Friday, September 28, 2012

Physical Books, Illustration and The Odyssey

I try not to just use this blog to post links to other things... but I WANT THIS BOOK!!

A new, illustrated version of the Odyssey for readers 8 and up.  Looks SO amazing.


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Blarghety Blog #2


I'm tired, spaced-out and avoiding grading.  What's new.  I wonder what it's like to relax without thinking about what I'm supposed to be doing.  My strong Puritan roots coming out in the DNA I guess.  Actually, I don't know if there are any Puritans in my family history, but I know I have ancestors that go back to the Revolutionary War, so it's possible. I wouldn't be surprised, what with something hanging over my head in my head all the time.  I think of it as my heritage, as much as the land stolen from the Apaches that we own in Southern AZ.

I admire Quakerism.  I wonder... do Quakers have this whole youshouldbedoingsomethingusefulbecauseidlehandsarethedevil'sworkshop thing?

It's almost bedtime.  I sent my children to get ready.  They are currently content to be smacking each other with damp towels and rolling around knocking the clean laundry off my bed, but five minutes after bedtime they'll be howling to be read to.  Then they'll lie in their beds and read to themselves.  Older one, son, "Nononononoonono!  I need to finish... just finish this... argh!" when I tell him to turn out the light at 9:30 or 10:00.  Younger one, daughter, every two minutes: "Mom?  What does f-r-i-e-n-d spell?....   Mom?  What does s-u-r-p-r-i-s-e spell?"  In order for me to get enough sleep and really have enough time to do everything in the morning, I should be asleep by 9.  When do I get grown-up time?  WTH?  Go the frick to sleep!!  Reading is grand and all, but come on.

And actually, I have an impossible amount of grading to do tonight.

In reality, I'm bragging because my kids are readers.

Also in reality, I'm going bonkers spelling words every three minutes at the end of a long day.

Can't win.  They're awesome, and pushy and spoiled.  And they just can't help it. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Reductio ad Absurdum

Reductio ad Absurdum

arguing a priori against a world of data
shoulder up against an overflowing closet door

a web of hyperlinks to lists of hyperlinks
a painting of a powerpoint slide of a public
sculpture in a remote city photographed by satellite

relying on the tales of ghosts for evidence of nothingness
reality mediated by atheistic zealotry
to shred the daisies they must meet fingertips
causation. perception. cogito.
ergo for now let's agree to pretend to see

I took this at BICAS a few days later and thought it belonged on this blog entry.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Out of My Mind? Stories from School

My latest Stories from School blog entry addresses (in its own circuitous way) my poor planning, unexamined cognitive dissonance, desperate attempts to be a well-rounded professional AND pay the bills, and my need for creative outlets.  Enjoy!  Comments very welcome on

Thursday, September 13, 2012

What I Learned This Week(ish) #3

Jeff and Luka on the foggy beach.
1. I am now a beginning apprentice at agate hunting.  We stayed right on the water at Big Lagoon near Trinidad, CA, for the week of my brother's wedding, and when he was helping us get settled in, he brought his German Shepherd Luka down to the beach with us and taught us to hunt for agates.  That is, Luka explored the beach, and we hunted agates. Within minutes we were lying face-down cradled by warm gravel, sifting with our fingers through pebbles and looking for the elusive agates.  The best two pieces of advice I got from him:  a. the agates aren't really white-looking but look more like the color of whatever is behind them, because they allow so much light through them; b. you can ask thirty times "Is this one?  Maybe this.  This could be one," but you will know when you've found one for sure.
G. hunting
I just realized I didn't photograph the actual agates we found!
It's okay, though, because this shot captures most of the experience.
2. I learned that my daughter, at six years old, is now old enough to recognize that those drawings in very wide marker on the orange tunnel and slide at the park... yeah, well, they're penises.  I'm not sure if she figured it out on her own or whether her older brother pointed them out to her or whether she overheard me complaining about them.  However, after that bit of learning, my son went all Superbad on me and tortured his sister by drawing penises on her homework tonight.  Next paycheck we'll buy some graffiti remover.

3.  I learned that the word "swag" used to mean cash money a few generations back.  A student also told me that it was an acronym that stood for something about being gay.  Great word to talk about audience, purpose and context!

4. I learned that I really need a housekeeper, at least once in a while.  It has really gotten away from me this time.

5. I think I've learned that I don't need cable anymore.  Sure, there are things I'll miss, but I'm going to look into getting rid of it. With my Kindle, I read a lot more, both books and online reading.  P.S. I really hope paper books don't go away.  I like having both.

6.  I've learned that you can take a gallon ziploc bag of catnip through airport security in Sacramento and nobody blinks an eye.  Thanks, Dad.

The place we stayed in Trinidad was full of these jars and bottles of agates-- the treasures of a thousand walks on the beach for the family who welcomed us into what is clearly a special place for them.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Big Lagoon Blackberry Balsamic Vinaigrette with Blackberry Heaven Salad

Dylan or Misty took a great photo of the salad...
After a week of picking blackberries like a delighted child, this is the salad and dressing that I made along with my brother and sister-in-law, to take to the rehearsal dinner for my brother Jeff's wedding.  It's tongs-ful of late summer coastal heaven. As with most of my recipes, we made it first and determined amounts afterward.  You can measure if you want to, but you'll probably want to taste and adjust for sweet/ salty/ acid afterward.

Greens (we had probably two or three gallons of torn, farmers-market fresh greens)
1-2 firm pears, sliced fairly thinly
1/2 c. toasted walnuts chopped into large pieces
1 1/2 c. heirloom cherry-sized tomatoes
3 c. blackberries, whole
8 oz. feta cheese, crumbled (goat cheese would be good, too)

Nasturtium flowers (7-8) and 2 c.greens (large greens torn)
Cilantro flowers (for garnish)

2/3 c. balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 large shallots, chopped roughly
2 tsp. dijon or whole-grain mustard
2-3 c. blackberry puree w/ seeds strained out
2 tbsp honey or sugar
2/3 c. olive oil
salt and black pepper to taste

Place shallots and vinegar together into blender first, and then add other ingredients.  Blend until smooth.  Taste and adjust salt/ pepper/ sweet/ acid.  Makes about a liter of dressing, just enough to fill a leftover wine bottle from the week's festivities.  My 6 year-old daughter made the custom label.  Isn't it awesome?  That's her imaginative rendition of the bride and groom.  Such a little artiste.

Happy Wedding, Jeff and Natalynne!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a blackberry bramble in September for?
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry