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August 2009
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October 2009

there are no squirrels on squirrel island

Last weekend, one of Scott's many cousins got himself hitched to a fine woman with a fine name, which is also, coincidentally, Adrienne. Her family has a house on Squirrel Island. It's not far from Boothbay Harbor, Maine. It is also just damn scenic.


See what I mean? We got a little lost on the way back to the ferry and stumbled out of the forest and into this view. 

After the wedding, which was lovely and full of appropriate joy, we wandered over to the Island's Fairy Forest, where generations of islanders have built houses for woodland folk out of found objects.



The Boy could not resist knocking on the fairies' doors.


While the Diva scampered about and rang a small fairy bell necklace our friend Quinn (more about her later) let her wear. 


The reception was back on the mainland at the Spruce Point Inn, which is also just damn scenic. 


The bouquets, whose combination of flowers in disparate blues and greens charmed me.


Scenic, yes?

The Boy did well and kept his dress up clothes on for most of the event. He also wore a watch because his new thing is to ask "what time is it?" every 30 seconds. With the watch, he can figure it out for himself. 


And he really wants the camera. Nothing is as fun as taking pictures. 


Like this one, which the Boy snapped the day previous when we went to the Bath farmer's market.


In Maine, there are more varieties of potatoes than I've seen before.


We stayed near Bath with Quinn and Jeremy and their two kids. Q and J are friends that we've had since college who we don't get to see often enough. A lovely time was had.

This is Quinn, btw. She'll turn up in Sweater Quest. So now you know.


We were at Reid State Park, clambering around on rocks, which is how we spent the summer, it seems.

This picture amuses me. 


Quinn and Jer's kids, staring out at the waves, all pre-teen and somber, as a little pastel sprite (with umbrella, natch) sneaks up on them. It's a grand metaphor for something. I'm just not sure what.

many things make a post

Sorry about the blog silence yesterday. We went to a wedding in Maine -- more on that later -- and spent yesterday in the car. Re-entry has been tricky. As Scott pointed out, the Diva's morning was very much like the scene in The Breakfast Club where Bender's mouth earns him about a year's worth of Saturday detentions. Big fun.

This is the last road trip for the foreseeable future, however. Which is good, because we could all stand to get back into the routine around here.

And so, links:

* In this time of great upheaval, it is reassuring to know that the Bruce Campbell Watch exists.

* Yet another reason that the Canadians have the right idea when it comes to TV programing. The first example, of course, is this one.

* How do I get Nathan Fillion to stop by my office?

* I'm glad that Banks agrees with my personal assessment of his Dead Air. Still, I'm excited that he'll be writing more, even if the circumstances forcing it are less than ideal.

* Half of me thinks that bento-box packers have waaaaay too much time on their hands; the other half of me is really jealous that no one makes me bento boxes.

* Tim's back! Actually, he appears to have been back for a while and I just now noticed. Oooops.

* One of the things I miss most about Austin -- some of the other things are Thundercloud subs and the 183-MoPac flyovers -- is going to the Harry Ransom Center. And now Brenner makes me want to go even more. Curse you, Brenner.

* Mike Gibson has long been one of my favorite reporters. And his piece about alternative healing modalities makes me happy. It's great writing, of course, but it also assures me that Mike is doing OK, which has not always been a given.

* I've been looking for a way to improve my own handwriting. Now I have a plan. Anyone else want to join me in a quest for better penmanship?

* Is it too soon for the Titanic and Iceberg ice cube tray? (Stolen from Making Light)

* One of the best things about living with an infant is that you can put silly things on their heads and they can't do a darn thing about it. 

qotd, watch the world die edition

I'll walk right out into a brand new day
Insane and rising in my own weird way
I don't want to be the bad guy
I don't want to do your sleepwalk dance anymore
I just want to feel some sunshine
I just want to find some place to be alone

-- Everclear "Santa Monica"

This will take a little explaining. 

Every night at dinner, we put on the cable music channel devoted to "classic alternative," not because it leads to harmonious meals but because Scott and I firmly believe that we should indoctrinate the children into the wonders of the Ramones, The Cure and the B-52s as often as possible. 

So a couple of nights ago, "Santa Monica" came on. In the span of those first three chords, I was back in Austin, aimlessly driving around after getting rejected by my grad school of choice for the second time (no, I don't learn lessons quickly) and wondering just what the fuck I was going to do with my life, which I had decided was effectively over because I'd been told "no."

What followed were several years of seriously bleak behavior. I still don't know a) how I survived and b) why my husband stuck around.* Those opening chords took me right back, even as I sat at the dinner table with my awesome (if maddening at times) children and spouse, in my very own house, which I live in with relative ease and contentment. 

Part of me wants to go back and tell the "Santa Monica" me to just get over herself already. But I had to do that to get here, you know. And I wonder what the me 15 years from now will want to tell the me now to just get over already. 

All that from a 3-minute pop song. 

Humans are just weird, eh?


* Thanks again, btw.

things I have never before experienced

One reaches a certain age where one starts to believe that one has seen (either in person or in a nature documentary)  just about every rock formation that can exist. One would be wrong.

This weekend, we made a side trip to Boulder Field in Hickory Run Park.


(Diva provided for scale)


Imagine a lakebed filled with rocks. That will get you close. 


A wee tree, just barely big enough to provide shade for the Boy.


I'm still astounded that hikers are encouraged to walk out on the rocks, simply because they are a broken ankle just waiting to happen. The National Parks' Services' nonchalance about overly litigious visitors surprises me just as much as 13 acres of rocks does. Which makes me a little sad.

There was also time by a small lake, which looked like just about every small mountain lake you've seen. Fun, mind, but I'll spare you the pictures.

Except for this one:


There are a dozen shots of Cory's shadow (taken by Cory) on my memory card. It's his new thing.

many things make a post

* I don't have a problem with cover designers relying so heavily on stock art; I just wish it weren't the same images all the time.

* Bakerella does it again: Cowgirl (or -boy) Cookies.

* The Tennessee Sampler Survey. (oh, and, Nerak, want one of these for Christmas?)

* I will be going to see this.

* One Lucky Mother comes up with a great list of tips for folks expecting newborns.

* And for those with older kids .... the hazards of manipulating the system so that it only benefits your kid.

* Oh noes! The brown people might get white people's stuff!

* Stolen from Lisa: 15 patents for things you didn't know you needed, a couple of which have to do with urinals, because peeing is boring.

* My favorite editorial cartoon this week:


fall and phlegm.

Around these parts, we celebrate Labor Day by laboring, because, despite the fact that the SUCO faculty is unionized, we still have classes. We do have a lovely protest luncheon, however. So there's that.

Before I scurry off -- we just got back from a trip to the Poconos*, which was lovely, and the Diva goes back to school tomorrow. Plus I either picked up a bug last week or am allergic to every stupid plant on the eastern seaboard right now. The amount of crap in my head is amazing. 

I'll stop here before I overshare.

So while I run around like a chicken sans head, go look at this knitterly link from Lands End.

* More later, which might include the stupidity of grown people who ought to know better staying up until an unholy hour to finish a game of Munchkin. Which was great fun -- but the next day was extraordinarily bleary. We are old.

qotd, I have a Snickers bar

Goldman's role in the sweeping global disaster that was the housing bubble is not hard to trace. Here again, the basic trick was a decline in underwriting standards, although in this case the standards weren't in IPOs but in mortgages. By now almost everyone knows that for decades mortgage dealers insisted that home buyers be able to produce a down payment of 10 percent or more, show a steady income and good credit rating, and possess a real first and last name. Then, at the dawn of the new millennium, they suddenly threw all that shit out the window and started writing mortgages on the backs of napkins to cocktail waitresses and excons carrying five bucks and a Snickers bar.

-- Matt Taibbi, "The Great American Bubble Machine," which you really ought to read.

how I spent Tuesday

Into every writer's life, a copyedited manuscript must fall. 

Here's the CEM for Sweater Quest, which will hit the shelves March 2010. (Buy three! Buy four! The Diva needs a pony!*)


This time around, the copyeditor sent colored pencils along with her notes.


A sample page. This isn't a representative sample, however. Most pages had many, many more marks on them. CEMs crush my belief in my mad grammar skillz. Which is what they should do, really, if the copyeditor is good. And mine is, imo.

My job at this point is to OK what needs to be OKed (like, say, changing all of my "OK"s to "okay" and adding Oxford commas, which I loathe but will accept as house style) and answer any questions about weird spellings, etc.


One of my favorite parts of the CEM are the first few pages that set up styles for words used in the manuscript that aren't in a style manual. Click on the picture to get a sample of what's in Quest.

Trout's favorite part of the process is the padded mailing envelope.


Still waiting in the wings is the legal review, which should be interesting, given that I'm writing about someone who seems quick to litigate. 

After class today, I'll send the CEM back to my editor. In another month, I'll go through a similar process with the page proofs. And, yes, that will also come in a padded mailing envelope. Worry not for the Trout.


* I'm kidding. No matter how many copies are sold, Maddy will not be getting a pony. Because I'm mean, that's why.