ feet tall and built like a "shit house rat" (as my Daddy would say), he can take care of himself. But should an unkind word about my Little Bro pass the lips of someone outside the clan, the Mafia will take up arms. You are forewarned.

The first two decades of my life revolved around my hometown, my family and my school friends. But in the 3rd and 4th decades of my life, I moved away, met new people, and started to realize how important class distinctions really are. Starting with an attempt to transfer from my local community college to a fancy women's College, and being told by the Director of Financial Aid (after many unhappy meetings, mind you) that if I "couldn't afford [College], then I shouldn't have applied." Pissed? Yes. Empowered? Oh yeah. Traipsed off the President of College? You bet. After 1 1/2 years of fighting this particular battle, I finally got the financial aid that I needed. But more adventures in the upper class white women's college world awaited me upon entry.

Prior to leaving for College, my Gramma presented me with a gift. She said, "now honey, I know that you're going off to a rich girl's college and those girls will have some pretty nice things. So I made this for you, so you'd have nice things too." She then presented me with a small plastic waste basket that she had lovingly decorated with a hand-painted sunflower garden on one side, glue-gunned spare buttons on the other side, and a border of cream colored lace around the top. It was hideous. But she was so proud of herself, and I felt so loved. I took that waste basket with me to College, and everytime someone asked about it, I told them how she had raised six kids (one of them retarded) as a single mother on a single factory paycheck.

One of my first friends at College came to my room one night and sheepishly asked me how to balance her checkbook. Shocked? Yes. Understanding? Kinda. Helpful? Certainly. However, this little claw stuck in my head. I couldn't believe that my life brought me to College after spending 4 years post-high-school moving all over creation, working for several people/organizations, and learning at one the feet of some of the best professors I ever had (at community college). This woman went to private girls schools, and went directly to a private women's college. Sheltered? Yep. Pampered? Yep. Naive? For sure. But is that bad? Didn't I wish I could have such a simple view of the world? Yep. I was simultaneously jealous and bitter and proud of my hard-earned life skills.

My first two loves were other women from working class backgrounds. Mind you, Love #2 was raised in the urban working class and thought it was hilarious to tell me that my magnet of Sharon Stone in that sublime moment prior to "crossing her legs" in Basic Instinct was "white trash." But Love #3 was 'of manor born,' and it was a huge problem. She didn't understand why our differences played out so significantly, but it was clear to me from day 1 that our relationship was going to be fraught with challenges around food/cars/college loans/job prospects/neighborhoods/and nearly everything else.

Most recently, this class shit has been plaguing me in my life as a Mom. I want my son exposed to progressive like-minded people, but after periods of finishing college (my wife's) and unexpected unemployment (both of us), the last 3 years has destroyed any chance of fanancial stability for the foreseeable future. Throw into the mix that having a baby wasn't cheap (roughly $2500, and we were lucky!), and working with a lawyer to develop some semblance of financial/legal stability for our family (another $3000+) was costly, and we realized that our progressive community values had to be sacrificed. We're hoping that all the financial issues will be semi-solved within a few years so we can move back to a progressive public school system prior to his formative grade school years. It's expensive to be progressive and gay.

As I sit here on May 19th, reflecting on the joys that came with the May 17th Marriage Equality in Massachusetts, I am also struck by another important story. May 20th. That's the day when all the working class gays in Massachusetts got married. Once you sign an "intent to marry" form in Massachusetts, you are legally required to wait 3 days before performing the ceremony. So for everyone else Massachusetts who didn't have the money to hire a lawyer to do the waiver, or didn't have the extensive political/legal/bureaucratic knowledge to even know that a waiver was available, I salute your anniversary. May 20th. Congratulations. We are the Massachusetts gays that keep the offices clean, keep the T running, keep the paperwork moving from desk to desk, and build those fancy buildings. And May 20th is our day.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


The Globe has a special section on the one year anniversary of gay marriage. Unfortunately the website starts out with a picture of those horrible homophobes. But the Globe's lead editorial today shows just how beautifully gay the Editorial Board is. The ever-excellent GLAD has a celebratory homepage, and MassEquality has a fabulous animation on the homepage that reminds me of an expensive commercial. The Freedom to Marry Coalition has cute pictures and celebratory announcements. But of course, our other hometown rag newspaper has a lead editorial that makes me want to spit.

Regardless, HAPPY ANNIVERSARY. The sky hasn't fallen. The American family has not deteriorated. People are not dying. Children are not harmed. Life continues ... totally normal for the hets, much better for us.

Viva la Massachusetts!

Newbie Blogger Help Needed

Now that I'm getting comments here and there from other bloggers, I need some assistance from the more experienced folks out there.
  1. How can I reply to comments? They pop into my email account from the address "," to which I cannot reply. In some cases, I've been able to hunt down the email address from the person's blog. But there is no guarantee that it's listed on their blog. I don't want to be rude, particularly when folks have taken the time and thought to draft long responses, but I don't know how to reach them either.
  2. Should I reply to comments within the comments box? It seems that people don't necessarily check to see if there's a reply comment in the comments box. When I post a comment on a blog, I usually don't check for a response.
  3. Am I supposed to?

Much like the fabulous photography tutorial Photography for the Knitting Blog onBurnt Orange, someone should write a "Blog Ettiquette for Knitting Bloggers" to explain some of these issues to us newbies. Will you?

Monday, May 16, 2005

Moose Crossing

Moose Crossing
Originally uploaded by The Feminist Mafia.
I am urban enough to stop and take this picture.
I am rural enough to know how foolish I look while doing it.
I am clever enough to mask the picture-taking with a faux-trunk-inspection.

Wilted Flower

Wilted Flower
Originally uploaded by The Feminist Mafia.
Little Man picked this dandelion flower and brought it over to me. I thought my heart would explode with joy. I wore it tucked behind my ear all day long, but it wilted just as we were leaving.

Lounging in NH

Knit in NH
Originally uploaded by The Feminist Mafia.
After weeks of waiting, I dove into the auto-machine and drove up to Contoocook, NH. And yes, I made plenty of jokes about the name of the place. And yes, most of them involved the word "cock." In spite of threats of rain from the local meterologists (read: beautiful young people who look great on camera, but have no true appreciation for crazy New England weather), it turned out to be a beautiful day. Just chilly enough for fleece, not cold enough for a scarf. The sun peeked out around mid-day (read: the precise time that it was supposed to start raining). I was accompanied by The Little Man and my two uber-cool teenaged sisters-in-law. Please note: I am veryvery happy to refer to these two fabu grrrls as my sisters-in-LAW. Happy 1st anniversary of Massachusetts Equal Marriage everyone! We consumed huge quantities of hot dogs.sausages.fried dough.kettle cream.kettle corn.kettle corn.did I mention how much I love that sweet wonderous invention called kettle corn? With large expanses of grass Little Man was able to runrunrun all over the place. This freedom is all too absent in our hurryhurry lifestyle. My teenaged companions also love to chase him around, so I had a few moments of peace, between dispensing $20 bills for food-related excursions, to sit and zen-knit on the next installment of the Fiesta Tea Set (the creamer, in orange). Peace. Tranquility. The sighting of famous, and not as famous bloggers. The beauty of my online anonymity (which I hope will not be ruined by the photos). I watch, listen and observe all things around me. It is always interesting to hear what people say when they think no one is listening. Best spots for unintentional voyeurism - festivals, the post office, public transportation, public parks, the mall. I bought a couple skeins of bright green, which is probably destined for a Nothin' But a T-shirt, and a beautiful handpainted skein with Mom-perfect colors. I'm already planning for Christmas. As for the animals, there was much to see -- llamas, alpacas, sheep, angora bunnies, goats ("Kids for Sale" teehee!). Although we talked to several pre-teen husbandry experts who were happy to tell us all about their blue ribbon winning mammals, I am still unable to tell alpacas and llamas apart. Urban dope. And apparently Little Man spends too much time in the city, 'cuz he didn't like the bleating sheep at all (and I have the little-finger-bruises to prove it). Not surprisingly, he adored the quiet, still and cuddly soft angora bunnies. He's a young man with natural fine taste in fiber. But even after angora bunnies, the hours of running to and fro finally caught up with the Little Man, and an ill-fated attempt to keep him out of a 12 foot wide puddle (no exaggeration) resulted in the temper tantrum of the century (also no exaggeration). With a good deal of struggle, I eventually strapped him into the stroller and enjoyed the smirks and sympathetic looks from other adults/parents as we rushed toward the exit. And fate smiled down on us again as Little Man passed out mere minutes later, leaving a few more moments for Mommy and teen-Aunties A&N to shop. In addition to all the other wonderful things I could say about teen-Aunties, they were raised by a champion knitter and play at the needles and hook from time to time. So in addition to being supreme companions for me and excellent Little Man chasers, they enjoyed the shopping too. Perfection. After a successful transfer of sleepingkid->carseat (phew!), we hit the road, dashing back across the border into the Land O' the Gays before night fell and I turned back into a snarly-toothed-she-devil. All joking aside, I do love NH, but these days, I feel like I stash my civil rights at the border every time I leave the state.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Tea & Petro

Tea Cups in car
Originally uploaded by The Feminist Mafia.
Thanks to the sea of clicking needles at the Harlot reading on Wed, I was able to crank out the yellow saucer. A local gas station was kind enough to offer me to chance to pose these puppies. Cutecutecute. Now I move on to the creamer, sugar bowl, pitcher, and if I'm still feeling feisty, perhaps I'll do the plaid placemat. Has anyone done the placemat? In all blog-photos of the Fiesta Tea set hanging around, I've never seen a completed placemat. In fact, the pattern doesn't even show it. I'm skeptical. But maybe I'll try it just to see if it's too tacky. Stay tuned...

Knitting serendipity

Bags & Flower Petals
Originally uploaded by The Feminist Mafia.
Jena sits down next to Danielle and reveals that she chose the seat because Danielle had the same cutie felted bag. Then Jena pulls out her current project. It's those cutie chenille flower washcloths from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. Oddly, Danielle brought the same flower washcloth WIP. Peas in a pod? Separated at birth? Knit-twins? Creatively synchronized? Perhaps at some point the last couple months Danielle put a bit of her sweat on the underside of Jena's lower lip, and they are also on the same menstrual cycle? Whoah... too far, Mafia, too far ...

The Harlot cometh

Harlot clutches
Originally uploaded by The Feminist Mafia.
Yep. She was in Acton, MA. I saw her. She was funny as hell. She signed books, happily agreeing to sign mine "to The Feminist Mafia" instead of using my name. Beautiful. Strangely, I expected her voice to be much higher. Why do we have these pre-conceived notions about people? It's like reading a book, creating a perfect mental picture of the main character, and then watching the movie, only to realize that your perception is completely different from the movie maker's. Strange. She's tiny and cute. For that odd reason, I expected her voice to be higher. Oh well...she seems even sassier with that deep raspy voice. And I say Hooray to that!

On the Way ... Slowly

Cambridge traffic
Originally uploaded by The Feminist Mafia.
On Wednesday night, Danielle and I took a little post-work trip to see the Yarn Harlot in Acton, MA. Our hopes of arriving in funky little Acton with enough time to check out a local eatery were dashed as we attempted to exit the greater Boston area at rush hour. Depart at 5pm+, reading starts at 7pm, no problem, right? Not so much. Thankfully we arrived by 7pm, the only problem being our seat in the backbackback of the nest of folding chairs.

Monday, May 09, 2005


Cotton Ease
Originally uploaded by The Feminist Mafia.
After 5 rounds of the "Thumb Turban" game, I came out with this nice little pile of beautiful center-pull balls. I am very excited by the rich colors, photographed in natural light. Thank god I stopped taking pics at night (the only time I'm home, it seems) and took some good natural light pictures. These were lovingly wound in preparation for my long-dreamed-of but also-scared-of project, the Fiesta Tea Set. There's a sassy little girl that belongs to a sassy little Mama I know. This sassy girl is about to turn 2 and loves tea sets. So ... if the Mafia manages to focus for the next couple weeks, there might be a tea set in time.

The Thumb Turban

Thumb Turban
Originally uploaded by The Feminist Mafia.
I spent the weekend rolling balls of Cotton Ease. With a task like that on the thumb, one must come up with amusing ways to pass the time. So for each new ball, I would lean into Ms. Wife, and whisper secretly, "My thumb has a turban." The first time, she busted out the wit with, "quick kill it, it's a muslim." Thank god our son was snoozing. I don't think a 2 year old understands finely woven political sarcasm.

When told "my thumb has a turban" for balls 2,3,4 and 5, she was significantly less amused. She replied with a couple eye rolls, some left-eyebrow raising, and eventually, "you're insane." To which I replied, "yes dear, but that's why you keep me around." She had no response. She knows I'm right.

My angel is a centerfold

Green NB close
Originally uploaded by The Feminist Mafia.
I heart variegated Cascade 220. Yep. The green variegated Cascade 220 looks divine when felted. The colors meld together and get a little misty, just as Danielle said.

Nantasket Basket #2

Green NG
Originally uploaded by The Feminist Mafia.
It's green and green and variegated and stands upright on its own (in other words, perfectly felted), and I love it! United States Postal Service - please take care of my grassy little basket and deliver her (only slightly late) to my Gramma's front door. Thanks.

Project weekend, please...

Nina-Bean -- can we make these?

Friday, May 06, 2005

NH Sheep & Wool Festival

Although I won't be heading off to Maryland this weekend, I plan on attending the NH Sheep and Wool Festival next weekend. I'm especially excited because I tried to hit the Sheep Shearing Festival at Gore Place in Waltham, but it was pooooouring out that day. I even arrived in the grass parking lot and sat in the car wondering how horrible of a mother I would be for dragging my 2-year-old out in such weather. With the mental picture of sneezing, wheezing and staying home from work to care for a sick kid on my mind, I pulled out of the lot and went bowling instead. My little man is SO cute in bowling shoes.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Finished NB!

Purple Basket
Originally uploaded by The Feminist Mafia.
After felting, this little puppy surely perked up.

I like this pattern. It's easy, but with a couple interesting touches. The welt around the bottom is an interesting little technique, and the i-cord bind off around the top rim was another new technique for me. I love that Susan added a few purl stitches around the top rim so that you can accurately place the handles without meauring and re-measuring and re-measuring a circular item (eek!). Plus, the basket is very functional. Particularly as a Mom, I can imagine thousands of possible uses for it.

Specs - Addi 10.5 circs at 40" using Magic Loop when necessary. Cascase 220 in purple (#8885) and pinky-beige (#8021).

I'm currently working on NB#2 in a green variegated Cascade 220 (#9435) for the main color and a plain green Cascade 220 (#9430). This is also my first time using Cascade 220 and I really like it.

I won't decide which basket to give to Mom and Gram until I'm standing at the post office tomorrow. The green one will be felted tonight, and until I see it, I won't know which to send where. I hear from Danielle at Aswim in Knits that this variegated Cascade looks beautiful and almost misty once it's felted. I can't wait to see how that looks. Hooray. Knitting adventures tonight!

BTW- Aswim in Knits is a brand new blog. Check it out.


Purple Basket-prefelt
Originally uploaded by The Feminist Mafia.
Prior to felting, my first Nantasket Basket was looking a little droopy and sad.

Branching Out Progress

Branching Out long
Originally uploaded by The Feminist Mafia.
Officially on the back-burner for the last week while I make two Nantasket Baskets in a mad rush for Mother's Day, my little Branching Out has grown significantly. She's now 3 feet long and something like 22 repeats. Once the baskets are in the mail (tomorrow?), I'll get back to the hair-raising-lace-knitting.

Thanks Super Eggplant

Pin Striped Bag
Originally uploaded by The Feminist Mafia.
I've been very very bad with the photos lately. I made this little bag with my girl Nina about 3 weeks ago, and I never took a picture. Based on Super Eggplant's Tote Bags 101, we whipped together a couple cute little bags. Now I say it was "based on" for a reason. Of course, I messed up the measuring and was too lazy to "measure twice, cut once" and the bag turned out a little long and skinny. Really, it's appropriate for a bottle of wine or a couple hanks, but little else. Oh well. It's still cute and I love the multi-directional pinstripes. And one more cool thing -- I got the pinstripe material from a pair of pants that I picked up at the Davis Sq. Goodwill. I love recycling old fabrics.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Mangled Steel

I should start with an apology -- my blog photos are trapped inside my little Canon Elph. I could blame my supremely slow dial-up connection, or I could fess up to some weekend-loving laziness. Either way, perhaps I'll be able to post them on Wednesday.

While my first Nantasket Basket was felting away in my washing machine, I watched Big Fish. Interesting. Weird. Whimsical. And eternally married to a bit of nightmare-inducing trauma that occurred mid-movie.

I heard a crash and a scream outside my house. I ran to the window and saw a horrible car accident at the end of my driveway. I called 911. I sprinted out of the house and spotted horror. It was a head-on collision. The green Subaru was completely smashed from bumper to steering wheel. The light blue Toyota 4Runner was smashed from bumper to steering wheel. There were four people in the 4Runner, including a screaming 8-year-old girl in the backseat. A couple of my neighbors were there, directing traffic and checking on the status of the passengers. After looking into the 4Runner and seeing 4 people with all their blood still within their skin, I turned to the green Subaru. The one passenger was a 40-something man in a black uniform. He was barely conscious, bleeding from many places and unable to speak. Luckily his little green Subaru had functional airbags, or else I'd be looking at a dead body on the pavement. I ignored the foul-smelling smoke pouring out of the mangled steel that used to be the engine, and stuck my head in the broken window to talk to this man. He was a mess. I was afraid that he would die right in front of me. I was terrified that his last mental image would be my face. And yet, it was unconscionable that this man's last image would be the inside of his shattered windshield. As his head bobbed around and his eyelids tried to remain open, I begged him to stay with me. I asked if he could see me. A barely discernable nod. I told him my name and where I live.

Keep looking in my eyes, sir. Focus on me. Right here. I'm a young woman here to help you. You're going to be OK. I called 911 and the ambulance is on the way. I'm not going anywhere. I'll stay right here with you until the paramedics arrive. Wait, wait ... don't close your eyes. Focus right here on me. Look into my eyes. Stay with me now. Help is on the way.

[whisper] Where are my glasses?

I don't know, sir. I can't see them. Let me look around.

Amid the rubble, his glasses were sitting on the passenger seat, wedged between pieces of his dashboard. I reached across the blood and glass, pulled the glasses out, and handed them to him. They weren't broken. The lenses were very thick.

I see your badge, sir. Are you a police officer?

[whisper] Special forces, Boston.

You live up here?


On your way to work?

Yeah. What happened?

I don't know, sir. You were in a bad car accident, but everyone seems OK. Are you OK? No, please don't try to sit up. I want you to lean back. That's right. Stay right there. Just rest, sweetie. The ambulance is coming. Just rest. Rest. There you go. We're going to make sure that you're OK. You look great. Just keep your head back and rest. OK? Focus on me. I'm going to get you through this. We'll do this together, OK? Do you hear the sirens? That must be the ambulance now. That's good. They'll be here any minute now. No, no. You stay back. Lean back. Don't try to get up. They'll help you get out of the car. Yep, here they are. It's the Fire Department. They're going to help you get out of here.

At this point a huge man in a yellow uniform ran over to see the extent of the damages. He tried to get the car door open, but it wouldn't budge. They draped a white sheet over My Man, which looked like a shroud to my emotional mind. My logical mind recognized that this sheet would protect him from falling glass. As I stood on the curb, the fire fighters used a huge steel claw to pry the door open, and were finally able to move My Man out of the car, onto a stretcher and into an ambulance. Other stretchers carried off the occupants of the 4Runner.

After a few words with the neighbors, I ran inside to call my wife. She and my son were out running errands, and I feared her reaction if she came home to see 2 fire trucks, 4 cop cars and 2 ambulances in front of our house. She told me she was proud of me, and that she'd bring home some wine.

I sat in the window and watched the entire process. The ambulances leaving. The tow truck arriving. The cops managing traffic. The rubberneckers craning out their windows. The tow truck driver hoisting the 4Runner onto the flat bed, picking up various bumpers and bits of steel and tossing them into the front seat of the green Subaru, sweeping the glass up off the road and tossing it into the Subaru, pouring sand onto the areas of pooled oil, and dragging the heaps of mangled steel away.

After the final cop left and the cars started passing the house at 60mph again, it was an odd feeling. Like a dream. My wife and son came home, unloaded groceries from the car and presented me with 3 bottles of wine. She had only my story to hear, but no mental picture of the accident. But I have a vivid mental picture that no amount of red wine could erase. Very much like a nightmare, no amount of explanation could convey how truly terrifying this experience was. And yet, I am so filled with joy that I was able to talk to My Man in those critical moments.

I called the hospital later last night, and they told me that all the motor vehicle accident admissions from the day had already been released. Thank God. My Man will live. And I'll probably never know who he is.