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January 2012
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March 2012

many things make a post

* Why there is so much hate for Madonna.

* Punch Brothers in Vanity Fair. Not sure I'm loving the string tie, fwiw.

* Kneading history.

* The Health Hazards of Lettuce. (AKA Ruhlmany rant goodness.)

* I wanted to be Meg Murry when I grew up. Still kinda do.

* Of all of the better book titles, this might be my favorite.

* Dear employers, welcome to what college folk have been managing for the last dozen years. (Also: this.)

* OMG. There is a kerning game.

* Everything you wondered about the DOW but were afraid to ask.

qotd, the morning's prayer

"May we have the skill to work with the raw materials we've been given, the clarity to understand their best use, and the tenacity to weave even thread spun from nettles into cloth that is beautiful and strong."

-- stolen from Terri Windling. Go here to get the full effect.

(An extra quote for the week, mostly because it's too good not to share right now. I didn't want to wait until Friday.)

qotd, on headaches

"A bad back makes you realize that every single nerve in your body is connected to your spine; a bad head, though, puts you in direct connection with the cosmos. Every noise, every photon, every speck of stellar dust strikes the brain's gray pulp like a war hammer. I knew from experience the best defense in this sort of situation was to die as quickly as possible. I fell back on Plan B, which was to wait until the pain subsided just enough to begin whimpering and dry heaving."

-- from Swell by Corwin Ericson, which is great fun.

on faith

I've been trying to find the best way to introduce a new development in my life, one that I never saw coming. I'm still at a loss. So here are a few pictures, while I warm up:


This is Stonehenge, as constructed by Maddy. And, yes, I did hum the Spinal Tap song when I first saw it.


Also Stonehenge (perhaps after a seismic shock), by the Boy. 

They made these at church. 

I know. 

I'm not churchy. I deeply enjoy grocery shopping on Sunday mornings because I have the store to myself.* The whole organized God thing gives me the willies.  I've written about my lack of faith on at least one occasion. I lived in the South for long enough to find the tactics of certain brands of Godly vile. All of this is still true.

And yet here I am. Going to church. On Sundays. And exposing my children,** too.

If the Stonehenge bit didn't give away the fact that it's a Unitarian Church, the title of last week's sermon will cement it: Faithful Athiesm.*** One of the readings was Penn Gillette's "There is no God," which eloquently sums up my belief, too.****

So why go to church, if there is no God? Because I do believe in community. I believe in getting together at least once per week with people who live near me and among whom my children are growing up. A community gives a buffer against the vagaries of life. Shared joy is increased; shared pain is lessened. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Plus, I get guaranteed knitting time during the sermons. Always a plus. 

As I discovered with running, saying "never" almost never pays off. Wonder what I'll take up next....


* In Knoxville, I used to save the shopping for Vol games during football season. Which is like Saturday church for many.

** Scott's commitment is TBD each week. He's less gung-ho than I. Which adequately sums up our relationship in general. 

*** Convenient, then, that this Slate piece was just published.

**** Especially this bit: Believing there's no God means I can't really be forgiven except by kindness and faulty memories. That's good; it makes me want to be more thoughtful. I have to try to treat people right the first time around.

today is, in fact, Wednesday

Remember what you did last week? Assuming of course that you have chosen to play along. If not, well, why not?

On the top of blank document, pick one your WHATs and write it at the top. Pick a WHERE and write it under the WHAT. Pick a WHO. Your WHO is alone on stage, talking to him/herself. Write for five minutes.

Then a second WHO walks in. Write for ten minutes.

When you get stuck, think about your WHAT. What does that bring up for you?

Read the result aloud -- or paste it here.

many things make a post

* There are changes going on, underground.

* "The biggest shock of writing is that it's difficult."

* I'm going to tattoo this on the back of my hand so that I can look at it when I forget this truth.

* If I were in Austin, I'd be there.

* Stolen from Dooce: the song we all need at times.

* I kinda love this project.

* Downton Abbey stars out of costume.

* I've never been a big fan of the "seven habit of highly motivated people" thing but this one feels dead on.

* Ironic research.

* My love for Gail Collins in a mighty thing.

* I *heart* Neil deGrasse Tyson, too.

* Pat the Foodie.

* Ten Ways Being a Theater Major Prepared Me For Success All of these are true, btw. Even in hindsight, I wouldn't have changed my major.

* Bitches knitter Stephen challenged me to come up with my single secret behavior. Unfortunately, it's been so long since I was single/lived alone that I have nothing to add.  Anyone else?

qotd, on race

"For the first time in our history, a black man lives in the White House, and today's is the first massive protest against his administration, and 99.9999 percent of us are white and fan-followers of race-baiting pundits -- and mind you, this is in America, where you can't walk into a convenience store without having or witnessing at least three intense, awkward, occasionally inspiring moments of racial tension -- but despite all that, today has 'nothing to do with race.' This phenomenon will be known to future Americans as the 'Race Miracle of 9/12.'"

-- from "American Grotesque," which is about the "9/12" protest instigated by Glenn Beck, and collected in John Jeremiah Sullivan's Pulphead, which I highly recommend if you like good writing.


ETA: I have fixed the vacuum. *happy dance* Now I just need the energy to use it.

pretend today is Wednesday.

I meant to post about this yesterday but the lingering illness made thinking so hard, y'all. But it's slightly easier today.*

Until Lisa/Figs comes back, I thought it could be fun to post little writing exercises on Wednesday. You can play along if you wish. Or not. You are adults and can make your own decisions.**

Feel free to post your results in the comments. Or not. Again.

EXERCISE THE FIRST: Who/Where/What.***

Who: Number from 1 - 10. Beside each number, write a name. Then an age, ethnicity, gender. What is he/she wearing? What can the audience first see?

Where: Number from 1 -10: Beside each number, write a place. Then a time of day, indoor or outdoor? What is in the space that is unexpected? 

What:**** Number from 1 -10: Beside each number, write a couple of words. These are the words you'll keep in mind as you write part two, which I'll talk about next week. 

The important part at this stage is to generate lists, not to worry about how those lists intersect.

For example --


1. Josie, 12, caucasian, female. She's wearing a headband with a big flower on it, pink shirt, capri pants and jelly shoes. She's chewing gum.

2. Bo, 50, really white, male. Flannel shirt, jeans, gimme cap, boots. He's carrying the Financial Times.


1. Kitchen, 2 a.m., one overhead light.  No stove; only a hot plate and a coffee maker. Spotless, you could do surgery on the floor.

2. Ballroom, 9 a.m., bright sunshine through windows. Empty but for a short stool.


1. Touching home.

2. Quarterback sneak.

3. Loose arms.

4. 15-Love.

5. Breakthrough.



Now go.


* For relative values of easier. For the record, I'm feeling less bad. And will try to keep my whining to a minimum. 

** I say this a lot to my college students. Sometimes, they need the reminder.

*** This one is borrowed from Jean-Claude van Itallie, whose The Playwright's Workbook is awesome.

**** "What" is slightly more difficult to describe. Bear with me.