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.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Bored, Bored, Bored!

Hm. Didn't do anything worthwhile today. Ran low on gas. Brought the girls to choir, brought them home, left purse at church, went all the way back to get it. Did newspaper puzzles. Read blogs.

Must find a more exciting life somewhere! Maybe tomorrow I can blog about why I'm blogging, and try to actually get somewhere with this project.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Not Much Today

Just a video today, because I'm off to play Othello with M, my husband.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Not As Smart As I Look

Yesterday I helped a friend shovel her driveway. She's getting older, she has a very long driveway, she always says she's "too cheap" to hire it done, and she needed to get out to visit her elderly mother at the nursing home.

I've always enjoyed this woman's funny stories about her cheapness. She keeps her heat set even lower than mine, never uses her dryer or air conditioner, and has a million little ways of saving money. What didn't occur to me until yesterday was that maybe she does all this because she actually doesn't have the money to turn up her heat or run her dryer.

Now I know this woman isn't starving, she has a nice house and car, and lives a pretty nice life. But I think that inflation may have eroded her savings to the point that she has exactly enough to do what she does, and no more.

Why would stuff like this never occur to me? Am I incapable of seeing past people's facade? I must try to do a better job of actually listening to & learning about people.

Here is an only-slightly-related video about people who are more than their appearance implies. Not quite the original version, but still pretty good.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Past My Bedtime

Only day 2, and I stayed up too late to write anything. I've got some good stuff from today, but I guess I'll save it until tomorrow. Here's a song I heard earlier though--I love KT Tunstall!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

First Post

Last year, one of my favorite bloggers did blog365. Every day, I could click on her blog and hear her unique perspective on the world. I loved it; it was great. But now she's done! She's not doing it again for 2010! I feel a little lost--isn't the internet all about other people providing free entertainment for me?! Maybe not. Maybe I need to pick up my (tiny) share of the load.

I've thought about starting a blog before, but never had the guts to. I always got stopped right at the part where you have to name your blog. I don't have a cute nickname, or any fun ideas for a cool handle. So tonight I just grabbed a beer out of the fridge, and named myself after it--luckily it was a New Glarus Snowshoe, not a Heinekin or a Bud!

Here is the song I was listening to as I wrote this: