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February 2012
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writerly Wednesday, dead

Today's exercise is a J-school standby: Write your own obituary. You can write it as if you dropped dead right now or as if you lived another 100 years. Your call.

I'm always surprised at how many students balk at this one. You will die, I tell them. This I can promise you. I cannot, however, promise that you will pass this class, either the literal one you are currently in or the larger, metaphoric one. 

Usually, they then just stare at me until I tell them, "nevermind. Just write it."

many things make a post

* One of these would be perfect in our backyard.

* While the speech is lovely, it was this stat that made me start: "a third of the country's black male population has been incarcerated at some point in their lives."

* Why it's hard to take someone's licence away.

* An answer to a question I've always had.

* I just remembered that I have a jar of pignoli in my freezer...

* On the foolishness that a transvaginal ultrasound will make you love your fetus.

* Apologies and parenting. I think every new parent does this. It's like the stages of grief.

* I honestly can't tell if I'm laughing or crying.

* I've added it to my Netflix queue.

* The twitching teens of Le Roy, New York. (This story fascinates me, btw, almost as much as the disembodied feet.)

misty watercolor memories

This morning, just as I was stepping out of the shower, the Diva wanted me to look at the hairdo she'd given her doll. And then asked how she'd wound up with that particular doll. So I told her. *

She got very quiet and said, "so I'm the only one who has a doll like this?"

"Probably," I said. She just grinned at me then went off to give it another hair style.

Of course none of this is what she should have been doing, which was packing up her clarinet so that she could get out the dang door and make it to school on time. Because that's how she rolls.

She did, however, take the doll with her:


(Not the best picture of the Diva, granted, but we were trying to get out of the door at that point.)

The Dude can never resist a camera. The Featureless Saint is hovering in the background, waiting for me to finish so that he can continue the morning routine of nagging.



* Going through these posts from the Boy's birth has made me all verklempt. Time does go so very fast sometimes.

qotd, can I get an amen?

"The first time I was one of those women, I had two books on my bedside table, each reflecting my potential pregnancy personality: Midwifery guru Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, with stories of 72-hour natural homebirths and testaments to the benefit of deep kissing in labor, in case I turned out to be that person; and What To Expect When You're Expecting, in case I turned out to be myself. Reading Murkoff's advice back then—it didn't really frighten me. It consumed me, as did the pregnancy. When you are in it, you are really in it. And when you are really in it, you are in denial about what is actually going on. (Pro tip: The baby is not only going to come out, it's going to stay out.) So you sign up for an eight-week childbirth class, think about switching to decaf, feel guilty that you didn't switch to decaf, watch that Ricki Lake movie, develop philosophies about mom things, make your husband watch that Ricki Lake movie, quietly judge your friends' philosophies about mom things, buy a 20-class pass for prenatal yoga, go to yoga twice, and read (and re-read) a book that purports to tell you "what to expect" – all in order to focus your crazy-person energy on … something. But now that I've had the baby, and another one after that, the book that seemed perfectly normal, even essential, just four years ago, feels harsh, punitive, almost like parody today."

-- Slate's Allison Benedikt on What to Expect When You're Expecting.

here. have some blurry pictures of cats

This was going to be an actual knitting content post but then I realized that the thing I'm working on is a gift for someone who reads the blog and, therefore, I don't want to show it. So, um, have some cat pictures.


This is Barney, or, as we renamed him when the Super Tuesday results came in on, um, Tuesday, Gingrich. He is the most Gingrichy of cats. 

He's posing with my Combat Knitter Patch, sent to me by the lovely Carrie.

Let me get a better shot.


Eh. Nevermind.

For the record, McGregor is still waiting for the return of the zombie squirrel.


So far, no joy.

writerly Wednesday, fog

Before I get to the exercise, read this post by Neil Gaiman. He couldn't be more right.*

Anyhoo -- the exercise.

This is a classic and one of my favorites: write directions to your house, starting from wherever you'd like to start from. 

Sounds simple, yes - but there is great potential here.


* Also, I am so very jealous that he can go away and write for a week or two. Right now, I'm working on a full-length fiction thing (just to see if I can do it) and would give a not insignificant amount of money to get away from my life** and just write.

** (and I really love my life, it's just that I'd like to fall into what I'm working on but can't quite do so because I'm always aware of the time and where the kids are and where they need to be and the papers that need grading and the cats and the laundry....)

many things make a post

* Every summer I swear that this will be the summer I learn to can. Every summer I fail to do this. But, hey, having this couldn't hurt.

* Madonna defines third wave feminism

* About vaginal pH, prostitutes and HIV. Also about bizarre things humans do because of superstition. (Please don't read if the idea of lime juice on your ladyparts makes you queasy.)

* Speaking of: men speak their minds about women's health.

* Just keep moving.

* Do I need more yarn? No. No I do not. But this is tempting. And it's for charity!

* Want.

* Inside Neil deGrasse Tyson's office. Related: Extract your DNA using common household items.

* Goodness, how gorgeous.

* Note to self: eat here.

* If you get a chance (and are in your 40s), check out the Victorious homage to The Breakfast Club. It's better than it has any right to be. Of course, the kids had no idea why the Featureless Saint and I were so amused by their show.

* What does that even mean?

* On existentialism and Elephant and Piggie.

* A possible explanation for all of those feet. Not sure I trust the source, tho. (hat tip to nerak.)