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August 2010
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qotd, shit taco

“Even if you’re eating delicious chocolate cake, there are moments you feel like, ‘I’ve had too much,’ ” [Jon] Stewart says. “Now replace ‘chocolate cake’ with ‘shit taco’ and you know what our day is like every day. But this is not a fragile country. I’m not suggesting we couldn’t find ourselves in deep conflict. But we had slaves, and we fought a civil war; now we’re down to Glenn Beck being hyperbolic with his audience about nostalgia. This too shall pass.”

-- From New York magazine's excellent piece on Stewart and The Daily Show.

out with the old

One very small complication has made the past few weeks even more hectic than they otherwise would have been. Our oldest car - a 1997 (maybe 1996?) Saturn - finally did what it had been threatening to do for the last two months, which was to become more or less undriveable by anyone who values his or her life.

The car's heart was still good. The engine worked. The AC ran cold. But what the car didn't want to do was stop, a fact I discovered while trying to drive the Boy home from a playdate. We're all fine. No harm done. Just a wee bit more excitement than I wanted on a Sunday. 

The Saturn could have been fixed, sure. But we'd been steadily throwing hundreds of dollars at it every couple of months and had had enough. The plan was always to buy a new (to us) vehicle once the Boy started kindergarten and we didn't have to pay for day care anymore. The Saturn gave up a few weeks shy of that goal, yes, but it wasn't worth the effort to have it fixed, even though figuring out logistics with one set of wheels was a challenge at times. A very First World challenge, granted.

And so on Monday, we said good-bye. The Saturn is dead; long live the Saturn. 

Now I have a new four-wheeled companion.


It's a 2007 Kia Sportage* with 4 wheel drive, which was my only real requirement because I am heartily sick of getting stuck in piddly snowdrifts that the Subarus can drive out of. It is noteworthy in virtually no other way, other than the fact that it's new (to us) and I loves it. 

In other news of newness, very soon will be live. The blog will remain, of course, but there will be some content shifting from here to there during the next few weeks. Let me know what you'd like to see or if it crashes your browser or whatever.

And because I haven't posted a picture of a cat lately, McGregor in his new favorite sleeping location and position:




* I refer to it as the "Sport-aahhhhshe" rather than the "Sport-ij" because my Frenchified pronunciation makes the Husband snicker. And I'm all about making him snicker.

tubular, man.

The idea of tubular dinner came about because I wanted tamales and the Pie Goddess wanted summer rolls. And so a theme was born.

In keeping with the motif, the kids spent time playing with various handheld devices that use that series of tubes otherwise known as the internet.


The adults had tubes of what tasted like uncut Windex.


For actual eats, the kids had hot dogs, cheesy puffy tubes and watermelon.*


The adults had summer rolls and peanut sauce, which I made, tamales, which were divine and prepared by the Pie Goddess, and fancy sausages. There was also non-tubular Shiner Bock beer, which the Grill Master smuggled from Iowa for us because you can't find it in this part of New York state. Which makes us all very sad indeed.


And for dessert, pumpkin roll.**


* Technically, it no longer looks like a tube once you slice it. Pragmatically, I had a watermelon in the kitchen that needed to be eaten, theme or no theme.

** Technically, orange winter squash roll, since my grocery didn't have any canned pumpkin. Tasted exactly the same because it's not about the pumpkin, really, but the cinnamon and nutmeg and orange.

many things make a post

* These sound really good, especially with a side of bacon.

* I like the idea of post apocalptic story quilts.

* I, too, would worry that my skin is too baggy.

* I'm not sure if I'll be near my computer at the right time tonight but I hope this DFW/HRC/Salvage Vanguard** webcast is archived afterwards.

* Consider these my crack cocaine.

* The Patriot Guard Riders are true Americans. I say this sincerely. 

* Gnome Mittens!

* Seriously? "Amazon Mom?" "Mommy cards?"  Because motherhood is a profession in the way that fatherhood isn't? 

* Ghosts in the Hollow. I've been on that very bridge, I think.

* Inside the new Wizarding World.

* If you've ever wondered what would happen if you set 100 cats loose in an IKEA, wonder no more.

* Entertainment Weekly confirms what parents with elementary school aged kids already knew about iCarly.


** (I still have my "I hate theater" shirt from Salvage. Love it to bits.)

smaller and gentler

Busy, busy weekend. On Saturday, we went to the Pie Goddess and Grill Master's house for Tubular Dinner, which I'll post about on Wednesday. First, tho, a few words about the Endless Mountains Fiber Festival, which the Pie Goddess and I went to on Sunday.

My biggest complaint - and it's a great one to have - about Rhinbeck Sheep and Wool is that it's too huge to really enjoy. Which is why the Endless Mountains Fest was such a delight. All of the highlights of Rhinebeck were there, like lots of great fiber.* 

There were animals:




Not pictured are two alpacas who making the most mournful sound I've ever heard an animal make. I mean, I'm sure the alpacas were just fine - just that the sound read to a human ear like something truly tragic was going on. 

Also at the Fest were lovely people, like Emily from Serendipity:


You should see her yarns. The colors are vivid and rich and yum. 

There were (rug) hookers:


And there was a writer, too:


I have no idea what I'm talking about here. Feel free to write your own caption.

And there was Lana oogling:


Because this Fest is still growing, there's still room to move around but it also has a lot of really good products to move around for. I can't wait to come back next year, just to see what's new.

* I'm still a little sad that a skein of sport weight alpaca with muted pastels didn't hang around long enough for me to buy it. Clearly it wasn't meant to be but, still, sad. 

qotd, yes, I'm finally reading it.

"My shaky sense of direction and geography means I have explored six continents in my life with only the vaguest idea of where I am at any given time. Aside from my cockeyed internal compass, I also have a shortage of personal coolness, which can be a liability in travel. I have never learned how to arrange my face into that blank expression of competent invisibility that is so useful when traveling in dangerous foreign places. You know -- that super-relaxed, totally-in-charge expression which makes you look like you belong there, anywhere, everywhere, even in the middle of a riot in Jakarta. Oh, no. When I don't know what I'm doing, I look like I don't know what I'm doing. When I'm excited or nervous, I look like I'm excited or nervous. And when I'm lost, which is frequently, I look lost. My face is a transparent transmitter of my every thought. As David once put it, 'You have the opposite of poker face. You have, like...miniature golf face.'"

- From Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, which I'm finally getting around to reading if only because I borrowed a friend's copy and I'm feeling guilty about not returning it yet. And, as it turns, it is really good. Really. I'm stunned too.

contains language

To make a long, mostly boring rant short: this week is thoroughly kicking my ass. 

I do feel very fortunate to a) be employed and b) have children but sometimes the intersection of the two can wear this body out. And, so, it has. Consider me this owl.*

In other news, I'll be at the Endless Mountains Fiber Festival on Sunday. Please come on down (or up or over as your own personal geography requires)! 

In other other news, my progress on Summer in the Square:


Soon it will be done. Soon I will knit again. Soon it will all fall into place.


* Stolen from Norma.

ring the bells

I did, of course, take the traditional first day of school picture this morning. The Diva picked out her own ensemble and was in a tizzy this monring trying to finish her matching pink manicure. Whose kid is this, I ask you? The Boy wouldn't stop making "vampire faces" while I was trying to take a picture so I eventually just let go of the expectation that he wouldn't have a completely goofy look on his face. Because, seriously, he is completely goofy 90 percent of the time. We won't talk about the remaining 10 percent.


The Boy had zero qualms about being left in his classroom and, frankly, we had zero qualms about leaving him there. We barely saw Maddy once we got through the door. She found her new room without our help and was mostly unpacked before we even made it up there. So - hooray!

We'll see if the Boy wants to go back tomorrow. That will be the true test.

Over the summer, I'd forgotten how uncreative I am with packing lunches. Anyone have any snazzy gluten-free suggestions for the Diva? Or regular old suggestions for the Boy?

Oh - and McGregor is clearly torn up about the first day of school. It's a wonder he can keep it together.


many things make a post

* There is strange water in Uranus.

* For the McLuhan fans.

* In case you wanted to start to read SF/F but didn't know where to start. My two cents: I also suggest novice SF/F readers start with Connie Willis' Doomsday Book.

* I didn't watch the Emmys this year, which makes me extra happy that the opener is now online. I had no idea Jimmy Fallon could be so entertaining.

* Mary Roach on what happens to the bodies of astronauts who die in space.

* Vanity Fair's Michael Joseph Gross takes on Sarah Palin. 

* New York Songlines.

Have you ever had one of those weeks where you think that the best outcome will be surviving it? Yeah. That's this week. Posting might be light - but the kids go back to school tomorrow and so our long very local scheduling nightmare will soon be over. Can I get an amen?