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actual knitting content: now with more knitting and some sewing too

The Hub spent the weekend at Winged Foot watching the US Open. I am told that the ending was a stunner. A good time was had by both Hub and the Grill Master, however, and they are already planning 2012.

Because The Hub was away and I was solo parent for the weekend nothing of note was accomplished. That's not totally true -- we all had a fairly good time wandering to the Farmer's Market and to a movie (Cars, which is pretty good in that Pixar way) and to the Pie Goddess's, who was my chosen adult to visit since her Hub was with mine at the golf. Personal growth was achieved -- given that the only breakdowns this weekend were by the Diva (and only twice, which is amazing for an almost four year old) and I only snapped at her once. A good score, for those who score these things.

Over the weekend, I did finally find my camera batteries, tho, so some pictures of knitterly stuff (with some sewing):


Socks on rocks.
I think I've been working on these for two years now, which is a long time for me to complete a pair of socks. But the yarn is just so meh. As is the pattern. And it's supposed to be one of those Opal colorways that "croc" but didn't because I couldn't hit the right gauge. They'll keep my toes warm this coming winter -- but I'm not in love.

I will note that the ribbing on the first one was completed while I was in the early stages of labor for the boy. This is why I can't give these away to someone who might appreciate them more than I. Weird, eh?


Sock yarn on rocks. It's this in shepherd sock in colorway "miata" for a pair of these. This was on my mental to-do list before I heard about Grumperina's challenge but it is nice to have something to work toward.

A project I can finally mention is this:


A Vintage Velvet scarf for the Pie Goddess in honor of her 40th birthday. The photo was taken the morning after said birthday, so forgive us all for looking a little haggard. While I wouldn't knit such a scarf for myself because it is so very extravagant, it seemed like the perfect present for both woman and event. I almost didn't get the dang thing done in time because I perpetually "misestimate" the time I need to do such things and completely forgot to bring the rest of the yarn when we took our road trip and finished up the ball I had tout de sweet. The scarf was still wet when she unwrapped it -- but it was well-admired regardless.

Finally, the next sew-i-knit project:


The jury is still waaaaaay out on when I'll dive in but I intend to make the short-sleeved version, as long as those sleeves aren't too capped because cap sleeves make my upper arms look like 20 pounds of sausage stuffed into a burlap sack. If they are too capped, then the long sleeved or sleeveless.

quote of the day

"Well, the past is gone, I know that. The future isn't here yet, whatever it's going to be. So, all there is, is this. The present. That's it. "

-- Bill Murray as Don Johnston in this movie, which I found surprisingly moving. But I also have always had a fondness for Murray, so YMMV.

Also -- Nancy Springer, whose books I find compulsively readable, now has a website and a new study in the journal Pediatrics proves that the middle ground -- you know, that vast grey area between hard-core attachment parenting and steel rigid scheduled parenting -- may be the more effective approach.

crap, crap, crap and batteries

I had planned to do a crafty round-up of all of the various knitting and sewing projects. Sadly, my camera batteries just moved to a higher plane of battery existence and I can't find a) the battery recharger or b) the pack of batteries that I bought a few weeks back because I was sick to death of not being able to find batteries when I needed them. It appears that I promptly lost that pack of batteries because life is better when full of irony.

So the update will wait until lost things are found.

Instead, some links and a few pictures that I'd previously taken.

Slate's Emily Yoffee explains why kids are something you should consider carefully before you make irreversable decisions. I didn't want them either for a very, very long time for many of the same reasons she cites. However, I am so very, very glad that I had them, again for many of the same reasons she cites. Oh -- and this also offers further proof that the "childfree" folk are complete loons.

If you already have some rats du rug kicking around, start reading Ask Moxie. Her advice is so dead-on that I wish she lived next door so that we could meet for coffee.

Completely unrelated to children -- Neil Gaiman's advice on how to grow up to be a writer is also dead on. As one who also went in to journalist first, I happen to think that that is a wise path. Working for a paper forces you to learn quite a bit about economy of language and deadlines and people and life and story -- all of which is quite useful.

If you get a chance, listen to Molly Ivins' monolgue from this week's Prairie Home Compainion, which was taped in Austin last weekend. If you download the June 10 edition, she starts at minute 44 or so.

Finally (on the link front), this new Folger's ad nearly made me spit coffee (not Folger's) all over my computer. Click here, then click on the tv in the lower right corner. Warning: you will need a fairly zippy connection.

And now, a couple of pictures of the Allegheny plate glass sculpture that I found utterly charming. You should see them when lit from within.



And the view of the campus enter and the ominous sky from the indoor track at the new gym:


Do other grads remember facilities being this nice when we were there? When did 'gheny get so ... posh? Maybe I'm reading it wrong...

life in Oneonta

So last night I decided we were being attacked. In my defense it was one of those weird, middle-of-the-night-half-awake kinds of realizations, where you wander up from sleep because you are hearing something that just isn't normal but not so far out of the range of normal that you move from dead asleep to wide awake in an instant.

See -- when it's warmer, like it is now, Scott and I sleep with our gun-turret window open, which is this wee window above our bed that would be just right for hitting passing undergrads with paint balls. It's not quite big enough to get the right angle for water balloons but something projectile would work beautifully. Not that we'd ever actually do that.

Which isn't to say we haven't been tempted at times to at least break out a BB gun. Sound does weird things when it hits the front of our house. An acoustical engineer would have the makings of a dissertation. When the gun-turret window is open, any noises -- from conversations to bong hits to fistfights -- in the rental houses across the street sound as if they are right in our bedroom. It's amusing, mostly. Except for the semester that an alfresco bongo drummer lived across the street. That was tedious.

So last night, my subconscious starting hearing ... something ... at about 1 a.m. Scott was downstairs with the boy, who is still a crappy sleeper and getting more teeth, which increases the crappiness. It was a weird hummy, breathey sort of noise, which was occasionally punctuated by tearing and smacking noises. At first, my half-awake brain decided it was nothing to worry about and it was just undergrads playing undergrad games.

But then more of my brain woke up. It's summer, it thought. There are no undergrads to speak of. Then my id burst in. It's a bug, it screamed. A big, bad bug that wants to eat us! Or brain-sucking aliens! Run!

So I woke up some more. The cats were still in their usual nighttime positions and comatose, which I always take as a sign that I shouldn't worry about whatever it is that I'm worried about. (Since they sleep a lot and at all hours, I frequently use this as a way to relieve stress. Clearly, if the cats are unconcerned about work deadlines or dust bunnies or impending publication, then I should be unconcerned as well...I digress.)

I lay there for a bit, listening to the smacking and tearing and breathing. I started to think about tent caterpillars, which are taking over this part of NY this summer. One local tree dude said that you could literally hear them eating the trees. When I read the quote, I figured that he'd confused literally with figuratively, as so many do. But lying in bed and listening, I wasn't so sure.

Long story short -- Scott came up after about ten minutes of this.

"Why are you ...." he started to say before I shhushed him. "Do you hear that?" I whispered.

He crawled next to me and we both looked out of the window for a bit. And could see absolutely nothing. But still there was the breathing and the chewing. I started to pull the screen out of the window so that I could actually stick my head out to get a better look. The noise of this flushed the critters, however, and three deer pranced across the street. They are not quiet hosta-munchers, those deer, and this morning I noticed that they'd neatly sheered of the tops of all of the hosta that flank our front walk. Dang deer. I shake my fist at them.

It is pretty unusual for deer to make it this far into the center of Oneonta. They usually stick to the parks and the campuses. We've had them in the yard once before and they ate all of my tulips. Now, they want the hosta. Soon, it will be anarchy. But, you know, anarchy with deer.

part 1

Since we were already in Meadville, a trip to visit Andrea in Greenville, which is a mere half-hour away, was a requirement. Andrea, the Hub and I (along with Trish, whose blog is on the left sidebar, and Walt, who seems to be blog-less) were all housemates at Allgeheny. Because of a quirk of fate, Andrea and her devil dog (more on him in a minute) wound up just up the road from us when Scott and I were living in Knoxville.

There wasn't a heck of a lot going on in Greenville. Thiel College, where Andrea teaches, had commenced weeks prior. The weather was rainy and chilly. There were no letterboxes to hunt down. But there was a Bark in the Park fundraiser thingy. And so Andrea snapped a leash on the devil dog (who has gotten less devilish as the years have passed but still can surprise you simply because he is a Basenji and it is his nature to surprise. And yodel.). I packed up the boy, who was my charge because Scott was singing his lungs out in rehearsal. We had a grand time, even though we were trapped on a college-owned house's porch during a thunderstorm. The devil dog freaked out after a bit, so much so that he didn't even make a move on the animal crackers that I was feeding to the boy to keep him amused.

At the park, we saw Weimaraners...

And Shelties...

And a sad fat beagle, oh my.

The devil dog spent the event tucked under Andrea's arm to keep him from starting something.

For the record, I would like it to be known that the devil dog was on his best behavior and it was one of those shelties that caused the first melee.

I would also like it to be known that the boy loves dogs of any sort. A black lab at the Park licked the boy from stem to stern and the boy thought it was the silliest thing ever. He also spent the rest of the day simply stinking of dog breath. Woo. The boy also loved to crawl up to the big old dogs who lived where we were crashing in order to butt his head into their sides and rub his noggin up and down them. He has spent too long with cats, that boy.

Anyway, the Bark/Park also featured a Chinese Auction. Andrea bought a bunch of tickets. I bought just one, because I only had one dollar at hand. Her goal was to win a Cooleroo bed for the devil dog. I put my one ticket on that item -- and emerged victorious. Heh.

After the Park, we hopped in the van and drove to Jamestown, which is maybe 10 minutes up the road. Lunch was at Elizabeth Jane's Cafe, which I can't recommend enough. The veggie burger is one of the best I've ever had -- and I am quite the veggie burger gourmet. The side of Hawaiian sweet onion chips were perfect in their sweet onioniness.

Then the boy and I went back up to 'gheny to catch the choir concert. They sounded awesome in the truest sense of the word in that awe was inspired. I missed the last couple of songs because the boy wanted to join the singers. I did sing the alma mater while in the lobby and greatly amused the catering staff who were setting up for dinner. The boy tried to eat a potted plant during my solo. Critics are everywhere.

quote of the day

'Whenever [the writer] has anything on his mind, whether it be a harassing reflection, grief at the death of a friend, unrequited love, wounded pride, anger at the treachery of someone to whom he has shown kindness, in short any emotion of any perplexing thought, he has only to put it down in black and white, using it as the theme of a story or the decoration of an essay, to forget all about it. He is the only free man."

-- W. Somerset Maugham, Cakes and Ale, p. 306

shameless self promotion, part 230 in a series

New Bookslut stuff--

An interview with George Saunders, who I love, and a column about John Varley (mostly), who I like, but just as a friend.

Also check out Jessa's interview with Anthony Bourdain, who I lust after. Bourdain, that is. Not Jessa. Who I'm sure is nice and sexy and all but I just don't lean that way. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Also check out this piece about demon fish in South Atlanta. Which isn't in bookslut and doesn't have anything to do with books or sluts or me or Jessa or Bourdain but is funny nonetheless.