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January 31, 2007

spying

I can see a traffic light from where I sit on my couch. The changing lights catch my attention out of the corner of my eye.

The green is only green for FOUR SECONDS! I keep counting, because it seems so unreal. Is that legal? Is that enough time for even one car to make it through an intersection? I guess they have engineers to figure these things out.

Chris thinks I'm a freak for obsessing about the traffic light so much. I just see it there and it pervades the evening's conciousness.

I got one of my Christmas wishes

My deep windowsills are filled with blooming bulbs.

A tall amaryllis with five red blossoms, and delicate paperwhite narcissi chiming in.

They make me happy.

January 30, 2007

How to be cool in 1000 words

So many posts to be written. So much of my thesis to be written. So many phone calls to make. Dishes to wash. And now it's the next day from when I started this post, so let's try to finish, okay?

Anyway, I'll try to touch on one of the many blog posts that I want to write right now. Even though it's not waiting its turn behind other blog posts in my brain. I read New Kid's post this afternoon about what it feels like to be on the hiring end of the market, to see all those shiny candidates and feel a bit lack-lustre yourself. And I think one of the things she said gave me a point at which draw some of my academic angst lately. ('Cause I wouldn't be a real grad student without academic angst.) The feeling of my work is so irrelevant! Not in the sense of, I'm studying old stuff, not caring for orphans in Romania; my work is so irrelevant, more like She's writing a cool thesis on the Velvet Underground; mine is on a manuscript few people would care about; my work is so irrelevant. (Not to knock your thesis, Funke; I've given up trying to be as cool as you. *grin*)

It all comes from this conversation I had last October. If you've been following my grad school saga, you'll know that I decided to end my program with a terminal master's and reapply for a newer PhD program in my new city (aka Local Fabulous University) for many good reasons and I have my dept's blessing, so all's good. Well, I got accepted at Local Fab U last spring, but wait-listed for funding (it's a very competitive program, so I was flattered to even get that far). They invited me to visit, were very encouraging, tried through late-April (!) to get me a package, but to no avail. So I was all set to reapply, because this is the place I REALLY, really want to go to. In Oct, I went to talk to the Director of Grad Studies about how to make this application a successful one. He told me that the reason I didn't get an offer straight up last spring was that my interests weren't broad enough. Yea, I was strong and definitive in my area, but I needed to show that I had diverse research interests.

[begin rant]
okay. I'll let myself go off on this tangent.
So medieval studies, which you know encompasses a good 700 years (we don't really start until 800 or 900 CE) is not diverse enough for it to be considered broad to have an interest in 11th century theology and 14th century vernacular? I'll admit I was a little annoyed. Because when you're selling yourself in 1000 words to a major research university, don't you want to show that you have a pretty focused idea about what you want to do? I did mention secondary interests, but I didn't dwell on them. I thought I had a pretty kickass personal statement. And I was further annoyed because my competition was these fresh undergrads from elite schools who have vague ideas about what they want to do. So is that the reason for the need to be diverse? to talk about a variety of things you're interested, because you don't have enough focus to be specific about the one? [not to knock to the poor, fresh undergrads--but I was pretty focused back then, too; that's why I was applying to grad school--furthermore, my focus hasn't changed a whole lot; though my dream dissertation has now been taken over by two Important Scholars that have monopolized the use of the archives to others. Grrr.] Maybe I don't know what I'm talking about. Maybe my assumptions were all wrong to begin with. I just found it odd that I was waitlisted because I had too much focus.
[end rant]

But that begin a whole wave of self-doubt. Am I not interesting enough? Cool enough? What are my broad interests? I have some interests that would be considered broad, but I don't want to invest the time it would take in order to do them well, at least right now anyway. That's why I'm not focusing on them. (One such interest is the legacy of Hegel in 19th c music...especially Wagner; I think if you look at Gesamtkunstwerk through the eyes of Hegel it recasts our Grout and Palisca [famous music history textbook] assumptions. But then I would have to get solid in German and understand Hegel. Aiyiyi. I know enough to get me in trouble, but not enough to get me out.) It's all so exhausting. I'm interested in international hip-hop and R &B, because I find it fascinating how other cultures fuse what are essentially American genres into their own culture's music language to come up with something very interesting and often politically laden (as those genres traditionally are). But I know so very little about pop music in general that I would have to learn the history of entire genres in order to form a coherent statement of interest. It's all so exhausting!

But those kinds of projects seem more "relevant." The same fifteen people aren't necessarily going to read them. But I like medieval studies! Not that I don't like the others, but it's Car Musicology to me...theorizing about the music as I listen to it in the car (which is where a lot of my serious listening happens; sitting still with awesome CD player; toddler safely confined and entertained by the other cars).

Ugh. This post isn't really going anywhere, and now it's starting to annoy me. But it's really indicative of where I am right now. Unsure. Well, sure of where I ultimately want to end up in terms of a dissertation project, which seems to unattainably in the future.

Rather loose strings of thought flapping in the wind. Am I cool enough to grab onto a couple of those strings?

I didn't reapply for the fall. I want to use my thesis as a writing sample, and there are a couple of item that could improve my overall application that I was not able to address this fall (including a finished thesis). The deadline was mid-December, and I let it slip by me. It's taken me a while to talk about it. For some reason, I felt really weird about watching that date go by.

Not to mention some family issues that aren't necessarily related to the fact that I have a child and want at least one more, my reapplication to the grad school of my dreams leaves me in a quandry. And I shouldn't be fussing over it all anyway, until I finish my stinkin' thesis!

File this post under Brain Barf. (since barf was on our minds of late)

UPDATE: You know, I don't want this post to be about complaining about the results of my application last year. Yea, I'm confused about some aspects, but I know so much more goes into application evaluations beyond individual people. For instance, they may have a particular class forming and they see a certain dynamic/representation of interests or whatever. I don't really know. This post is about greater angst articulated in this particular instance through the conversation I had in October.

I also find it very interesting that a lively discussion is being held on my discipline's listserv about diversity of topics (and taking the road less traveled) in relation to diss topics and future employability.

January 29, 2007

A First

I'm in the middle of another post on academic angst, but first I have to interrupt with this breaking news. We have another first in the life of Ellis: Vomiting! Poor kid, we were out shopping with our friends this evening. He had a hot dog at Costco. We came home, got ready for bed, everything seemed fine, except that he was pushing his milk away, which is like unheard of, and then the Volcano of Undigested Hot Dog!

We were all stunned. All three of sat there for a couple of seconds; Ellis no doubt thinking "what just happened?" and we are thinking "what do we do with all this barf?" I have officially been barfed upon for the first time.

He seems fine now. I'm hoping it was just the hot dog (and that we do not infect anyone with a potential bug).

Anyway. Just thought you'd like to know.

NEXT AFTERNOON UPDATE: I think it was the hot dog. He seems okay; no future incidents, though he won't eat, but wants to drink milk, so I take that as a good sign. He's a little sniffly, too, which may have something to do with the eating thing.

January 27, 2007

Wherein Umberto Eco meets me where I am

Two years ago, around this same time of year, I read Baudolino. The novel follows the life of a man quick with languages and averse to war. He works for the Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick Barbarossa, with whom he shares a father-son relationship. Baudolino's life's goal is to make as many people look good (especially the one's he loves) with minimal loss of life. This takes him on journeys to far places of questionable reality and leads him on a life of questionable verity. At the time I read it, I was embarking on a semester's study of medieval Latin, music, culture, and history. I salivated over the hodge-podge of languages and worlds. The novel brought to life the far away places and times I slaved over in my medieval Latin textbook.

I'm now reading The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana. It is about a man who has had an accident and lost most of his memory, except for what he read in books. He is an old book dealer. His world is mediated through excerpts of things he has read, and he talks about the books as if they are characters in his life's story. A large component of my thesis is book history. I am familiar with jargon, the establishments, the markets. And I wouldn't have been a short time ago. But once again, Umberto Eco has found me where I am, casting flesh on the dry academics of it all.

And he writes so deliciously that it makes me once again love words:

If a cellar prefigures the underworld, an attic promises a rather threadbare paradise, where the dead bodies appear in a pulverulent glow, a vegetal elixir that, in the absence of green, makes you feel you are in a parched tropical forest, an artifical canebreak where you are immersed in a tepid sauna.

I had thought cellars symbolized the welcome of the mother's womb, with their amniotic dampness, but this aerial womb made up for that with an almost medicinal heat. And in that luminous maze, where if you pushed aside a couple of roof tiles you would see that open sky, a complicit mustiness hung in the air, the odor of silence and calm.

Pulverulent?* I love this guy! (okay, I know it's a translation, but still.)
He forces me to be a better reader.

Also, in this book, he talks a lot about fog. The literal natural phenomenon and the fog of the mind. I find it strangely comforting.

*Pulverulent=consisting of fine particles; powdery or crumbly. E.g. My kitchen floor is pulverulent with the carcasses of deceased goldfish crackers.

When writing with access to the internet is both helpful and deliciously distracting

Check this out!

While researching what exactly to call the style of et-sign my scribe used, I came acrossTypoWiki: "a user-created encyclopedia of all things type and design-related!"

Rock on!

January 25, 2007

Beer, margaritas, etc.

C'mon, guys, you can't resist a title like that.

So anyway. Margaritas and Mending happened last night, and I deem it a great success. I didn't mend much, except for Phil's Phavorite Sweater. But I did make kick-ass margaritas. And TJ's chips, salsa, avocados. Mmm! Good times! My next plan is Margaritas and wedding albums! Because it's my goal to have the wedding and baby albums done before it's time for our 25th anniversary album and the baby goes to college. You know. As much as procrastinate shoving pictures in a book, albums are important to me. I've always loved looking at family albums, and I want that to be a part of this family. Despite digital photography. (Or maybe thanks to digital photography. hmmm.)

In other news, Sam turns 21 today!! WOohooo!!! Look at my handsome little brother!! Sam, I have one word for you on your bday: moderation, dude, moderation. Wish I could join you tonight, but since bars late at night (or at all) aren't the most kid friendly of environments...ain't gonna happen.


January 22, 2007

by the fire

I'm valiantly blogging on my parent's dial-up. I came to Lancaster for a couple days to work on my thesis. We'll see how it goes. I need to get a good chunk done this week.

The fireplace is very cozy and nice.

After being out of commission for a few months, my minivan is back in the groove. It was nice to have my CD player back. The van has an awesome sound system thanks to the previous owners, and I really soaked in my new MC Solaar CD on the way. I catch more of the lyrics at every listen-through, but am still trying to get the gist of the French bulleting by me. He's incredible with words, like they're another instrument in the orchestra. Solaar's style is so musical; something I can't say about all rap, some of which seems more 'literary' (?). I don't want to get into it now, because I want to do a proper review of the CD.

Anyway, we had like one centimeter of snow last night. That made it fun to run around on the driveway. Ellis's little tracks are so cute.

So, I have a couple of posts percolating: MC Solaar and greater academic angst and Ellis stuff--he's just exploding in communication and personality. He's incredible. But I meant to go to bed early and now it's 11 pm. Boo.

January 21, 2007

Meditation on cinnamon rolls

Yesterday I made cinnamon rolls. It's been for.ever. since I've made them, and they turned out absolutely perfect. Couldn't resist the picture.

When i was growing up, we used to have cinnamon rolls and boiled eggs for Sunday morning breakfast. That was just what we had. In fact, every one I knew had the same Sunday morning breakfast. It's because they all came from the same place, a boarding school in Iowa that always served cinnamon rolls and boiled eggs for Sunday morning breakfast. Imagine my shock when I went to college and found out the vast majority of Christian kids didn't grow up with cinnamon rolls and boiled eggs for Sunday morning breakfast. What?!

It's really genius. The rolls are prepared the day before, so it makes Sunday morning special. Boiled eggs are super easy to prepare, and they add a shot of protein to get you through until Sunday dinner.

I have some very pleasant Sunday morning breakfast memories. And this morning, as I made the boiled eggs to go along with the cinnamon rolls, I remembered burning my fingers every Sunday morning on the hot eggs as I tried the peel the shell fast.

My brother and C's best friend crashed in our living room last night. It was fun to have a nice breakfast for everyone this morning. A taste of civility.

Yesterday as I was cutting the rolls with thread before baking them, I said to my brother, "do you remember watching Mom do this?" he said "Yea, and I always wanted to do it."

It does look like magic.

January 20, 2007

From behind the couch

My workroom is cold. So I snuck my laptop back into the apartment, but i don't want Ellis to know, so I slide it underneath the couch. He is currently on a brief outing with Daddy, and I'm sneaking in a blog entry while squatting behind the couch. See, it's this major stealth operation.

But I don't have much to blog about. I could blog about the nearly fatal injury I had earlier this morning. Okay, not nearly fatal, but enough to make me feel sorry for myself. We have this flimsy mirror in the bedroom that props against the wall. Ellis loves playing in front of it, and it was entertaining him while I folded laundry. Occasionally it falls on him (it's super flimsy, no harm done), but I do try to catch it if I see it falling, because even though it doesn't hurt him, it annoys him to have this flimsy mirror on top of him. Understandble. Well, in one of my rescue attempts, the top corner dug a gash into the side of my finger. It really hurt. And it bled and bled. It bled through two episodes of Signing Time. Now a gross bandaid is tightly wound around my finger. (See, I'm really hurtin' for blog material today.)

The funny thing, though, is that it's just annoying to have a bandaid on my finger, but not tragic. There was a time in my life where an injured finger was cause for minor panic. When I had a finger injury, the first thought that would pop into my mind was oh no, cello hands!. And I would wonder to what extent and for how long my role as cellist would be handicapped. Now, it's more like man, it's super annoying trying to type with a bandaid on my finger.

Okay, quit reading my blog and go be productive with your Saturday afternoon.

January 18, 2007

Snow!



It's been kind of a weird day.

First. Ellis and I feel asleep around 5 am on his floor. Again. He's been wanting a milk bottle in the middle of the night. Well, usually sometime after 4. I've been trying to really stuff him with food before he goes to bed, but to more or less success. He's getting to the point where it's difficult to get him to slow down to eat. So I just try to let him graze all day on nutritious things (like goldfish crackers; I mean they're just PACKED with nutrition), which means he's not really up for a full meal at the evening. Or may he just wants the milk at 4 am for security. I don't know. I give him the bottle and we konk out on his floor and awake sometime after the sun comes up. I miss my alarm clock. I miss the feeling of setting it and knowing that when it went off was the next time you would be awake. So, I wake up on Ellis's floor.

Second. While I'm still in pajamas, the peeps come to tow my car away. Chris goes out there to take of it. But since I'm in my pj's, I don't go out and take a picture and say goodbye. I just watch from the window. And you know what? I cried. It was sad. I know it was just a car, but it was my first car. His name was Childebert and we had a lot of good times. Childy got me through many miles. Back and forth to grad school. My old debit card is still stuck inside the door. We have a history.

Three. Then Chris and I had kind of had a fight. It was kind of stupid. And quickly resolved. But I had just been crying about my car; so I was feeling blue even more.

Four. So I decided to go visit my grandma in Lancaster (about an hr away), during this brief time when we are a two car fam. (We're borrowing a car from a church friend.) By this point Ellis is really starting to need a nap, and I figure all I need to do is get him in the car and he can nap on the way. I just have to deal with his Needy Nappiness while I gather stuff. But then I'm just on the brink of walking out the door and it starts snowing. Really coming down. Scratch that. Well, here we are with our coats on anyway, let's just run a few errands.

Five. First, I need to fill the car with gas. So I do, but then when I go to start it again, it doesn't start. Freak out. It's not the battery. The nice Middle Eastern guys in the gas station pushed it into a parking space. I try one more time, and it starts. Chris says, 'yea, it does that occasionally; where it doesn't start and then it will again.' Oh yay. Well, I'm glad it started.

Six. So then we go do a couple errands, pass through Big Coffee Company that Offers Benefits where Chris was working and got a free latte. Come home (still snowing). Amazon is here! Woohoo! Finally nap for E. I have a headache. E wakes up. We go over to my MIL's. Have dinner. Do laundry. Come home.

So, it's just been a day of not quite starting. The car didn't start. My day started wrong. My Honda is dead. I didn't get to Lancaster. But it did start snowing.

And the snow was pretty.

Woohoo

Amazon is rockin' my house today! I got back from running errands to find both my Amazon orders (the new and used ones) on the doorstep. Just makes a snowy afternoon even better.

MC Solaar CD Mach 6
Handshape ASL dictionary (our fave ever)
And the newest Umberto Eco novel.

Rock on!!!

January 17, 2007

Slacker mom or crazy kid?

I'm going to die young, folks. That's all there is to it.

Ellis blogs

GGGHVGGGGVH VGGHV GVGHM?
:;l[ppppppppplgf ;[p;[df[4fvd
dfhrffffffffffhh<<

around the web

some thesis garble

(this is just some kind of personal personal brain barf. don't feel the need the read or respond.)

So my thesis is about a late 17th c Italian manuscript. Yea, the book. The material artifact. I thought I was going to make an edition of a treatise in the book, which is why I jumped on the project to begin with. I thought it would be a good exercise, and I had a seminar on edition making (it's a musicology thing [and I believe in the activity of edition-making as a necessary step along the path {the controversy of the endeavor; it's a musicology thing, too}]), so I felt like I had tools to approach it. But I'm not making an edition; I'm analysing the book. I don't have tools for ms analysis, book history, or understanding the computus, but, hey, I'm figuring out as I go along.

I'm trying to make some final leaps in the figuring this thing out, and I'm wondering more and more if I need to leave the comfort of the materiality of the book and to start to draw the connections back to the compiler of the manuscript. This is scary, because I don't know who he is. He's a nobody, and it's not a significant ms. Just some random compilation. It's a little freaky to start drawing conclusions about a person who barely has a historical existence.

But I think I can say some things about him:
* he has really good handwriting. this book has been super easy to read. Which is a little boring, because don't we all love a little paleographical challenge? But I'm not complaining. I could be eating my words a year later on a different project.
* he makes mistakes. There is no original material in this ms. I've been able to trace sources for a good bit of it, but not all. The stuff I haven't found sources for, though, is basic stuff like calendars and reciting tones. There are some really bad mistakes in the music section. Like, he doesn't get the solmization syllables in the right order. The plainchant example is utter musical nonsense.
* I'm 99% sure the compiler is a "he". There's a title page (a notable feature unto itself) with the name BLASIUS BELLUNENSIS where the author's name goes. No leads on any Blasius's or (Italian) Biagio's having any connection to Belluno in the 17th c.
* I'm pretty sure he's an ecclesiastic. (There is a seminary in Belluno by this time.) The sum total of the contents wouldn't make sense for anyone else. There's the music part that contains information for singing the liturgy, the computus for calculating the date of Easter (very confusing liturgical calendar stuff--thank heavens for the Oxford Companion to the Year), orthographical treatises on Italian and Latin, and alphabets--Hebrew (after Aldo) and Greek, and then a bunch of ancient and Eastern alphabets. Those latter alphabets are kind of interesting, because they seemed to pop up in some 16th c mss, where people would translate prayers and offices into these ancient alphabets. It's kind of weird and fascinating, because you wonder, who the heck cares about 'salve regina' in ancient Chaldee? It may be something I would be interested in pursuing after this thesis.
* but then the speculation begins. Yes, the compiler put together this book whose content reflects some about who he is, but even more, its physical features reflect his relationship to the book as a book, namely as an author. A relationship that couldn't have existed a couple hundred years earlier. So, breaking it down: we can say something about his identity based on the contents--likely an ecclesiastic. Is he young? a student? those mistakes were bad; mistakes you allow from someone whose education is incomplete, so either a student or a dropout or even maybe self-educated? I like the student theory, because there was a rise in creating seminaries for clerical education in the 17th c., including one in Belluno.
* but what about his identity in relation to the book? I would argue that he places himself in a position of authorship. Namely because of the title page. Manuscripts just don't have title pages...not like this one, at any rate. This is a title page that looks just like a printed title page. Manuscripts don't have authors. Printed books do. (Okay, huge over-generalization there, but it's big picture time.) This ms provides a picture in microcosm of a particular point in book history, a time beginning to be dominated by print culture, but also a time that still valued manuscript culture. There are many aspects in which the compiler created the ms to look like the printed book. At the beginning of the age of printing, printers made books look like mansucripts, because that's what they knew. By the late 17th c, it's very easily the other way around. The compiler wanted his book to look printed because that was cooler, more authoritative.
*so, bringing it back to the compiler--as it's very easy to start writing the biography of the book at this point--the physical features of the ms give us insight into how the compiler may have viewed the literary culture around him and how he placed himself within that culture. (Why do I feel so over my head?) Is that crazy? can I talk about the compiler's point of view like that? It just seems so invasive.

To close I will quote this line I read out of a monograph when I was a history major undergrad (loosely remembered). "Listening from the distance of centuries--across the death chasms and howling kingdoms of decay--it is not easy to catch everything."

January 15, 2007

what's the job you really hate doing?

For some it's vacuuming.. others cleaning the toilet... for others it's bringing the trash can back up...

For me, it's hemming. I hate it. I've been sitting here wasting time on the internet for over an hour, avoiding hemming. I have three pairs of pants that would be fabulous if I would just hem them. The travails of being short. Grr. I will. hem. one. pair. tonight.

January 13, 2007

the 'old' people blog

So, after my aunt joined the blogging world, my mom jumps on the bandwagon, too. I know she's been wanting to for awhile, so a cozy evening with her laptop results in...voila!

QuidNunc/QuidTunc? (what now? what then?) She's a Latin teacher. Just smile and nod like the rest of us. heh, heh.

Now I gotta go mop my kitchen floor, because I just washed the rug. I love my kitchen rug. A highschool friend wove it out of old fabric on a loom. It's sturdy and meaningful. It makes me happy when it's clean and bright, so better make the floor worthy to receive it. Mmmm. Murphy's....

10 hut!

I'm pretty clueless about football. For instance, i didn't know until quite recently that the NFL is in the playoff part of their season. But it hit me weird about tonight's game: The Philadelphia Eagles versus the New Orleans Saints. It's kind of oddly existential for me. The city where I live versus the City where I used to/wished I live before all the Changes.

Little doubt about who to root for: Geaux Saints!

January 12, 2007

You'd think I'd get it by now

So anyway, let's say there's something you want to know more about, and you don't have any books about it. What do you do?

First, Google it. If that doesn't turn up with much what do you do next?

A) Go to Barnes and Noble and peruse books and magazines while drinking a latte.
B) Go to your university library.
C) Go to your local public library.

If you're answer is A, then you're like me.

Let's say that after you've Google'd and gone to B & N and you still aren't satisified, what do you do?

If it's an academic topic, going to the uni library is the logical next step. If it's not, do you?

A) Search for cheap books on the topic on Amazon.
B) Go to your local public library.

Sadly, A again!

It never occurs to me to use the public library.
But things are changing around here, folks! We finally got library cards, and every day, I delight once again in the epiphany of 'hey, we could just go to the library for free!'

The library system around here is waaaaaaaaay better than in New Orleans, and between that and being in a university setting all the time, I just got out of the habit of using the local public library.

Both Chris and I have fond childhood memories of stocking up on books from the library and proudly possessing our very own library cards. We want Ellis to have that, too.

And, I'm really enjoying all these books about sewing I just checked out. And Umberto Eco's book On Literature. I'm enjoying the chapter in which he talks about how he writes his novels, from constructing the world, choosing the style, the source of his inspiration. I just ordered his newest novel used off Amazon (okay, there are just some books I want to own, and I got it for $3!). I'm very excited. Hmm. Better stop now before this post turns from being about the public library to being about Umberto Eco.

January 11, 2007

if I made New Year's Resolutions

One of them would be to keep my desk clean. (but we all know THAT isn't going to happen short of a miracle)

____

In other news, I've been catching up on blogs, and thus, the news. My very first major academic conference was in Atlanta. I have pleasant and unpleasant memories of it. But I'm sure none will be quite so unpleasant as that of an eminent historian's memories of conferencing in Atlanta, wherein he was thrown to the ground and arrested for...jaywalking!!! I kid you not!!!! It seems that the Atlanta police force is more than staunchly opposed to jaywalking and will vigorously discipline infractions thereunto.

January 10, 2007

It's cold again

Today I found myself with some extra time in Germantown. It was the perfect opportunity to hit up the fabric store I discovered a couple of months ago. Folks, they just don't make them like this anymore. This place is for serious. And it's delicious.

I've been getting more and more into sewing this past year. Now that I've finally conquered my Fear of the Bobbin. I found some fabric today that might help me make the leap from piddling around with kids stuff to actually making something for myself. I found this wool swatch, a yard and 5/8. The green corderoy found the wool. They were made to go together. The woman who cut my fabric cooed in delight at the combination. I love it. I want to make a dress, but I'm still looking for inspiration on how to incorporate both fabrics. Any ideas?

But, I might actually have to like go get a pattern or something this time. Patterns scare me. The stupid tissue paper to keep track of. *shudder* But I don't want to mess up my pretty wool, and I've never made a dress before. I'm going to have to mull this on over.

January 9, 2007

little boy BIG bell

My friend Stina is visiting. We're having a great time. It's her first time to Philly, so we were sure to get in cheesesteaks, pretzels, and the Liberty Bell. Hey, it's not every day you get to pay homage to a national relic.

January 4, 2007

wishes


January 3, 2007

Some Christmas highlights

updates, endings, beginnings

No, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. I'm just SOOOO tired. Too tired to sit at the computer. Ellis cut eye teeth and now he's going through some kind of developmental insomnia. That's my term for it anyway. He's going through some crazy mental growth, signing more every day, and simply understanding more about the world around him. At night he does that annoying thing where his eyes stay open for hours and hours... *joy*. Sometimes he lies there and just signs and signs. That's why I call it developmental insomnia. He also FREAKS OUT if I leave the room. It's like he hasn't gotten used to his new self yet. ...And we were doing so well with sleeping through the night before the holidays.

THe other cool new thing he's doing is saying "mom". He still babbles a little from baby days. He uses labial mutes and plosives mostly. One of the things that come out is a sound that sounds remarkably like "mom". I've been reinforcing it with the sign for mom. Now he says it sometimes when he looking for me or is trying to get my attention and I can't see him (like in the car). But Chris and i definitely think he's associates "mom" with me. That's cool. I said to C, "He may have signed 'daddy' first, but he said 'mom' first." :-)

In other news, Childebert died. Yep, my 1991 Honda Civic bit the dust at 237,000 miles. It was a good life. It served me well. He stopped dead in his tracks on the way home from church a couple Sunday evenings ago. And will not start again. *requiem for a Honda*

In other deaths (not to mention two that have made their mark in the news: RIP Pres. Ford and Saddam...but will they in P? Hmmm.) my phone died. It was the weirdest thing. Like if my phone was a computer and the hard drive crashed, that's like what happened. The Blank Screen of Death. Thankfully, a week later I hit the date of eligibility for a free upgrade from Sprint, and now I have a cool, new phone. Aaaah. New technology. Gotta love it.

In happy beginnings (oh, yea, other than the year), if you want to see cute pictures of Linnea, you can visit my aunt's new blog: Over the Ord and Back. Visit it now, and you'll find out why we call her Aunt Sperlonga.

And to close this cursory post, I'm reincarnating my blog self. Time for the phoenix to do its magic. I'm not sure how or when yet, but do not be alarmed if/when you see changes. I need a fresh slate.