Thursday, February 26, 2015

3rd generation

At work we had a software consultant for three days of meetings with various involved groups on campus. It was eye opening and I have just a glimmer now of the big picture real world process that the software is intended for. Whether anyone here will use it as intended is another question. We will bravely forge ahead with the pilot groups. And try to stamp out any requests for other uses. No, I'm sorry, but the software was not designed to do that.

Knitting has come to a pause. Or an end, at least according to the pattern. But the neckline is much too wide for me, on beyond boat neck, maybe it's an ocean liner neck. I think I will continue for more rows with decreases to see if it gets to a better point. The sweater may be too small for me but it's hard to tell as it's ribs all over (4K, 2P) and very stretchy. Even if it ends up going to one of the kids it needs a higher neck.

Nod just told me last weekend that our oldest kid's style (hair short, dyed red, shaved on the side, boots with leggings, mostly black clothes) makes him worried that he won't get any grandchildren. Bwahaha! Another role reversal. Isn't it the mother we expect to be hectoring her girls to be more feminine and make with the husband and babies already? Besides which, even if, in the fullness of time, K decides she is a womancenteredwoman I trust that she will have a pack of dogs, a spouse and some babies. She is a doer and can get it done. Nod was wise enough not to share any of these (Premature! Unfounded!) concerns with the middle schooler. I didn't know he was so set on grandkids. He has some traditional expectations.

My own traditional expectations are happy with the babydyke style because it means my little darling isn't craving/inviting lots of male attention. Yet. I don't care one way or the other but want her to get past the next few years without assault if possible. I wanted to get the kids born, get them past the age of crib death, past the danger of choking, keep them from being runover, so far so good! Just a few more dangers to go, right? I am so grateful to be a parent and to have kids who have gotten past those rocks on the white water rafting trip of life.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

On A Knit Roll

Sunday afternoon I got out the pieces of the sweater that I had knit in the fall of 2012. I had two lovely sleeves and a lower torso tube. The next phase of the pattern was to join them together and knit to the neckline. But I could never grok the pattern's instructions in order to move in that direction. I read them over and over. I cussed. I asked an expert-level knitting friend to look at them, she wasn't sure. I chewed on this for a while and then I put the pieces away in a bag for two years. When I looked them over last weekend I still liked the yarn; the color and the feel. I still liked the ribs. It was time to take another run at it. Maybe I could fake the join and continue on with the pattern after that row. I joined and unjoined about three times with so much cussing and then holycrap I got a sleeve attached!! So exciting. I would never recommend the pattern but I think I understand what is meant now. Three dimensions is many. One armpit has a bit of a hole caused by misplacing my first raglan stitch. But it is a small price to pay for going from dismembered limbs to a joined up sweater. I will see if I can fix it with a crochet hook when I get around to that spot again. If not I plan to fill it in with a little darning and never look back. We're having snow and cold this week. I am lucky to have a fluffy cat and a sweater on the needles.

Kat got behind at school last week with homework she missed while sick. She couldn't make it up during the week because of play practice. Tension built up into stress and tears on Thursday. I started with fixit mode and then realized that the first step was listening to the distress. She is picking up responsibilities and is not used to not being able to fulfill them. I encouraged her to write an email to the math teacher right then to ask for help and time. She did and got a response later the same night. Important to know that most teachers want to help, want to be asked. The play is done after Feb and I hope K will enjoy her free-er schedule.

The smart phone experience is mixed. I worry that K is on hers too much of the day especially into the night. Bun is on mine a lot playing a sooper dumb and sooper irresistible Frogger-ish game. K tells us it's all the rage at middle school. I have played it a lot too (but knitting is winning right now). The power gets drained quickly. I haven't yet learned how to set the reminder tone for the calendar items to something I can actually hear. But I do feel more in the mainstream. I wish there were more choices and that dumb phones were being supported better. The technology churn rate bugs me and it's getting faster while I'm getting slower. My young device consultants will only be at home for another few years and then Nod and I will be alone with these expensive inscrutable things.

Niagara Falls is somewhat frozen right now.

A partially frozen American Falls in sub freezing temperatures is seen in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada,  Feb. 17, 2015.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Rose carmethene

Here comes Valentine's Day, a holiday notable for a) elementary school obligations, b) marketing manipulation, and c) the idolization of heterosexual coupledom. I gather I should wait, trembling with demure anticipation, for my hunky man to present me with flowers/chocolate/diamonds or that we should demonstrate our bond with a high-end restaurant appearance. Fat chance, suckers! (I am still pro chocolate.)

The release of the 50 Shades movie has irritated me because of the public radio ad for a 50 Shades teddy bear that comes with accessories. In addition it's easy to look down at the book primly rather than as a crummy example of bdsm erotic writing. Happily, Anthony Lane has taken these lemons and made some really funny lemonade. From the metafilter discussion of Lane's review:

But then I found out that the series ends by her curing of him of BDSM by loving him so much she turns him vanilla (and that he was only BDSM in the first place because he was abused as a child), and WHOA NOW THIS IS SOME FUCKED UP SHIT. Because for one thing, that is retroactively turning everything titillating in the first novel into something that THE AUTHOR thinks you should be ashamed of being titillated by. Something that, according to the story itself that frames these sexual encounters (but isn't revealed to you until you've already had your erotic enjoyment of them), is the product of the criminal abuse of a child, whose sexual predilections are not normal, natural, or healthy, but rather a deviant result of abuse -- which is cured and fixed by having a virginal female savior (ANASTASIA) JUST LOVE HIM HARD ENOUGH.

Now for something completely different.  Here are the lyrics to Donovan's Wear Your Love Like Heaven because I need to look at them from time to time:

Colour in sky Prus-sian blue
Scarlet fleece chan-ges hue
Crimson ball sinks from view

Wear your love like heaven
    (Wear your love like)
Wear your love like heaven
    (Wear your love like)
Wear your love like heaven
    (Wear your love)
Lord, kiss me once more, fill me with song
Allah, kiss me once more that I may, that I may
Wear your love like heaven
    (Wear your love like)
Wear your love like heaven
    (Wear your love)
 La la, la la la, la la la, la la la

Colour sky Hava-na lake
Colour sky rose car-methene
Aliza-rian crimson


Can I be-lieve what I see
All I have wished for will be
All our race proud and free


Wednesday, February 11, 2015


It's getting cold again this week. I am generously making an effort to tolerate it. Four weeks from now there could be forsythia blooming and things will be quite different. Jogged again after work Tuesday. Nod suggested I take a granola bar along but I thought I'd be fine for 30 minutes. Plus the thought of eating while running is ghastly. Got home and made myself some beans/rice/cheese/salsa and was pretty much incapable of useful speech until I had eaten it. So maybe I'll need to snack at 4:30 at work if I want to jog at 5:30.

Took the 5th grader to Tarzhay and spent money on cards and craft supplies (glitter glue is Bun's fave) and chocolate. It was a fine use of the entertainment budget. Ooh, just remembered that the boots I ordered for said 5th grader may arrive today. After they arrive it is allowed to snow if it wants.

More entertainment budgeting - we watched the second Kendra episode of Buffy last night. Quite the rowr content with Angel all tied up and tormented by Dru. I had heard about the second slayer but had never seen those eps so I'm glad to fill in the blanks.

I don't have much valentine's day in me but I sent a card to Borderlands Books in San Francisco. They're going to close and they've gotten flak because the straw that broke the camel's back is the living wage law. They're not against a living wage law but in this case it makes it impossible to run on the tiny margins that they've been working with. A friend suggested mailing cards to let them know they are appreciated. It is a lovely store and I'm sorry it will be no more. I am still mourning newspapers. I am still mad at Half-Price Books for moving out of our city. I like paper and I cannot lie.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Hand made

Last week's attendance at the reading by Nadia Bolz-Weber, The Sarcastic Lutheran, has left me wondering yet again about this whole dang religious belief thing. She's very gospel centered and while the attention-getting parts of her persona are tattooed, edgy and blunt, her practice is very Lutheran and very traditional. My beliefs are metaphorical and I bridle plenty at the ideas of a father god or the divinity of Christ. At the same time I like church and I like the liturgical cycle and the rituals. I find them beautiful and effective in my goals of a) giving thanks to the universe for my existence; b) feeling absolved of my mistakes and able to go on; c) feeling connected in a loving way to all other humans. But I worry that by adapting the structure to my own ends that I am not talking about the same things as the other communers. My husband says that surfing cognitive dissonance is the skill I need here. It was fun going out with the church nerd women.

Jogged twice over the oddly warm weekend. Morning light is creeping back although I'm not quite ready for a 6:15a outing yet. If the weather cooperates I can try right after work on Tues/Thurs. Got together with my neighbor Brownie to jog on Saturday. I am feeling good about my social initiative score for the past couple of weeks. Found that we have a similar pace, it was a successful outing.  

IPAs were quaffed on Saturday night. My favorite was either the citrus-y mild entry from New Belgium or the Redacted from Renegade. But enough with the bitter hops, I'm really looking forward to some mellow Belgian ales next month.

Nod told me that he's worried about the teenager wanting to spend extra time with her friends and him losing the opportunity to connect with her. I understand and it's going to take some effort. I suggested a family outing to sketch in the park when it's warm again. We are working on our art-car parade ideas. I'm mulling humpback whale cardboard mods for our Subaru wagon. 

If you're a Tom and Lorenzo fan (Project RunGay was their rocket to stardom) you should know about their new chat site . I'm not feeling bitter but am currently looking at the cooking blog recommendations being shared.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Good busy

Busy at work, busy at home. No playground for the devil here. I like the tidal wave at the beginning of the semester and the loss of the ability for future planning. We just react and field all these inquiries as best we can. We do really well with most of them. Makes me feel needed and in the moment. Plus I don't especially like the future planning and looking ahead.

Made Carmelized Onion and Cheddar Biscuits for the Superb Owl gathering. They were very good. Nod, Kat and I scrambled for the last of them yesterday. Too much butter to make often. But maybe I'll try a fusion of cheese and carmelized onions with the yogurt biscuits recipe. A little sin and a little of the high road. Bacchus brought a Quadruple Ale to our party, a genre which I'd never heard of. It predictably had a kick like a mule. I didn't need much. More beer tasting next weekend, IPAs which is Nod's favorite and not mine. I am sure to learn something. 

I've opted in for a church nerd road trip to see Nadia Bolz-Weber speak in the KC suburbs. She is the Sarcastic Lutheran and I think I heard her on the radio talking about the House for All Sinners and Saints in Denver. 

I can tell I'll be playing with this website a lot. It's a burning question: What should I read next?