Friday, December 21, 2007
What really intrigues me is the fairly recent practice of holding Screech-Ins. Custom dictates that visitors are made honorary Newfies by doing a shot of Screech, kissing a cod, and reciting some Newfie verses or sayings. I thought this would be fun until I read the middle step. Anyone who knows me knows I'm deathly phobic about fish. I hear that some even like to single out a few people and insist they tounge the fish. I'll be having some nightmares tonight. Dude-would you put your tounge in this mouth?
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
We gave him some of the chicken we had left over from lunch. He horked it down. I opened the door to the van to let out the dog for a pee… The cat jumped in the van. I scooped him out.
Josh put Lizzie in the carseat and strapped her in. The cat got in AGAIN. Josh looked at me. I sighed in disgust and said- "OH just close the damn door!" “Perkins” laid in my lap and purred and nuzzled me for the WHOLE 6 hours home and never cried once about being in the car or showed any fear of riding. We let him out twice at rest stops to potty (the cat farts-SERIOUSLY.) He made sure to say DAMN close so we couldn't leave him. It’s weird to have a cat you can let out at rest stops, eh?
He's so GREATFUL to be with us. The vet agrees with me that he’s under a year- but he’s close to it-he was probably an early spring kitten. He needs neutered and has been in some scuffles-a torn ear, various small scabs about the body and a big scratch across the nose. But he is the most PERSONABLE little man-cat I've met in quite some time.
We’ve finally been allowing him out of the bathroom where we kept him until we could make sure he was free of any communicable diseases. He’s a whole six pounds. He’s still got about half the house to explore. He’s been really cautious about leaving his safe places. Simon takes special joy in beating the ever living CRAP out of him-or at least rushing him. This shouldn't be so bad- since my poor little white cat is the biggest dufus on the planet and couldn't fight his way out of a paper bag. BUT, Simon outwieghs Perkins by a good....12 lbs probably, and I'm not sensing a lot of fight in the poor kid. So, for now, he tends to stay in "high places" around the house, where he can see Simon coming, like the back of the couch, the windowsills, and the top of the litter box bench. Meanwhile, Simon lurks under the furniture and in dark hidey holes and delights in ambushing Perkins. He doesn't even really have to unsheath his claws-just give the poor scrawny thing a good scare and Perkins is howling and spitting as he hies it back into the bathroom to his "safe place" - the space between the toilet and the bathtub where his bed is.
It's like some feline soap opera I tell ya.
Friday, November 30, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
1. Kids should have the chance to have cute nicknames
2. Adults should have names that has some dignity to them
3. Variations on spelling are just stupid and trite
4. "Unique" names just end up looking like pathetic attempts to nuture the individuality of your child
5. Following a theme when naming your kids-such as making them all start with the same letter-you know it makes you wanna gag!
Chances are, it's the old traditional sorts of names that really make me happy. I've looked back through the abundant records of Josh's family tree (and what we have of mine) but I'm still not seeing anything great. Josh's family goes back quite aways on the East Coast, and has some GREAT old Puritan names (and noteables in some cases) like:
Only one' is a girl's name, but you get the idea, right? Somehow, I just can't quite make those work. Surely you see why? So I'm sending out the call- got anything you love? Here's a few I've toyed with:
Katherine (mostly cause I wanna call my child "Kat")
Bodhi (Yeah, I know-it totally violates that whole unique rule- but it's got this cool meaning and tomboy sorta vibe going for it)
Murphy (My mom's idea-but a bit too mannish for me)
Belle (Lizzie's idea, short for Isabelle, which I happen to really like, but many people think it's awfully close to Elizabeth in sound)
So- let 'em rip!
Monday, November 26, 2007
Sunday, November 18, 2007
#10. Daddy drinks cause I cry
#9. Mommy drinks cause I cry
#8. I drink 'till I pass out, just like my Dad
#7. Proof my Mommy liked the drummer
#6. I just did 9 months in the Hole
#5. Daddy's little tax deduction
#4. Still sore from the Bris
#3. Dingo Bait
#2. Mother Sucker
annnd the ABSOLUTE WORST thing I saw?!?
#1. Hung like a five year old
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
The pervading aesthetic of amigurumi is cuteness. To this end, typical amigurumi animals have an over-sized spherical head on a cylindrical body with undersized extremities."
Oh My GOD look at those little pink CHEECKS!
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Now in all reality, I probably won't knit this-despite how tickled I am with it. I figure I'll have far less cause here in vehicle friendly SD to spend time walking with a baby than in pedestrian friendly Vienna. Most of the time I'll be out will be with Bebe' in a car seat. But I really like the idea, nonetheless!Honestly, I think if we had more pattern designers out there who were actually knitting items out of a real need, rather than a desire to just "make a baby sweater" we'd come up with some really outstanding patterns. So often something I run across is cute- but totally impractical, either due to the way it's put on, the thickness, the washing care needed... I dunno, maybe I'm just a utilitarian sort of knitter. Up with practicality!
Monday, October 22, 2007
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Friday, October 5, 2007
2 lemon rinds
honey to taste
1 cup boiling water
1 quart seltzer
Put the ginger and lemon rinds in a small bowl with the honey. Pour in
boiling water, just enough to cover. Let steep for 5 minutes. Strain and chill. When ready to serve, add seltzer.
Sounds damn yummy! I can't wait to try it, but thought I might as well share the wealth. Perhaps it will stop my dry heaves. Remember when your parents plied you with ginger ale when you were sick? I wonder if that was just to keep you hydrated, or if there were once health benefits to the ginger? If I weren't so damn lazy, I'd look it up. Discuss amongst yourselves.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
I mean, I knew kites came in shapes- but who knew there were 3D clownfish with 70 in wingspans for under $30?!? Or tall masted ships with rainbow sails? There's one star shaped kite that spins as it flies for $18?!? My kid is SO getting a kite for her birthday!
Friday, September 21, 2007
Once upon a time, there was a girl. The girl loved dirt. First the girl discovered hidden things in the dirt. Dead people. Dishes. Remnants of people from long ago. Clues to stories about every day lives and every day struggles in worlds long past. And the girl went to college. And she studies ways to tease out more of those stories. And it was good. For awhile.
But the girl grew unsatisfied. She felt the physical gap between herself and the those people in the past. She could see their dishes, and their cast aside tools, but she didn't know them. And she realized she never would know them through the dry science that is archeology. The dirt would never yield the real measures and stories of their lives. She would always be starving for something she could never have.
She required something more visceral to feed her soul. The girl remembered clay, which is just another form of dirt. She remembered the sensual feel of it, the hypnotic quality of the wheel. She took a class. She took another class. When she threw on the wheel, she felt the clay move beneath her hands at the slightest touch. When she threw, she must be centered to center the clay. She must throw with her whole body, not just her fingers, or her hands, or her arms. When she threw, the whole world melted away. As with most things, she threw her entire self into this new process. It became her whole identity. She was a potter.
When she left college, she simply went to a different sort of school-to an apprenticeship. To a studio in North Carolina, where she learned about economies of movement, about the Zen of creating the same thing day after day. She learned to judge the temperature of the kiln by the cherry red of the pots inside. The girl built her own humble wood kiln, and listened to the crackle of brick as it shattered in the heat, and heard the roar of the flame as she fed a dragon ever more wood through a long southern summer night. She imagined the ash as it flew out of the fire box-landing on the shoulders of her pots to melt into a beautiful gray glaze.
She returned to the plains, convinced she would find her way in the world as a potter. Finding studio space was hard, the wheel cost more than her paycheck, the kilns just lucky finds bought second hand for a song. She squeaked along, working full time, throwing when she could. She bought a house with a shed she converted to a studio. She learned to wire it for electricity, insulated it as best she could. The credit card bills mounted. Still she persevered, though the obstacles now gave her pause, made her wonder how she'd ever do it.
The studio had only a dirt floor, and $1200 worth of gas could be gone in a month during the winter, but the clay had to be kept thawed, or the work would be ruined. The kilns were electric, the glazes cold and sterile. The girl learned to let go of impractical ideals, to live within her means. She threw while it stayed above freezing. She learned to work around the sterility of an oxidation firing. She found places to sell her work, from galleries in the Black Hills to Norwegian church bazaars.
But the obstacles continued to mount and new frustrations began to creep in. Work schedules became less flexible. Her glaze wasn't performing right. The color was wrong. It crackled and wasn't food safe or crawled off the pot in firings. Her sense of two dimensional design was pathetic and the awful little brushings on the sides of the mugs and bowls at looked tentative and tight. She began to hate herself for her inadequacies. At some point the obstacles just got to big.
I quit. I let go of that identity, though I wondered who the hell I was and where the hell I was going. I couldn't face my own perceived failures. Being a shitty potter wasn't good enough, though it broke my heart to let it go. I hated myself for not being able to fix all the things I saw that were wrong. The bad handles. The shitty decorations. The intractable glaze chemistry. It was all a direct attach on my own self worth. When I moved from that house and that studio, I took an aluminum baseball bat to hundreds of mugs and bowls and plates that were still in there. I sort of liked the idea that an archaeological investigation some day might reveal the discarded pieces of someones presence-though it wouldn't really tell the story. I sold my kilns to a nice guy who needed the same break that someone once gave me. But I couldn't sell the wheel. You wouldn't sell your baby, would you?
But now I want to throw. And, I have an opportunity to do so. But it will never be the same as it was. I have other responsibilities now, other identities too. I'm not sure I can give everything I have to it again... and clay does not forgive. It won't wait for you to spend quality time with your child or your husband. It's got it's own timetable. It's own path. I'm not sure if it's worth it.
I'm not sure if I'm in my right mind making such a big deal out of it! LOL! I'm not even sure if I'm in my right mind posting such overly dramatic juvenile drivel in a public forum!
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Tonight before bed, we read a couple of traditional fairy tales to Lizzie. Oh wait-let's qualify that. We read some Walt Disney fairy tales. These are only traditional if you are a red blooded American. I'm not sure if I ever had the chance to watch Sleeping Beauty. It seems to be out of production on video. I've never seen it for rent. Yet I know some of the scenes, from commercials and television shows. I know the basic story...
A King and a Queen want very badly to have a child, and when finally a baby girl is born to them, they hold a great celebration and invite 3 fairies to bless her. One gives her beauty, one gives her...erm... something else, but before the 3rd can bestow her gift, another fairy crashes the party. This one is livid about her exclusion, and as payback, curses the baby to die from pricking her finger on a spindle before her 16th birthday has passed. The third fairy quickly steps in and amends the curse to stipulate she will only fall asleep until she is awoken by a kiss of true love. The fairies whisk the child away to a forest home, where she can be protected and where she grows up in ignorance of her true heritage. On her 16th birthday, she chances across a serious hunk of a man and returns to the forest cottage and her three "aunties" to tell the tale of her new love. The fairies come clean and explain she is already betrothed and then take her to the castle, assuming that since the kid hasn't cacked it yet, she's safe from the curse. Poor Sleeping Beauty is having a pretty hard time dealing with this sudden change of events and has a meltdown at the castle. The fairies give her some time alone to pull it together, and wouldn't you know, the silly twit is lured to a lonely castle tower where she discovers a spinning wheel. The minute she reaches out to touch the spindle, her finger is pricked and she falls into a deep sleep. The fairies do a little damage control by putting the whole castle to sleep, and then set off in search of this hunky forest dude, in hopes he can break the spell. Armed with a sword, shield and something else, the Prince defeats the evil fairy (who has turned herself into a dragon) and fights through the brambles about the castle to break in on his true love, slip her a little tongue and miraculously, the whole castle awakes. And, they live happily ever after.
Okay, I'm getting to my point finally...What the hell is up with pricking your finger on a spindle? How the hell is that even possible? When I've done spinning demos, people have asked about this. There IS no part on a spinning wheel that is a spindle. We've got bobbins, a distaff, even strange things called mother-of-alls... but no spindle. A spindle is an alternative tool to spin with... Old Walt really needs to get his poop in a group. So again tonight, I began to wonder about this tale, and the errors it had picked up in it's sanitization for the American kiddees. Remember, Snow White's evil stepmother was punished by dancing away in slippers of molten lead in the Grim version. Grim indeed. I recalled that there seems to be an inordinate amount of necrophilia in the old versions... that little kiss to wake the Sleeping Beauty began to take on a more nefarious tone for me. So! Here's the real version, which is actually older than the Brother's Grim-how did their own sanitizing for the kiddees... We can trace this one all the way back to Giambattista Basile (1575-1632), an Italian who undoubtedly simply recorded a common story told by peasants.
A king has his daughter's future foretold. He learns she will die from a sliver of flax. Naturally, he has all hemp and flax removed from his castle. Wouldn't you know it, the girl chances on an old woman spinning flax and she immediately is intrigued by the texture and sits down to spin the fiber with a spindle. A sliver of flax chances to work it's way under her nail and she immediately falls down dead. The shattered father arranges her as if she were asleep on his throne, and shuts the castle up-never setting foot in it again. Many years pass and another king chances upon the castle while out hawking. His hawk flies inside and he enters to retrieve it. What he sees is a fetching young woman seemingly asleep on a throne. She's apparently pretty hot-even if she is dead. Much rumpity pumpity occurs. Later he leaves and forgets all about his dalliance with the dead girl. Nice huh? Well, despite her corpse status, the princess is apparently incredibly fertile and gives birth to twins-a boy and a girl, who suckle from her breasts while she slumbers. At some point, one of the children has some difficulty reaching a nipple and instead finds the finger with the sliver in it. The child promptly sucks it out, and the Princess is revived. She cares for the children and time passes. In the meantime, the King finds himself remembering the girl in the throne room and returns, only to find a living girl and his two children. He stays with them a bit, but later returns to his Queen and his kingdom. The Queen finds out about the mistress and children and orders the cook to bake them and serve them to the King. The cook takes pity on the kids and hides them-serving the King to goat kids instead. The Queen schemes to have the Princess thrown on in a fire, but the King arrives in the nick of time and gives the Queen a taste of her own medicine. He marries the Princess and THEN they live happily ever after. So I ask you, would you marry a dude who raped you when you were dead?
Wanna see a bit more? perhaps some analysis?
So, there was no spinning wheel in the original-nor was a spindle even the real culprit! ...and, didn't I tell you there was a lot of necrophilia in these old stories?
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
"Knitting Practice" - Helen Arcker Farmer
Boy, this woman looks strong and full of grace.
That's my birthday wish for the next 30 years.
This girl smolders, doesn't she?
I'm going to try to cultivate a smoldering look as I knit.
She looks jaded, sarcastic, and sexy as hell!
1869 - "The Knitting Girl" - Adolphe-William Bouguereau
I do love this guy's work-especially his use of light and shadow.
2003 - "The 26,000" - Shane Waltener
"26,000 knots suspended above the knot garden at St Mary’s Churchyard, one for each of the 26,000 bodies buried there"
2005?- "Tree Cozy" - Carol Hummel
Holy shit! That takes a whole new level of spatial planning and forethought!
How did she know when to start another branch, unless she was sitting in the tree while she knit?!?
Had to leave you with a stunner.
No name for this one.
Check out the rest-I'm especially fond of the pink unicorn!
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Monday, August 6, 2007
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Friday, July 27, 2007
Here's what I really like about this place: All ice cream is served with a cherry on top. Even if you don't like maraschino cherries, you gotta admit its a neat and old fashioned touch. All ice cream is served with optional sprinkles-at no extra charge. They've got that rainbow confetti stuff, crushed oreos, Reece's peanut butter cups, you name it. You can opt for a waffle cone-again, at no extra charge. Cones are a bit expensive at $2.50 for a single dip, but worth it for the quality of the ice cream and the atmosphere of the place.
But the most endearing part about this place is it's shoestring appearance. The sign at the entrance is small and obviously homemade. It makes no effort to hide the fact that it is an ice cream store set up in the mouth of a garage. The store front is open to the weather and cobbled together from old fence boards and rough cut wood that has been painted cheerily. It blocks the garage entrance and provides a counter for folks to order at. Inside, the garage is bare, except for a freezer, a preparation counter, and some Rubbermaid boxes to hold cones and supplies. On the concrete in front are two cheap patio sets for folks to enjoy their ice cream and some sidewalk chalk for the little people. Everything is clean and tidy, but one can't be looking at an investment of more than $500.00. It's marvelous!
I feel like I am witnessing the birth of something special-because it is beginning from such humble origins. I feel so proud of this person for not taking the easy road out and dumping loads of money into a new business just to give it a highly commercial and polished feel. I understand that temptation and pressure! Instead this place feels much more honest and real. I hope she makes it! Huzzah to the underdog!
Monday, July 23, 2007
1. A persistent, abnormal, and irrational fear of a specific thing or situation that compels one to avoid it, despite the awareness and reassurance that it is not dangerous.
It was 102 F that day. My family and spent the whole day outside. We were hot, but wading through the water was incredibly refreshing. But those boys.... there was such glee in them. Such JOY. I was so envious. I loved the obvious thrill they got from the jump into the icy water.
Here's the view from the stump. Those fish are in there.... I know they are. But guess what? Those boys were absolutely justified in their glee. I shrieked like a bleach blond in a horror film when I surfaced. Damn that water is COLD! Man that felt great!
But I still can't carry a bag of fillets from the sink to the freezer.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Not at work.
About 10 minutes after I settled into my desk, daycare called to tell me that "Goober" had just emptied the contents of her stomach all over her shoes. So, with much embarassment and much apologizing, I picked up my stuff and exited the building. There was no warning-she hadn't been sick at all that morning-which is just as well, because I would have felt even worse calling in to say I wouldn't be there. Still, nice impression, eh?
But what's a mother to do?!? My husband is fabulous-and more than pulls his weight in the sick duty department. But over the Fourth-as I was putting in my last two days at at the old job after quitting, Goober was sick sick sick-and he elected to stay home. Between nursing her, getting sick himself and a wedding we had to attend, he ended up missing 5 freaking days of work! I couldn't very well ask that of him again.
I wish with all my heart that life was more simple and DH made more money at his job. I could really deal with being a stay-at-home mother. I hate being so conflicted between my responsibilities as a mother and my responsibilities to my employer. I'm sure we'd frequently want to murder each other by the end of the day, but I could make sure we were doing things like story time and parks and play dates to break things up. My god, I'd even cook dinner each day! The DH wouldn't know what hit him! Let's not talk about the control I would have over who my child interacted with and what she was/was NOT exposed to.
Beware having children. These are the things I never anticipated worrying about. The desire to stay home with my child was like a gigantic slap in the face. I always styled myself as a working woman.
Until those baby blues first gazed up at me.
Monday, July 16, 2007
But I have had a taste of the good life. I have had a taste of teaching and research. I have been ruined for secretarial work, apparently. I have plenty of good skills in this particular career path. But I find that I have no interest in processing other people's projects. I take much more satisfaction in my OWN.
I have nothing to complain about. Most people around here will kill for a state job. The benefits are killer. I am going to have to do my best to just take satisfaction in a job well done until something better comes along.
I'm just an ungrateful, spoiled bitch who thinks she can do better!
I just need to keep thinking... at least I won't have things hurled at my feet by this boss... 8o)
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Meet (L to R): Cloud Peak, Glacier Bay, Alabaugh Canyon, Neapolitan, and Mixed Berries
I have no idea why I must name them for you-I'm not sure what that little conceit is all about. All my names are dippy, fru-fru things that anyone would come up with, but what can I say, I am driven to do it. I spend the whole time I am skeining them up into the final product brainstorming and testing out proper little titles for them. I should go with obnoxious ones like Rabbitch. I've seen things on her site called "Dead Rat." Aw, what the hell, here are the alternative names: (L to R) Blue-balled Zombie, Witches Tittie, Manslaughter, Two-Ton Tessie, and Black Eye. Vote for which set you like better!
There's more to come, but "Ouidah" (a rusty red, brown, and orange) needs some touch ups, and this (whatever it gets named) is too weird looking, and must be overdyed to something more suitable:
I think I've finally gotten down a system for wrapping so that the final product isn't a tangled mess to skein up, and the wrapping itself now only takes about 20 minutes if I work hard. YEAH! I might someday be able to bust out more that five skeins in 8 hours!
Sunday, July 8, 2007
1. She doesn't "beleive in addressing problems as they start...[instead she'd] rather allow them to become large problems..." at which point she "will have one meeting to address them..." and then you are out on your arse if things don't shape up. To do otherwise is "micromanagement."
This was my first inkling that I should run like hell, as fast and as far as a I could. A few weeks later...
2. She stated that she "has a license to snap at and be mean to her employees [namely, ME] because [she] is the boss, and is under a great deal of stress."
I politely disagreed and asked if she would like my vest right then, or if she would prefer that I stay out the week. This is unfortunate, and I feel a bit disloyal to the organization and facility. This particular museum is quite a gem and has a number of important stories to tell the world, but is really hindered by it's current director and it's lack of administrative continuity. (I am told I was the 9th secretary in 3 years.-you can imagine the state of things, eh?)
Nonetheless, I was quite gratified when I came home that day to find a message on my machine inviting me to interview for a secretarial position at a local university where I moonlight as an adjunct professor. They snatched me right up, and I start on the 16th!
Here's the rub-an hour after I was offerred the job AND accepted, I ran across an opening for a museum director in the town 1/2 hour away where my husband works. It's a tiny county museum-probably not much more than a jumped up closet where people dispose of the old stuff they don't care to keep anymore. BUT, it would be much more the sort of thing I would enjoy, and because it's so small, my lack of management experience probably won't hurt me. It's a good stepping stone for other options in the future. I applied. The arrogant person inside says they'll snatch me right up as soon as they see my application. My pie in the sky dreams have me hired by Friday, and never working at the University. Am I a bad woman for applying for a job after I've already accepted another? ESPECIALLY since I can't afford to burn bridges with the University since I'd like to eventually be a full professor there?
Thursday, July 5, 2007
But as far as trailer courts go, this one is decent. We aren't smashed on top of one another here, and my daughter has a fenced-in yard. The trailer isn't terribly old and it has a shaded deck. Tonight the rugrat played in the sandbox, and I rocked in the yard swing and knat. The breeze was nice, the bugs were non-existent, the neighborhood was quiet, and life... it ain't so bad.
Who needs more than this? really?