Sunday, February 7, 2010

Super Bowl

It's great that the girls are finally old enough to enjoy the Superbowl with us. At first they were more interested in the ads, but I think they really got into the game at the end. How could they not? What a game!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

100 Word Challenge

I found this wonderful blog devoted to "The 100 Word Challenge" (see link above). Each week, Velvet Verbosity gives a one-word prompt, and the idea is to write exactly 100 words based on that prompt. How cool is that?! This week's prompt is Darkness. So here's my entry:


There is no darkness in this hospital room. It’s like nighttime on television, with a suggestion of darkness to set the scene, but we can still see everything. Back home, nighttime is dark, and I can think when I lie awake at night. But here, there are LED lights everywhere, and the fluorescent light from the hallway bleeds in through the gap below the door. How do people sleep here, let alone die here? There is no warm, dark place to slip into. I worry that my death will be as broken and unpleasant as my sleep here has been.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Happy surprise: I didn't have time to go home between my hair appointment and picking up kids after school, but I did have time to go to the library. They didn't have volume 3 of Sandman, but they did have a Stephen King I hadn't read yet--happy day!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Why blog?

I'll admit, it's hard to blog when you don't have any readers. What's the point, right? I could get some readers if I told my friends & family I was blogging, but I'm doing my best to be anonymous here. Not completely anonymous--more like creating a new online persona that is separate from my offline self. I'd like to be able to be free to speak my mind without fear of real-world repercussions.

So why am I blogging? First, to learn to write better. I don't love to write, but as the saying goes, I love to have written. Whenever I take an English class and re-experience writing, I realize that writing should be a very big part of my life.

Second, because better writing leads to better thinking. This is especially evident for me when I analyze literature. Writing forces me to clarify my position and defend my statements, so naturally it leads to better positions and statements. When I write regularly, I start to think about everything in terms of how I would write about it. That leads to sharper thinking and analysis even about the things I don't write about.

Finally, better writing and better thinking sharpen my definition of myself as well. It makes me feel more real. It adds great value to my life. It reminds me of the books in the series His Dark Materials, by Philip Pullman. In a late chapter of the last book, The Amber Spyglass, one of the characters has a realization:

"Conscious beings make Dust - they renew it all the time, by thinking and feeling and reflecting, by gaining wisdom and passing it on."

When I write, and revise, and revise again, I am making more magic in the world. It would be great to have an audience, and maybe I will someday. But for the moment, it is enough to do this just for myself.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Playdates are Hell

I have two extra children here today, and I can't believe how hard it is. They are absolutely driving me crazy. One is here because a friend is out of town, and school is out, and she needs someone to cover for her husband for the day. The other is here because 3 is even harder than 4, and this way I can separate them into 2 groups of 2, which I have already had to do several times. All I can say is that I would go absolutely crazy if I had four of my own.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Gray & Gloomy

The day matches my mood today. Mom died two years ago today. I don't feel as bad this year as I did last year. Last year was still stormy weeping; this year is passively gloomy. I find myself reliving my childhood, thinking of all the things I'd do differently if I had it to do over. I sure didn't make it easy on Mom in those years.

Anyway, here's a video from where my mom's and my musical tastes intersected--The Dubliners for her, and The Pogues for me!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


I thought I was getting Benjamin Franklin's autobiography from the library today, and I settled down happily to read it. Turns out, what I got was his "updated" autobiography. Some professor decided that modern readers are put off by the archaic language and grammar, and the non-chronological order, and the, I don't know, wordiness of the original. So he decided to fix all that. The result is frightful, and I will be returning it & getting the real one tomorrow!

And since this post is about Ben Franklin, lets add a video by another Ben F.