Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Holidays

Whatever holiday anyone happens to celebrate, I hope you all have great ones! I'm off to PA to celebrate with family. Safe travels!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Because I haven't quite recovered from the bear of a cold that bowled me over and really took the snot out of me (both literally and figuratively) -- so much so that I could barely knit (I know. Get your jaws off the floor. It was pretty bad.), I don't really have anything for the blog right now, except for some prompts (I'm feeling much better, but I'm still a little congested. Thankfully, the brunt of it took place over the weekend, so I didn't miss work.)

So, here, have fun. (A, remember that the meeting is THIS FRIDAY if you're planning on coming.)

Knocking on a metal desk

Two missing front teeth

A silver pen

Three fat snowflakes on a window pane

Dancing in the rain

Under the moon...

Thursday, December 04, 2008


To all my Canuk friends: WOW Can you BELIEVE what is going ON right now?

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Two Cents

With the movie coming out, there's been a lot of hype about the Twilight series. The first book came out in 2005, but the books are still quite the rage with teenage girls. I tried the first book, got halfway through, said to myself, "Oh my giddy aunt, can this girl become any more pathetic?" and returned the book to the library. My general opinion is that it's a lot like cotton candy -- which looks and sounds pretty, but has no nutritional value whatsoever.

There are some sections (that don't necessarily have anything to do with the whole vampire thing) in the books that I feel rather uncomfortable reading, and, without giving away any spoilers to anyone who is really enjoying them, let me just say that I wouldn't necessarily want just any young teenager (assuming I had access to any to whom I could dictate what they were allowed to read, which I don't) reading them.

But the hype, as well as the big to-do last year when The Golden Compass hit the theaters, has got me thinking: How much does an author's religious or moral beliefs affect your desire to read a book by that person? Even if the author claims he or she isn't trying to preach (or, for that matter, even if they are)?

I asked a Morman friend of mine about Twilight, and she answered that the fact that Stephanie Meyer was Morman was an added bonus, and that it was great to see a Morman author go mainstream, but that she didn't see it as a big deal to the books, and that there were other Morman authors out there popular with young adults (like Shannon Hale, for instance, or Orson Scott Card -- but then neither Enchantment nor The Goose Girl deals with half the controversial things that Twilight does).

So I'll pose the question to the blog and see if I get anything back: How much does it matter? Even if the author claims that there is no preaching, does the fact that Stephanie Meyer, Shannon Hale, and Orson Scott Card are Morman affect whether you would read Twilight, The Goose Girl, or Enchantment (or anything else they've written)? What about The Dark Materials Trilogy and Philip Pullman's atheism? Or The Lord of the Rings and JRR Tolkien's Catholicism?


Monday, November 17, 2008

Just Another

I usually don't post on Mondays, but I'm so proud of myself, I can barely stand it. Because I can't believe how productive I was yesterday afternoon.

I did three loads of laundry -- and it almost was four. This is not because I have been extremely dirty in the past week or two, but rather because I decided to change the sheets on my bed. Note to anyone who doesn't already know: sheets take up a LOT of space in the washer. The pillow cases will be done tomorrow.

Also, (insert drumroll please...)

I finished spinning the green yarn.

(I swear it's greener in real life.) Wool top of undetermined species bought at one of the LYS. With flecks of red and blue and yellow. Luscious. 8 oz, somewhere around (calculated to the best of my approximate abilities, which means counting the number of times it was wound around the niddy-noddy) 718 yards.

I also finished spinnning the dark blue yarn.

Merino, bought at Rhinebeck. Dark navy blue, with streaks of red and a little green. Absolutely yummy. 4 oz, somewhere around 350 yards.

The really interesting thing about it though is that even though there is twice the amount of green yarn as blue, both in terms of weight and yardage, the green is slightly bulkier than the blue. Weird.

Oh, and the first person who asks what they're going to be given out of either one of these yarns gets banned from the blog for life.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Because I have nothing else right now (other than progress on the Dr. Who mitts, but I haven't taken a picture of them, yet), here a few prompts. A, have fun.

The red leaves of an oak tree.

The empty gray sky.

A blue bench.

Running down the street...

Friday, November 07, 2008

It had better be cute

The Obamas' are getting a dog.

This is not (I am sure) news to any of you -- the President-elect promised his two daughters that they would buy a dog to accompany them to the White House, and regardless of the general opinion of politicians and promises, I'm pretty sure that this is going to be one he's going to keep. And owning an animal is sort of an unofficial requirement for growing up in the White House (every First Child in US history has owned at least one pet) But a dog? Their father is going to be the most powerful person in the world, and they want a dog?

Tad Lincoln had two goats, two ponies, a pig, a turkey, and a rabbit. The dog the family had owned was given away prior to coming to Washington.

Jessie Grant had a parrot and a couple of gamecocks. His sisters had ponies.

Russell Harrison had goats.

Quentin Roosevelt had snakes and a macaw. His sister Alice also owned a snake, and brother Archie had a pony. The family also had five guinea pigs, five bears, an assortment of lizards, rats, and roosters, a badger, a hyena, a wildcat, a coyote, a zebra, and a raccoon.

Cal and John Coolidge had raccoons, lion cubs, a wallaby, a bear, a bobcat, a donkey, and a pygmy hippopotamus.

Caroline and John Kennedy had two hamsters, three birds, a rabbit, and three ponies.

And Malia and Sasha Obama want a dog.

Now, there's certainly nothing against owning a dog (I myself would not own one, but some people like them). If that's what the girls want, and it's ok with the parents, it's certainly all right by me. But given the long history of such a colorful menagerie of animals owned and cared for by the country's First Children, and the fact that the care and upkeep of this animal is probably going to be funded in part by a certain percentage of my tax dollars...

It had better be a cute one.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

It's Over! At Last!

Before I begin, I would just like to say that I sincerely hope that every single one of my American friends voted yesterday. (You did, right? Yes?)

On one of the listserves I read, there has been talk this morning regarding the outcome of yesterday's election, and someone said that she was glad she could now say to children that they could grow up to be whatever they wanted and it would be true. Someone else responded by asking if they would still say that to a little girl if McCain had won, and the answer was an immediate yes -- that a female VP was still a crack in the glass ceiling.

Regardless of how anyone voted yesterday (I am not going to use this posting to spout politics -- there's already been enough of that), or how anyone may feel about either of the candidates, yesterday truly was history in the making. For the first time in US history, the country will have as her leader someone of African descent. No matter of how you may feel of Obama, it is wonderfully amazing to see that we, as Americans have come this far in racial equality. That we can elect someone whose race had been for centuries considered second class or worse says a lot about where we have come as a people. We have come an incredibly long way since 1619, when the first group of African slaves set foot on American soil. On behalf of Crispus Attucks, Dred Scott, Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Dubois, Bessie Coleman, Marian Anderson, Jackie Robinson, Martin Luther King, Jr and so many many others I am feeling very proud to be an American today.

But I'm proud for another reason too, and it goes back to the listserve comments. A female VP is still a crack in the glass ceiling. If McCain had won last night, we would have had, for the first time in US history, a female vice president (and yes, if I had been old enough to care about politics 24 years ago, I would have said the same thing). We would have had as First Mate someone whose gender had been for centuries considered second class or worse, and the fact that we came as close as we did to electing one also says a lot about where we as Americans have come as a people. Sarah Palin (regardless of how you feel about her) has proven that we have come a long way regarding gender equality since the first women of European descent came to America, and on behalf of Virginia Dare, Pocahontas, Abigail Adams, Sacagewea, Mary Lincoln, Elizabeth Blackwell, Susan B. Anthony, Amelia Bloomer, and many many others, I am feeling wonderfully proud and inspired to be an American woman today.

I'd also like to second a lot of the sentiments that were being expressed last night. This is all America, and we are all Americans. So let's put aside our differences and be proud of our country. Because, as President Bush said (I have never really been a fan of the man, but he has expressed the main idea of this posting admirably, and I don't want to get into a debate regarding him or his administration right now because he's still the President for the next two months), "No matter how they cast their ballots, all Americans can be proud of the history that was made yesterday."

Well said.

And now (thankfully) the election is over.

Monday, November 03, 2008


So, as promised, here is the Rhinebeck. It was actually done several weeks ago, and I've worn it a bunch of times, but you ever have those moments when all you need to do is do something that will only take about five minutes (in this case snap a photo and download it onto the computer), but you have about a million and a half other things that will also only take about five minutes, and on top of that you're going out of town where you won't have access to your computer, and then you get back and you've been away for so long that everything at work is so hectic and it takes you about a week to catch up, and then right when you get all caught up you go out of town again, so the task that is only going to take five minutes never gets done?

My middle school grammar teacher would be absolutely appalled by that run-on sentence. *whew* Moving on now.

The Rhinebeck:

Want a closer look?

Don't you just love the buttons? For anyone who is interested, this is from Lisa Lloyd's A Fine Fleece. The yarn is Cascade 220. I love it. It fits perfectly.

But, remember a couple of posts back when I said that I was almost finished and wondered if I could get anything else done before the festival?

The Victorian Wool Peddler's Shawl, from Cheryl Oberle's Folk Shawls, made from Plymouth Sockotta. I really like how it turned out, though clearly I need some practice with the blocking. I even had leftovers with the yarn, which I totally wasn't expecting, since the model in the book said it would use somewhere from 708-826 yards of yarn, and I had exactly 828. But I finished it with well over 100 yards to spare. I think it even blocked out bigger than what Cheryl said, which is good, because I like shawls big and drapy. This was a lot of fun to do, because after the incredibly mind-numbing rows of garter stitch, the lace pattern at the end was just complicated enough to keep me entertained, while still being relatively simple and easy to work.

*Deep Breath* Ok. Back to finishing up some socks.

I can't believe the Yarn Harlot quoted me in her latest posting...

Monday, October 27, 2008

For the Record

I have returned to the world of the living since being on vacation for a week. Yes, I took pictures. Yes, I had fun. No, I didn't think of very many of you while I was away (which is, of course, as it should be).

There will be a posting later about my excursions probably on my trip blog, but I'm waiting on the pictures to arrive first.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Make Believe

I'm tired of the campaign. I'm tired of all the annoying tv ads, all the stuff on the news, the hype about what people are planning on doing about gas prices, the economy, or the war, and I'm tired of everyone attempting to smear everyone else just in an attempt to get elected.

So for the next three weeks, how about we just pretend that the election is over? That it's November 5 (or some subsequent date, I don't really care), that we've all voted, and that whoever has been elected has been elected. OK?

Everyone has registered, yes??? Oh, and do check this out if you have any concerns or questions.

Thursday, October 09, 2008


Just in case you didn't like any of the ones I sent out yesterday, here are some more...

A blue cd case.

The very last tree in the world.

One sticker, partially peeled off.

Two green orts of yarn and one pink one of floss.

I was walking down the road last night...

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Totally and Completely Random

This has almost never happened to me. I have (count 'em) fourteen rows left on the Rhinebeck. Fourteen. After that, it's all over but the buttons (I need six that go well with a neutral brown. Anyone? Anyone? Beullar?) and the blocking. And the festival is still two weeks away. I wonder what else I can get done between now and then.....

My name is not Honey. Nor is it Sweetie, Sugar, or Babe. So if you happen to run into me on the street, or turn around after walking backwards out of a coffee shop and realize I've been standing behind you waiting for you to stop talking to your friend so I can enter, or happen to wait on me at a bank, restaurant, or retail store, please do not address me as such. If you don't happen to know my name, Miss, Ms, or Ma'am will do just fine. That's what they're there for anyway.

On a related note: Why are terms of endearment almost always food? Thoughts?

Whoever invented e-mail has my eternal gratitude. Leaving messages on my voice mail clearly is not nearly as effective. I've been hunting all over my apartment looking for this little scrap of paper that I wrote down the name and number of this woman who called me on Tuesday, and can't find it. So Brenda from church who called me Tuesday morning? Please call me back so you'll know I'm not ignoring you completely.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Something to think about

There's this poll on the Internet this morning asking which people which party they think is more responsible for the country's current financial situation, Republicans or Democrats. Now, while there has certainly asked some odd poll questions in the past, I think this one ranks right up there on the stupidity level.

How, exactly, is a specific political party responsible for a financial crisis? I read an article predicting exactly this type of financial situation about five years ago -- and the reasons for it made a lot more sense then blaming any specific group of people with the same political ideals. The article said people would start saving more and buying less (they have). It said that the housing market was a bubble that would soon pop (it has). It said that inflation would soon cause the price of staple items to increase disproportionately to wage raises (it has). And it said that rising oil prices would put a crunch on people as gas prices went up (yep, that's happened too).

The only one of those items that I can even associate with any political party is the fact that oil prices are connected to the war somewhat. But the price of oil is dependent on so many other things too (Katrina, Rita, and Ike ring any bells?), and it was going up prior to the war, so even there I think the connection is a little shaky.

Despite my opinion on various people in Washington (or lack, thereof, as some of them frankly don't deserve one), I think this poll is shooting in the dark. It's just one more attempt at passing the buck off on other people. The situation is frustrating, there's no doubt about it, and we want someone to blame for it. But the truth of the matter is, there really isn't anyone to blame, because the crisis has happened because of things we've all done, not just one particular person or group of people.

*sigh* Ok, off the soap box.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Ravelympics and other things

Ok, so this is rather late, but I thought I'd post about what all UFO's I got done during the Olympics. This isn't officially my Ravelympics projects (mainly because I knew that if I posted it and made it official, nothing would get done. I do know that much about myself), but I did want to see if I could get them done while the Olympics were going on.

So I decided to work on a few of my UFO's and just see if I could get them done.

UFO #1: My rosebud socks, knit for myself, started last spring.
Progress prior to 080808: Halfway up the foot of one sock
Yarn: LionBrand Microspun.
Pattern: Invented on the fly. Ask me nicely, and I might consider sending it to you.

UFO #2: White Shawl, started last May to be completed for a friend who is expecting a baby this fall
Progress prior to 080808: All done but the border
Yarn: LionBrand Sportweight
Pattern: Debbie Macomber's Alix Prayer Shawl

UFO #3: Big Green, started last fall, to be a Christmas present for an undisclosed recipient. Despite what the picture looks like, it really is made out of green yarn.
Progress prior to 080808: back complete, front done to the armholes
Yarn: Cascade 220
Pattern: Patons' Aran Raglan, adapted to a vest

UFO #4: Hooded Cardigan, started sometime last winter, to be another Christmas present for another undisclosed recipient. There is no picture of this, not because I wasn't able to finish it, but simply because I just never got around to it.
Progress prior to 080808: Both fronts, back, pockets, and one sleeve complete
Yarn: Caron Rainbow Tones Blue Ombre
Pattern: Ummm, the name of the book escapes me at the moment, but it's a hooded cardigan knit from the top down with a knit-on button band and divided kangaroo pockets.

You're just going to have to believe me when I say that this one is all done (except for the buttons, because the undisclosed recipient has insisted on putting them on herself and confiscated the sweater to do so -- I hope).

Prompts? You bet. Here are three:
A tall oak tree, half dead, standing against the sky.
A pink ribbon nestled among blond curls.
Someone came to my door last night...

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Ready for a Brand New Beat

School starts today.

Oh bliss, oh joy, oh wonder of wonders. School starts today. School starts today. School starts today.

And even though it is ending, summer still is here, and truly the time really is right to go dancing in the street.

Join me, won't you? SCHOOL STARTS TODAY!!!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

In response to

Ok, H and A, these are for you.

1. The faithful blue sky.

2. All was silent except...

3. John Donne, Shelley Winters, Ethelred the Unready, Sacagewea, and St. Andrew are all in the room next to you. You have the werewithall to take one of them to dinner. Who do you choose, and why?

Have fun.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

New Topic

There's been talk in the news of late about lowering the drinking age -- from twenty-one possibly to eighteen, or even lower. (Check it out if you haven't already heard.) Naturally this has spurred a great amount of debate -- on both sides. Both those for and those against are getting strongly involved and heated on this subject.

I'm pretty neutral on the subject (I'm much more interested in the idea about college professors wanting to do away with correct spelling -- I mean, really? Correct spelling? What is the world coming to?) Anyone else have an opinion (on spelling, drinking, or otherwise)?

Now, about MP. I am not trying in my previous entry to say that I dislike the man. He's a great athlete, and (never actually having met him) I'm sure he's a very nice human being. He is also super incredibly fine on the eyes (and he has big feet). But what I would like to point out is that there are over two hundred countries competing in the Olympics, and even if each country has only one representative, that still leaves over two hundred more athletes that are competing. So how about we give some of them some airtime too?

now, iam going two due a whey with awl mai core wrecked spelling. Moo vying awn now.

Monday, August 18, 2008


I am tired of Michael Phelps.

Yes, he's a great athlete. He's a phenomenal swimmer, and what he has done this past week in China is spectacular and deserves heaps of praise. But really? Enough is enough. We've figured out that he's won more gold medals than anyone ever in Olympic history. We got that. Let's move on now. He's a great athlete, and he makes for some really great eye candy out of the pool, but he isn't nearly as beautiful or as graceful to watch as Nastia Liukin, who has the potential to match Shannon Miller's 1992 haul of five gymnastic medals in one Olympics. So how come we don't hear about her and all the other medalists? Or for that matter, the other medalists from other countries?

Let's talk, for instance, about Louis Smith, the British gymnast who took bronze in Pommel horse, the first Olympic medal in gymnastics for Great Britain since 1928. Or about Oksana Chusovitina, the German who won silver in the vault at the age of 33. Or Walter Dix, the American who beat out two previous world champions to take home bronze in the men's 100 meters. Or Blake Russell, the only American even to finish the woman's marathon, in 27th place. Or Paula Radcliffe, the Brit who dropped out of the woman's marathon in Athens with only a few miles to go, but who pushed herself this year to finish 23rd. Or Stephanie Brown Trafton, who won gold in the woman's discus, the first time an American woman has won in the event since 1932. Or Paolo Espinosa and Tatiana Ortiz, the synchronized divers who took bronze in the 10 meter event, the only medal Mexico has won so far. Or Mariel Zagunis, Sada Jacobson, or Becca Ward, the American fencers who swept the medals in Women's Individual Sabres, then worked together to win bronze in the team event.

But I can hear you saying it now. Those aren't swimmers. It isn't the same. Well, ok. But what about Kirsty Coventry, who has one four medals (one gold, three silver), the only medals her country of Zimbabwe has won so far. Or Rebecca Adlington, the Brit who edged out favorite Katie Hoff in the woman's 400 free. Or Oussama Mellouli, who won the gold medal in the men's 1500 free, the only medal Tunisia has ever won in swimming, and the only one they've currently won this year. Or Grant Hackett, the Aussie who came in second to Mellouli in an attempt to be the first person to win gold in the event in three straight Olympics, and shortly after learning that his wife had been taken to the emergency room after suffering a serious fall in her hotel room.

Oh, but those aren't Americans? Ok, how about this. Let's talk about Rebecca Soni, who won the gold medal in the 200 breast, upsetting Aussie favorite Leisel Jones. And Dara Torres, who will, at the age of 41, go home with three silver medals, and, when she was lining up to swim in the semis for the 50 free, noticed that another swimmer had to replace her suit because of a rip and asked the officials to hold off the race until she had arrived (the other swimmer didn't place into the finals, but at least she got to race), and when Dara was edged out of the gold later in the finals by 0.01 of a second (the same margin by which Phelps won his 100 fly) simply hugged the gold medalist and joked that she shouldn't have filed her nails the night before. And don't forget about Natalie Coughlin, who won the gold medal in the 100 back and will be going home from China with six medals, more than any other American woman has ever won in a single games.

I think Jason Lezak (you know, the American who chased down Frenchman Alain Bernard in the men's 4x100 free?) said it best: When interviewed about his performance, he said quite frankly (and I'm paraphrasing here, obviously) that he didn't swim his absolute best so that Phelps could keep his record performance alive. He did it for himself, for his teammates, and for his country, and because the Olympic spirit and creed demanded it of him, and he would have swum that way whether Phelps was on the relay team or not.

Well said, Jason.

On a totally different note, Here. Discuss.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Totally Random

All this past week, there's been talk in the news about US cyclists arriving in Bejing wearing masks against the pollution. These masks were made and designed by the USOC, and the Chinese knew darn well the air around the city is polluted (they've been trying to clean it up for years). So why have the cyclists been made to apologize?

The big story in the local newspaper this week is on how government employees need to cut back on their use of gasoline. The roaring inferno that took place next door seems to have gone unnoticed, except as a tiny insert in another paper. The county website seems to be uninterested in it as well.

I'm debating whether or not I should officially announce my Ravelympics project, or just work on it on my own and see if I get it done in the sixteen days. Thoughts?

A, this is for you: A wooden stick, lying charred black against the green grass.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Oh Dear

Today on Aol.com, there was an article on various companies that were closing several stores for flagging sales. The list had several big names on it: Linens 'n Things, Macy's, Home Depot, Talbots, Starbucks. Most of them I wasn't too worried about. I don't shop at very many of them (Starbucks excluded), so I'm wasn't going to be too concerned about a lot of them.

Until I saw that A.C. Moore made the list.

Repeat after me: They will not close the one closest me. They will not close the one closest me. They will not close the one closest me.

Maybe we can send out vibes so our stores will be safe.

My dad celebrates an undisclosed number of years today. Any commenters, please take the time to wish him well.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Monday, July 14, 2008

Some things I have learned

1. The amount of time my derrier can comfortably remain on the back of a bike is approximately 2.5 hours. After that, all bets are off.

2. I need new bike shorts.

3. A 4 hour bike ride, no matter how early in the day it is done, has the capability to wipe a person out for the rest of the day.

4. I am hideously out of shape.

5. By the time one has biked for 3.5 hours, the concept of pride is nonexistent. No matter how slight the hill you are trying to ascend and how many other people are on the trail with you and will look at you and probably laugh, you'll still get to the top faster if you get off and walk.

6. Lemonade tastes very good, especially when you have just biked for three hours.

Oh, and Jon? Happy birthday, even though it is a day late.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

We've All Had Them

A list of things that were royally ticking me off (some still are, others, not so much):

My hair -- for the reason that it never does anything that I want it to do.

Cable cast-ons -- and any other project that, after you use it to cast on 200 stitches (as opposed to your favorite long-tail because you didn't want to get to stitch 192 and realize you only have enough tail left for three more) and VERY CAREFULLY join it to start knitting in a round, requires you to realize that even after your very best intentions? It still manages to finagle in a twist.

Toilets -- mine in particular, especially when it is clogged, like it is now. I am suspecting that this is my own fault, but that still doesn't change the fact that I can't seem to get it fixed, which means that when I wake up in the middle of the night and have to pee -- this is a major problem. Hopefully it will be fixed today.

All the various and sundry people who, whether intentionally or not, all conspired to make my afternoon something out of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre yesterday. It's like they all got together and said, "Hey! I know! Let's all see how many little pieces we can chop B's self-esteem into before she turns into a raving, screaming lunatic!" (Actually, I've never seen TTCM, but it sounds like that's what happens, and if you happen to be someone who has seen it? Please do not irritate me further by telling me anything different.)

This is all a roundabout way of saying many, many, many thanks to my dear sweet friend, the lovely V, who took me knitting last night and paid for my dinner. And to all you wonderful people who e-mailed me regarding comment cards, because you are all lovely and all deserve such glowing comments from patrons.

Friday, July 04, 2008

My Turn!

So Tuesday I listed twenty-six things I liked about Canada in honor of their independence day. Today is July 4, and it is now our turn. So to all my Canadian friends, here are twenty-six things that you may or may not know about your fine neighbors to the south:

A is for Apple Pie. You don't really get anymore quintessentially American than this. There's a reason the phrase goes, "as American as apple pie."

B is for Baseball, our national pasttime.

C is for Chevrolet. It's also for the Civil War, because precious little did more to help define us as a nation.

D is for Delaware, the oldest state in the union.

E is for Everyone who has helped make this country great.

F is for Franklin. Besides writing Poor Richard, inventing central heating and bifocals, and figuring out that lightning and electricity are related, Ben also founded the first lending library in the nation.

G is for Gettysburg. 'Nuff said.

H is for Hot Dogs and Hamburgers. Because that's what we all eat today.

I is for the Imperial System. Why we don't use the Metric system like everyone else in the world, I have no idea, but it doesn't look like we're going to change anytime soon, so for now, I'm reveling in being different.

J is for Jefferson. That all men are created equal and life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness stuff? That's pretty cool. But founding the Library of Congress? That totally rocks.

K is for Key. The "Star Spangled Banner" is a devil to sing, but kudos to the guy who wrote the lyrics. K is also for King, because MLK, Jr really was a great man.

L is for Lion Brand. I don't actually use their yarn a whole lot, but they have lots of neat patterns (and they're all free). L is also for Lincoln, who was arguably the greatest leader our country has ever had.

M is for Memorial Day, the day we remember all our fallen heroes of past wars. It was first celebrated back in the late 1860's (called Decoration Day then) to commemorate all the men and boys who had been killed in the Civil War. It's been celebrated every year since then. (So to all my Canadian friends who gave me flack about the way Nov 11 is or is not celebrated down here, we aren't being rude, disrespectful, blase, or apathetic toward our fallen soldiers. Memorial Day had been celebrated for 50 years prior to the end of WWI.)

N is for Native Americans. Thank you for making this country so great before it was stolen from you.

O is for the Oregon Trail, and all the people who traveled it.

P is for Patriotism. We got a lot of it. And that's a good thing, because a country is only as good as the people who love and defend it (note, I said country, not its leaders).

Q is for Quakers, who not only helped to settle the land, but also help to remind us that war is never the answer.

R is for Railroads, who helped to connect the land in ways never thought of before. R is also for Religious Freedom, the reason why many of the people who settled here came in the first place.

S is for States Rights. I will admit that these have gotten us into trouble in the past (Note C,G, and L), but when it comes right down to it, I personally think it's great that the different states have so much autonomy.

T is for Twain. Because it just wouldn't be a list about the US without at least one reference to our favorite writer. Please go read Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer if you haven't already.

U is for Underage Drinking, which contrary to what many of my Canadian friends think, is a REALLY BIG DEAL here. We don't care what the drinking age is in other places. Here, it's 21 or bust.

V is for Virginia. Besides being where I happen to live, it's also the name of the first person of European descent known to be born in the US. It was also the home of several US presidents, where the capital of the Confederacy was, and where the last major battle in the Revolutionary War took place.

W is for Washington. Again, 'nuff said.

X is for EXpats. Whether we like to think of ourselves like this or not, the truth of it all is that the majority of Americans are, or are direct descendants of people who came here from other place.

Y is for Yankee Doodle. Only Americans can take a song that started out as an insult and turn it into part of our national identity.

Z is for Zee. Because contrary to many parts in the English-speaking world, that's how we pronounce the last letter of the alphabet.

Happy Fourth to all my American friends. Have fun and enjoy the fireworks.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Here We Go Round...

"Mistress Mary" talks about Mary I of England.
"Rock-a-bye Baby" talks about James II of England.
"Ring Around a Rosy" is about the bubonic plague.
"Humpty Dumpty" is apparently about a canon that fell off a castle rampart during the British Civil War.
And "Baa Baa Black Sheep" is about taxes imposed on wool during the Middle Ages.

But I've got to wonder about "Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush." Where does it come from?

It's not the poem itself. That may come from the fact that the plant happens to grow in the courtyard of a particular British prison, and that the inmates used to exercise around it everyday.

But I am curious about the wording. Because mulberries don't grow on bushes.

The Bible says that mulberries grow on trees (Luke 17, if you're interested).
The above mentioned prison says that the foliage within its grounds is a tree.
The forestry department at Virginia Tech says that mulberries grow on trees.
And, (most importantly in my opinion) the mulberries that grow wild right outside my apartment building (and are free game to any of the tenants) grow on trees.

So why does the rhyme say bush? It's not the only one that references mulberry bushes -- alternate words to "Pop Goes the Weasel" talks about mulberry bushes, too.

Any thoughts?

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

In Honor Of

Because today is July 1, I thought I would take the opportunity to give honor to our fine neighbors to the north. Here are twenty-six things I bet a lot of you don't know about them:

A is for Alpine. Because even though I don't drink beer, sometimes, I feel you really do have to live here to get it (yes, I know that's a semi-old slogan). It's also for Atwood (Margaret), and Anne (of Green Gables).

B is for Basketball (I bet you didn't know it was invented here). It's also for Blue Jays (I'm not a fan, but I think they deserve mention as the only MLB team NOT in the US)

C is for Curling. Ever seen Men with Brooms? Great Movie.

D is for Diversity. 'Nuff said.

E is for Eh? Yes, they really do say it.

F is for Fundy, the Bay of. High Tide, Low Tide, any kind of tide. Once you've lived on it for four years, you'll never think of tides the same way again.

G is for Garlic Fingers. Go north and have some.

H is for Hockey (of course), Halifax (a great city), and Hopewell (because those rocks are just darn cool).

I is for... well, I looks very much like the number 1 -- the number one country in North America in terms of size. Yes, it really is bigger than the US.

J is for Joey's, the best pizza place in the world.

K is for Kathy, down right the absolute coolest person in the place.

L is for Loonies. How come we can't give our money cool nicknames?

M is for Maple. Period. Yes, it can stand for other things, like Maritimes, or Molsen, or Macleans, or Mount Allison, but when you get right down to it? M is for Maple.

N is for New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Northwest Territories, and Nunavit. More of Canada's political subdivisions start with N than another letter.

O is for Oil. There's more in Canada than there is in the US, believe it or not.

P is for Patons. (You didn't think I'd go through a list without bringing up at least one reference to yarn, did you?) It's also for Poutine, the absolute best, most delicious comfort food in the universe. Look above at G for directions.

Q is for Quebec. What else?

R is for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, who usually wear dark blue and drive Chevrolets. They train in Regina, another great R (I've never been there, but I'm sure it's a wonderful place).

S is for Sackville, the home of Joey's. And many other things, but you really should consider stopping by just for Joey's.

T is for Timbits. Again, 'nuff said.

U is for Universal Health Care. A shame we don't have something similar in the US.

V is for Vimy Ridge. If you don't know anything about this WWI battle, well....

W is for Winter, which has a tendency to last ad nauseum, but really is one of the prettiest times of the year.

X is for X-files, which were filmed there.

Y is for Yukon. I've heard it's very nice up there. And without it, we would have no Call of the Wild.

Z is for Zed, which is Canadianese (I should say Commonwealthese, actually, since they say Zed in Britain and Oz too.) for the last letter of the alphabet.

Happy Canada Day to all my Canuk friends. I hope you all have a great one.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Didn't Your Mother Ever Tell You....

The other day while I was at work, I was checking out this woman's books when she commented, "You don't look any older than 15."

I said nothing, just continued checking out the books. She looked at me for a moment, then said, "Are you older than that? Not by much, surely. Sixteen?"

The woman was clearly in her retired years, so perhaps anyone younger than 40 looked infantile to her, but we'll ignore that for now. And we'll ignore the fact that no teenager would ever be working behind the reference desk at a library (at least not at mine). We'll also ignore the fact that, regardless of how someone wants to look when they are 40, it's quite rude to tell a 20-something that they look like they're in high school (Think about everything a 15-year-old can't do that a 20-something can. And honestly? Who are you more likely to respect?).

But we'll ignore those facts, because there's something else that was bothering me more. When I was a child, I was taught that there are three questions that you never (NEVER EVER) ask an adult for two reasons: A) It's none of your business and B) It would be rude.

How old are you?
How much do you weigh?
How much money do you make?

There is exactly one reason (and one reason only) that you should be asking a stranger any of those questions: if it's an integral part of your job (The sales clerk at the liquor store has the right to know). Otherwise, regardless of how old you are, or how old the person you're asking is, you NEVER EVER ask these questions of anyone. I don't know the ages of most of the people I work with -- and I'm on first name basis with all of them.

So, since when did growing older excuse people from basic politeness? So this woman was old enough to be a grandmother. So what? Does that mean that she can just ignore basic rules of etiquette? In fact, if she was indeed a grandmother, then it stands to reason that she was responsible for installing manners into at least one other person, which means she should be familiar with the fundamental laws of decorum. And if she feels that she can go around asking complete strangers their age, I shudder to think how her child was raised.

So if you happen to see someone who you think doesn't look their age? Unless it is your responsibility to make sure they are old enough to do the activity they're trying to do, keep your mouth shut. Whether they look their age or not, IT'S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS how old they are.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Only Three More Months

Until school starts again. In the meantime, I'm knitting myself a poncho, which will at least help me deal with the blasted ice box the HVAC system thinks I need to be in at work.

Three months. I can do it. I know I can.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Catching Up

I've finished my butterfly socks.

Knit from something akin to Lion Brand Glitter Spun. The pattern is made up. The color is a bit off, due in part to the lack of natural light when I took this picture. At the time, I had all the lights off and the curtains drawn in my apartment in an effort to escape from the (insert filthy explicative of your choice here) heat wave that we were going through earlier in the week.

I've also completed my forest green socks, knit from one of the skeins I bought at Maryland Sheep and Wool. The pattern is my own standard sock pattern.

I took the remnants and knit a pair of toesies,

which, contrary to the photo are actually done now. They're a little short, but I'll manage.

Saturday, June 07, 2008


We humans are a weird bunch. I realize this is not news to any of you, but it has really come to my attention in recent days -- so much so that I feel forced to comment on it. Of course, I am including myself in this bunch. I would never dare to accuse other people of being strange without making the statement about myself in the process. I'm sure I lead the pack in some areas.

Food is where we are definitely the weirdest. I pity the poor alien anthropologist whose job it will be to observe us someday. Think about it. I will gripe about $4 gas, then go and spend the exact same amount of money on some fancy drink from Starbucks. I will eat beef, and I will eat goose, but absolutely refuse to eat veal or fois grois. I will also not eat tomatoes or peanuts, but throw the tomatoes into a pot and cook until mush, or grind the peanuts until they're the consistency of soft butter, and I'll eat them both with gusto.

But I'm not the only weird one. The whole human race is like this. We believe that eating Rocky Mountain oysters will miraculously correct some ailment we have with our own corresponding body part (don't laugh -- that's how the whole custom started), and will eat fish eggs, monkey brain, and asparagus for the exact same reasons. We will eat chicken, and we will eat eggs, but we will not eat fertilized chicken eggs, even though they're basically the same things. My friend S from college thought rice pudding was gross, because she believes that rice and milk are two foods that don't go together, but she didn't bat an eye at a bowl of Rice Krispies. My brother will not eat cherries, but he will eat the cake part of cherry pudding that has juice in it. My coworker M will eat turnip greens by the bucket load -- but refuses to eat the turnips themselves. She'll also eat liver, but not kidneys or chitlins. And my friend T from church will gladly consume most any form of animal flesh set before her, but was sufficiently grossed out the other day when I told her where Jello comes from.

Yep. There's no denying it. We are one odd species.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Random Musings

1. I just read online this evening about how gas costs over $11/gallon in Turkey. I won't comment on how comparatively lucky we are here in the US with it costing $4.

2. The first week of October this year is apparently Mysteries Series Week. Must have a program -- although why they can't be celebrated in July when our theme for SRP is mysteries is beyond me.

3. Apparently (according to the people on the radio) giving children last names as first names has become the new trend. I won't mention the fact that people have been giving their kids last names for years -- My great-great grandfather's middle name was McClelland -- but we won't go there.

4. I have about 150 yards of freshly spun green (mostly) laceweight wool. Any ideas on what I can do with it?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Sometimes it makes you think

The other week, someone said something rather extraordinary to me (at least in my opinion). I was at choir practice, and I tend to bring muffins or cookies to practice as a little snack for everyone there. I also tend to bring my knitting (usually a sock) which I like to work on inbetween songs. Toward the end of practice, someone commented that I must be very talented, since I was able to knit socks AND make such great goodies.

At first it was flattering -- I'm glad people like my baking. But then I got to thinking. People think I'm very talented....because I know how to knit and bake?

When, exactly, did knitting and baking become such rare skills? As recently as fifty years ago, practically all women knew how to bake and knit (or crochet or some similar needlecraft). It was considered a given that she would have those two skills. When did the ability to loop string and combine sugar, milk, and flour together become so unique?

Personally, I blame the feminist movement. When women rebelled against the idea of staying at home, they rebelled against all the domestic skills that went along with it. It's a shame really. I'm not saying that the feminist movement was bad. Far from it. It gave women the power to choose what they wanted to do with their lives, which is great! But that doesn't mean that a woman has to give up all domestic abilities, just because she no longer HAS to stay at home. I am one of those rare people out there who believe that all people everywhere, whether man or woman, need to know how to sew a button on, mend a ripped seam, cook a basic meal (yes, muffins and cookies can be pretty basic), and have the knowledge and dexterity to knit and/or crochet at least a hat. Honestly. None of those things are really that hard.

But I'll still enjoy feeling flattered whenever anyone stares at me agog when I walk around carrying five really tiny knitting needles and magically creating footware with them.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Yesterday morning, I woke up, and it was raining. Today, I woke up, and it was raining. This is not good.

Don't get me wrong. I love the rain. Here in northern VA we certainly need it -- I don't think we've replenished the deficit from the drought we had last year, and I have a feeling this summer is going to be a little on the dry side too. So we can use all the raiin we can get.

But rain in the morning is not good. First of all, it makes me want to sleep in and spend all day in bed. Not an option when I am needed elsewhere (like work or church). Secondly, if it is raining, I cannot run. No, correct that. It's not that I can't, it's that I won't. It's no fun to run in the rain. I get wet enough as it is when it isn't raining that I don't need to get wetter. And it's darned uncomfortable when you have to wear wet clothes. So no running.

Why can't it ever rain when we're asleep?

Monday, April 28, 2008

These Things Come in Threes

I can't believe it's almost May already. Whatever happened to April? Time flies.

Anyway! Last week was the Flower and Garden Show. A friend and I went, even though it poured buckets. We had fun. We spent money.

The Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival is coming up this weekend.

The Green Valley Bookfair is coming up the weekend after that.

This spring is really going to be bad for my bank account. I can tell.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Little People

I was doing a program the other week for very young children. We're talking babies here. Under a year. Haven't mastered the art of stringing intelligible words together or walking upright. Most are just learning what the word "shhh" means, if they have any idea at all. So, needless to say, I wasn't expecting the kids to be perfect little angels. Kids that age have an attention span of about 3 seconds. Since I wasn't holding a bottle, a blanket, or a weird toy that jingled, if they look at me and smile for the duration of those three seconds, I consider that an accomplishment on my part.

One of the children was not being happy. He wanted to crawl around the room. Dad did not want him to, and insisted on baby sitting on his lap. Baby did not like this. He fussed, he cried, he fidgeted. In other words, he acted like a normal baby. Dad responded by covering baby's mouth.

I told the father that if his son wished to explore the room we were in, that was perfectly fine. He relaxed his vigilance, and the kid happily investigated. But I haven't seen father or son since, and I think the reason may have had to do with the fact that the father may have been a little embarrassed, because his child was the only one fussing. Which is a crying shame, really. This was a program for kids under the age of eighteen months. No child that age wants to sit still for 20 minutes and listen to some strange person sing songs -- even if they're silly songs. If little dude wants to crawl around the floor and mutter happy nonsense noises to himself, that's ok. I figure, as long as he isn't chewing another kid's pacifier, screaming at the top of his lungs, or hurting himself, he's fine. He's probably learning more than he would if he were sitting on Mom or Dad's lap being restrained while he fussed. At least now he's happy. And I'd much rather listen to a happy baby than a crying one any day.

The Harlot (see link on left-hand side) says this much better than I right now, so I encourage you to check out her blog. Babies are going to be noisy (in that respect, they aren't really that different from a lot of adults I know). They're going to fuss, they're going to scream, and if they're in a new and interesting place, they're going to want to explore. Let them. As long as they're happy and not hurting themselves or someone else, they're going to be fine.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

It's like running

You ever notice how commitment is lacking in a lot of people? Tired of your hobby? Get a new one. Tired of your job? Get a new one. Tired of your house? Get a new one. Tired of your spouse? Get a new one. It's getting to be rather annoying, personally. Have we, as a society, become so lackluster in our emotions that we can't get our souls involved in anything anymore? So, it isn't fun anymore. So what? Is that why you did it in the first place? When you do something with all your soul (whatever that something is), you don't necessarily do it because it's fun, or because you're enjoying it. You do it because a) you know the prize at the end is more than worth the pain you're currently experiencing and b) you made a committment to do it, even if it's only to yourself.

I've started running in the mornings, a little bit each day. The goal is eventually to be able to run for 30 minutes straight. This week I'm running for five minutes at a time.

You never realize how long five minutes are until you actually try to run for that length. By the end of it, your lungs are on fire, and your legs are burning, and you're gasping for air, and you have stitches in your side. And on top of it all, I don't have the stop watch that tells me how long I've been running. My buddy has that. So in addition to being in pain and gasping for breath, you don't know how much longer it's going to continue. The only thing that keeps you going is the fact that you made a committment to run, and (provided you don't sprain your ankle or do something similar) you're going to see it through.

I know that eventually, I will obtain a fitter, slimmer body. Or at least, that is what I hope. And that is why I run. I don't run because I enjoy getting up early in the morning, nor do I do it because I enjoy gasping for breath or shooting pain up my legs. None of that is what I call "fun." It cerainly isn't what I would call a good time. But that isn't why I do it. I run because I know what I'll get out of it. But more importantly, I made the commitment to do so.

Just a thought.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Sunshine, Freedom, and a Little Flower

Today is the 203rd birthday of Hans Christian Anderson, and he was responsible for the title of today's post, when he said, "Just living is not enough...One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower." Emerson (or quite possibly e.e. cummings) said something similar when he said "The earth laughs in flowers."

As spring is now upon us, and the pear and magnolia trees are in bloom (well, here anyway), it's a great little sentiment to remember as we look around us. I'm not a particularly big fan of spring, mainly because it means that summer will soon be upon us, and I'm not a hot-weather person, but no one can deny that this is probably one of the prettiest times of the year. Outside my apartment building, there are two cherry trees that are just beginning to blossom and a white dogwood tree that has just started to bud. Pretty soon, all three of them will be full of flowers. They will blossom and flourish for a couple of days, and then all too quickly, the warmer weather will be upon us. The blossoms will all be gone and replaced by green leaves. So, let's all breathe deep and enjoy the sights while they are around us.

Listen to the earth laughing.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Weirdly Normal

I was at Borders this past Friday with some of my buddies, and somehow (I don't recall what we were discussing, but I'm sure it was important), the topic of my knitting came up. One of my friends laughingly called me a "Knitting Fiend," much to the hilarity of the others there. I immediately corrected her by saying that I was not a fiend. That among my knitting friends, we prefered to be called "Fiber Fondlers."

Well, this got a similar reaction: slightly confused looks of incredulity, and some mildly hysterical giggles. Finally, A said, "I don't think I would ever willingly call myself anything that has the word fondler in it." The others immediately agreed.

I think I'm going to give up trying to explain myself to the non-knitters of the world. While many people look at me knitting and say, "Wow, that's so cool. I wish I could do something like that," there are equally large populations of people who look at me and say, "I can't believe she's doing that here," or "I can't believe she would spend so much time doing something like that."

So, I think I'm going to go out of my way to confuse them even more. Stephanie has said things much better than I in her blog regarding this, particularly in this entry, although it would be fun to read her next post about it (Grip Getting) as well, when she assigns all the posts. It could be just as interesting to do your sock pictures in other cities/towns/hamlets around the world if you wanted to.

This is such a great idea. Confuse the world! Take sock pictures! Be weirdly normal! It'll be so much fun.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Something to Think About

I read this article the other day -- about St. Patty's Day falling when it does this year. Apparently, according to liturgical rules, a mass for a deceased saint cannot be celebrated during Holy Week. This is causing certain dilemmas in various areas, because people now do not know when to celebrate the day.

You would think the Church would have taken care of this prior to now. I mean, given the fact that St. Patrick's Day always falls during Lent, I would think that those to whom this is an important issue would have foreseen this happening and discussed it already. Besides, the reason for celebrating the day at all is because it's the day St. Patrick died. I don't actually think the dude specifically chose this particular day to die. And even if he had, I don't think he was thinking, "Gee, 1600 years from now, people are really going to have issues with when they're going to be celebrate the day I die. Perhaps I should choose to die some other time."

Personally, I don't see what the big issue is anyway. I'm not Irish, and I don't see the point of celebrating the death of some guy who happens to be the patron saint of a country I can't claim. I mean, no one other than the Scots and the Russians celebrate St. Andrew's Day (Nov. 30), and only the French celebrate the feast day of Joan of Arc (May 30). Even St. Nicholas (Dec 6) has a limited following outside of Holland and Russia. And the Catholic Encyclopedia, while giving his feast day as April 23, can't even give an exact date for the death of St. George, the patron saint of England. So, why the big fuss about St. Patrick?

Any thoughts?

Thursday, March 06, 2008


Interesting article on CNN.com this morning. I wonder how many people are going to take it to heart. Personally, I think it's a good idea, at least to try.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

There's So Much That We Share that It's Time We're Aware

There's this coffee shop in town. It's reasonably independent (there's another coffee shop with the same name in a nearby town, but as far as I know, these are the only two ones in the world) and small. It has a really nice atmosphere, and I like to go there reasonably often -- mostly to work on whatever knitting or writing project I'm working on at the moment.

Coffee shop knitting tends to be socks -- there isn't room in my purse for anything bigger. The interesting thing about it is that eventually, someone will look over at you and ask what it is that you're knitting. This sometimes leads to a conversation about knitting -- as well as other things -- because invaraiably, the person will be astonished that I can actually knit socks.

Several months ago, I struck up a conversation with a woman exactly this way -- I happened to be knitting socks, and she was curious about what I was making. It turned out that she (I'll call her J) was interested in knitting, and one thing led to the other, and pretty soon, we were exchanging e-mail. We've been in touch ever since.

Now, where it gets really interesting is that this past Sunday, I had stopped at the other coffee shop (the one in the nearby town) on my way home from church. I sat down at a table with my current sock and little notebook, and had started a round of knitting. All of a sudden, the women at the table next to me looks over and starts commenting about my knitting. She, too, was interested in knitting, and we started talking about meeting other people who like to knit. After several minutes, we exchanged e-mails. It turns out she has the same name as the previous woman I had met.

Now, what are the odds that I would go to two different branches of the exact same coffee shop and meet two completely different women with the exact same name, all because I happened to be knitting socks both times?

It's bizarre how small our world is.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Weather Report

It's raining right now. No, scratch that. It isn't just raining -- it's FREEZING rain. This is close to what it looks like outside the library window right now.....

And this is similar to what I am dreading how it will look later.

Now don't get me wrong. I'm all for winter weather. But the winter weather I like looks more like this.

And I particularly like to enjoy it like this

rather than like this, which is how I am being forced to do so today.

Grrr. Life would be so much easier if we didn't have to go places.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

My Monthly Rant

There are a lot of things in the world today that annoy me. Grammatical errors made by the reasonably intelligent, bad weather when I have the day off, rodents under my kitchen sink, a plot line in my head that won't come together on paper, no matter how hard I try, and so on and so forth. I'm sure all of you have similar lists.

But you know what is really getting my goat right now? When you unintentionally do something that irritates/offends someone else, and instead of that person coming up to you and saying, "You know, I didn't like it when you did such-and-such. Would you mind not doing it again?" this person goes and tells all of his/her friends or coworkers about it, so that the first time you hear about it is when you get the mass e-mail that's been sent to everyone he/she knows.

I forgot to give something to one of my coworkers once. I didn't do it on purpose -- it just happened. I had every intention to give this person the item (I even had it in my hand and was just about to stand up and walk it over) when right then, things got rather busy, and I forgot all about the item in question. It ended up in my cubicle for about half an hour while I was at dinner. My coworker needed it while I was eating, and, not realizing where it was, was a little annoyed at the fact that she had to hunt it down. Then, instead of coming up to me later and telling me that she didn't like having to search for it, and could I please remember next time, she sent out a cranky e-mail to all of our coworkers, all of whom knew that I was the only person in the building who would have had the item. At no point did this coworker ever say anything to me about it.

So the next time someone does something to you that you don't like, don't just rant about it to everyone you know. Most likely the offense wasn't intentional (mine certainly wasn't), and if that's the case, the person probably had no idea that they did anything wrong. Talk to the person instead. Let them know that what they did bothered you. They probably won't get mad, and they'll probably even apologize and promise that they'll try to do better next time. But if you go and complain to everyone else first, the chances of you making up with this person are much much smaller.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

My Own Two Cents

I read this book recently, which I thought was rather interesting. The plot was good, and the characters and the interplay between them were really cool. It was a book that I would recommend to a lot of my friends and coworkers.

Except for one thing.

The book was full of profanity. And I'm not talking about the occasional "Oh S***" here. Nearly every other word that came out of the main character's mouth was a swear word.

For example, the main character is keeping a blog about some of her experiences, and in it someone (I'll call him Bob) responds to one of the posts by asking if she could tone down on the profanity, saying that it doesn't really add to what is being said. Someone else (a relative of the protagonist) writes in later and says that she really is grateful for all the support the readers are giving, then finishes out her comment by saying (more or less), "Oh, and Bob, no one f***ing cares what you f***ing think, anyway."

Personally (and I've mentioned this snippit to some of my friends, and they think the same way), I agree with Bob. While I am the first to admit that I have on occasion inserted a colorful phrase here or there, I have to ask, does it ever really add anything to a conversation? If you constantly have to insert so many choice words into your speech, what does that say about you, or your ability to communicate?

Just a thought.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


I'd like to think that this is all because of my previous rant, but I know it's probably not true. Finally, someone has seen the light. Now if only they would do it for the Irish and Welsh as well.


Tuesday, January 08, 2008

A Disturbing Discovery

I was reading my e-mail the other day when I came across this horrific discovery. Apparently, the powers that be at the Library of Congress have decided that books that have been written by Scottish authors are going under a new subject heading. Or, rather, they are being reassigned as a subsection of a pre-existing subject heading. And because the LOC is the largest library in the world, many other libraries are probably going to follow suit and classify their books in the same way.

That subject heading is now (are you ready?) English literature -- Scottish authors.

English literature, not British. This means that, were you to look up the collected works of Robert Burns, or RLS' A Child's Garden of Verses, or, for that matter, Harry Potter in the Library of Congress, you will find them all under English literature.

Does anyone else besides me see a major classification problem with this? I mean, how many times do people have to say that Scotland is not part of England for the rest of the world to realize it? No one at the LOC would even remotely entertain the idea of making a subject heading of Pennsylvania literature -- Massachusetts authors. Why? Because Massachusetts is not part of Pennsylvania. It never has been, and probably never will be. It's the same idea here. Scotland is part of Britain, yes, a part of the United Kingdom, yes, but it is not part of England. It never has been and most likely never will be. Likewise, England is not part of Scotland. They are two entirely different political entities, completely autonomous of each other. It's time the world FINALLY REALIZED THIS!


Oh, and they've done this with Irish and Welsh authors too.