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November 2006
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January 2007


"Coraline's father stopped working and made them all dinner.
Coraline was disgusted. "Daddy," she said, "you've made a recipe again."
"It's leek and potato stew with a tarragon garnish and melted Gruyere cheese," he admitted.
Coraline sighed. Then she went to the freezer and got out some microwave chips and a microwave minipizza.
"You know I don't like recipes," she told her father, while her dinner went around and around and the little red numbers on the microwave oven counted down to zero.
"If you tried it, maybe you'd like it," said Coraline's father, but she shook her head."

-- From Coraline by Neil Gaiman

The above simply reminds me of the Diva, who also doesn't like recipes or trying things.

The Diva, btw, has been up at Grandma Char's for the better part of the week. I'm in the final stage* of kid trips, which is the missing-her-lots stage, even though she is one of the world's more irritating eaters.

*The first stage of kid trips is that vague feeling that you've forgotten something important and keep wander into rooms with some vague sense of unease. The second stage is sheer joy, where you run around the house screaming "wahoo!" and realizing that just dealing with one kid is a total vacation.

Apropos of little -- Hoshi Gaki seem like an awful lot of work. Can the taste-to-effort ratio come out anywhere close to even?

catching up, with sprites

And, lo, let it be written that the waters in our house are now acting as one would like. The Undines or Kelpies with whom we live have been most helpful, even if one of the members of the household (hint: he is largely featureless and saint-like) openly scoffs and mocks.

Last night, the Pie Goddess and I went to my basement to comment upon how brilliant faeries are with such things. This morning, the spouse used a rented powered plumber's snake and quickly worked through the obstacle. Yes, the spouse's work is very important and not to be discounted -- but I can't help but feel that our observations about the intelligence and resourcefulness wee critters in the pipes helped loosen things up a bit. And I think this because this sort of problem, which comes up frequently, has in the past only been solved by a $200 visit from a plumber.

I'm just sayin, is all.

Continuing with the odds and ends:

-- yesterday, at a faculty reception, a colleague in my department and I discovered that not only are we from the same part (Ross/West View) of the same city (Pittsburgh) but that we went to the same high school (North Hills) and graduated three years apart. It wouldn't be so mind-blowing if we were both in Pittsburgh -- but what are the odds that we'd both wind up in Oneonta?

-- Three words for you, which are unrelated to the above: chicken fried bacon.

-- On the same sort of topic, which is foods that require a defibrillator, 2 pounds of butter and some pecans. I'm going to a cookie swap on Saturday and may just have to make these. I do need to measure my sheet pans, tho, because I'm not certain they'll be deep enough.

-- Three more words, coolest souvenir ever. It's the image of the rebels writing out a receipt that gets me.

-- A warning:


Beware the Mooch eating tree, which used a clever patch of sun to lure the Mooch into its gaping maw.

-- Thanks to Ellen Kushner, I am now coveting these prints by Terri Windling. Tree Woman reminds me of my kids, in some odd way. This isn't a coy Christmas request, mostly because I suck at coy. I strongly suspect that there are others out there who might like them, too, and it's all for an excellent project. Here endeth today's plug.

-- Speaking of the kids:


Also beware those moments when you look at a picture of your first baby and realize that she is growing up quickly. There's just something about this shot that makes her look like a kindergartener already. This blows my mind.

shameless self-promotion, number 257 in a series

Hoy. What a week. Please don't mention that it is only Wednesday.

Actually, it gets better from here on out. That's the plan, anyway. We know how the universe feels about my plans.

Some shameless promo -- a review in the Wilmington, NC, Star News. I can honestly say that this is the first time the book has been compared to Moby Dick. No, really.

Also in the promo department -- yesterday's interview went well. There is now a podcast online, should you be interested in hearing about the book and post-partum and what callers and a medical professional have to say about same.


I did, of course, pull a Yarn Harlot* and convinced host Bill Jaker to pose with my current work-in-progress. I don't have a sock on the needles right now but do have a scarf. Jaker, while puzzled, cheerfully played along.

*The Yarn Harlot seems to be having some hosting issues, so a loose description of the whole sock picture thing is here.

Two more things, then I must go give two more finals. Then the grading. Then the drinking.


Thing one -- according to, I will live to be 85. I'm going to hold them to that and haunt the crap out of them if it fails to come true. Mark my words.

Thing two -- the plumbing in my house is possessed by wee malicious  sprites who like to make things not work based on an arcane schedule that only they know. I wish our haints and various other mystical denizens were as benign as those at Bear's Retreat in my beloved hometown. Perhaps our luck would change if we installed a fireplace.


The next three days should prove to be light on the blogging. There are finals to contend with. There are children to be shuffled over the river and, indeed, through the woods. And on Tuesday, I will have to haul my heinie to Binghamton to shill my book on WSKG's Off the Page. If you are in the listening area tomorrow, please do listen between the hours of 1 and 2. There will also be a rebroadcast and, I suspect, sound file online. More info on that TK.

Thanks to one and all who commented in the below "please give me comments" thread. It means a lot.


qod, poetry corner

But what I’m not sure about is the voice,
which sounds in places very casual, very blue jeans,
but other times seems standoffish,
professorial in the worst sense of the word
like the poem is blowing pipe smoke in my face.
But maybe that’s just what it wants to do.

-- From "Workshop" by Billy Collins, my most favorite poet ever, who we were talking about just the other night

(Here are a few more: "Another Reason Why I Don't Keep a Gun in the House," "Child Development" and "Forgetfulness."

actual kntting (well, craft) content


For those who have often wondered what goes on in the mind of a writer, all I can offer is this:

As I was smearing generic Vaseline onto my rough, scaly, nasty heels, I had a thought. Is there petroleum in petroleum jelly? Or is this one of mislabeled things like "baby oil," which contains no actual babies.

The short answer is yes. Petroleum jelly  does contain petroleum. It also glows in the dark. It is also a lousy nosebleed prophylactic.

None of this, of course, was what I needed to find out today. Today is my day of writing a quick bit of copy about a dead person and of making futile gestures w/r/t book promotion.

But now I know all kinds of things about petroleum jelly and despite the fact that is does contain petroleum, I will still use it on my feet in the winter because it is a) cheap and b) doesn't smell like flowers or patchouli or mint, which are things I don't especially need my feet to smell like.

I also rediscovered L.A. Burdick wonderful, wonderful penguins and mice and hot chocolate. Wish I lived near one. Burdick's, that is, not a penguin.

Finally, progress on the winter sampler, taken under less than ideal lighting conditions because we are having a typical winter day, with slate skies and intermittent snow.


(The above picture of Mooch was snapped while I was trying to take this picture.)

Later today there will be some shameless self-promotion. I can tell that you are breathless with anticipation.

new study, lost youth and a teacup

Thanks to the Eagle-eyed father-in-law who called to point it out -- ABC News ran a story last night on a new study about maternal depression that was just released in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Finally.

Also, this video just killed the remaining part of my rocker-girl soul. Oh, Rhett.

Also, in unrelated news, a teacup that does cool things based on the amount of tea you consume.

Also, knitting tonight for the local knitters. Same knit time; same knit location.

And now must deal with the children....

teh crack

My ass has been firmly planted in my desk chair all day. Not that you should care, really, about where my ass is but its location has led to some interesting discoveries, most of which were maade when I couldn't take working anymore.

First discovery: Someone in the UK liked my book. I'm all giddy about this.

Second discovery: Even though I have plenty of yarn, I covet this from afar. Especially the blues and grays.  This is not good, because, again, I have plenty of yarn.

Third discovery: iTunes Radio is a really good way to catch up on pop music, which I'm out of the loop on because Oneonta is not known from its progressive radio stations.
    Sub-discovery: Morningwood's "nth Degree" is still a great song.
    Sub-discovery: Ultrahits radio is a good choice for drowning out my usual home office soundtrack,    
        which is Mooch snoring, which is what he is doing now

Fourth discovery:  Sitemeter, which I just installed on the blog, is about as addictive as crack. I am amazed by the sheer number of things that it tracks. Amazed, I tell you.

Which brings me to this -- I have no illusions about the popularity of my blog and the numbers bear this out. But the readers I have seem to keep coming back, which pleases me beyond all belief. I'd kinda like to know who is out there, tho, just because I'm curious. Could you take a second and leave a comment. No need to be all fancy -- just a mention of your handle/name and where you are?

And, yes, this is yet another way to avoid actual work.