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nothing to see

Given the ever increasing closeness of a couple of deadlines, I have nothing to blog about right now. Or, in truth, all that I have to blog about involves a steady chant of phrases like "why do I do this to myself" and "why didn't I become an accountant" and "why won't my children sleep" and "why did that woman at the post office smell so strongly of soup." No one wants to hear that.

And so I give you one little link: Ask Moxie's Books about Raisin' Babies. She's smart, that Moxie.

stupid, stupid gauge


This is what my jaywalker sock looked like at 2:20 pm yesterday. Note that I can't pull the dang thing over my big ol' heel. Grrrrrr.

I had one of those brief knitterly moments where I pondered just finishing them and finding someone with smaller feet than I. But I don't think I know anyone whose feet these would fit. And, yes, you'd think I would have noticed their smallitude while I was knitting along. Clearly you have underestimated my level of distraction and delusion.


In case you were wondering, Lorna's Laces that has been frogged feels exactly like a bowlful of freshly cooked ramen noodles.

My plan is to knit the next size up (I was knitting the smaller size). Or, perhaps, my plan is to go up a needle size (I was using 1s). Or both. Thoughts?

Yes, yes. I should swatch. But I probably won't. I love the thrill of living on the edge.

We'll always have Swaziland

Something more substantial later, I hope, but first this piece from the Washington Post about the U.S.'s maternity leave policies.

Two things to mention, just in terms of personal data points:

1) Shelley Johansson, who is quoted at the top of page 2, is a good friend and the one who sent the link.

2) I've been lucky in terms of maternity leave. With kid #1, I was working for a small paper whose powers-that-be didn't have a problem holding my job for three months. They did, however, have a problem with paying me for any of my leave once my vacation time was used up and I had to continue my insurance through COBRA, which was mind-numbingly expensive. How sad is it that I consider myself lucky given the circumstances...

Anyway, kid #2 was a different kettle. He was born during the summer, which is when I'm not teaching and I'm technically unemployed, despite the fact that I have a whole other income from writing. My benefits are carried under my husband's insurance via the NY State Employees system. Given when the boy was born, I went back the semester started about four weeks into his life and I went back to teaching, otherwise I would have had to sit out the entire fall semester, which would have been a financial impossibility.

Again, I'm in a great position -- white collar, middle-class, college-educated in a flexible, family-friendly field. I can't figure out if we'd be in better shape dollar-wise if we had less income and could rely more on federal programs. I also can't figure out if it would be an advantage to make more money. I do know that just in a bottom-line analysis, it would be to our advantage for me to not even try to have a career and to stay home with the children 24/7, which would mean I'd either have to write after they went to bed (and get even less sleep than I do now) or give up on that part of my life for the next 4ish years.

And, no, I can't write while they are home. Anyone with kids under the age of 5 can explain why not.

Would the world weep if I never wrote another word? No, probably not. Nor would it notice if I never taught another class. Our bank account would be slightly happier if I did this. Is that what is of primary importance? If it were, we'd only have the one kid. But I wish there were a better equation to judge my worth against.

Clearly, the Hub and I have made the choice we feel most comfortable with given the circumstances we're currently in. Remember -- we are lucky to have the options we have.

A Diva tee


I have been trying to contain the urge to buy one of these T-shirts for the Diva from I suspect my resolve won't hold out much longer.

For a not-so-brief moment on Saturday, the stickers seemed like a better purchase, simply so that I could put one over her mouth. Not because she was trying to eat things she probably shouldn't but because I had spent the last sixish hours listening to an endless (endless!) stream of questions that all started with "why?" My favorite was -- "Why is your belly so big, mommy?"

My answer, of course, was "because I have had two children and you have ruined my svelte, girlish figure forever, not to mention what you have done to my bladder and my thighs and my psyche."

I kid.

She did, however, make the observation yesterday that both her thumb and her blankie -- her two favorite objects in the unverse -- are gluten-free. It's the small stuff that is the most important, you know.

quote of the day

"You don't want another Enron? Here's your law: If a company, can't explain, in ONE SENTENCE....what it's illegal."

-- Lewis Black

I had this great idea for a post. You would have loved it. It was going to have everything in it you enjoy. No, no, really.

But then I got up to campus today to teach my 11 a.m. class. On the classroom wall was a poster. And on that poster was the stunning and thrilling information that Lewis Black is coming to SUCO. That is now all that I can think about.

Must. get. tickets. Must. also. get. sitter.

Talk amongst yourselves.

people. people who need people.

My friends are some of the strangest and most wonderful folk on the planet. I suspect that even if you, dear reader, and I haven't actually met in person, you are also wonderful and strange simply because you are here, reading this.

My office, such as it is, isn't all that far from the front door. Our letter carrier, who must wonder what it is I do all day, especially since I get lots of big envelopes address to "bookslut specfic floozy," tends to make a great deal of noise when he is flinging big, heavy boxes on our front porch. This racket always makes me stick my head out to see what goodies he has brought.

This morning, it's a box from one of my college housemates, the old with the freaky-ass barkless dog. We've (the friend and I, not the dog and I) have been talking about the Diva and her digestive plight. Said friend is an environmental chemist by trade and a notable armchair nutritionist. On her last trip back home to the 'burgh, she went to the local Giant Eagle and picked up some stuff for me to try out on kid #1.


There's cookie mix and pizza crust mix and animal-shpaed pasta. And a box of gluten free communion wafers.

Is it wrong that I am amused beyond description about the wafers? If it is wrong, I don't want to be right.

I'm not sure whether to open them and try one or simply place the box on a shelf like an object d'art. It could sit next to my jar of Blue Ridge Mountain Moonshine Jelly, sent to me by my editor. It's too bad that I no longer have that can of Vegetarian Haggis, which used to sit proudly on my bookshelf, because the wafers, jelly and haggis would be quite a conversation starter.

For those that care -- also pictured is a copy of Mason Dixon knitting, a book-on-tape that I intend to listen to while I make progress on Icarus, my Jaywalker sock in progress and a can of compressed air that gets used not to clean my keyboard but to gently convince Trout to not sleep on it. There are also about 30 pieces of paper with weird little notes scribbled on them. One reads, simply, "ricotta" and "next Wednesday."

I shall try the new goodies on the Diva with all diligent speed. Except the communion wafers, natch. Those are for mommy.

stupid internet quiz, with tight pants

Because my brain is still soft from the start of classes today, a stupid internet quiz that I present for your enjoyment. If you can beat my score -- and, yes, it *is* sad that I know so much about this show -- holler.

Oh -- and, FWIW, I have once again proven that it is important to read all of the words in a knitting pattern, even if one is knitting something as innocent as a pumpkin. My first attempt at the first pumpkin part made it look like my gourd had an enormous goiter. *sigh* And so we start again...



You scored 89%!
JOSS IS OUR MASTER!!! You did Brilliantly!!! I'm so impressed... if you'd like to chat about our shared love of Firefly and Serenity, please email me... And thanks heaps for taking the test... Much Appreciated!!! :)

My test tracked 1 variable How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 99% on knowledge

Link: The Firefly / Serenity Test written by kozza on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

In the late August, a young girls thoughts turn to homicide and knitting

Most of the time, living in a large-ish small town with two colleges is a good thing. The students keep the feel of the town fresh. The residents keep the town stable. Economically and socially, the relationship is an equitable one.

Except in the late August, when the students return. Like now.

See -- they've had three months at home to start chafing under their parents rule and/or having to work for their keep. For the student, most of whom moved in on Sunday but don't start back to class until tomorrow, the past few days have been nothing but a party. And since the weather is so lovely, it has been a series of alfresco parties. Which are really motherf*#$in' loud.

Oneonta residents have had three months of quiet, where beer pong tables aren't on every corner. We've had just long enough to forget the phone number of Oneonta's Finest. And so we're a little crabbier than usual. We once again have to explain to our small children why they have to ignore Kelis and her milkshake song, which is blaring through the windows, and go to bed already.

The next few weeks are gonna be a hoot. They always are. For the last two years, we lucked out and the rental across the street was fairly quiet. Not this year. At least the bongo player hasn't returned.

Still, in a few weeks this will be over. They'll have classes or will have flunked out. Plus, the weather will turn and the parties will move indoors. Wanna take bets on how much of the damage deposit the guys across the street will get back?

In anticipation of the weather turning, I've started something with these things.


The yarn on the left is some leftover Manos. The orange on the right is Cascade 220. The brown is a Cascade 220 that may be superwash, which would make it completely unsuitable for felting but I'm going to have to knit a tiny swatch and test it because I can't remember its provenance. I can get started on the pumpkin bodies, tho, and those may be what keeps me from marching across the street tonight and crackin' some undergrad skulls.