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November 27, 2006

Good day

Totally loving this warm weather!!!

Chris works a lot of evenings. That makes the 5 pm to bedtime shift really hard. Ellis is a fun companion and all, but we're both tired by then. I try to vary it up, make it as fun as possible (complete with Mommy Dinner Theatre), so that the time will pass quickly. Sometimes, if C isn't working too late, I drop him off and pick him up right before bedtime so that I can have the car.

So today Ellis and I hit up some stores. I never did end up doing the more Christmas-y items on my list (mostly pricing, so that I can make a prezzie budget). I had a gift cert to Babies R Us (man, I hate that place), so that was the only reason we went. It's so hard to find stuff there, because it's either stupid or overpriced. And there must be a bazillion June babies out there, because I can never find his size! I let Ellis wander a bit.

From across the crowded room, his eyes lit upon his one true love. Oh the joy! The tenacity!! A red Radio Flyer Tricycle!!! It's just a tad too big for him, though promises to be appropriate for the 1 1/2 year old. Size does not daunt, however. He was on that thing for about 40 mins straight. (this was a very relaxed shopping spree.) he did not get off of it while looking at other things. He tippy-toed all over the toy section on that tricycle, stopping periodically to grin and sign "car". My boy loves wheels. And he may find a certain red trike under a certain festooned evergreen tree on a certain day in December, because Grammy and Mommy are push-overs. But then, you would be, too, to see the gleam in that kid's eye.

November 25, 2006

It's snowflake time

Once again. The link to the Snowflake Tutorial I made a couple of years ago.

Two Front Teeth and all that

Well, now that Thanksgiving is over, The Question is being thrown around: so what do you want for Christmas? In my family, we shop after Thanskgiving. Far be it from us to plan ahead. In fact, it's kind of a tradition between Dad and the boys to do it all on Christmas Eve, mere hours before the Grand Exchange.

So, sorry my posts of late have mostly been directed at the family contingent of my readers. But here's the Christmas Lists of our family:

Ellis
* investments
* Kipper DVD (i saw them at Barnes and Noble)
* Signing Time DVD (he has vols I and II)
* Toy cars
* more train track from Ikea
* Board books of signs. (Like the Signing Time books
* ABC stamps
* membership to any age-appropriate museums and/or zoo and/or aquarium (this is going to be a long winter).

Me
* Gift cards to any of the following: Amazon, Old Navy/Gap/Banana, Victoria's Secret (I want to get a new bra in their biannual sale after C'mas), IKEA
* All my kitchen knives sharpened
* MC Solaar CD "Mach 6"
* membership to the Philadelphia Art Museum
* Flickr Pro
* an iPod
* the complete works of Umberto Eco (I already have the name of the rose, baudolino, and Art and Beauty in the middle ages)
* My Amazon wishlist
* Christmas ornaments/decorations from ten thousand villages

Chris
* Chris's Amazon wishlist
* gift cards to any of the following: Amazon, Borders, IKEA, Home Depot
* a shirt from Wooden Boat (size L)
* wool socks
* gloves
* fleeces (like this)
* scarf
* nautical tree ornaments
* eggnog
* apple butter
* ABC travel mug

...I'll update if I think of anything else...

I have a new cousin!

My grandma's 26th grandchild was born last night. Yay!!!
That means that my youngest cousin is younger than my kid and my niece.

I love being part of a big family.

(ooh. And now I have someone else to make the Christmas booties for!)

November 24, 2006

Thanksgiving 2006

Here are a few of my favorite pics.

Linnea doing the eerily jolly Norman Rockwell pose.


Aunt Torture. They still manage to steal kisses from my brother after 27 years.



Our little family

A good time was had by all

We spent Thanksgiving at my parents' house in Lancaster. It was like Cousin Thanksgiving. My aunt and uncle and their 4 kids were there. My other cousin and her boyfriend. And two other cousins from college in addition to 3 of my siblings. There is only a few years gap between my youngest cousin and Ellis.

These are some of my favorite of my coz Meredith's pictures. I'll share some of mine tomorrow:

My brother and coz Will playing football with two younger cozs.

The group shot, which, of course, can't be all nice and smiley.

Ellis just loved being around Jacob. He followed him around and gave him hugs. (and played with Grandma's beads.)

November 22, 2006

Thanksgiving Eve

For real. Done baking. Kitchen cleaned. Floor mopped.

Monsieurs et 'dames. Je vous presente Le Pumpkin Pie de l'An 2006:

Chris's aunt sent us this awesome "I love You" cookie cutter the other day. Since I like to make a little decoration for the top of hte pie, and since I was making a pie to take the Fall Feast at Penn. School for Deaf, the stars lined up perfectly.

We had fun at Fall Feast. Ellis's class (The Under Two's) made applesauce to contribute.

I linger as long as we can the days we go. I enjoy seeing Ellis play with the other Deaf boys (yea, there seems to be mostly boys in his class); and they're all getting to the age where they're starting to interact more. I can see subtle differences already between how Ellis interacts with hearing kids and deaf kids. I also like to talk as much as possible with the Deaf adults there. Everyone is so amiable, and I'm getting better at ASL, so it's more fun. (But, oh! I need the practice!!) When we leave PSD it's back to just our hearing world. And our constant work each day to sign more and more without the benefit of being around the native speakers. I really treasure those times there.

And finally, I present He Likes to Be Involved, Part 3. I let him help me make biscuits. He loved it. But he was so serious about it, it cracked me up!

I like to think of this one as the "Emeril Edition" given his attire of Mardi Gras beads.

Happy Thanksgiving, folks!! Safe travels and all that.

November 21, 2006

tidbits

  • As Amanda posted, Robert Altmann died. I love his work.
  • Today I made three pies. Haven't finished the cheesecake yet, but the gingersnap crust is made. One of the pies was a pumpkin-chiffon pie, which is a nice way of saying Cold Pumpkin Pie Full of Marshmallow Fluff. It was an act of love for somehow who fancied it, associating it with a pleasant memory.
  • Speaking of marshmallows...


  • He likes to be involved, Part 2.


  • Chilling after all that work in the kitchen.

    I really want to get him a play kitchen for Christmas. (Or in our case, build one from salvaged wood we already have.) Anywhere we go where there's a kitchen, he loves playing in it. But I don't think it's the right time now, because 1) we have no where to put it and 2) I think he would still end up spending all the time in my kitchen. So back to what we're doing: finding ways to help him be involved, which is ultimately what he likes.

  • Today I walked down the toy aisles at Target (or anywhere) for probably the first time ever since having a kid. Between all the crap, there were some pretty fun looking things. Ellis and I walked out there with stars in their eyes. And I'm getting some pretty good ideas for Christmas. I'm making him a lot of little things, but I want to get him one nice present from us. And I'm thinking it'll be car centered, since cars are one of his favorite things. No one told how much fun it would be thinking about giving Christmas to your kid! Even Chris is excited. Chris! Mr. Bah-Humbug-Just-Let-me-watch-a-movie! He actually told me the other day that he was starting to get excited about decorations. The first Christmas CD has sneaked its way onto the changer.
  • Ellis has recently figured out that his finger is the perfect size to fit into his nose nostril. He's also recently ascertained what size items can be to fit into said nostril...like..say, perhaps, a small bit of ground beef. I never saw it again.
  • You know. i think one of my favorite years ever was 2003. That was a good year.

November 20, 2006

Oh, the irony

So I think I sort of finished another draft today. At least I sent it to a couple of friends to read, before sending it to the guillotine (aka Advisor).
So in a sense, I'm free tonight. Free to do all the things I've been longing dreadfully to do in the evenings. The Christmas crafts, the TV shows, the shameless blog lounging.
What do think I'm in the mood to do? Just guess.
No it's not baking. (Because you see, I have to be doing that: 3 promised pies and a cheesecake.)
Still don't know?
I feel like writing! I feel like sitting down with this draft and digging into it more. I feel like sifting through a few books to see if they can help me make a point better. But, you see, now I have to be baking. So I guess I can't.

Besides it's too cold in Office/Storage Room.

Comics on a roll

Click for larger

While the middle picture isn't necessarily my problem. (In fact, pretty much the opposite of my problem, which actually is a good thing---that is, no one has written about this before; but a problem in my case b/c NO ONE has written on this before.)

The outer two pictures pretty much sum up a Day in the Life of my Office/Storage Room.

November 18, 2006

grad school

click for larger


Today's Grrrr-ness

Writing, writing, writing.

I could get a great quote, a little oomph to my point, if only I could make sense out this preface in Italian. Not just any ol' Italian, though, 16th century Italian, with lots of words that require special dictionaries that include 16th c words. And not just any ol' passage, but a preface, which means wading through flowery My Patron is Great-ness, to find just the right morsel of quotability.

Grrr. I just can't quite do it. I would have to stop, set aside a chunk of time, find that special dictionary, and have at it. And I still might not be able to come up with something I could actually quote, just summarize. And I'm not going to do that right now, because I don't need the quote and i don't have the time. It would just be nice.

But I hate it when I can't do it!!! Grrrr. Usually, I can process stuff like this well enough to at least get the point, if not an outright translated quote. But this passage is just eluding me!!

International Breastfeeding Icon

(Thanks, Keri , for the heads-up about this.)

You know how when you're in an airport in a foreign country, and you're thrilled to find little pictures of things you need, like restrooms, eating, etc. Mothering Magazine had a contest to design such a logo for breastfeeding mothers. It will be an icon to display in any public place to say that "here is a place where you can feed your baby." Whether it be a special place with chairs (and outlet for the pumps) or just to say that "breastfeeding is welcome here."

bfeedingicon.jpg

A Deaf man and father won the contest with the above graphic. I think it's kind of sweet.

In addition to benefitting nursing mothers, I hope this symbol will infiltrate the public's consciousness about breastfeeding. I've had no problems with breastfeeding in public or on airplanes, but I know many people have.

November 17, 2006

He likes to be involved


Song Friday

Another of Schubert's lieder. "Auf dem Wasser zu singen" also sung by Ian Bostridge.

Auf dem Wasser zu singen

Mitten im Schimmer der spiegelnden Wellen
Gleitet, wie Schwäne, der wankende Kahn:
Ach, auf der Freude sanftschimmernden Wellen
Gleitet die Seele dahin wie der Kahn;
Denn von dem Himmel herab auf die Wellen
Tanzet das Abendrot rund um den Kahn.

Über den Wipfeln des westlichen Haines
Winket uns freundlich der rötliche Schein;
Unter den Zweigen des östlichen Haines
Säuselt der Kalmus im rötlichen Schein;
Freude des Himmels und Ruhe des Haines
Atmet die Seel im errötenden Schein.

Ach, es entschwindet mit tauigem Flügel
Mir auf den wiegenden Wellen die Zeit;
Morgen entschwinde mit schimmerndem Flügel
Wieder wie gestern und heute die Zeit,
Bis ich auf höherem strahlendem Flügel
Selber entschwinde der wechselnden Zeit.

translation found here

In the middle of the shimmer of the reflecting waves
Glides, as swans do, the wavering boat;
Ah, on joy's soft shimmering waves
Glides the soul along like the boat;
Then from Heaven down onto the waves
Dances the sunset all around the boat.

Over the treetops of the western grove
Waves, in a friendly way, the reddish gleam;
Under the branches of the eastern grove
Murmur the reeds in the reddish light;
Joy of Heaven and the peace of the grove
Is breathed by the soul in the reddening light.

Ah, time vanishes on dewy wing
for me, on the rocking waves;
Tomorrow, time will vanish with shimmering wings
Again, as yesterday and today,
Until I, on higher more radiant wing,
Myself vanish to the changing time.

November 16, 2006

This is my 1001st entry

I'm too tired to really write much tonight. I've got to go to bed.

I just got back from the train. I was at CHOP (Children's Hosp. of Philly) this evening attending a parent's panel for cochlear implants. A few parents on the panel, a few in attendence.

I wish I hadn't gone. Other than the fact that I was totally bored. These people were so Not Like Me it was just really hard. In fact, I'm usually the type of person that can't resist participating in these kinds of things, because I'm social and I like to talk. But I couldn't find a way to say anything this evening. I was just on such a totally different wave length.

For one thing, I don't mind that my kid is deaf. And for another, I don't mind that he knows that he's deaf either. That is one fundamental difference between me and the others. And then it's just down hill from there.

It was just depressing. I know that there are many options. And that every family is different with its own needs. So why do I feel so out of place when I say that we sign and want E to be part of the Deaf community?

I just left feeling annoyed. I don't fit the mold. The white, middle-class, suburban Thing To Do is not what I'm doing. Once again!

So this post is more about how I'm feeling annoyed at once again being on the fringe, but absolutely depressed by the mainstream. I'm annoyed about being on the fringe, not because I want what the mainstream has or does. I'm annoyed because I feel like I'm tacitly judged (whether I really am or not).

I know I'm not making sense. You know what, later, I'll post the more thoughtful version, which will include the visit to the oral school that we did last week, which also ugh-ed me out.

Okay. Just ignore my brain barf.

Two positive things to end with: I got to spend quality time with my good friend Em, who was kind enough to accompany me. And I met another mother whose 2mo old was just diagnosed; at least I could offer an encouraging word. She seemed cool. I wish I could've chatted more with her.

November 15, 2006

Not the best day in the world

So last night pretty much was overall miserable. I think if you added it all up I may have gotten 3-4 hours of sleep. Certainly not consecutive. I don't know what Ellis's problem was. Nothing worked. I tried teething tablets, a drink, a diaper change, rocking, baby Tylenol, lying down with him, more rocking, screaming (him), more milk, more rocking. NOTHING!!! Finally around 6.45 am he fell asleep; exhausted, I slumped into my bed. Just as I was getting to that place of sleep, he started crying again. Grrr. Somehow in my utterly exhausted, foggy state of mind I came up with an idea that seemed perfectly okay at the time. A hot toddy. The ancestors told me to do it. I made another milk bottle and popped a few drops of Kahlua in it. He guzzled about half of it. And then we slept for two hours. I dreamed of screaming babies and how I was going to explain to Chris that I put Kahlua in the baby's bottle.

The sleeping thing is still a challenge. I will say that he does sleep through the night every one per two or three nights. So it's actually a reality at this point. The next stage in the battle towards rest is getting these nights to become more frequent. And he sleeps in his own bed. We were sort of co-sleeping for half of the night until 12 months when he would wake up and realize that he was in bed with his two favorite playmates ever. Uh...yea. That was the end of that. *honey! Get the baby off my head!*

I was supposed to get good work done on my thesis this morning while Chris took Ellis to PSD, but between exhaustion and printer woes that didn't happen.

Then we got some disappointing news. Over a month ago a company (to whom he had submitted a resume months ago) had contacted Chris about an opening. Then he had like a bazillion interviews with every one short of the cleaning lady. It seemed like they wanted him, and then it didn't work out. So we've been going along for over a month. Hoping. Starting to dream We Can Afford Groceries dreams. And then, nope. So back to Plan A that involves UPS and Starbucks and a hundred bazillion hours and a crazy whacked out schedule and no family routine and no sleep 'til Brooklyn. And resting in the knowledge that He who sees the sparrow is also caring for us.

But there were happy things today, too. For one, I got a haircut. Yay! FINALLY! My nice friend watched Ellis, gave me a hug, and sent me home with dinner.

So anyway. I haven't written much about Real Life Stress, but that's a glimpse into the background story of my other life, when I'm not writing a thesis, taking care of Ellis, including the deaf aspects (e.g. learning ASL, dr's appts, school stuff), and moving towards a new grad school application.

November 14, 2006

MC who and other musical tales

Ever since Funke posted MC Solaar's "Le belle et le bad boy" the other day, I've just beenobsessing over MC Solaar.

Les sous ensembles dans les grands ensemble, s'assemble. Le belle et le bad boy It's been stuck in my head for days!

Unfortunately the album Cinqueme As is no longer in circulation, and someone on Amazon wanted to sell it used for $75. No way! Since I don't have any kind of mp3 player, iTunes isn't really an option. i don't want to be tied to my computer to listen to an album. (Am I old-fashioned to want an album?)

I did preview Mach 6 at B&N last night, and I was favorably impressed. I love his use of words. French is a beautiful language to rap in, because it elides where English is more "choppy," for lack of a technical term. So much a literary genre as much as a musical one.

I liked "Jumelle." I feel like there was a fair amount of American influence in this one. (but like what do I know about rap?)

But I'm ALL OVER "T'inquiete"

It's amazing. It's so...dramatic.

PutumayoNOLACmas.jpg

In other music news. I'm thrilled to see Putumayo's Christmas in New Orleans.

Prince of the night

I saw this at Dial m. What looks like about a 10yr old Vienna Choir Boy singing the "Queen of the Night Aria" from Mozart's opera, The Magic Flute.
They weren't kidding. This is astounding! But what's next? Career? Burnout? Vocal damage?

On the other hand, you kind of wonder if the kid did it, like any kid would try to conquer the soccer field or other such challenge.

November 13, 2006

old friends, new bloggers

I have two friends from church who are blogging.

Chris's best friend, Pete, is on his way to Italy to studying Latin in an immersion environment. He's sold on speaking Latin. His blog Sanctum Stercus ("holy crap") is to keep us abreast of his adventures. (Note to Aunt Sperlonga: Pete is going to be south of Naples, do you have any suggestions for a church situation?)

My good friend and mom to one of Ellis's peer group has also started a family blog. She's posted pics of Ellis's Peer signing "E" (what a sweet friend) and her Hero Soccer Boys. Yay for sucking friends into my blogging obsession! :-) Do visit Jonesville: Population 5. (Hope you don't mind the publicity, C! *grin*)

November 12, 2006

Late Sunday night

I can hear Ellis's steady breathing of slumber coming over the baby monitor. He's turning into such a big kid. He's a toddler. Each day he's more of a kid and less of a baby. I'm almost embarrassed to admit, but I'm kind of sad. I mean, I'm glad, definitely, but a little sad, too. That was a special time.

I think he's weaned, too. It's been a couple of weeks now. At 15 months he was still nursing a few times over a 24 hr period, and then somehow we got down to just in the morning when he got up. And then one morning we had to go somewhere quickly, so I rushed our routine and skipped the nursing and handed him a milk bottle. And the next morning, I just thought, "I'm done." And I haven't nursed since. I think if the opportunity presented itself, he'd take it, but he's perfectly happy with the bottle/cup, too. I didn't feel anything when I stopped nursing, no fullness, no pain. So I guess we truly weaned. I feel a little guilty. Sixteen months of nursing is good, but there's part of me that says that i should've gone to 18 or 20 or two years. I'm glad to be done, but at the same time, I'm a little sad.

We've had a busy weekend. A church event last night, worship today. I volunteered for Nursery Duty last night and then realized I was scheduled for Duty tonight. I've spent a lot of time in the nursery negotiating social relations of the Under Two Crowd. Is it any wonder I have a headache? Sharing is an abstract concept. It requires you to think beyond yourself. The Under Two's are just beginning to think; how much more is it to think beyond oneself? It's hard with Ellis being deaf, too. I can't call to him across the room, "Don't take!!" It's a social situation that requires immediate attention, because the offense is so quickly forgotten. It's hard explaining to him not to take, because inevitably I take the pilfered toy from him. He looks at me without understanding as I try to explain to him to give. How much more is Give Back? Ellis climbed on top of the toy kitchen in the church nursery. In addition to sharing, I hop around the nursery teaching him to sit when encountering a chair and not to climb (skills we are also working on at home).

I've also expended a lot of energy of late negotiating my own social relations. People who I don't know well. People who are not Like Me. People with whom I would like to spend more time. My baby is becoming a toddler; how I mother him changes. My husband works a bazillion of insane hours; how we maintain a relationship changes.

And recently, I feel like I've spent a lot of mental energy negotiating my own self relations. I've felt really stupid for a lot of this past week. And it's hard to explain why (beyond hormones). It's like I'm walking down the street, feeling like I should be walking down the street. And then I glimpse my reflection in a window that I pass, and I feel exposed like I'm on the wrong street and everyone else knows it. Feelings of inadequacy? isolation?

I'm exhausted. Hopefully, I will not spend part of tonight on the floor of Ellis's room.

November 10, 2006

"Song" Friday

In lieu of Poetry Friday, I thought I'd do "Song" Friday. (I intend to do mostly songs, but I reserve the right to post a piece that isn't officially a song if I want to.)

This week's song will be Schubert's Erlkonig, because I'm sure there's enough of my readership that haven't heard that should. This piece is in every anthology, every survey. It sits comfortably in the "canon." I've listened to it 500 hundred bazillion times. I've analyzed it, written papers about it, probably taught more than any other piece, but I never get tired of it. I still tear up at the end! (My students must think I'm crazy, when I'm wiping my eyes, "sorry guys, it's just so sad." [yea, try teaching this when you're pregnant.])

Erlkonig is a classic lied, that is, a German song; mostly a nineteenth-century genre. It's about a boy riding with his father on a horse, through the woods on a "dark and stormy night." The boy is plagued by the king of the elves, who tries to entice him away. The boy cries out to his father, "Mein Vater, mein vater!" who reassures him that it is nothing but the wind and not to let his imagination get away with him. The story gets progressively more intense. After not getting his way, the erlkonig decides to take the boy by force; to which the boy cries frantically, "My father! He's taking me!" This is also the climax of the song. The father doesn't reply this time, rather the horse's pounding feet (portrayed by the piano) intensify as the father races home. He gets there; the horse comes to a stop (in the piano); and we are told in reverant tones that in his arms the boy lay dead, "In seine armen das kind war todt." What is a boy's nightmare? What is a real threat?

Here's the song with Ian Bostridge singing. Listen for three voices of the boy, the erlkonig, and the father. The horse is in the piano.

Erlkonig

wer reitet so spat durch nacht und wind
es ist der vater mit seinem kind
er hat den knaben wohl in den arm
er fabt ihn sicher, er halt ihn warm
mein sohn, was birgst du so bang dein gesicht?
siehst vater du den erlkonig nicht?
der erlkonig mit kron' und schweif?
mein sohn, es ist ein nebelstreif

mein liebes kind, komm spiel' mit mir!
gar schone spiele spiel' ich mit dir
manch bunte blumen sind an dem strand
meine mutter hat manch gulden gewand

mein vater, mein vater un horest du nicht
was erlenkonig mir leise verspricht?
sei ruhig, bleib' ruhig mein kind
in durren blattern sauselt der wind

willst feiner knabe du mit mir gehn?
meine tochter sollen dich warten schon
meine tochter fuhren den nachtlichen reihn
und wiegen und tanzen und singen dich ein

mein vater, mein vater, und siehst du nicht dort
erlkonigs tochter an dusterem ort?
mein sohn, mein, sohn, ich seh' es genau
es scheinen die alten weiden so grau

ich liebe dich, mich reizt deine schone gestalt
und bist du nicht willig, so brauch' ich gewalt
mein vater, mein vater, jetzt fabt er mich an
erlkonig hat mir ein leid getan!

dem vater grauset, er reitet geschwind
er halt in den armen das achzende kind
erreicht den hof mit muhe und not
in seine armen das kind war tot

quick linguistic quiz

This result made me laugh out loud!!! (As seen at Dr. Crazy's.)
I've been living in Philly for what? A YEAR?! Guess this is where I belong.

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: Philadelphia

Your accent is as Philadelphian as a cheesesteak! If you're not from Philadelphia, then you're from someplace near there like south Jersey, Baltimore, or Wilmington. if you've ever journeyed to some far off place where people don't know that Philly has an accent, someone may have thought you talked a little weird even though they didn't have a clue what accent it was they heard.

The Midland
The South
The Inland North
The Northeast
Boston
The West
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes

November 9, 2006

Coffee and Advil

It's just one of those days.

November 8, 2006

looks too good!

I get regular epicurious.com emailings. Normally, I'm like "yea, whatever." But today two caught my eye. To come back to---

Caramel Pumpkin Pie

Halibut Pot Pie with Mashed Potatoe Crust (thus it looks more like shepherd's pie; and it says that it works well with salmon or mahi-mahi)

November 7, 2006

I'm a dork

So I've been having trouble for months with Blogger. I can't seem to leave comments on Blogger blogs in my browser. I have to open my other browser to do so. Which has probably saved me from flaunting my stupidity a few times, but whatever. This has been going on for like a year and has been kind of frustrating.

I just realized that it was my cookie settings. Duh.

book for the day

A conversation earlier with a friend prompted me to do a quick search, and this book caught my eye. To come back to--

Music and Technology in the Twentieth Century Hans-Joachim Braun, ed. (Johns Hopkins Press, 2002)

Anyone read it? Or could suggest other books of similar ilk?

UPDATE: Did anyone catch that weird comment spam left here? I've deleted it now. It was probably the most interesting comment spam I've ever gotten (except for a couple silly poems once). About Artificial Intelligence and religion and computers. Hmm. Didn't realize the book above was so controversial. Ha.

New song for the day

Katie Melua, "Nine Million Bicycles" Album: Nine Million Bicycles (2005)
Good instrumentals. Pleasing melody. Lyrics cutely poetic. (I mostly listen for instrumentals, though. Is that bad?) As an artist has great potential, but not tapping into it all yet. But, like what do I know about pop music? I'm still getting over the fact that Led Zeppelin is the name of a band.

November 6, 2006

Blogging just gets better

I've added a few things in my recent past that have greatly improved my quality of life in blogging: Google Reader, which has allowed me to keep up with what's updated, and Google Video, which has opened the world of videoblogging, which is especially important when you have the Cutest Kid in the World.

So, I just want to shout out to Funke for giving me my newest blogging adventure. Radio Blog!! (no, it's not Google)

I'm still exploring its possibilities. For now there's this little window popup that is playing all this cool music. I have no idea how it got there, but I'm totally pumped at this FREE venue to find new music.

Check out this track. A French dude Serge Gainsbourg. I can't really figure him out. Kind of groovy. Kind of retro. This song about Dr. Jekyl and Mister Hyde cracked me up.

That was after "Qui est in qui est out"!

Who IS this guy??

Anyway, I have soft spot for French music of ANY century. So this was a fun find.

Walk at Pennypack Park

This afternoon was one of those days when you have to get out and enjoy the fresh air. Since Chris was working there was no thesis work to be done. My friend and I went to the local incarnation of Fairmount Park with our kids. Her Maddie is 8 mos, and she's a social baby like Ellis. They were Thrilled to be together. They kept giggling at each other. It was so cute. Then Ellis tried to climb all over her stroller.

The peak of Fall's colors is over. But the pathway was lined with copper beaches whose remaining leaves created an amber canopy around is.

November 4, 2006

Christmas shoes!

We had another baby shower for a church friend this afternoon. Her baby is due in early December, and she doesn't know if it's a boy or girl. I know these are blue, but I thought they could go either way. And I couldn't resist the Christmas-y-ness!

I'm working on my own bootie pattern. But it's hard to figure out how to work out the kinks. Since these were for a gift, they are largley based on Heather Bailey's Bitty Bootie pattern. Even though it's more work, I prefer to line my booties, even though the pattern doesn't necessarily call for it. And I don't like how the toes turn up in her pattern. Hmmm. Maybe I'm just being too picky.

Anyway, I was pleased with how they turned out. Now it's back to thesisizing. (a few more details are on Flickr)

November 2, 2006

Ellis meets Pigeons in Rittenhouse Square

Chris had something to do in Center City today, so we met him afterwards for lunch in Rittenhouse Square. Due to a few strategically thrown crackers, Ellis had no trouble attracting pigeons to his vicinity. He loved them! I tried to repress my feelings of revulsion. As anyone who's traveled with me knows, I hate pigeons.

November 1, 2006

2 more memes

Alli tagged me for the Come as You Are Blog Party"

This is "as I really am" wie es eigentlich gewesen

The next I saw at Tulip Girl's and was intrigued:

What have you done?
01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain if Lookout Mtn counts
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said “I love you” and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game (and survived the crush afterwards)
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby’s diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk.
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe.
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Played touch football
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business if my 8yr old cookie venture counts
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an “expert”
83. Got flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Kissed on the first date
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently well enough to have a decent conversation
95. Performed in Rocky Horror
96. Raised (raising) children (child)
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Touched a stingray
110. Broken someone’s heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school Yes, there was one year in the past 23 years that I wasn't in school.
131. Parasailed
132. Touched a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey
135. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident It was just a fender-bender, but it was my fault
150. Saved someone’s life

Nov 1

Or

Crap! I forgot to upload October pics into Flickr. I wasted a month!!!! AARGH!

Flickr Pro would be a nice Graduation/Christmas present.

new soundtrack, new mojo

Funke inspired me to do what I've been meaning to do for awhile: dig out my Bjork and import her into iTunes. With new music in hand, all of a sudden I'm coming out the writer's block that has been plaguing me for weeks. Fresh sounds to divide and to mark the time I sit here writing.

Somehow Badly Drawn Boy, Nickel Creek, Palestrina, and In-Grid don't cut it anymore. They were the soundtrack for my last draft, and listening to them keeps me stuck in the mire of How I Was Wrong and Didn't Even Know It.

Now that I think about it, almost every Significant Paper that I've written has its own soundtrack, and I can't listen to that music without thinking about that paper.

I've written a few pages so far this evening, and I think I see how the rest is going to come out.

'Course, it could also be that my mom is praying for me.