Wednesday, August 31, 2005

break out your bicycle

least used chat abbreviationsi love satirewire.

On a different note, if this isn't enough to make you consider alternate transportation, what is?
"There's no question gas will hit $4 a gallon," Ben Brockwell, director of pricing at the Oil Price Information Service, said. "The question is how high will it go and how long will it last?"
my word, $4 a gallon just as i'm heading into back-to-school week is scary indeed. it was bad enough last year when the tank took $30 to fill -- with gas prices doubled since then, it will easily be $60 a tank, and i go through that in a week picking up and dropping off. carpooling no longer seems a convenient and friendly thing, but a matter of survival. natural gas prices have also gone up markedly, twenty percent in the last week alone. frankly, i was pretty impressed that the insulating measures i had taken last year managed to render a measurable reduction in my heating bill for the year. the average went down thirty percent, in a year when prices climbed. am i the only one watching the food budget shrink as the oil prices soar? add to that jeep maintenance and dental surgery and the like, and i'm seeing an awful lot of iced tea and soup in our future.

i nearly canceled the new york trip at the end of the month. then i talked with jaime yesterday and found out she was in San Francisco (literally sitting on the dock of the bay, wasting time), having just completed her interview with a library in sonoma county the day before. the interview went very well, and she loves the area. she said she isn't going to take the job unless they offer her the upper end of the salary, but i think she is hooked, and they would frankly be dumb not to hire her. she is one of the only people i know who can face their technical services situation (acquisition, reciept, payment, and cataloging of books -- they do 6,000 titles a month) without being overwhelmed. in fact, she's excited by it, as i'm frankly glad to see it; as much as i will miss her, it all sounds very thrilling and to be situated near like-minded. the upshot of this is that we have wanted to take a pilgramage to NYPL since september of 1995. ten years ago, my word! and if we don't do it before she moves to cali, we likely never will. so the ny trip is still on the books. i might have to pass the hat to get there.

but enough grim tales. check out the cubist web site story. i can't figure out why if it's a site for cubists that it's not in spanish, but perhaps they were trying to be all cool and stuff. i'll have a cubist cigar and ponder it while i relax in the oval orafice. i think i'll be needing the tee shirt.

music purge

jax recently wrote about a musical moment in which he purged his soul. most people might find that weird, but instead, i find myself listening to music that does the same thing. li'l nibs keeps walking around my ankles as i type and listen to music (her name is being Officially Changed to Ante [with a silent 't' because she is the kitty]. so, with all due apologies, i tell you that that at that particular time i was a little bit lost. i have been looking for too long for a man who will love me with as little in return as i demand. there are of course my own delusions and sins, certain monstrosities to get beyond, but there are things i want as well. and frankly, there are my fears. but ultimately, there is a short list of what i'm looking for in my own life, in my own spirituality, in my own world:
I want a goddess who stinks.
I’m tired of these tired goddesses
Their shoulders white and sandals neatly tied
Their back quivers and bows
Their lack of men and their pristinely polished shields.
I want a goddess who ruts in the mud,
Back quivering
Who bows to no one but bends
Close to the earth
Who buries her face deep in the dirt and the scent of life
Who gathers life and living close to her nose, nuzzling
Who gathers life up gently and pulls it into her bosom
Who licks it and knows it in the dark.
I want a goddess who holds on
With hair and teeth and claw
With dirt under her nails and hair under her arms
I want a goddess who plays and romps
With twigs in her hair, mud on her toes
Cum on her thigh
Her scent thick about her
Her breasts keeping time to her dance through the woods
The flesh of her butt nestled in a crevice
In a cave as she lights a candle and talks to the albino spiders there
Whispering their woven secrets.
I want a goddess with food in her mouth
Light in her soul
Fire in her belly
Blood on the ground as she cradles the
Life she creates.
Be gone with these sterile, civilized he-women
Supports of your nicely approachable reality
Systemized and sanitized
Beyond recognition
Relegated to the wall
Flowers in your halls of
Destruction, despair and propriety.
I want a goddess who stinks.

and there are things i demand of men as well:
I want a man I want

I want a man who is quiet
Who leads by example
Who believes in respect
And respects belief.
I want a man I want to listen to
Not one I have to.
I want a man who is clean
Whose touch cleanses my soul
Whose kiss is redemption.
I want to believe
in myself more because he believes
all the things that I am
and doesn’t care about the places to which I have
fallen and will fall again.
I want a man to whom I can be
released by surrendering,
In whose waters I can dive deep and come
Up for air with full lungs and a whole heart.
I want a man who can
Support without pedestals
Hold his own in a room
Give without smothering
Accept without embarrassment
Argue without anger
Protect without diminishing
Assist without condescending
Fight for me without forgetting I am
Real and passionate and whole

I want a man who sees me
Whole, disregarding the pieces
The shattered tatters of my soul
Litter on the path behind me
Shivered dust of all the mirrors I have been.
I want a man who romps and stomps and drinks and frolics and explores
with me sometimes as good, sometimes better, sometimes needing his hand
who still cherishes me

I want a man to whom I can give
Without giving away
Touch without being consumed
Trust in the darkness
With the sounds encroaching
Have at my back
Build explore create nurture

And a decent game of chess would be nice, too.
She is greedy like that.

butmaybe i'm just demanding like that, wanting a surrendering more than a partnership. perhaps this is why i always end up with assholes i get used to.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

nothing to show

but this brand new tattoo
(actually, we skipped the tattoos this beach trip.)

hi. we're back. we're tan. we have sand in our shoes (and in our bags, and in our ears, and in our jeep, and in the spaces in our wallets where we once had money). we're as happy and relaxed as can be, definitely in a Beach State of Mind, and even though we've been back for a bit, the neon BUM lights are still blinking merrily over our heads.

we enjoyed five days of wave-diving, body-surfing, and sun-worshipping. i lost my glasses to the pounding surf within fifteen minutes of hitting the water, but even that didn't dampen my mood. in fact, i think it went far to make certain i observed heidi's First Rule Of Successful Parenting: don't pay too close attention. we built a sand castle every day, incresingly more complex, with moats meant to be filled up by the rising tide. our last one was a bit far back, and was still standing and decorated with shells when we left. i wonder how long it will last. it was tempting to set up a web cam just to monitor it, but i couldn't see how to make it work. maybe next year.

i'd love to start a seasonal (memorial day to labour day) vegetarian restaurant there. the more often i go, the more often i wonder why i come home. Dragon doesn't help matters much, insisting on starting sentences with "when we move to the beach. . . " and Tiger chimes in with "When we open our restaurant. . . " *sigh* they are wonderful children. we also discovered a fantastic restaurant with awesome food and live piano music. the martinis there are Just Right, and even though it has elegant atmosphere, the boys didn't seem out of place in the slightest in their tee shirts, shorts and flip flops (the blond hair probably helps). we were Finally Tired Of Pizza (after three days, even good pizza wears thin), and we ended up having to cruise around looking for wany place that seemed suitable: all the places we had called acted as though we were speaking greek when we asked if they served a vegetarian burger and fries. you'd have thought we were asking for the philosopher's stone. the next night, though, our last in the cabin, phillip and i made vegetarian burgers in our little kitchenette, complete with corn on the cob, baked beans, tossed salad, and french fries. we called it Cheeseburger in Paradise menu (phillip had the beer while i opted for chianti; and yes, we had heinz 57 and kosher dill pickles, too).

we listened to Tiger on the way there and then on the way back again; we were all enthralled by the story and can't wait to get Monkey, the next in the series. Tiger wailed "that's it?!?" as i groaned, "it's over?!?!" when the final disc ended. four and a half hours passed in near total silence as we were transported by Jeff Stone. it was amazing, and phillip is to be commended for choosing such a fantastic story without having any previous knowledge of it.

when we were actually in the beach area, we listened to jommy buffet. i'm still humming the songs.

gabriel and li'l nibs are home, and it's good to see them again. we came home to find Raiders of the Lost Ark and the second season of MI-5 in the post office box from netflix. perhaps over the few days i'll shake the vacation mentality and get back to being a Real Person again, but for now it's macaroni and cheese and martini time. i'm still barefoot and the boys are still a bit pink in the cheeks. don't expect wildly responsible behaviour from us any time too soon. Monday at the earliest.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

whoda thunnk?

fury called tonight. he recommended that (after a single reading of I Moved To Roanoke In 1978), that i become a writer, an Au-Thor. heh. as if that isn't what i've wanted to be since i was nine (just after i gave up the hope of being the first woman in space, when i found out my vision is hopelessly near-sighted). and that i ought to have a bookstore, preferably a used-and-rare one. i guess i can try to sway jaime to set up our private library in ottowa?

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

what a whirlwind

this week seems to have flown by, caught up as i have been in laundry (i swear i've done more laundry this week than i have in the past two months), getting a new kitten (named Nibs, short for Nibble, since she likes to play-bite and because she's only half a byte long), and packing up for the beach.

i've taken a break from the nabokov (the commentary section simply doesn't hold up to the poem) to read the truly light-hearted fare of Spider Robinson. I finished up Lady Slings the Booze today, and am beginning Callahan's Key tonight after i pack up the jeep.

wish us well. we'll be back on Tuesday.

Monday, August 22, 2005


this week, i've done more laundry than i've done in a month. that's an emotional statment as well as a practical one. i hope your summer is going beautifully. we're looking forward to the beach on thursday, even though we're supposed to arrive after some thunderstorms bring in some cooler weather (meaning it will only be in the uppper 80's).

love and peace.

Sunday, August 21, 2005


never a good thing. rarely defensible.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

patriarchy and the counter-culture

My fishing friend and I talk, a lot, and about everything. But one theme seems to come up at a slant in our conversations, worming its way in, a tangled virus that at times derails the rest of what we were saying without ever managing to take centre stage: the patriarchy. Last time it came up, I said with a slightly alcohol-added defiance, “I wasn’t raised in the partiarchy. And I’m sorry that everyone else was. It was a bit of a culture shock for me out here, you know.”

Bravado aside, it is odd to consider that someone could be raised outside her culture. I mean, Jung would scoff, and Ockham’s razor would shred such a notion. But there it is, and I can’t seem to shake it. And this morning, while doing my routine of unloading the clean dishes while waiting for coffee to perk, a random stray comment from one of my graduate sociology classes came back. We had been discussing lifestyles, and the comment came up that the whole notion of lifestyle is itself very much a hallmark of the twentieth century. [Planned developments were followed by communes that refered to themselves as ‘nations,’ which were in turn followed by gated communities to keep the scary elements from messing with the goods of conspicuous consumption, the fruits of having left these very homes to process through the sacred ritual of wealth acquisition to the tune of the corporate calliope.]

What if lifestyle can trump culture? Has culture grown so weak lately? Perhaps it has. When was the last time that someone in your neighborhood was shunned for not attending the right church? Jax recently recounted a joke from Prairie Home Companion:
How do you run a Unitarian out of town?
Burn a question mark on his front lawn.
However funny the joke might be, there is, as in all good jokes, an element of poking fun at ourselves and what has truly happened in our world. Imagine the mere concept of Unitarianism in the middle ages. Go on; I dare you. I triple-dog-eat-dog-poop-if-I’m-wrong dare you. There are the examples of St. Francis, the movement of the Friars amongst the populace in the twelfth century, but come on, this was nothing compared to the feel-good wrap-sessions which have become Unitarian Worship Services. I daresay that the whole of the Unitarian Church would only ever run out someone who dared to say another person’s personal choices were wrong, somehow morally reprehensible, unless of course it involved helping elect a republican.

While lifestyle is truly the hallmark of the twentieth century (and asking “what diet are you on?’ would be the question to help determine if someone were truly a citizen of the U.S.), how is it that one’s lifestyle became more impotant than even a hegemonic partriarchy which has been our partner since time immemorial? And is such a thing a good move?

In the nineteenth century, one of the hallmarks of American society was the beginning of voluntary associations. It’s not difficult to see how one’s identity was gleaned, supported, and known by whether one participated in the sufferage meetings, the anti-slavery meetings, the anti-factory meetings, and political rallies. But the realm of voluntary associations expanded through that century. From the realm of the political, no social institution was left untouched: religious sects became minor and powerful institutions in their own right. Millerites, Christian Scientists, Shakers, Mennonites, Baptists sprang up out of the woodwork in the nineteenth century to change the American religious landscape forever. Even then the Unitarians were new, but the roots of religion-as-a-group-for-social-change are easy to see.

But what of those of us who were born late in the twentieth century, before the moon landing but after the kennedy assassination? In her forward to Wild Child: Girlhoods in the Counter-culture, Moon Unit Zappa writes, “Maybe my parents were trying out something new, but I never knew the difference.” These are telling words indeed, and ones I wish I had recalled when I was speaking with my fishing friend. From Mary Baker Eddy to Abbie Hoffman, the line of the partiarchy has not only been crossed: it has been denied.

And what of us who were members of Woodstock Nation, who grew up spending Hours instead of Dollars in Ithaca? For my part, I can only tell you that your partriarchy is not only new to me, it scares me. Scares me not only because it is perverse and wrong and hegemonic; it is all of those things, trust me. Mostly though, it scares me because I was so wholly unprepared for its existence.

Friday, August 19, 2005

the beauty of the rain

is how it falls.

finished up with High Fidelity, and as much as i was won over by the whole of it, the last twenty pages or so were brilliant and charming and endearing. it's a man's book, and one everyone can enjoy. i'm now through the poem section of Nabokov's Pale Fire. Oddly enough, i read poetry more slowly than i read prose, especially good petry, and this is. i like words, i like it when words paint, when the form of them and the sound of them does more than simply sit on the page, but becomes a landscape, a lyric. it does all of this, but it speaks, as well. after nearly a thousand lines, i felt not only drained, but also filled. though i understand that the "commentary" which follows is nabokov's fictional charater as well, making the whole work actually a novel, but there's a hug part of me that wants to stop right here and call it done.

i've also finished the first season of MI-5. brilliant. what is it about the british shows that engages me so much? it has to be more than the odd clothes and accents. i mean, it does, doesn't it?

Thursday, August 18, 2005

it's official

Dragon is now officially allowed to be five. we had cake, balloons, root beer, presents, soup, hummus, but most especially of all, we had wonderful company. i confess that having Julie living just round the bend (pun intended, thanks) is delightful. jack once again wowoed the boys' imagination with storytelling, this time the Death of Arthur.

this morning, we are excavating dinosaur skeletons, making futuristic spaceships with magnets, designing fantasy fish with blocks, and watching the magic of Dragon's new dragon shirt (it changes colours in the sunlight; i want one).

i'm nearly done with High Fidelity and i'm totally loving it.

Monday, August 15, 2005

wekkend update

This weekend i had a wonderful time visiting Jack and Mags. We made far too much food, all of it totally yummy, and celebrated Donald's birthday on Saturday. I finished The Madhouse Nudes Sunday monrning, just in time for an excellent breakfast of Ouveos Rancheros made by Jack.

This morning, the boys and i are kicked back, enjoying house time, and thinking about the upcoming beach trip. it's a quiet, contemplative day filled with reading and stories and thinking.

Friday, August 12, 2005

soup night update

Soup Night shenanigans left me a bit zombified yesterday, but it was a lovely time. i am thrilled to discover gazoacho soup, courtesy of Magpie's wonderful efforts. When i found out how fast and easy it was, i nearly fell over. the garnishes and freshnes of the dish are astonishing. i recommend it.

julie and alan attended, along with the rest of the family, and we had a good time playing girls-against-boys for the Cranium Match. the boys won, but i find it a bit unfair that they got clue like "Stephen Hawking" and defining WiFi. Our turn next time, ladies!

i have finished up The Faerie Wars, and admit it is a really fun read. comnbining mythology, science and magic, it's a great follow up to the Half-Blood Prince. this morning i started The Madhouse Nudes, a book written entirely as one-sided letters, which is intriguing already. i'm not far into it, but Schlutz is doing a great job of heekipng me hooked on the story. lighter fare yesterday including watching Coach Carter and The United States of Leland, different, b ut both enjoyable. i found USofL thoughtful while Coach was typically inspiring and a-soaring-triumph-of-the-human-spirit-and-the-power-of-positive-disciple.

the boys now have their own netflix queue, and i tihnk that i'll need to expand my netflix account beyond the current two-at-a-time (unlimited) since it seems to take forever to get the next installment now.

i'm looking forward to watching the fifth season of Oz with Irk once he gets back from pennsic and i get back from the beach and before he goes off to Basic Training in Fort Benning. once he gets out of there, he'll be based in Germany, with a "highly deployable" heavy infantry unit. we all know what that means, and i wish him well and will keep him in my thoughts. be that as it may, if we are going to get to see this together, i'm going to need to be able to have more than one netflix disc at home at a time. bring on the popcorn.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

organic is btter?

"since crop yields were considerably higher in the conventional systems, the difference in energy needed to produce a crop unit was only 19 percent lower in the organic systems."

yeah, i've always known about this, and actually was surprised to read that organic farming produced ANY benefits in efficiency. it's one of the reasons i've sort of always expected it to cost more. when i worked with the community agriculture farm in floyd, i tell you, i put in a lot of hours, and when i had my garden i did too (though with the arguably added-though-transparent benefit of not having to deal with any local politics and personalities other than my own inherent laziness).

“minor differences between the farming systems in food quality."
there's just no accounting for taste. frankly, i can TELL when i've made a recipe with organic food. but maybe years of smoking and drinking have heightened my pallate somewhat. :)

"No-till farming combined with genetically enhanced crops has been shown to be both better for the environment and more energy efficient than past conventional methods."
if all iwere concerned about were efficiency, i'd still be eating iceberg lettuce from food lion (eewwwwww.) genetic enginerring is bad, mmm-KAY?

“the greatest catastrophe the human race could face this century is not global warming, but a global conversion to ‘organic farming’– [where] an estimated 2 billion people would perish.”
oops. salient leaps here, and not always the most logical ones. i believe that it is important to go local, pesticide free over high-scale organic industry production. one of the reasons i believe this is because i think it is simply dumb dumb dumb not to A) know where your food comes from and B) live near a reliable source of food. i'm not saying that in the event of major catastrophe not to get food from elsewhere. but having a community, pesticide free, possibly no-till garden is pretty cool, dont you think? and when was the last time you ever saw anything but a surplus out of anyone's backyard gardening efforts? (go look at the stack of tomatoes, potatoes, green beans and corn that little employee break rooms during the summer months, and you'll know what i mean). frankly, the small few and lazy-ass efforts i put into my garden out back the two years i had it yeilded enough food and magic and wonder for the whole family and then some.

it's not only about efficiency. it's about reconnecting, being sustainable, not poisoning your food or your body or the environment, and not freaking out if kroger is closed. on that note, pick up a copy of the spring issue of the co-optimist next itme you're in the area. apparently two of the masions on grandin road (next to the post office) have been bought by my friends pete and kristen. they want to turn the extensive grounds into a permaculture organic garden, with the houses being used as community centers where we will learn to cook and put up food. organic homegrown foodstuffs all year? now THAT's something to crow about! [the vision is that for a few hours of work in the garden and the center, with whatever skills you have, results in getting to take home food from the garden. have another mouth to feed? spend a little extra time in the garden. can't pull weeds because of a bad back or pregnancy? host a class on how to can green beans or taking dried beans and cooking them up with winter's root vegetables, or just making your own basic salsa and setting it up with a shelf life of ten years or more. how can this ever be a bad idea?)

as to the honest tea, YAY for the organic chic making it to sheetz! i'm not a sheetz fan myself, but any time the populace puts status on a product that is better for the environment than one that is harmful, i'm all for it. thanks for doing your part by closing the circle and voting with your dollars. for that, i can overlook you eating junk food and calling it a meal. :) [read: i love you and don't want you to get cancer, mmm-KAY?]

does it matter? well, i doubt it could hurt. imagine if the people currently working in diamond mines in africa, women and men in the prime of their lives, frequently killed in their efforts or stricken with industry-related debilitating diseases and injuries, were to quit their jobs, quit growing cash crops (such as tobacco and coffee and other cash-agribuisness specific crops instead of focusing on actually growing food they could eat), and started planting a few, manageable rows of food that could sustain them. would they be worse off? my data tells me no, unfortunately. i hate this. that the people in africa are mining themselves further into poverty and starvation to profit debeers is bad enough, but to know that debeers doesn't provide adequate pensions, let alone long term medical care or short term either, is abominable.


i'm interested in your thoughts.

love and peace,

kn0w1 wrote:

just a random google and came across this..
really it's about organic farming vs conventional
kind of interesting..
but like most enviromental issues it seems there are always "facts" and proponents (not counting CEO/CFOs and their political friends) on either side (that is.. the hard vs. soft green sides; not the let's not even worry about it side)..


Find this article at this address:
Are organic foods really better?

Facts challenge organic's benefits over modern agriculture
Tuesday, June 24, 2003
by David Rothbard and Craig Rucker

Recently the Research Institute for Organic Agriculture published a highly publicized study comparing two types of organic farming with two types of conventional farming. Initially (and to the delight of enviro’s everywhere) newspaper reports claimed conventional farming to be the loser in at least 2 categories: That is, in its economic and environmental efficiency.

However when one pulls up the weeds from the research, one quickly discovers that reporters are playing fast and loose with the facts in order to show that organic farming is indeed more “efficient”. The research actually, in fact, points to an entirely other direction.

Advocates of organic farming claim that the study shows organic farming uses 50 percent less energy. However, this statistic does not take into account that the study also shows conventional farming to be 20 percent more productive than organic farming. Therefore, according to the study’s own conclusions, "since crop yields were considerably higher in the conventional systems, the difference in energy needed to produce a crop unit was only 19 percent lower in the organic systems."

Another claim of organic advocates is that organic foods are far superior to conventionally produced foods. This study asserts, however, that there were only “minor differences between the farming systems in food quality."

Also, the study did not test the organic system against the most recent form of conventional farming. No-till farming combined with genetically enhanced crops has been shown to be both better for the environment and more energy efficient than past conventional methods. If this method were placed up against organic farming, the 19 percent energy advantage of organic farming would, according to experts like Ron Baily of the Reason Public Policy Institute, likely disappear.

As for environmental benefits, conventional no till farming also matches the advantages of organic farming; such as less pesticide and fertilizer runoff, greatly reduced soil erosion, and a higher presence of beneficial insects, and it adds the other advantages of conventional farming such as higher yields.

Such higher yields are enormously important. They are not only economically beneficial to consumers in developed countries, but especially vital to the health and well being of those in underdeveloped countries who might well starve without such technology.

Little wonder that many scientists, such as Cambridge chemist John Emsley, believe that “the greatest catastrophe the human race could face this century is not global warming, but a global conversion to ‘organic farming’– [where] an estimated 2 billion people would perish.”

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

next summer

early this year, the boys and i were on the way to school, listening to NPR. there was an article on the Congo, on how the people there were suffering in poverty, with no education, clean water, medicine, food, or homes. Tiger piped up that he felt very sad for these people, and that he wanted to do something to help, even if it was just to send a card, like the ones we had signed from Amnesty International to send to political prisoners, reading "you are not forgotten."

over the past several years, the boys have expressed serious interest in having a sister, "twins, so we can each ahve our own baby sister to take care of," and have been so forthcoming about wanting to help and take care of it that at times i felt as though i were being viewed as a breeding machine. they have not lost their desire to increase our family by two more, and even though i have occaisional baby-cravings, i'm not inclined to go through the whole man-in-the-wings thing that usually accompanies it.

the new computer being set up, Tiger has more and more wanted to go online to research things. of course, at first he wanted to go to the Disney store, or play games at But instead, i pointed him to the Un site, to the government site of our local community, to the local newspaper, and he is only allowed to reasearch these things. this has been a great thing for him. he even reads some of the UN articles and journals to Dragon, who sits near Tiger's computer chair in rapt attention, with no small amount of awe.

They have come to want to go to the Ivory Coast of Africa. They want to see the diamond and gold markets of Sierra Leon, and to visit the children there, to touch them, hold their hands, learn their stories, to remind them that they are not forgotten. They want to see how they can help, to listen to what the children there have to say. They ask me how these children have any hope. They care.

i am considering seeing if i can get a community school contingent of parents to join me in going to Sierra Leon next year. We will have to save a great deal to finance this ourselves, but after talking with the boys, it's definitely how they want to spend next summer. I am more than a little intimidated by the prospect, but am inspired in the extreme by their desire to do this.

They are convinced that they will find their sisters there. They just might, at that.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

it's just a game, right?

"We presume the cause of death was heart failure stemming from exhaustion". what in the world? and he quit his job to spend more time gaming. points and curiosities that the article didn't mention which game he was playing.

back to school

today i received the back-to-school packet, jarring me into the reality that there are only four weeks left before the boys start classes. we are not in any way prepared. one of the things that has happened is that tiger has grown out of everything this summer, sometimes in between trying it on and taking it home. he's seven; it happens. the school packet was filled with the typical many emergency information forms and family info forms and school schedules. but that was only one-third of the packet. the other two-thirds contained the many ways in which i can pump and be pumped for fund-raising. so instead of harranguing you all year long, i am simply going to buy each of you a community school tee shirt (wear it or not, as you choose). please let me know what your size is (S, M, L, XL, XXL) and if you prefer short or long sleeved varieties. they aren't really very expensive, they aren't really very attractive, but hey, i wasn't consulted. if you have co-workers or fellow folk at other associations (think kung-fu, rapier fighting, fellow gamers, co-workers who need a gag gift, you get the idea) whom you think i could regale with these things, please don't hesitate to let me know. i feel as though i ought to do a bit to help out, since the boys receive such a generous percentage of the school's scholarship fund.

i called land's end to see if the school participates in its fund-raising program. typical of the hippie mentality, it doesn't. so i'm going to speak to the development co-ordinator and see what the deal is. three percent off qualifying purchases isn't a small deal, and there is a free logo set up, and free mailings to parents of the back-to-school catalog with the school's id number right on the back. since we all shop here anyway, what could be easier? then i found out that there is a gift-card program at land's end, wherein the purchase of $5000.00 of gift cards (which can be spent on anything in the catalog, online, or on land's end merchandise at Sears) yields a whopping 15% return. now, at first i thought that five grand was a bit much to try to find commitments for, since we would need at least the five grand pledged before we went to the school and said let's do this. then Tiger and i sat down and figured out all the stuff his growing-little-self is going to need for the upcoming year:
1 lunch box
1 sling bag
3 short sleeved polo
5 long sleeved polos
5 turtlenecks
2 corderoys
3 khakis
1 sweatpants
1 sweatshirt
1 hoodie
1 polartec pullover
3 oxford shirts
2 chambray shirts
2 cardigans
3 crew sweaters
3 vests
5 teeshirt
4 pkgs. Socks
1 leather oxfords
1 squall jacket
4 pkgs. boxers
2 belts
total $999.00 (before tax and shipping)
suddenly five grand didn't seem like such a stretch.

Monday, August 08, 2005

three cheers for letters

I just finished The Venetian Affair, and i have to say a loud huzzah! for the adept writing of Andrea Di Robilant. Brilliant writing pieces together the letters, and his work in understanding their lives as well as their voices is commendable. The book ought to be required reading of any aspiring historian, as it relies on primary documents, is well-research, well-cited, and anything but dry. The voices of the clandestine lovers comes through amid the tapestry of mid-eighteenth century venice, spans the decline of the great city and is practically a primer on social and political life in England and on the Continent during the Seven Years' War. Finally, as the letters cease, Andrea Di Robilant does not leave the story there, but researches out the end of their lives, seeing her return to Italy, his rise in politics in Venice, her growing literary career, and ending ultimately with a quote from her penultimate letter.

Brilliantly done, it reads well. Not only does Di Robilant care about this long-ago couple and their passions, positions and persecution, the reader is impervious to help but care about them as well. As a work of history, Di Robilant suceeds masterfully; as a first work at all, it soars.

happy birthday, jaime

on a monday no less. i hope jaime has a beautiful and satisfying year to come, filled with love and laughter. i miss having my school sisters closer to me. this past few months especially, the physical distance between me and jaime, jennifer and keira has been particularly noticeable.

the boys and i have a busy-but-mundane day ahead of us, including co-oping, visiting the orchard store, heading to the pool once it gets hot again. i am halfway through The Venetian Affair, and have received a shipment from amazon of three more tomes. i have enjoyed my summer of reading and movie-watching immensely, but am still looking for employment for this coming september. while there seem to finally be job postings in my field and in my location, the number of applicants for each position is staggering. still, it's a good sign, and i'm not ready to take up residence in the Cubicle Farm for another month or so.

According to my konfabulator countdown, it's only sixteen more days until our second beach trip. we can't wait. (it will be konfabulous.)

Sunday, August 07, 2005


very very quiet.

Saturday, August 06, 2005


required viewing: the vagina monolouges. no. i'm not kidding. it is amazing and funny and true.

i've also seen walking tall, which is great with popcorn, and aviator, which is weird and disturbing and ever so well done. i actually don't know much about Mr. Hughes, and have been inspired to learn more.

i read Transgressions yesterday and it is taught, compelling, and well-written. as summer reading goes, this will please even the most literate amongst us. nicely done, with psychological twists and turns to please all.

i'm about birthday partied-out. Dragon's birthday looms on the horizon, and typically i am wiped. when we came home from tiger's skate-and-swim shindig yesterday, i was sweaty and cranky and trying to decringe from the chaos. as we got out of the car, the two children who recently moved in two doors down were on their bikes near our house. we ended up introucing ourselves, making friends, and playing together for a fine hour or so. while the children played, i talked with their father, telling him about the other children on the street. while i was talking, i noticed two things: 1: we have an extrodinary amount of young children living here now and 2:they all live on our side of the street. given all the youth, i'm considering having a block party for dragon's celebration, tying balloons around and hauling out rootbeer and inviting everyone to just get together, talk and play. to heck with this sit-down, in-my-house thing. we live in a village for a reason.

this afternoon, irk and i are going to take in Must Love Dogs down at the grandin while the boys play at the pool.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

and what a night it was

soup night was a ball. really. not only did i have a marvelous time connecting with members of my household, you should have seen us playing cranium (the turbo edition, even!) after eating. kn0w1, tiger and wizard teamed up, despite wizard being prety sore from recent martial arts. tree enjoyed not being The New Girl in the aching-and-sore department, and gave wizard good natured grief. Tree and I teamed up with Dragon, and Jack and Mags teamed up on their own, all to great success. I have no idea who was ahead, and i don't really think any of us cared. it was a grand time.

girl time with tree on the porch was far overdue. we stayed up until tweet-tweet o'clock, and i'm glad we did.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

minestrone with a side helping of network

the soup is ready, along with a large amount of tabouli, which i think tastes particularly yummy. kn0w1 and i spent the afternoon with wireless routers, power supplies, and software. all in all a good day so far.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


too hot to read. too hot to think. too hot to be social. perfect day to clean out the refrigerator.

tomorrow night is Soup Night, and i'm looking forward to it.

Monday, August 01, 2005

media this week

a few nights ago i watched Love Me If You Dare, a witty and charming recent french film, and caught myself not merely laughing but actually giggling out loud several times. I was wholly fetched by it. recent books include Palahniuk's Haunted which, while well-written, left me wonderfing if i was so dense i had missed the point. Perhaps it will come to me with some distance, since most of his novels speak volumes to me, especially Diary: A Novel which i recently finished. Markoe and Prieboy's The Psycho-Ex Game is at least as hip and engaging as promised, and had me hooked the whole way through. Up next are Robert Shultz's The Madhouse Nudes and Andrea di Robilant's A Venitian Affair. I have some Nabokov en route from amazon, and am looking forward to it. I certainly have been going through the books this summer, and i confess that it has been glorious.