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February 2007
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April 2007

how I will spend my day

Boy still sick -- but we now know that it's viral, thanks to a trip to the Dr's, during which the Boy climbed on everything, ran in circles and generally acted like a kid who is well. Ain't Motrin grand?

This picture should indicate how I will be spending the rest of my afternoon. Note Boy. Note Diego. Note dancing.


Rescue Pack needs to come to *my* rescue.

while he naps

Boys still sick. Man, I can't wait until we move past this, if we ever do.

Just some flotsam -

There isn't a mother out there who doesn't understand what the Bookish Girl is going through right now. Those first few months are so very challenging, especially with your first baby. (They're challenging with the second as well -- but in a different way.)

And from the heart-tugging to the delicious: Candied Bacon. Yes, you read that right.

Finally, a story:

On the Friday before St. Patrick's Day, I ran into one of my students in the grocery. We were both in the produce department.

"Hey," he said.

"Hi," I said. Then he looked at me oddly and we both wandered away.

I assumed he was stoned -- it was that sort of look -- and proceeded to forget about it.

On the Monday after St. Patrick's Day, I ran into him just after class.

"Hey," he said.

"We keep bumping into each other," I said.

"Hey," he said. "Want to know why I looked at you funny?"

"Sure," I said.

"You're taller than I thought." he said. "That was the first time I realized that I was looking you in the eye."

"I get that a lot," I said. And went on my merry (and tall, apparently) way.


Had grand plans for the day, which I have sort of off in that one of the colleges at which I teach is on break this week, which means no class on Tuesday and Thursday. And with my day off, there would be working on other things and maybe, just maybe, some good mindless TV watching before my afternoon bimonthly bloodletting.

That, of course, is not what will occur. Instead, the Boy, who isn't feeling all that well, is slumped on the couch watching Shrek, which is his most favorite movie ever. (no, we don't know why.) His head is on my arm as I'm typing. One pudgy little hand keeps smacking at the keyboard and/or stealing the mouse. Poor kid.

The good news is that he's already on antibiotics and that the fever is (hopefully) a result of the sinus/ear infection he is on the antibiotics for. If not, to the doctor tomorrow. Again.

The bad news, of course, is that he's sick. :(

However, Spring is almost here, which means that the continual illness should be tapering off soon. I hope that he follows his sister's pattern. She spent her first two years on the planet with some kind of sinus/ear thing. Now she almost never gets sick. (Except for the Celiac, which is different on a number of levels.)

We shall see.

And, so, no mindless tv and no bloodletting, because I'm fairly certain I can't chase him while donating. I've already rescheduled the donating.

I'll try to get some writing done during his nap, provided he takes one. Sometimes the juggling of life, work and writing is a serious challenge. It'll all get done somehow. Mindless tv would have been nice, tho.

Anyway, some links:

Marrit understands the juggling.  I always have to resist patting first-time parents on the head and looking at them patronizingly when they say things like this. I know I believed that, yup, I could do lots and lots of stuff "while the baby slept." Heh.

Alison Bechdel explains what it's like to sell out your mom  in order to write a memoir. In my experience, she nails it: I know I hurt her by writing this book. She made that clear, but she also let me know that she grasped the complexity of the situation. At one point after Fun Home came out, she sent me a review from a local newspaper. It cited the William Faulkner quote, "The writer's only responsibility is to his art. … If a writer has to rob his mother, he will not hesitate; the 'Ode on a Grecian Urn' is worth any number of old ladies." Then the reviewer went on to say, "Rarely are the old ladies asked how they felt about it." Mom liked that—that someone was considering her side of the story.

The Opinionated Sheep makes me jealous. But not for long! I'll be going to the Subversive Knitting show on the 14th with some awesome friends. There will be Thai and Purl rather than grease -- but the purpose is the same. Can't wait.

The resemblance between this critter and Mooch is remarkable.

Finally, a song and video to make ever chemist's heart flutter.

random links

Nothing of great import to report. The ringworm and I continue our battle. I seem to have won this battle and am now in the rooting out insurgents phase.

So, some links:

Among the many reasons why Yoga Journal should have a good, long think about itself.

As with so many psychiatric illnesses, there is a fine line between functional and not. In other words, it doesn't matter so much that you hear voices; what's important is what the voices say.

Also from the Sunday Times Magazine -- Babies as props.* Sadly, there are so many snarky things to say about this photo spread that I can't settle on just one. To sum up: what are they smoking at the NYT?

I don't get this whole myspace thing, but will admit there's some great music to be had. Of particular note: Scott Miller's myspace page has a live "Arianne" that I love more than the recorded one (and we all know how I love songs about drownings). Nickel Creek covers Britney Spears on theirs. And, because he is my new crush (and because I know one Ann Shayne will squeal when she hears it) Chris Thile covers Jack White on his. (And Thile's playing on May 23 at my beloved Bijou. Knoxville better get its ass out there and represent.)

Ain't the internets swell?

* It appears that one can't link to the slideshow. Click on the magazine page itself, then scroll down. It's the slideshow above the story about Gaultier.

qotd, with itching

"If there were only one dab of mud to be found in the whole of London, I am convinced I should carry it off from all competitors."

-- Jerome K. Jerome, "Idle thoughts of an idle fellow"

Every spring, my armpits start to itch.

No, really. This has happened for eight years now. Along with the itch is a rash, because the two tend to travel together, like peas and carrots or undergrads and cell phones.

Usually, the itch and rash can be quelled with various over the counter unguents. This year, however, it could not be contained. Night before last I thought I might scratch myself to wee little bits. I'd reached that magical point where not scratching was just as unbearable as scratching.

So yesterday I went to the "urgent care" clinic, because there is no way to actually see my actual doctor when I am actually in need of him. A brisk two hours later, I had a diagnoses and a prescription for a magical cream. I am happy to say that the cream is indeed magical. The downside is that I can't wear deodorant for a bit. I'd stay downwind.

The diagnoses? Heh. It's the sort of diagnoses that gives strong men pause and women the heebies. The fungus among us is me and my fungus is known as  *sigh* ringworm.

No one knows why I get it every spring. No one knows why I have it and no one else in the house does. (I am feverishly knocking wood.) Cats can be a carrier, which gives me yet another reason to leave Mooch outside for the gypsies, since I started getting it about the time he moved in. Which is further proof of his evilness.

Call this the physical manifestation of my feelings about spring. It makes me itchy.

As for the metaphoric manifestations of the itch, they are legion.

A lot of it has to do with all of the mud. Despite my best intentions, most of it makes its way into the house, it seems, rather than staying in the mud room. And there's just something about the spring light that makes me see how filthy my house is. It's not the everyday filth -- that actually gets taken care of fairly frequently. It's the chronic filth, like the awful kitchen cabinets and the mildewy bathroom grout and the grimy basement, that speaks to my inner anal retentive Italian. I start to get obsessive enough to simply want to burn the place down and start all over again with a brand new, clean house filled with brand new, clean stuff.

This spring, I also have book itch. I want to write another one. No one seems to want to buy another one yet. I'm in the dating phase, where my agent takes my proposal around to various editors and each gets to decide if I'm pretty enough to talk to. It's maddening, frankly, and I walk around continuously feeling rejected by the world at large.

I know it's not true. There are some people who like me and like my work. But the rejection -- oy -- it's hard to keep my perspective.

Spring always brings my birthday, too. It's the day before Easter this year. I'll stick myself in a cave or something and roll the rock at midnight.

I'm usually fairly birthday ambivalent. This one's bugging me. Thirty-six isn't old. I know that. But I'm starting to just feel old. My body lacks the spring it once had. I actually have a thumb that pains me in the damp. I'm getting random old lady chin hair. I catch myself looking at women (and men, truth be told) in magazines and thinking they look old, then reading the caption and realizing they are younger than me.

Don't get me wrong -- I like being in my 30s. My 20s were kinda crappy and I don't want them back.  But this is the first year I'm starting to feel like I'm getting older. If that makes any sense.

I try to content myself with the knowledge that this will pass. Summer's just around the corner and the sun will come out and all that other positive self-talk hooey. Still, I'm itchy. And I just can't seem to scratch the right places.

in case you were wondering

It has been a long, stupid day notable only for its long stupidness. Oh, and its itchiness. The itching has been well-nigh unbearable, both in an actual and a metaphoric sense. But I haven't the will to go into that right now. Let me just mention the itchiness. And, of course, the long stupidness (or stupid longness, if you prefer) and let's all hope that tomorrow is a brighter day.

Unlikely, mind you. But we live in hope.

A glimmer of, well, not hope but of the poetry of everyday life resides on my desk. It isn't a book contract (because, seriously, no one seems to want to give me one of them) nor is it a cure for anything in need of curing. No, what it is is SUCO's weekly newsletter about the campus. Every week I marvel at it, if only because it proves once again to me that Oneonta is full of the most melodious names in the country. Just this week, there are mentions of the College Camp's director Snapper Petta as well as the Print Shop's Clover Bobnik. Today also discovered another bit of serendipitous whimsy: the new secretary for the Fine Arts' Dean is named Candy Sweet.

Sad that one can take such pleasure from this, and, yet, even more sad if you cannot. And my next pet (because more kids ain't gonna happen) will be named "Clover Bobnik." I hope she doesn't mind.


meme me

A Bookish Meme

Karrie tagged me! No one ever tags me!

Hardback or trade paperback or mass market paperback? Big fan of the trade paper. Hardbacks can be too bulky; mass market too flimsy. Trade paper is Just right.

Amazon or brick and mortar? Amazon, if only because I live where I live. We have a very, very small mall (called by the residents, appropriately, "the sMall.") and a smaller still Borders Express, which is practically useless if you want something specific. The folks who work there are swell -- but they just can't stock all that much in a former Waldenbooks.

Barnes & Noble or Borders? If forced to pick, I'd go with B&N for unspecific reasons. The two are more or less interchangeable to me, tho.

Bookmark or dog ear? Depends. If I own the book, I'll abuse it in every matter possible -- except for dog-ears, which just seem wrong to me.

Alphabetize by author or alphabetize by title or random? Since I get lots and lots of advance copies because of Bookslut, I've had to institute a relatively rigorous system. The books on the small shelf upstairs haven't been read and about half of those are books for possible review. The other half, in case you were wondering, is books that I mean to read any day now, like House of Leaves and Nicholas Nichelby and Anna Karenina. On my nightstand are the books that I'm actively reading. On my desk are books for school, which includes Fun Home and The Satanic Verses (and don't *you* wish you could take my class?). The downstairs bookshelf is full of the books that I've read. No more books can really fit there, so I have to get rid of one before adding another. Cruel, but necessary. If/when we have a bigger house, the rules might change. Also in this bookshelf are the books that I have no intention of reading and that will be leaving my house in some manner.

Keep, throw away, or sell? Mostly sell.

Keep dust jacket or toss it? Why would you toss a dust jacket? That's crazy talk.

Read with dust jacket or remove it? Dude. Seriously. You are hurting me.

Short story or novel? Novels, mostly. I read a lot of non-fiction as well.

Collection (short stories by same author) or anthology See above.

Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket? Potter all the way.

Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks? If I can do it, I stop at chapter breaks. My body often has other ideas. I'm wacky enough that I absolutely have to read something before sleeping. It can be just a line from People magazine but it has to be *something.*

“It was a dark and stormy night” or “Once upon a time”? “The night was sultry.” It's all good.

Buy or Borrow? Buy, mostly.

New or used? Whatevs.

Buying choice: book reviews, recommendation or browse? I'll take all three. It's more about what's at arms reach lately.

Tidy ending or cliffhanger? I prefer some of my ends a little loose.

Morning reading, afternoon reading or nighttime reading? Nighttime reading. With a thunderstorm, if that option is available.

Stand-alone or series? Stand-alone -- and I feel like I've been duped if a book in a series doesn't clearly identify itself as such in big bold letters on the cover.

Favorite series? Bujold's Vorkosigan sagas. Love them.

Favorite children’s book? The Phantom Tollbooth.

Favorite book of which nobody else has heard? I'm a big Iain Banks fan. Of his, I'd have to pick Use of Weapons.

Favorite books read last year? Too hard to pick just one. Um.... Jo Walton's Farthing, if I were forced. Oh, and my own, natch.

Favorite books of all time? Lordy. I couldn't even begin to narrow it down.

Least favorite book you finished last year? I'm with Karrie:  "If it sucks, I stop reading."

What are you reading right now? This quiz. Duh.

What are you reading next? Some of what I'm reading is a secret. However, next up on the just random fun pile is either Bryson's Thunderbolt Kid or Queen of Fashion. Or not. My reading patterns are pretty hard to predict.

call me lamey mclamerson

Adrienne's Amazing Mental Ability ...

Your Amazing Mental Ability

You can divide by zero

(Remember ... with great power comes great responsibility!)

'What is your Amazing Mental Ability?' at

It would appear that today is the day that my brain goes squish. And, so, a silly internet quiz for your amusement.

Two additional things, tho: 1) I am half-tempted to get Showtime just to watch the This American Life TV show and I say that based on only having seen this clip, which is both delightful and delicious and 2) I saw your tag Karrie and will get 'r done when my brain is less soft and pudding-like.