Friday, November 21, 2008

Yes, Please

Steampunk live(ish): Dark Style: Postapocalyptic Edwardian Croquet

Well, now I have something concrete to aspire to.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Play Ball!

It seems to me that once upon a time I told the Spouse I expected a women in professional baseball. Japanese schoolgirl to play pro baseball - Asia, World - The Independent:

"Yoshida throws a side-arm knuckleball and says she wants to follow in the footsteps of Boston Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield, who has built a successful major league career throwing a knuckleball."

Okay, maybe I didn't tell him that. But I'm still stoked. Of course, the Spouse knows me well enough to know that I would love this bit of news. Thanks, darling.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Good News/Bad News

So, Hubble has found another planet, a mere 25 light years away. That's good! But when you look at the image it's not all good, as The Martian Chronicles points out.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Thank You, Rooie!!!

Life resumed being difficult on Monday, when the PandaBat was sent home from school with the live bugs in her hair again. Ew. And I had to come home from work and comb out nits while the sun was strong in the den. But there was good news. The very helpful nurse at the doctor's office called in the prescription strength stuff for me* and that was comparatively much easier to use. And the mail carrier brought me a freaking huge box, which was nonetheless, quite light. And lo: the most beautiful socks of great softness and comfort, handknit with loving care and attractive packaging, including care instructions.

Well, if you've never had a pair of handknit beautiful socks of great softness and comfort bestowed upon you for a frivolous effort, then you have not yet discovered real joy. These socks are a revelation, akin to my first really good mattress**, or 400-thread-count sheets, or being able to breathe through my nose***

But wait, there's more joy to behold. Because Rooie also included a gift for the Offspring. An advent calendar, starring Olive, the Other Reindeer. We freaking LOVE J Otto Siebold. And Olive.

For this kind of pleasure you might expect to pay hundreds of dollars (my feet have had a really great day). But I got all of this, plus Amazon air bags, you know what I mean? which, it turns out, are the bubble-wrap popping experience pinnacle. An adult holds a kid's arms steady, while the kid jumps down on one of those suckers with all her weight, resulting in a BOOM that can be heard quite well outside the house, despite really good insulation and double-glazing.****

So, lice and gifties. Net win, I say.

* Lesson learned: don't screw around with the OTC stuff.

** Original Mattress Factory, and still a delight to sleep on every night

*** I told my mom I couldn't breathe through my nose, but did she believe me? No. Thankfully, the specialist did.

**** I know, because I heard the cannon-like explosions while I was out taking pictures in the sun of my front porch, because Rooie always photographs her yarn in natural light, I suppose to ge the colors right, but somehow I erased those pictures without downloading them, a tragedy undiscovered until tonight, when I finally had time to write up my thanks, what with Mondays travails throwing Monday itself and Tuesday, too, into an over-busy muddle.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

President Elect Obama

...has a nice ring to it, don't you think?

When I told the Offspring the results of the elections this morning, I mentioned that he is President Elect Obama until the inauguration. The PandaBat misheard, or pretended to, and started speculating as to how the eggnog-aration was done. What can I say? We like eggnog.

I'm feeling awfully proud of my state and my country this morning.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


I'm happy to report that there were no lines inside the gym where I voted, although combined with school drop-off and rain, parking was a challenge. Inside things went smoothly, with two different people taking pains to tell me that a straight party ticket DOES NOT include a vote for president or for non-partisan offices. The same two people also confirmed that I knew to vote both sides of the ballot. The woman standing by the ballot-sucking machine also pointed out to me that when I inserted my ballot, the count would change from 105 to 106.

While I didn't have anything as specific to vote on as Prop 8, I'm proud to say I voted, and want everyone to do the same, regardless of their choices. As I was leaving, a friend was entering the school with his son, who was voting for the first time. I think this is a pretty good election for someone to start with.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Adam Rex at Quail Ridge Books

This is the story of an adult fan girl dragging her daughters to an author appearance. Skip, if that sort of thing makes you queasy. And be grateful I haven't run the Pressure Boys pictures yet.

The offspring and I were late to the store, and mores the pity. When we arrived, Adam Rex was drawing a picture, apparently a sort of improv on suggestions from the audience. All the seats were filled, and the audience ages ranged from let's say, 4, up to 65.

He next read one poem from Frankenstein Takes the Cake, "The Bride of Frankenstein Wrote Her Own Vows", and was very funny doing it. Then he answered a few questions from those present. When asked what he likes to draw when he's not illustrating, he told us "robots." He seems like an "I'm thinking about robots" kind of guy.

And then we queued up to get books signed. The Possum got to go first. I introduced her, although since she was the only child her age, I'm sure he had already guessed who she was. He was really sweet, he had her runner-up in the contest book all ready, and then he signed The True Meaning of Smekday for her, and talked to her a little bit. Then Pssst for me, then Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich for the PandaBat. He was a doll, and reminded me very much of a favorite teacher/neighbor who's taking a sabbatical from teaching to write a series of middle school adventure books.

Oh, and the good news, he's currently working on a YA novel. The poetry books are great on all levels, but I thought Smekday was really outstanding.

For Rooie, pictures of the signed books*:

Frankenstein Takes the Cake with Cerberus


Pssst with a penguin**

Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich

* Because I know she loves Adam Rex as much as I do, and because she loves getting books signed as much as I do, because she introduced me to Rex's books, and because she's the first person I pointed to the haiku contest

** Because of my longstanding affection for penguins combined with the news that the next novel is for even older readers, Adam Rex is now officially my author crush. Neil Gaiman is a fabulous author, but he doesn't illustrate, too.