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"It's the good girls who keep diaries; the bad girls never have the time."
-- Tallulah Bankhead
My Journal

Date: 2014-06-30 16:30
Subject: Maybe that's what life is... a wink of the eye and winking stars. - Kerouac
Security: Public
E started a week (4 days) at The Telling Room today. After breakfast, he confided in me, in a very grownup way, that he was scared to go "somewhere new" (basically because of his awful experience at Camp Ketcha last year). I hugged him and promised him that if it was anything like Ketcha (which it won't be) that I would pull him out immediately. Then I told him about times I was scared doing new things, and praised him mightily for talking to me about the way he feels.

At lunch I got a nice note from the Executive Director telling me that E was settling in well. So, that's reassuring. We'll see what the end of the day brings.

Ten days until he turns 8. For his birthday, I very much wanted to build him a simple outdoor playhouse, and we pulled together a $500 budget to build it ... which turns out to be not nearly enough. Josh is lobbying hard for us not to do it at all, on the theory that we'll never be able to finish it and it will set there, unused and unfinished forever. He's been quietly, but firmly, completely negative about this project from start to finish, and it's starting to grate on me. Our back yard is tiny, and a wasteland (no room for a swingset, for example, because there isn't enough arc for the swing), so its no wonder that E never wants to be outside. But, I have to clearly admit that he's probably right. I have to make up my mind today, though, so we can get the materials together to build on Sunday, if build we are indeed going to do.
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Date: 2014-06-23 10:07
Subject: Today's Random Thing of Interest
Security: Public
An essay discussing the ways in which Pro Wrestling (ie: the WWE) is related to LARP and improvisational theater.

The definitive explanation of why pro wrestling is unique [Mightygodking]

Bonus link: One Ring Circus - a 2007 comparitive media studies class at MIT (!) which ties the WWE to Commedia....
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Date: 2014-05-19 11:39
Subject: Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated. - Confucius
Security: Public
I got nothing that was "on the list" accomplished (ok, maybe one thing) this weekend, but nevertheless I feel like I had a pretty successful weekend -- and that, even though I slept and read and slept for a large part of Sunday (and thanks to my amazing husband for letting me do that).

E's had a tough week, so I set up a playdate for him on Saturday. This child (O) is a year behind him, but they've become friends at the afterschool program, and we really like his parents (we're quietly trying to recruit them for SCA stuff, actually). So O came over and the boys ran together all afternoon -- including getting out the microscopes and doing SCIENCE! together. At 5, another friend dropped off her three girls (11, 9, and almost 2) for the evening so she could go out, and then at 5:30 O's parents came to get him and ended up staying for a while as we made make-your-own pizzas and the kids all ran around like crazy children.


While the boys were playing in the afternoon I got important things done like the bedding packed for Panteria and the upstairs bathroom cleaned, and about 8 loads of laundry. I'm still not where I should be for Panteria, but I'm somewhere that I'm not really stressed about it.

Sunday, Josh's dad came over and they FINALLY began repairing the big hole in our living room ceiling from the New Year's Eve waterfall. Josh also cut the grass, which normally takes a lot of nagging because getting out the mower for the first time in the spring is a big production.

E has declared this past weekend "the best weekend of my life so far" so I count that as a win.

Sometimes -- sometimes! -- things actually fire on all cylanders, and I feel like my life at least a little closer to the life I picture in my head.

Now, I just have to get the kitchen stuff ready for Panteria, and our garb packed, and figure out the food things. But I may be able to take off Thursday (provided I get a bunch of work done in the next three days) .... and then, the weekend. Camping! Relaxing in Vermont!
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Date: 2014-04-09 16:59
Subject: You always admire what you really don't understand. - Blaise Pascal
Security: Public
I don't have anything to say today that isn't really whiny, so I'm just not going to say much.

Six firetrucks, an ambulance, the fire chief's car, and two police cars showed up outside our house last night, lights and sirens going. They seem to have visited the house two doors down from us, although I cannot say why. The house was not on fire.

Tonight, I think I'm going to make a red cloak trimmed with white fur for E's classroom play. He was going to just take his Jedi cloak (which, amazingly, still basically fits him) but his father and I think it is insufficiently regal. I just hope it doesn't end up having too strong a Santa Claus vibe.

I got a new phone a couple of weeks ago, and E is having great fun playing with Siri. I don't think she's having as much fun, however, as she's suddenly taken to giving us lists of 'types of questions I can answer'. She also can't seem -- at ALL -- to figure out that the Portland Sea Dogs are a baseball team, and keeps giving me sports results for the Bulldogs and a bunch of other (possibly basketball) teams. I wish there was some way I could "teach" Siri what the right answer is.

I've set up a pandora channel that is basically the 2Cellos guys (which you should totally listen to) and Wolgemut and not a lot else.

Here is an interesting article about how Jim Henson's work affected the world-view of a generation of American children (and maybe not in the way you think). My favorite quote from the metafilter discussion about this article is "The conversation around this article among my friends has included the important detail that the Muppets gave us permission to be weirdos."

I guess those are my happy thoughts for today.
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Date: 2014-04-07 11:14
Subject: If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves. - Edison
Security: Public
Where did I leave off?

Oh yes ... well. We lived through the last of the Insane Travel (at least for a while) - actually it was a delightful day with friends (and music!) and an even more delightful trip home ... a post-event dinner at a large table where we laughed and laughed. An SCA experience that I had, honestly, totally forgotten about - those moments where you cement friendships over plates of cheese fries and linger to long at the table before the long drive home.

Last week, though, was a total loss. We were all sick, and grouchy. Saturday night I woke up about 2 am because E (who was asleep next to me, but really sort of across me) kicked me squarely in the face. I wish I knew what he struggles so steadfastly against in his sleep.

Yesterday I got to watch my very silly child alternate moments of complete disregard for the fact there are other people in the world with moments of unexpected responsibility and maturity. I know that's what being 7almost8 is all about, but it was on full display.

On Friday, J brought home a job posting he's actually both interested in and qualified for - so now we need to rush around and write him a resume. I want -- desperately -- to paint the kitchen and front hall but I'm having a lot of trouble getting motivated to do the awful work necessary (like, stripping down wallpaper and moving furniture) to actually achieve those goals.

Spring inspires action in all different ways, I guess.
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Date: 2014-03-27 16:17
Subject: There is nothing more atrociously cruel than an adored child. - Nabokov
Security: Public
In searching for something yesterday, I realized I have been on LJ for nine years. I am, once again, deeply thankful to whomever-you-are who re-upped my account.

I'm having a productive and civil discussion about ASD diagnosis on FB. Wonders will never, ever cease.

I won't be posting again until Monday, because:

Tonight: pick up child, go home. Supper. Laundry. Pack a bag for him (he's staying this weekend at Mimi's). Mix and cut pelican cookies. Mix and cook meat pie innards. Assemble and cook pies. Fall down.

Morning: Leave house by 5:45 am to pick up co-workers to be in Lowell MA by 8 am. Drive to Lowell. Attend conference. Leave 4 pm ish. Get home for supper.

Evening: Eat supper. Pack up our crap. Bake cookies. Fall down.

Saturday: Get up to leave the house by 6 am. Ride in car to Uncasville, CT. Attend event. Run vigil. Come home. Fall down.

Sunday: Sleep very late (I hope). Attend birthday party. Fall down.

... and then the Wheel! of! Vigils! is over, and I don't have to go to another event for two months. Hurray. Sort of.

However, I am keenly aware of my pledge to continue to write every day that I have access to a computer. Even if it's inane. Like today.


here is a link about Cocks (no, not that kind)

Beowulf Socks (with pattern)

Medieval parenting (sorta) (BBC Linkbait)

Must every YA Action Heroine be petite?
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Date: 2014-03-20 20:20
Subject: A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops. - Henry Adams
Security: Public
The end of our day today involved going to E's parent teacher conference, which turned into a sort of a mini IEP meeting. They've been working with different ways to get him to author his own thoughts, since writing by hand is such a terrible chore for him.

Here is his 'opinion' essay about Dinosaurs:

I think dinosaurs are the most amazing creatures that ever lived on Earth.

First of all, they have amazing features to hep them survive. Like spikes, teeth, and armor.

Next up, their self-defense is very good. It is better than normal. Like their claws and jaws are strong enough to crush bone.

Then to top it all off, you might think that dinosaurs are ferocious eat eaters but most are plant eaters. Think about it.

They have so many features that NO mammals have which what sets them apart from other animals on Earth.

His writing tutor says he has a "voice". He sure does.
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Date: 2014-03-18 12:05
Subject: For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love. - Sagan
Security: Public
Much to our surprise, E has agreed to sit with us on Monday nights and watch Cosmos. His father and I, of course, have clear and fond memories of watching the original one (I watched it weekly in school, actually), and we're all enjoying this rare moment of shared media consumption. E is confused by the commercials (most of the media he is exposed to - Netflix, YouTube - doesn't come with commercial interruption; I was interested to learn last night that he thought this was broadcast LIVE because of the commercials -- which makes sense, as he really only otherwise sees them during live sporting events), but he is otherwise clearly enjoying it and looks forward to it from week to week.

Last night's episode was about evolution (and other things), and it was reinforced for me just how much science this seven and a half year old child already knows. DNA is not a mystery to him, it's just a fact of life. He could already name the five great extinctions, tell us the causes, and give a clear summary of what types of life were extinguished and which survived. He gets -- really gets -- evolution as a basic fact about the way the world works. (He is still a little hazy on the broad scope of time involved; but that's developmental time sense. He can quote the numbers, but they don't really have scale for him. Or to me, for that matter.)

Of course, he sometimes watches while hanging upside down on the sofa, and last night watched at least part of it on the screen of his DS while pointing the DS camera at our TV (how very meta of him), but he's very clearly engaged, asking questions, making comments, and -- once! -- sort of correcting Dr. Tyson when he sort of glossed over something about Dinosaur evolution that E clearly wanted him to provide more detail about.

So, yes, he's so hungry for math, math, and more math that his teachers can't keep up and now have him helping other students (which he's happy to do) and working one on one with a parent volunteer one day a week who seems to be teaching him some kind of math games that border on algebra. He's hungry for science, too, but school doesn't provide that, and at home he draws a very clear line between Learning Activities (which seem to be for school only) and Fun Things (which are, pretty much, video games with a dash of Pokemon). yet sometimes -- sometimes -- just for a minute, I can get him engaged with science, asking questions, learning, paying as much attention as he can ... but apparently it takes Neil deGrasse Tyson to do it. So be it.

I see more TED talks in our future. Better start previewing.
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Date: 2014-03-17 16:14
Subject: We must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. - JFK
Security: Public
Well. Sometimes I am unexpectedly reminded of the amazing kindness of my friends.

I'm sorry I haven't been writing here much; I do read every single day, but so much stuff pulls for my time and attention -- G+, Facebook, Metafilter, trying to keep my Etsy shop going; Instant Portland ... it's hard, sometimes, to just sit down and write about what's new or what I'm thinking about.

So, anyhow, thank you very much to whomever just renewed my LJ account for another year. I shall endeavour to be worthy of your gift simply by remembering why LJ is important to me in the first place, and writing more. Maybe not every single day, but more.

I promise.
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Date: 2014-02-12 19:38
Subject: Writ for Pelican
Security: Public
Unto our noble servant, Baron Rowen Cloteworthy, Troubadour Herald, we greet you well.

Forasmuch as we have of late had many diverse and astonishing reports of your acts, and being that we have long known of your dutiful and diligent service to our persons and to the administration of Our Kingdom, both now and in the time of our predecessors of blessed memory departed, and forasmuch as it is the duty of the crown to recognize and provide due and just reward for those our subjects of especial fidelity, valor, virtue, and great ability, do we command unto you that it be our express pleasure and will that, upon the allegiance and duty you owe unto us, that you do forthwith and under penalty of banishment and our grave displeasure, upon the receipt of these letters duly signed, sealed, and read forth publically as all the people assembled duly saw, that upon the twenty second of March, being the feast of Saint Epaphroditus and Saint Lea, you do make your repair back again into our presence and present yourself humbly unto us, our court then being convened and arrayed in Majesty in the Barony of Settmour Swamp, along with those persons and witnesses that you are desirous to speak to us on your behalf, that we may further and with our most excellent Majesty, upon receipt of sufficient testimony of your good life and virtuous works, and upon further examination of your witnesses, being first sworn in due form and arrayed as aforesaid with such outward tokens and symbols of their station as they have right to bear, evaluate your fitness for induction into our most ancient and noble ORDER OF THE PELICAN, letting you further understand that if you shall refuse thus to appear in our court at the appointed time and in suitable estate that we will not fail to proceed against you, according to those laws of our Kingdom that we are bound to uphold. And further do we command that these our letters, or the duplicate of them, shall be to you for this passage, and shall comprise sufficient warrant and discharge of your duty in this behalf.

Signed by us, Kenric and Avelina, rightful King and Queen of the East Kingdom, on the eight day of March, as we sit in state upon the occasion of the tournament held to select our Bardic Champions, in our Barony of Bergental.
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