Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I'm trying not to let this ruin my day

So, we don't get a lot of fresh fruit in the Caf. It's just a sad fact of life.

Today, there were nectarines. I got one, and carried it out with me, and was making grand plans about having it with my vanilla yogurt for a snack.

Then I got distracted watching a butterfly and next thing I knew my delicious, beautiful little nectarine had fallen out of my hand. It rolled across the sidewalk, across a flowerbed, and under a car before I had time to switch from "Ooh, pretty butterfly!" to "MY PRECIOUSSSSS!!!"

I decided that it really wasn't worth it to see if I could fetch my precious nectarine from under the car. I mean, really, that's just nasty. Washing in the bathroom sink would not fix "Falling on the dirt and the road."

The sad part is that I can't tell myself that I can just have a nectarine-with-vanilla-yogurt tomorrow, because it could be weeks before I find another one at the Caf.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

I like hugs

One household sister to another: "Too much physical touch!"

Me: "You can never have too much physical touch!"

Yet another sister: "Um..."

Me, pedantically: "You can have the wrong kind of physical touch, but you can never have too much."

Friday, August 27, 2010

I've spent the last few years building up an immunity to iocane powder...

Just now, I was reading Mari's novel and came to a passage where the characters were stuck in a swamp with nothing but a bag of raw green beans, complaining about how they had nothing to eat. This is what resulted:

[3:10:51 PM] Margarita Nivea: You can totally eat raw string beans.

[3:11:04 PM] Philagneia: POISONOUS

[3:11:04 PM] Margarita Nivea: Green beans are good.
[3:11:13 PM] Margarita Nivea: I haven't died.

[3:11:28 PM] Philagneia: you'd just pick a bean off a plant and eat it?

[3:11:29 PM] Margarita Nivea: What kind of poisionous beans are these?
[3:11:33 PM] Margarita Nivea: ...yeah...
[3:12:16 PM] Margarita Nivea: Maybe we're talking about different kinds of beans?

[3:12:27 PM] Philagneia: chock full of prussic acid!

[3:12:34 PM] Margarita Nivea: XD
[3:12:36 PM] Margarita Nivea: Of what?

[3:12:50 PM] Philagneia: beans, like... these things. http://www.reluctantgourmet.com/images/string_beans.jpg

[3:13:10 PM] Margarita Nivea: nomnomnom
[3:13:27 PM] Margarita Nivea: Yeah, you pull them off the plant and eat them.

[3:13:50 PM] Philagneia: you seem to have built up a resistance to prussic acid.

[3:13:56 PM] Margarita Nivea: What is prussic acid?

[3:14:15 PM] Philagneia: a type of cyanide

[3:14:36 PM] Margarita Nivea: Really? ^^


Has anybody else ever heard that? Now I'm intensely curious.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The imaginary story of William and Kant

My copy of Kant's Prolegomena is pre-owned, which means there are marginalia. The ones in this book are in pencil, which makes me happy because I can erase them.

They also make me happy because I can imagine what the person who had this book before me was thinking.

Now, the name on the title page is written in pen, so I don't know if William is the one who penciled in the margins, but let's say he did.

William did not read the editor's introduction, or if he did he thought nothing of it worth noting. He marked pretty steadily through the Preamble and Book 1. (He thought the passage I posted Monday was "lit".)

Then he got to Book 2, and suddenly the book explodes into pencil, numbering points, underlining passages, circling key terms...and then nothing. 13 pages into Book 2, there is one last scribble and then it stops. The last 75 pages of the book are good as new.

I like imagining William getting more and more confused as he went on, desperately flipping back and forth through those early pages of Book 2 and giving one last valiant effort at understanding...and then throwing the book down in frustration and going to watch TV.

Monday, August 23, 2010

This might be all I'm able to like about Kant

but, to his credit, this imagery is absolutely delicious:

So metaphysics floated to the surface, like foam, which dissolved the moment it was scooped off. But immediately there appeared a new supply on the surface, to be ever eagerly gathered up by some; while others, instead of seeking in the depths the cause of the phenomenon, thought they showed their wisdom by ridiculing the idle work of their neighbors.

Immanuel Kant, Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics

Friday, August 20, 2010

Seven Quick Takes: Kids are cute edition

1. The Princess had pigtails in for about three minutes this morning. Her explanation: "I want two, like a big girl." I have no idea; none of us big girls ever wear two.

Then she pulled them out. "I'm [full name] again."

2. How to make a seven-year-old girl excited: Score her a "new" bike at a garage sale. It's purple and has Disney princesses on it.

3. How to make a two-year-old boy excited: Buy him a remote-control dump truck. (At the same garage sale.)

4. How to make a two-year-old boy REALLY excited: Show him how to put blocks in his remote-control dump truck and dump them out.

5. Lest you think we're hung up on gender-based stereotypes 'round here, this boy also loves playing "Bahbies" with the girls.

6. Princess and Little Man are thick as thieves already. They like to make up games together. Most of them involve semi-dangerous things like jumping off their little picnic table. We officially discourage those. A game we let them play involves them army-crawling under each other's legs. Watching them happily say "Your turn...Okay, my turn!" is adorable.

7. Princess was teaching Little Man how to play Ring Around The Rosy this morning. There are no words in the English language to describe how cute that was.

See Jen for more Quick Takes.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Have I mentioned I'm an introvert?

Just now:

Mom: "How's my little rabbit-hole person?"

Me: "Your what?"

Mom: "My rabbit-hole person."

Me: "Oh, I thought you said 'rabid hole' like I was going to eat you or something if you disturbed my solitude."

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Blunt force trauma is complicated by glasses

My big adventure of the day happened when the Little Man threw a box lid (plastic, about 6" by 9") at my face. You know how head wounds bleed like crazy? Well, half-inch cuts on the bridge of one's nose do the same thing. Basically, the box lid by itself wouldn't have been enough to do much more than annoy me, but he threw it just right that it pushed my glasses into my face--and metal is tougher than thin Irish skin. (I sat around with a cold washcloth for a few minutes and was fine. He got a time-out.)

It reminds me of a time when I was 13 or 14 (there's a really narrow window between when I got glasses and when we moved out of the house in which this happened) and my sister and I were annoying each other, as we often did. I shoved her, she punched me in the face. Now, it was no doubt as girly a punch as any 16-year-old girl has thrown, but she hit me just right to a) pop a lens out of my glasses, and b) give me a lovely black eye. I derived a lot of satisfaction from how much trouble she got in for that one, considering that I was hardly even hurt.

In short: Wearing glasses can be a dangerous occupation. :)

(Maybe the moral of this story should be to not hit partially Irish people because they bleed and bruise all out of proportion to the gravity of their injury.)

Monday, August 16, 2010

And now for the writing bit

Since I can't really think of anything to post right now, I thought I'd just mention that I'm likely to navel-gaze (in a vague way, because I do want to be published someday and don't have a copyright on this drivel yet) about my novel in the coming months.

This particular novel, which I call ITW because that's it's...initials, if you will...I wrote between March of 2007 and February of 2010. That includes a whole year (2009) during which I wrote less than 2000 words (the whole novel is about 84,000) because I couldn't bring myself to end it. I kept a wordcount on the sidebar of my old blog, which I might reproduce here someday.

Now I am editing it, with Mari's help. It's slow going because we both have...you know, lives. And she has novel-babies of her own.

Just thought I'd give you all a heads-up.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The deep breath before the plunge

My excuse for not blogging since Wednesday: Dad managed to fix the car (YAY! Computer geeks rule!), so I went to visit Scott.

Random snippets:

Sahara is the best movie you've never seen. Go see it now.

Public thanks to Mr. Cobbler, who lost Musical Beds and ended up sleeping on an air mattress, which was very chivalrous of him.

(My mom says that next time Scott should be the one who has to sleep on an air mattress, considering I'm his girlfriend.)

I love my boyfriend.

I lost the one game of Worms we played. The shame. But that was before we watched Sahara, so I got cheered up.

Now to survive until Halloween, which is the next time Scott and I will be within 100 miles of each other. *SIGH* Less than 9 months now until I graduate...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I am an incorrigible geek

Last year, Scott got me a certain computer game for my birthday.

My passion for blowing up tiny creatures has not abated since. If anything, it's gotten stronger. I can (and have) beaten both Scott and his 18-year-old brother at this game, so keeping in practice is now a matter of maintaining my reputation.

Playing by myself is good in its own right, of course, and not just as a means of practice. When everything else is difficult and refuses to work out the way it's supposed to, I can win at this game. Usually in less than half an hour.

Also, it's just plain fun.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Comedy of Errors

Just before we left for Michigan (a fact I cleverly avoided mentioning in my last post, which was brought to you courtesy of my uncle's laptop) my mom's computer decided to stop working.

As soon as we got back Dad figured out that it was a problem with our antivirus software and fixed it.

Then he tried to go to work, and his car refused to start.

Then our internet stopped working.

Attempts to...um, I am betraying my abysmal ignorance of cars by not knowing the word, so I'll just describe it. Attempts to start the car by connecting its battery to the van's battery and revving the van were unsuccessful. (Partly because Dad wasn't literal enough when he told me to rev it. I revved and then sat there while the car hacked and wheezed. Dad asked me if I was still revving it. Um, no. If you want me to perform an ongoing action you need to use the present progressive when you instruct me.* But then I revved it and kept revving it and the car wheezed some more but still didn't start.) So now Dad is thinking about replacing the battery (all by himself) and seeing if that helps.

He and the cable helpdesk guy were both unable to figure out what was wrong with the internet, so we were supposed to have a service call on Thursday. But then this morning Dad noticed some cable or other had come loose. So we cancelled our service call and now I'm blogging while the kids run wild.

Dad hasn't found any magical loose cables in the car yet, though. I'm rather worried about that because I am planning on going to visit Scott on Friday and I kind of need the car for that. (Me taking the van isn't really a viable option.)

I wish life would be a little less interesting sometimes.

*The most famous story from my learning-to-drive days dates to my very first lesson. (So, late May of 2005.) Dad told me to "Put your foot on the brake" and then shift to reverse. I shifted to reverse and the car started rolling backwards. Dad: "Is your foot on the brake?!" Me: "YES." Dad: "Put your foot on the brake and PRESS IT DOWN."
The moral being that I'm painfully literal sometimes. Especially, it seems, when doing things involving cars.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Facts about water recreation

-I like myself-in-a-swimsuit better now than I did 10 pounds ago. Totally vain reason to keep the weight loss plan going.

("What weight loss plan?" those of you who care ask. If you do care, I'll probably post something on food and whatnot soon. If you don't care, I'll probably post anyway.)

-I was going to link to a picture of my swimsuit (worn by a model no doubt much skinnier than I), but Land's End doesn't seem to carry it anymore. So, just fyi: I have a high-necked tank top with...well, not really spaghetti straps. More like fettuccine straps. And then I have that little skirt thing. Because I am modest, and also shy. (Even when I think I look good in the swimsuit.)

-Teresa can touch bottom in my uncle's pool now. This surprised everyone, Teresa most of all. It shouldn't have surprised those of us who can do math, since the pool is 39 inches deep and she is 42 inches tall. (Yes, she is a monster 3-year-old. She could knock down the average 5-year-old and sit on him.)

-Hot tubs are wonderful. I did not know this for almost 20 years, because I only knew about hotel hot tubs, which are all about 5000 degrees. Then last year I dipped my toes in my uncle's hot tub, and realized that hot tubs do not have to be 5000 degrees. So this year I basically lived in there. 90 degrees of absolute bliss, oh yes.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Seven Quick Takes: Things I Have Read Edition

1. In May I went to a conference and got an advance copy of Regina Doman's Alex O'Donnell and the Forty Cybertheives. Since this is a quick take, all I'll say is: READ THIS BOOK. It is made of solid, gold-plated awesome.

2. A Severe Mercy was recommended on a lot of blogs all at once, and when I see a title pop up constantly like that I consider it a book recommendation from God. It was good. Not what I had expected (the opening got me ready for another Brideshead Revisited) but very good. Of course, any book in which C. S. Lewis appears as a "character" is made of solid awesome in my opinion. I've been a Lewis fangirl for about 10 years now and have no intention of quitting. :)

[I read both of these on the plane rides surrounding my visit to Mari.]

3. This article, about parenthood and loving somebody with a seizure disorder and what happiness really means, was...beyond words. I posted it on Facebook with the comment, "There are no words to add to this..." Apparently I needed to give it a warning label as well, because my mom said she cried and my dad said it kept him up half the night.


Yeah. Someday I will be eloquent enough to write in my own words what it means to love somebody with a seizure disorder (and even though I am not her parent, it is indeed that fierce primal love that would kill ten men and Satan if that was allowed) and discover what happiness really means, but for now...I'll point and say, "Yeah, what she said."

4. On a completely different note, this was hilariously funny while making a point about...well, about truth being stranger than fiction, in a way.

I posted that one on Facebook too, and my dad asked if I had seen it on his page, and I said no. So then he explained to me that he had in fact posted it, and that he had gotten it from his brother, who had posted it a week or two before.

The moral of that story is that I should pay a little more attention to the articles my relatives post on Facebook.

(For the record, I am Facebook friends with my parents, Scott's parents, and most of my aunts and uncles.)

5. This article made my life. Just read it.

6. This whole blog made my life.

7. This isn't something I've read (yet), but it arrived from Amazon a little while ago and I just opened the box (or rather, the Princess did, because she couldn't believe I had an unopened package just sitting there in my room). I was promptly floored by the awesomeness that is owning this book for my very own. Therefore, I had to include it in my Quick Takes.


visit Jen for more Quick Takes

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I have no idea what this is going to be about

I think I got out of the habit of writing blog posts sometime in the last year or so. I don't think it was my two-month blog break that did it. I was writing very sporadically before that, a post or two a week...once upon a time I had to limit myself to one post a day.

I think maybe I read a few too many "How to make your blog popular" posts. Do this, don't do that, categorize everything, have a THEME and a consistent voice.

My labels have always been a mess, and probably always will be. It will be a long long time before I even think about sorting through the train wreck that is combining two blogs' distinct and only somewhat coherent labeling systems. That's a long way of saying that I'm lousy at categorizing my thoughts, lousy at saying, "Okay, this goes in the X box, and this one goes in the Y box..." I've often said that my brain is just a big room with a huge pile of papers and assorted junk in the middle. Even if I figured out how to install mental file cabinets, I don't think they'd do me any good.

(Ironically, I love alphabetizing stuff. Including books. The whole concept of libraries just thrills me.)

As for themes...The fact that I've had 4 different blog titles in less than three years says something about my ability to settle on a theme. It's like a giant label...I have to look at all the boxes provided for categorizing human thought and pick one that's me.

I'm me. I'm a bit of a mutant freak of nature, but I seem to have friends so I suppose being a mutant freak doesn't doom you.

When I try to be "popular" on the blogging playground, nobody's happy. I feel guilty when I don't write and dissatisfied when I do because I feel hemmed in by my labels. You all are presumably wretched because you are deprived of my brilliance.

I've never really tried to be popular in real life. (Because I'm a misanthrope and perfectly content without friends. :)) Yet I have these friends coming out my ears. Friends by the bushel. So many friends I don't know what to do with them all.

(Reality check: I have about 10 friends.)

So how about I just be me on this blog and see if readers start crawling out of the woodwork? If they don't, I'll still be happy sitting reclusively by myself typing completely random nonsense into the ether.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The older I get the more I sound like my mother

Earlier today I kept the Bunny* (age 7) and the Princess (age 3) quiet for about 15 seconds by letting them play with magnets on our front door. (I don't know why, but they stick, and it's out of the way, unlike the fridge door.)

It only lasted about 15 seconds, of course. Then I had the following conversation:

Me: "Stop throwing magnets, both of you."

Bunny: "She was throwing them at me!"

Me: "If she jumped off a bridge would you do it?"

Bunny: "NO!"

Me: "Okay then."

Bunny: "...why did you ask me that?"

Apparently it's not a comparison her mother has ever used.

*So called because she's small, fast, and fond of popping up out of nowhere.

Monday, August 2, 2010


...is the 3-year-old girl and 2-year-old boy arguing over breakfast: "I'M SPIDERMAN!" "I PIREMAN!!" They kept that up, back and forth, for at least a minute.

Funnier is the Little Man swaggering around the house in high heels. (After the Princess dumped all Mom's shoes down the stairs.)

Funniest is the Princess taking a baby toy and pointing to the various colors. "Say blue."
Little Man: "Boo."
"Say yellow."
And so on.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Here I am

So, I had this grand plan to have this blog all spiffy-looking on August 1, when I launched it. Of course, I procrastinated...I figured I'd just do all of it this past weekend.

Then last week two foster kids got dropped off on our doorstep. On half an hour's notice. So things have been a wee bit crazy around here the last few days, and my Pages reflect that. I'll get to those eventually.

I did manage to finish importing and editing all my old posts. Mostly I just fixed self-referential links. All the links to my own writing ought to link here now and not to any of my other three blogs. If they do feel free to let me know. I did delete a few posts, mostly for privacy reasons. I also stealth-published a lot of drafts. They were fully written and polished; I'd just never hit "Publish" for various reasons. So I did, and there are new-to-you posts scattered through the archives, and my drafts folder is down from 38 to 5. (I also deleted quite a few drafts; in some cases I had written a sentence or two as a "reminder" but of course I've since forgotten what I meant to write about, so bye-bye they went.)

I make absolutely no promises with this blog. I'll write what I feel moved to write when I want to write it. I kind of hope that I'll stay happy with this space; moving blogs is a pain. I moved this time because the two blogs just never really worked for me. I'm not at all good at compartmentalizing my thoughts, and I think that is actually one of my strengths, so I'm going to work with it. Having only one blog is part of working with it. I know better than to say I won't move again, though.

Anyone willing to come along for the ride?