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September 30, 2006

Friends visit!!

My college friends Grace and Joanna (not pictured; she had to go home early *is sad*) came to visit me last weekend. We always have such a great time. I had to go to a library right next to Independence Hall, so we posed with the hall, and Grace played in the park with Ellis, while I peeked at the books.

September pics up on Flickr. Since I don't have a pro account, I tend to just upload a bunch at the end of the month. Featured this month are: my new niece Katarina, my great-aunt and uncle's 50th wedding anniversary party, and Grace's visit.

I heart Google

Dude! I know Google is like a major corporation and everything, so everything left and academic and humanities in me wants to be embarrassed for loving it. But it's time to just admit (like I haven't been) I LOVE GOOGLE!!!!

First there was the Google search engine, wh. has been my engine of choice forever.
Then Google Images.
Then Google Maps. (High five!)
Then Google Reader. (I love you!)
Then Google Video. (*kisses*)
And now Google Scholar! Does it get any better?! Seriously!!! This is like waaaaay better than WorldCat, which, I'm sorry, annoys me. You can browse through BOOKS. ONLINE. They have them scanned. You don't have to be all fiddly with search terms...just throw stuff out there and reap the benefits. my day is totally rocking!

September 28, 2006

Starbucks and Aldo

Currently pondering how much the Starbucks logo and the Aldine mermaid/siren thingy look alike. Coincidence? Subliminal message?

September 27, 2006

The Sunlight Tickles

Today when I was feeding Ellis his dinner, the spoon kept catching the light streaming in through the window. When I realized it, I made the light dance on the ceiling. To say that it amused Ellis would be an understatement.

September 24, 2006

Yes, I'm going to finish.

(Click to enlarge)

September 22, 2006

shoes, niece

My sister just sent a picture of Her Prettiness, baby Katarina modeling her new shoes!

September 21, 2006

yellow, orange, cool

On Saturday, we painted the kitchen a lovely, creamy pale yellow. Ellis got a haircut at the barber with Grammy while over there for the day. He's pictured with his little farm animals that he loves. He walks around signing "cow" and "horse."

The first sacrificial pumpkin of the season, with perfect twisty stem.

Bewitched by the Flying Toasters at such a tender age.

Playing in the lane out back which is part of the state park property (as is our house). The days have been cool and fresh. Ellis enjoys the sticks, the rocks, the black walnuts that come down encased in limey green balls (we play catch with them).

what I learned in school today


According to the Oxford English Dictionary, it is the distinctive epithet of the ancient Slavonic alphabet (called also ‘Hieronymian’, ‘Illyrian’, and ‘Slovenish’) still retained in the service-books of the Roman Catholics of the Slavonic rite in Dalmatia, etc.

It's also an immensely helpful bit of information for my thesis.

And surely, a triple word score winner. I'll give anyone a prize who can use "Glagolitic" totally naturally in an everyday conversation.

September 20, 2006

I want this Tshirt

Thanks to Linnea for acquainting me with PhDcomics.com. So hilarious!!!


Dial "M" has a link to me.
Ack. Now I have to be smart.
And I better quit calling my thesis stupid.

Just kidding. (Hey, I'd love all my posts to be brilliant, but they aren't.)
Actually they have a great post about blogs and discursive responsibility.

Hey, check out the new student site for my discipline's national meeting. I've helped with it the past few years, and it's always fun to see the final product. Wish I could go! Somehow Los Angeles is so unattainable. It's a bummer, too, because I've been to the past 5 meetings and always enjoy them so much. A real pick-me-up. It's because I'm social and the rest of my year is spent alone at a desk surrounded by the Paper Mongol Hordes.

Anyway, I worked on my thesis today. My mom can come on Tuesdays to watch Ellis. It ended up being kind of a weird day, but I did get some good work done. I'm pulling together a Where I Stand Draft. I think it'll be easier to fill in gaps/answer questions if I have a solid structure already in place.

I visited my manuscript last week. (Which you already know if you watched the movie) There is NOTHING like visiting the ms in person. I know this thing like the back of my hand, but I am never prepared for the sensation of seeing it in person. I hope that someday I get paid to visit manuscripts in person.

I'm also coming to terms with the fact that sometimes when you research, you find, and that's great. But sometimes you don't find, and that's hard, because when do you stop looking? Well, now. I'm done looking. I feel like I've searched enough to have made a responsible account for my situation. I've talked with librarians who agree. And my advisor always has an encouraging "focus on what you can know." But it's really unnerving not to find!

anyway...future blog plans include a review of a recent Medeski album... (ack, now I'm committed!)

September 19, 2006

reporting from Avery Island

Fun article in today's CSM about the Tabasco factory on Avery Island, in south Louisiana. We always meant to go out to visit there, but never did. We had a time for a Saturday in the bayou, it was usually in a canoe in Barataria, paddling through former haunts of the pirate Jean Lafitte. *nostalgic sigh*

In other Louisiana-ish news, the new All the King's Men is released this Friday. I remember when they were filming parts of this a few years ago in our old neighborhood in New Orleans.

September 18, 2006

my mind must need refreshing

As Sarah aptly put it, hobbies are a mental power nap. When I've been thinking about a lot, when I just can't take another minute of pulling Ellis out another potentially life-threatening situation, or when I'm just plain tired, I need to interact with color and creativity. I need to! I need color. And I need to DO.

Well, the next best thing is running around in blogosphere to see what others are doing. It sure takes a lot less time. Five minutes in after-dinner computer time, reveals: really sweet ideas for a little girl's first birthday. Check out the flickr group for bitty booties. So cute!!!!

Blog catch-up on crafties

A couple of weeks ago, I was bent over the sewing machine in desperate earnestness as I embarked on my newest venture: baby shoes.
We had a baby shower for my sister and my new baby niece, Katarina, and I wanted something really sweet for her. And, face it, it's WAY FUN having a little girl in the family. Much as I love all the sweet boy stuff out there, there's something really fun about pink and bows.

It took me several hours to come up with a pattern, which, I thankfully tested first with paper and tape. (That could've been a maddening experience. *shudder*) I wanted something pretty and lined. This blue pair was my first attempt, and it bears the marks of it, being a lopsided. It's lined with a soft flannel, perfect for baby feet. There's an elastic band holding them together. Alas, I realized that they were two big for my two-month old niece, so I started a second pair. I tried the first shoe on her, before I made the second, and it was way too small for her looong feet. It really will only fit a really new born, so with thesis needs pressing, I haven't gotten around to finishing the pair, which is sad, because I just love it. Already, I could tell that it was getting smoother, so hopefully after a few more pairs, I'll get the hang of this baby shoe thing.

To go with the blue pair of shoes, I made a cute, felt headband, inspired by katiek's genius. I overlapped the ribbon and made a casing for a little elastic on the bottom. I'm not a fan of the garter-looking baby headbands out there, but I thought this looked okay, and had the potential to fit well--if I had made it the right size for Katarina's head!! *sigh* poor girl. Next time, I won't try to surprise and just get the right measurements.

I have to put a hold on fun crafties until I finish my thesis. ---- Though we did paint the kitchen a happy, pale yellow on Saturday. Okay, NO MORE!!! WORK, WORK, WORK!

September 12, 2006

Wherein Videoblogging rocks

UPDATE: I'm having trouble making this work. It will be awesome when it does, so check back. It should work now.

EDITED TO ADD: Nick asked in a recent comment my thoughts on Google Video versus YouTube. Having no prior experience with latter and only a tiny bit with the former, I thought I'd try both, and compare. So far, I feel like Google streams better. *shrug* thoughts?:

September 11, 2006

Stripey ear molds and lighty chickens

We haven't had a doctor's visit in a couple of months, and man, I was gettin' complacent there. So we hauled off to see the audiologist today. Complete with arriving at the train station two minutes before the train and realizing that I forgot my cash and the ticket counter was closed. So we skipped that train, went to Wawa to get cash and snacks, and arrived at our appt 15 min late. Thankfully, our audiologist is very nice.

Ellis is such an amazing kid. He loves living. He loves riding on the train, he loves his snacks, he loves the audiologist, he loves his hearing test, he loves the little chicken that lights up when he hears a sound and looks at it, and he loves everyone that passes and smiles at him, which he rewards with a big cheesy grin. He was such a big boy today. He sat in the chair all by himself today in the hearing booth, and he didn't squirm or try to climb. He was focused and attentive. I sat on the floor in front of him, blowing bubbles and doing whatever, to distract him so that he would only look at the lighty chicken in response to a sound that was played through a wire stuck into his ear. He did so great! He kept smiling and signing chicken. Funny boy. Today he had two hearing tests, with and without aids, and he got new ear molds. Since this will probably be his last ear mold before he gets a cochlear implant, I ordered him one in fun colors, blue and green stripey. I can't wait until they're ready. And, man, they were expensive, I can't wait until this Medical Assistance thing goes through, so we don't have costs like this anymore. Sheesh!

When we had some down time waiting for a hearing booth or for the audiologist to calibrate the hearing aids, Ellis wandered around the hallways, showing off his new walking talent and waving at all the audiologists and passersby. He sure has a way of taking over a place.

After two hearing tests and new earmolds, we were pooped. Waiting for our train, we wandered around University City for awhile and went to Starbucks. He almost fell asleep in his stroller (which he NEVER does...and I mean NEVER)!

As we stood waiting for the train, the date "September 11" blazed on the lighty screen with the minutes of remaining wait for R2 Warminster, R6 Norristown, R5 Doylestown, etc. It seemed odd that we should all be standing there in our absorbed little lives with such an iconic date gleaming over us. I wondered what the platform looked like at the very moment five years ago, at 5:50 in the afternoon. Probably ominously empty as people, who would have otherwise stood on the platform in selfish impatience, clung to each other in their homes, on the street, in front of TV's. "September 11" in red lights over us, blazing its silent memorial.

September 10, 2006

sold out

So, after almost four years of blogging almost every day, I've decided to start getting paid for blogging. It seems to be the hip thing to do. Hey, why not? I definitely need the sweet moolah. I have a thesis to defend in Louisiana soon; could use some help with that plane ticket.

Expect to see Google ads floating their way around here soon. Man, I love Google!

I also hope to become more focused in my blogging. I've been kind of blah, blah about it. Posting pics of my cute kid and other easy whatnots. I'm going to try to have theme days around here.

One of the things I want to write more about is music. Because, hello, I'm a musicologist! yet, I never seem to write about music. I never listen; I never write. My thesis is only barely about music. It's more about the manuscript that happens to have some elements of music in it. So I never actually write about music. So even if it's just a brief album review like the other day, I plan to write about music more. Hmm, there were two other things I wanted to write more about, and now I can't think of what they were. Think, think, think. What were they? Maybe one of them was about my thesis. Yea, I think that's it. I'm facing the final deadline in a little less than two months...like seven weeks or less. So maybe I can get some online accountability. Whatever.

I have a question. One thing Prof'ing Mama wrote about the other day was a writing group. So what's that supposed to be/look like/how's it supposed to help? Everyone who is part of a writing group seems to derive such support out of it, and frankly, I'm curious. When my stupid thesis is over, I have an article I want to work (more) on, but feel all alone, because well, I am. The only dept I have connections to is 1200 miles away. So what's all this writing group stuff? This Social Bug Slash Aspiring Academic would like to know.

September 7, 2006

Ducks in a Row Movie

This is a movie of Ellis in his bath. (duh) I caught doing his hilarious squeezy face, which i think he picked up off his Signing Time DVD, watching the kids sign "cold." It always cracks me up. He also signs "duck" sort of, and after he throws the ducks in the bath he signs "uhoh". (I narrated those moments, because like any kid's early babble, the mom knows that particular child's Kidese best.) On my connection the sound isn't entirely synced with the movie, so I hope it is with yours. At any rate, you get the idea.

The Better Bi-Ped Movie

UPDATE: I've replaced the previous movie with this one. It's shorter, brighter, more relevant, and, set outside, includes Ellis waving at the cars and construction on the street.

(I discovered Google Video!)

September 6, 2006

if I had an iPod, I'd be grooving down the sidewalk

But since I don't, I'm grooving at my desk.

My brother introduced me to the album Rendez-vous by the n. Italian singer In-Grid, named after Ingrid Bergman by her cinema-loving family. Apparently, she is something of a hit (but like, what do I know? I couldn't even recognize J. Lo on the cover of a magazine), especially her single "Tu es foutu" (translated in the English version of her album "You promised me").

It's fun music with catchy electronica dance beats underpinning the straightforward French lyrics and tango/accordian influence, doubtless drawn from her native Italy, giving an enticing feel to a few of the tracks. The lyrics are so simple that I can understand a lot of them, which actually makes it fun for me, because then I can groove along in French and feel all that for knowing another language. (like I do when I can groove along in Latin to chant...oh wait...nevermind.) "La,la,la, l'amour..." I mean, it doesn't get a whole lot deeper than that.

In-grid has a wonderful voice that's pleasing and compelling. Musically, it is a straightforward album. Solid, well-done, interesting, and true to the artist's own voice. But I wouldn't call it inventive, imaginative, or excitingly unique. It is an early album; I'm looking forward to hearing more.

my desk

Well, we moved my desk, bookshelves, and the filing cabinet, which I've taken over to deal with the Paper Mongol Hordes into the storage room, which is actually sort of like another old bedroom during this house's days as a tavern, but it's separate from the space that is sectioned off as our apartment. So there are two bright windows, and I'm set apart from the rest of our little life. And we have more space in the living room and we don't have to stare at my desk clutter in the living room. Because face it, Chris doesn't think piles everywhere is an adequate organization system to present to our visiting public. Hmph.

It's the closest thing I have ever had to an office in the home arena. It feels good. Unfortunately it does not make me feel smarter or figure out more how to have a clue with what I'm doing on my thesis. But hey, I tried.

Well, I better get back to not having a clue what I'm doing.

September 4, 2006

My baby is a bi-ped!!!

Ellis has been gradually finding his feet. From pulling himself up, to inching along holding onto things, to letting go while standing for a few seconds. But he wasn't ready to let go and walk. He loved walking while holding on to something...anything from our hands to the furniture to a chair that would budge. Sometimes we could coax him into a few steps if we let go of his hand, but he just wasn't ready yet.

Then this past week, he figured how to push himself into a standing position from a sitting position unaided by something to hold onto. The look of pride on his face proved that it was starting to click in his head.

Then yesterday afternoon, Chris called me into Ellis's room where they were playing. I looked in, Ellis looked at me, and walked across the room into my arms! He is so excited that he sometimes falls over in it. He holds out his arms, wiggles his hands, and grins and laughs. He knows he's done it! He can walk!!

It's crazy, because in just the past day he's gone from a cruiser to a walker. Now that he's figured this out, he's so thrilled that he keeps walking, albeit a little unsteadily yet. And if he really wants to move, he'll resort to a crawl. But he's made the transition mentally.

I'm so proud of him!!!

blog labor

Happy Labor Day, everyone!

We had a great weekend with my family, but it's good to be home.

My blog labor for today is to finally fix my blogroll into something that approximates current reading practices. I was trying Blogroll for awhile to try to sort through blogs I want to read, but it wasn't really doing it for me. Google Reader has changed my blog life.

September 3, 2006

cozy weekend

The weather system named Ernesto has brought us cloudy skies, rain, and chilly temps this weekend. It's been fun to wear jeans and sip hot chai.

Due to crispness in the air, I've been compelled to keep cozy smells coming from my oven and to curl up in chair with a piece of fabric creating sweet little designs for my niece to wear.

On Friday evening, we had a couple of friends over. I made what is my new fall favorite recipe: Butternut Squash and Mushroom Lasagna. It was really simple and absolutely delicious. It felt very fall-ish to be cooking with butternut squash. For dessert, we had homemade, aromatic peach pie which simmered in the oven while we ate.

I've also been crafting up a storm. Not quite to postable results. There's a baby shower for my sister and her baby on Monday at our cousin's house in Lancaster. I'm super excited about what I've been able to do so far. But i'm not counting my chickens yet, until I see the final results, which will be on Monday, since I need to use my mom's sewing machine for the final step.

UPDATE: Sorry. I didn't realize this original post was up four times. I had kept getting an error message when I first tried to post, and so what do you when get an error message? retry! again and again. Well, eventually all the retries went through. It was not a rhetorical device by which I intended to place emphasis by means of repetition. Though the butternut squash lasagna bears emphasizing. Try it!!
Check out these sweet little dresses made from vintage pillow cases.