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January 2006
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March 2006

hesitation marks

I'm finally at the point where I can start thinking about the next big project. I'm a little freaked out by the very idea of another project, frankly, which is why I keep finding ways to distract myself from diving in and really writing. See -- The Book (the one that will come out at the end of June (buy one)) felt ordained, somehow, even during the 2+ years it took to actually sell it. The new idea is just something I think will work and will be a kick to work on, but it doesn't feel the same. Maybe it's wrong to expect the process to be the same this time. After all, my two pregnancies weren't the same. The kids certainly aren't the same. But, still, I just wonder if this is the right direction to be heading in. If I never actually write anything, however, I guess I'll never know.

And, of course, all of this career navel gazing is merely another distraction from diving in and writing. I'm really good at this whole avoidance thing.

Oh -- and the next project (the one that I am convincing myself to start) doesn't have a buyer yet. It may be that it never will. That whole "on-spec" part of this business irritates my inner capitalist. I mean -- you wouldn't ask a plumber to refit all of the pipes in your house with the caveat that you may not pay him unless you really, really like his work. Ditto brain surgery. Or teaching. Or flipping burgers at McDonalds. Still, this is the business I have chosen. It beats digging ditches, I guess.

Anyway. Some useful content:

Ben Franklin's list of 13 virtues. You know, I think Old Ben was right on with this. If I could have a beer with any Revolutionary Era dead white guy, Franklin would be my man.

Also, I want someone to knit a pair of these stockings for me. Grumperina never ceases to amaze.

And now to work. Maybe. If I can commit.

babes, mouths of

For about 24 hours this weekend, everyone in the house was taking anti-biotics, thanks to Scott's run-in with pink eye. When will it end?

Two amusing kid and language stories. Feel free to skip if you don't find such things amusing.

1. Friday night the Diva was wandering the house tinking on a triangle.
"Oh," I said. "you seem to enjoy the triangle."
"Mo-ther," she said, in exactly the same voice I suspect she'll use at 16 to explain that her new boyfriend's band is post-ska klezmer rather than punk. "It is my percussion instrument."

2. This morning, as I was trying to hold her hair out of her eyes (which we are growing out after this summer's misbegotten pizie cut) with two tiny hair clips, Scott mentioned that I seemed to be obsessing about their placement. He left the room, then, and I kept fussing.
"Are you ready to go?" he asked the Diva.
"I will be as soon as mom stops obsessing my hair."

And for those scoring at home, Mooch is one step closer to ending his life. This morning after I obsessed the Diva's hair, I put a big chunk of meat in the crock pot (no, this isn't a euphemism). I left the kitchen before I got the lid on. When I returned, Mooch had the entire front half of his body in the pot so that he could lick the roast. The temptation to shove him the rest of the way in, duct tape the lid on and set the thing on "high" was very great. Damn cat.

quote of the day

Doct. Not so sick, my lord,
As she is troubled with thick-coming fancies,
That keep her from her rest.

Macb. Cure her of that.
Canst thou not minister to a mind diseas’d,
Pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow,
Raze out the written troubles of the brain,
And with some sweet oblivious antidote
Cleanse the stuff’d bosom of that perilous stuff
Which weighs upon the heart?

Doct. Therein the patient
Must minister to himself.

Macb. Throw physic to the dogs: I ’ll none of it.

--That Scottish Play, act 5, scene 3

While I no longer feel like I might perish in a heap of pathetic phlegm, I still lack the will to deal with my filthy house. My goal for this weekend is to vacuum and, in realted news, shave the damn cats.

Also, next book I write (assuming, of course, such a thing ever comes to pass) simply must be called "thick-coming fancies." Seriously. Marketing would love it.

Merck must be thrilled

Dear gods of plague and pestilence,

You win.

Clearly, your goal was to make sure that 3/4 of the humans in the house were on some sort of antibiotic. Quorum has been achieved. Your will is mighty. I scrape in your general direction.

Fortunately, we caught the Diva's ear infection before she became truly sick and unbearable. We are becoming wiser monkeys, thanks to you, oh plague and pestilence.

I would, however, like to do something other than whimper feebly while collapsed on the couch. It'd be nice to stay awake long enough to read the paper. I do appreciate the time you've given me to type this. I do. Thank you.

Message received, oh wise and benevolent gods. I shall scale back. Could you now turn your mighty wrath elsewhere? Say, to the Mooch? Seriously, oh gods. He could stand a smiting.

I humbly admit defeat,

PS -- one benefit of your ministration is that I got to read this article about a quantum computer that solved a problem before it was even asked. Given that my feeble brain -- even on its best days -- can only just barely come to grips with light being both a wave and a particle, this whole thing has left me gobsmacked.

another day, another z-pack

Today was my Waterloo.

Admittedly, when I woke up this morning, I felt like death on a cracker. But I am tough. And sturdy. I sincerely thought I could get through my classes, at the very least. I firmly believed that I could made amazing progress on a few freelance pieces. Remember: I have given birth to two children. I will not be undone by a little illness.

About 15 minutes into class #1, I started to wonder if I could lecture while lying down. I mean, I was already sitting, because standing took waaaaaaay too much work. Lying down was the next logical step. Five minutes after that, even assembling the simplest of sentences, was impossible. I gave up -- not completely, mind. I just ended that class early and thought if I had a bit of a lie down, I'd be OK for the next.

While walking back to Scott's office, I realized I couldn't even do that, phoned my doc, went to the next class long enough to hand back exams and give an assignment and briefly considered asking a couple of my strong lacrosse playing students if they'd carry me to my car.

In short, it appears that the entire inside of my head is infected. Ew. It wouldn't be so bad if I didn't also feel like someone had sucked out every last bit of energy that I have ever possessed ever.

I am spent.

Carry on without me.

if it's Tuesday, i must be ill

It's turning into *that* winter, one in which we can't seem to string together more than two days in a row where everyone is healthy. The Dude is recovering from an ear infection (and teething (joy)); I now have a sore throat and my voice is all quiet. This morning, the Diva developed a hacking cough. By my calculations, Scott will get sick on Friday. And The Dude will be ill again on Monday. And on. And on.

I blame the silly weather. Some actual snow would smother all of these damn germs. Yeah. I'm talking to you, Old Man Winter.

On the plus side, I finally caved and went to McDonalds after class, simply because they have *drum roll* my beloved Shamrock Shake on tap right now. While the dairy is doing nothing positive about my phlegm situation, the creamy minty goodness is making me care less about the state of my head. Mmmmmm.

Also on the plus side, Slate explains something I've suspected for quite some time now. As it turns out, TV isn't as bad for kids as the experts would have you believe.

And on makes you go 'hmmmm' side, Typepad has a nifty feature where I can see what brought different people to the blog. (Most blog host-type thingies have this, but I'm most familiar with this one.) I want to know why folks who use are always searching for something pornographic. Always. Unless there are meanings of the word "twat" that I am unfamiliar with. Anyone else find this to be true?

In keeping with the above, a few comments:

-- The former Top Model spells her name "Adrianne," not "Adrienne." And, no, I don't know anything about Bobby Brady.

-- You will not find any pictures of a nekkid Ewan McGregor here. If I had any, I *so* wouldn't share. I will, however, offer one piece of McGregor trivia, which is that I am almost exactly 24 hours old than him.

-- I still haven't any crossbow plans. Stop asking.

quote of the day

From the wonderful Anne Lamott, who I love:

"But I did the only thing I could think to do: plunge on, and tell my truth. I said that this is the most intimate decision a woman makes, and she makes it all alone, in her deepest heart of hearts, sometimes with the man by whom she is pregnant, with her dearest friends or with her doctor — but without the personal opinion of say, Tom DeLay or Karl Rove."

From her essay at the LA Times. Read it.

(Thanks to Kim L. for pointing it out...)

trish started it.

Lifted from Trish's blog. We are both nerds. Color me surprised.

Pure Nerd
78 % Nerd, 34% Geek, 30% Dork For The Record:

A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.

A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.

A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.

You scored better than half in Nerd, earning you the title of: Pure Nerd.

The times, they are a-changing. It used to be that being exceptionally smart led to being unpopular, which would ultimately lead to picking up all of the traits and tendences associated with the "dork." No-longer. Being smart isn't as socially crippling as it once was, and even more so as you get older: eventually being a Pure Nerd will likely be replaced with the following label: Purely Successful.