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April 2008
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June 2008

many things make a post

-- Terri Windling has a new site! And now I have to order another print to go with the one I have. Curse you, art.

-- This story about severed feet and a Canadian island just keeps getting weirder.

-- Cooking with Rockstars cooks with Rhett Miller.

-- Margaret Thatcher teapot. Want.

-- While lmnop is a cute-as-heck online mag, does anyone else wonder when Martha Stewart will call to get her fonts and design back?

-- The Grill Master and the Pie Goddess are native Iowans who go on (in a good way) about the foods of their homeland. Turns out, the state is a great place for gastro-tourism. Anyone know what a "Dutch letter" is? I'm thinking it's not like a "French letter," cos if it is, eeeewwww.

-- Tim's advice for writers is spot on, as is usual.

-- Lastly, an update: My dad works in some capacity* with Honda. He emailed one of his colleagues for a translation of this fan my student gave me. Here's his response:

[It means] “Celebration” or “Congratulation” something like that. We use this word when celebrating something like marriage, birth etc. We pronounce it “KOTOBUKI”

So there you go. Another mystery solved.


* My father has explained to me what he does probably a billion times. For reasons unknown, I can't seem to grasp it fully nor explain it in any meaningful way. Sorry.

easily distracted

Unexpectedly busy weekend.

Some highlights:

The Featureless Saint and I built a very small wall.

Truth be told, the FS did most of the assemble to this point, mostly because he has more patience with making things level than I do. Now I'll take over and weed/plant/beautify.

Heidi, Joe and their kids stopped by for a quick visit. We (well, not the kids) all went to college together and I don't think we'd seen each other for...14? ... years. A good time was had and plans to do it again were bandied about. Hopefully, it won't be another 14 years.

Progress was made on the sweater:

Hand included for scale.

We grilled stuff. I made pie -- and learned once again why I should not try to make pudding from scratch. Rather than a lovely butterscotch pie, we all enjoyed a lovely butterscotch soup with pie crust in it. You win again, pudding. Damn you and your silky yumminess.

QOTD: do you know where your towel is?

"A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitch hiker can have. Partly it has great practical value - you can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a mini raft down the slow heavy river Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or to avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mindboggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can't see it, it can't see you - daft as a bush, but very, very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitch hiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have "lost". What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is is clearly a man to be reckoned with."


-- Douglas Adams, on towels.

FYI - Sunday is Towel Day. Plan accordingly.

I have finally figured out that Maddy's Blankie is her towel. Plus, she can suck on different corners for nutrition. Perhaps this means she'll be an intergalactic explorer?

more glass

A few more pixs, mostly because I spent my day either looking at a big tree in my backyard with the tree guy or knitting. Oh -- and if you ever want to fascinate your children, have someone park a big cherry-picker in the backyard. Hours of entertainment.

Does anyone else look at this and think "nice yarn ball?"

I kept waiting for a genie to appear.

I've discovered that I'll love almost any piece that has this shape, perhaps because it so carefully mimics my shape.

The Carder Gallery is in the same building where the make-your-own studio is and not in the museum proper. Like the Tardis, It is a room that is four times larger than it appears from the outside. It is also the room that convinced me of two things: you can never go wrong with grouping things by color and I was born in the wrong era. There's just something about between-the-wars period of art and design that just looks right.

Last, a mosaic, which mere cameras can't capture:


road trip!

Yesterday, in a fit of end-of-term celebration, the Pie Goddess and I went to the Corning Museum of Glass.

Best. Daytrip. Ever.

One day, we may even go back with the children.

Cool things:

Chihuly (1)

Chihuly (2 (a line from the Big Lebowski kept running through my head when I was looking at this. Guess which one.))

Glass Octopus.

Gianni Toso's chess set. It's Jews v. Christians. The Pie Goddess commented that it looked like the Jews were having a much better time. She's totally right.

Part of what made the trip so great is that we were there in the off-season -- it'll be nuts after Memorial Day -- and had the place mostly to ourselves. Oddly, there were four or five tour groups full of Japanese tourists moving through, which was notable only because why would you fly to the US from Japan in order to come to Corning, New York. What's odder is that there is a Japanese translator on staff at the museum and he kept popping up at the Hot Glass Show. His presence led us to think that Japanese tourist are fairly regular in Corning but I'm at a loss to tell you why. It's an awesome museum, sure, but not fly-for-12-hours awesome.

The best part, tho, was getting to make stuff. Soon, the lampworked glass beads will arrive, as will the ornament I blew with my very own breath.

Me, blowing.

My view. The ornament is the blue blob on the left.

The instructor, Quinn Doyle, who told me I have "round air," which is, she says, good.

Pie Goddess was great at the beads and wants to make more. I showed less immediate skill -- my forte seems to be my round air -- but want to learn more about lampwork beads, because I love to look at them. Making my hands do to things independently of each other is very, very hard, however.

It took all of my -- and I'll go out on a limb for the PG -- willpower to not sign up for summer classes. I'm pondering taken a day class during the dead of winter, however, when sitting in a hot glass shop will be a great cure for the season.

More pixs will be in the next post...

many things make a post

-- My feelings about This American Life run hot and cold. Sometimes, I think it's the greatest radio show ever' sometimes, I think it's too plummy* and pompous to get through. My response have nothing to individual shows. It may have something to do with sunspots or the tides, which is to say that the problem is mine. Still, The Pie Goddess recently gushed over her love for it so I started listening again. Greatest. Show. Ever. Especially this bit (Act 4) with a mom interviewing her 15 year old boy and ruminating on the differences between boys and girls, which I totally relate to.

-- I always wind up just sticking my cable needle in my mouth** when I'm not using it on any given row. This ring thingy has the whiff of genius, however, and is much more sanitary than my current method.

-- Also stolen from the Craftzine blog: Make your own Adipose "Monster" and Thomas Doyle's Mixed Media Sculptures. I dearly want "The Reprisal," but suspect it's way out of my price range. Still.***

-- I feel Redneck Mother's pain. We can't have things either.

-- How gorgeous are these illustrations for Twelve Dancing Princesses?

-- Clue is my most favorite game ever. Now it's more awesome.

-- As if I needed another reason to read Meg Wolitzer's Ten Year Nap, this quote: "I knew it was not fashionable to write in a literary way about mothers and children. Right away, it was as though you were putting a hex sign on the cover of your novel, saying, in essence: Men, Stay Away! Read books by Cormac McCarthy instead! But it galled me that while both men and women would read about the lives of men, only women, it seemed, would read about the lives of women."


* It is too a word. Shut up.

** Many, many times I have tried to teach myself to cable without a cable needles. I've yet to find a method that sticks.

*** Do these remind anyone else of Karen Joy Fowler's Wit's End?

in which our hero (me, that is) decides to be a grown up

My last knitting update included a picture of a project for my swap partner. It doesn't look like that anymore.


Before I ripped it all out, I don't think there was a row that satisfied me. Things weren't lining up just so. I'd tinked more than I care to admit. But rather than just give it up as a bad start in which Things Were Learned, I just kept trying to make it work. It won't work, as is, at least not as a gift to someone else, especially a someone else that I'd knitted the same set of rows twice. And so I did what needed to be done.

Fortunately, I have time -- it needs to be in the mail by June 20 -- to knit forward with courage and conviction. That first run was just for practice.