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March 2008
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May 2008


"Writing fiction has developed in me an abiding respect for the unknown in a human lifetime and a sense of where to look for the threads, how to follow, how to connect, find in the thick of the tangle what clear line persists."

-- Eudora Welty

In other news, this is the first really, really nice sunny warm day we've had. It is glorious. But the only drawback is that this close to the end of the term, it's hard enough to get the students to concentrate. When you add sun and hormones, it's well nigh impossible. Still, we soldier on.

Now, to go bask.

big ball of fire in the sky

Cute kid story:

Cory's new favorite song is the theme to Spongebob Squarepants. Every couple of moments he'll sing out, "Whoooooooooo...." which is the cue for the nearest adult to add, in song, "....lives in a pineapple under the sea?"


And on.

Only Cory's not so good with "S" yet, so it comes out "PONGE BOB PAIR PANTS!" Which is funnier than you can imagine.

It's cute and all -- but getting a little tiresome. Cute, tho. Definitely cute.

Somehow, I got most of the stuff done today that I needed to do -- let us not think of the things I should do -- and intend to spend the rest of the afternoon (as long as I can get away with, anyway) like so:


The mud pit behind our house seems to be turning the most delightful shade of green. Later on today I shall play my favorite springtime game, which I call Where I the Heck Did I Stash My Sunglasses? Any guesses?

many things make a post

My brain seems to have gone away. So, more random crap:

* The Rather Difficult Font game. I scored 20 out of 34. It is, indeed, rather difficult. (Stolen from Mason-Dixon Knitting).

* Thanks to Anna, I might have to get a couple of new shirts or tote bags or something:

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The link is here and all sorts of crafts are represented.

* From a conversation Neil Gaiman had with his daughter, Maddy, who has a scar near her eye from bonking into a table as a toddler. He recounts it on his blog:

"I like my scar," [she says.] "You know, I get people I've known since kindergarten asking me about it, these days, as if they've just noticed it."

"Really? What do you tell them."

"What you told me to tell people who asked."

I racked my brains. Nothing. "What was that?"

"I tell them I got it in a swordfight."

"Oh. Good."

* Finally, I will openly admit that I loved the Real Housewives of New York.# With one exception, all of these socialites are just classy broads -- and I mean that in the best way possible. It was the lice -- even very, very wealthy parents deal with lice? -- that hooked me for good. Of course, they were Swiss lice but, still, lice. I have to agree with the Jezebels, tho -- it was just starting to get extra good when it ended.

# Oddly, I couldn't stand the Real Housewives of Orange County. Maybe it's just the whole East Coast/West Coast thing.

i got nothin' + wee progress

We have entered the part of the academic year in which I find it hard to not strangle students. "Yes," I want to tell them, "I totally understand your problem, which is exactly the sort of problem you will laugh about in 15 years because it will seem so trivial. But, yes, I understand. I don't, however, care."

I say nothing because I'd like to remain employed, which is one of the few motivators I have left.

So, some pictures, while I grade more fucking papers, a few of which are late because it is hard to be 20.

The Mary Tudor progress:


Stunning, isn't it? I'll be done any day now, given my lighting-like speed. You don't want to know how long that little bit has taken. Oh -- and for scale -- that big pink thing is my finger.

Another shot:


Finally, proof that Trout and the new cat are getting along quite well, thankyouverymuch.


Maybe a little too well.

qotd, autoerotic edition

"What is it with pathology journals and autoerotic deaths? Every other issue seems to have a case report of some heedless, autoasphyxiated corpse with ill-fitting briefs and a black bar across his eyes. Occasionally, they seem to be in there for sheer color, as in the case of the young Australian who perished from 'inhalation of a zucchini.' This one raises more questions than it answers. Was he trying to intensify his climax by vegetally choking himself, or was it a case of overexuberant mock fellatio? (We do learn that the zucchini was from his wife's garden, admittedly a nice touch.)"

-- Mary Roach, Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex, which I just finished. Is it a great tome that explains the myteries of the unvierse? No. But it was never intended to be. It is, however, a lot of fun. Plus, as usual, Roach makes reporting and writing look so easy.

actual knitting content, plus some other stuff

For reasons unknown to me, the links in the left sidebar resorted themselves. I'm not sure I care enough to investigate why -- but I am aware of it. Weird.

Anyhoo. Knitting.

Here's the first half of the scarf/stole (Knitty's Juno) that I'm working on for Heidi's Breast Cancer 3-Day fundraiser.


This is just one ball of yarn. One more to go.

Because putting knitting on the dining room table is signal to the cats to come sit on it, here's Trout


and Barney.


Yes, I will wash the cat fur out before I send it along.

In the just-not-fair department, Koigu and Jade Sapphire have come out with new and fabulous blends that are exactly what I want in a yarn just at the time when I can't add another project to the list. Feh.

In the how-weirdly-cool department, Stephanie Metz' felted, um, stuff.

Finally, in the nothing-to-do-with-knitting department, the town that my mom and stepfather live in has lost its mind.

many things make a post

First -- thanks for all of the input on CSAs and earphones. I've found a sucker fellow produce lover to share a share with. There will be weekly updates, I suspect, once we hit the growing season, which around here is *sigh* June. The earphones will be ordered shortly.

And, now, many things make a post:

* Now that I've read this Salon interview with Meg Wolitzer, I'm going to have to buy the book. Because I needed another book to add to the pile of stuff I really want to read.

* If I had $180 to spare on art, these prints would totally be going in the kids' rooms.

* I just want to kiss Peter Sagal on the the mouth: Gender in Equality In Whoville.

* I find this both amazing and horrifying: Dinner in the Sky.

* This For Better or For Worse strip couldn't have run at a better time, given our troubles with the Boy and his hair.

* It's never a good sign when a company is suing its consumers and is unwilling to be transparent about what is in its products, but Monsanto has taken it to an all new level. The story itself also serves as a nice reminder about why folks hate lawyers and PR people.**

* As someone who makes some money blogging for Strollerderby, this piece in the NYT was interesting. Writing posts for a parenting site is miles different from writing about tech. And, frankly, I've never viewed it as something that's either a) sustainable or b) my sole source of income. YMMV.

* Life Lessons from The Big Lebowski.

* People never cease to amaze me. Some SUCO grads decided to run across the lower half of the country and keep an online journal of their adventures.


** Yes, most lawyers and PR people are excellent and a net good. But a few members of their respective clans ruin it for the rest.

actual knitting content, the marjoram issue

Sometimes, it all works out in mysterious ways.

My Campion Marjoram angst was, in the end, solved rather simply. But it will take a minute to explain.

I met Ann Shayne at the Southern Festival of Books in October 2006.* We got on like a house a'fire. I can see why Ms Kay likes her. If she lived closer, it'd be fun to have her drop by for coffee and gossip.

We swap emails every now and again, usually about knitting or kids or the White Stripes. And when I was in the deepest heart of my despair over the whole marjoram deal, I noticed that Ann had re-started her own Starmore and was having some problems finding a particular gold. So I sent her email, about how I knew her pain, etc. And as it turns out, she had a big box o' Campion in her closet and would I like her to take a rummage in it?

Lo. And, in fact, behold, this arrived at the end of last week --


Ain't life just a kick in the head sometimes? It was an awesome early birthday present and is, wouldn't you know, exactly the color that the design needs. Curse you Starmore and your evil color blending genius. Curse you.

As for my actual birthday, the Diva's post-its were the highlight. It was a perfectly fine day, which is all one can ask. Unlike last year, my birthday wasn't started by washing off a child covered in his own vomit. Sp there's that.

* I also met Dr Karen Purdy, who has become the unofficial medical adviser of martinimade and whose name I can't say without saying all of the parts of it.

she even made balloons

So last night, Maddy was sitting at my computer and watching a My Princess Pony DVD, which I let her watch on my computer because the idea of sitting through it again filled me with a great and terrible dread. Every time I looked over at her, she was drawing, capping and uncapping pens, hunched over a pad of post-it notes. I figured that it was a list of demands (probably for more Pony DVDs) and I would get to see it soon enough.

A couple of times, she jumped up, paused her movie, and ran upstairs with one of the post-its.

When I went up to change into my pajamas, this is what I found:


My side of the bed. Forgive the picture. It's dark up there.


Balloons on the ceiling.


A note, that I wasn't supposed to notice until today, "Happy Birthday Mom!"

Could she be any sweeter? It's moments like this that make up for a lot.