Readings & Socializing

Note: This entry went in a total­ly dif­fer­ent direc­tion than where I thought I was head­ed! It got very long, and wan­dered around a lot. I got into some­thing that’s real­ly been eat­ing at me for a long time, though, and I’d real­ly appre­ci­ate some feedback.

I should have my micro­phone tak­en away. I record­ed sev­er­al more poems for some rea­son, but haven’t post­ed them any­where because I real­ly love hear­ing them with the music Sam adds. His edit­ing exper­tise always makes me sound much bet­ter, too! Sam got me wor­ried about copy­right issues, which is why I haven’t post­ed them to Live Read­ings yet.

I miss read­ings. Live gath­er­ings of peo­ple, close­ly or loose­ly con­nect­ed, who come togeth­er to share pas­sages of prose or poet­ry with each oth­er. Not the sort where peo­ple get up at a podi­um, or an event arranged for a par­tic­u­lar author, just friends and acquain­tances shar­ing the joy of the word. If there are authors in the group who share pas­sages of what­ev­er they’re work­ing on, so much the bet­ter! If not, well, there’s a wealth of mate­r­i­al out there that just begs to be heard, that can­not be ful­ly appre­ci­at­ed on the page. I owe my dis­cov­ery of G.K. Chester­ton to such a group, and a renewed inter­est in Mark Twain.
Con­tin­ue read­ing “Read­ings & Social­iz­ing”

Memitude: Who am I?

From and :

You know how some­times peo­ple on your friend’s list post about stuff going on in their life, and all of a sud­den you think “Wait a minute? Since when are they work­ing THERE? Since when are they dat­ing HIM/HER? since when???” And then you won­der how you could have missed all that seem­ing­ly pret­ty stan­dard infor­ma­tion, but some­how you feel too ashamed to ask for clar­i­fi­ca­tion because it seems like info you *should* already know? It hap­pens to all of us sometimes.

If you want to play, just copy mine below, erase my answers, put yours in their place and then post it in your jour­nal! Please elab­o­rate on the ques­tions that would ben­e­fit from elab­o­ra­tion! One-Word-Answers sel­dom help any­one out.

First Name: Cyn­thia or Cyn. Not Cindy.
Age: 41
Loca­tion: Decatur, GA
Occu­pa­tion: Stay-at-home mom, student
Partner(s): Sam
Kids: Katie (17) is the only one at home. Sam’s kids, Rowan (19) and Genevieve (16) used to live with us.
Pets: Kioshi, a two-year-old cat
School: I’m cur­rent­ly attend­ing online class­es at DeVry Uni­ver­si­ty, study­ing for a bach­e­lor’s degree in tech­nol­o­gy and man­age­ment with a con­cen­tra­tion in tech­ni­cal communications.
Sib­lings: One sis­ter and one broth­er, both younger than me, mar­ried, with kids.
Par­ents: Alive and still mar­ried, they live one coun­ty away from us.
Health: Can I skip this part? No? Darn. Okay, I’m dis­abled due to a com­bi­na­tion of fibromyal­gia (FMS), spondy­loarthropa­thy, arthri­tis, chron­ic fatigue syn­drome (CFS), myofas­cial pain syn­drome (MPS), and migraines. I’m aller­gic to most of the nat­ur­al world, too.
List the 3 — 5 biggest things going on in your life:

  1. Katie
  2. Sam
  3. Health stuff
  4. School

SBQ: Stitching Publications

The Stitch­ing Blog­gers Ques­tion of the Week:
Do you cur­rent­ly sub­scribe to any stitch­ing pub­li­ca­tions or have you in the past? (Either in print or online) If so, which ones?

I don’t sub­scribe to any at the moment, and I rarely buy them off the rack. I have hun­dreds of them in my stash, and I keep mean­ing to go through and just keep the designs I’m still plan­ning to stitch, but I nev­er get around to doing it! I stopped buy­ing them because I real­ized that I haven’t ever stitched one sin­gle pat­tern in any of those hun­dreds of magazines.
Con­tin­ue read­ing “SBQ: Stitch­ing Pub­li­ca­tions”

Professional Educators say “Trauma is good for kids!”

That’s what their actions say, anyway.

Some El Camino High stu­dents in Ocean­side received the shock of a life­time. School admin­is­tra­tors and offi­cers claimed some of their class­mates died in a drunk dri­ving acci­dent, but it was all a hoax that was intend­ed to be a hard lesson.

They’d bet­ter be damned glad I did­n’t have a kid in that school.

Edit­ed to add:
I’m with Jon Car­roll on this one.

The take­away is: Don’t trust any­one. Grown-ups will lie to you and try to make you feel bad. The world sucks even worse than you thought it did. Guid­ance coun­selor Lori Tauber defend­ed the exer­cise: “They were trau­ma­tized, but we want­ed them to be trau­ma­tized. That’s how they get the message.”

These are pro­fes­sion­al edu­ca­tors, and they are com­fort­able with the fol­low­ing ped­a­gog­ic the­o­ry: Trau­ma is good for kids. It’s an effec­tive teach­ing tool. Why not teach Amer­i­can lit­er­a­ture the same way? Har­poon a real whale and watch it die — “Moby-Dick” brought to life! They’ll remem­ber that.

Maybe they’ll want to join Green­peace too. Two lessons for the price of one dead whale! And then the “dead” whale could wake up and make a mov­ing speech at assembly.

Are we that alien­at­ed from the ado­les­cents in our midst? Do we think that their feel­ings don’t mat­ter, that almost any­thing is jus­ti­fied in pur­suit of mak­ing sure they get a Life Les­son? Are we that cru­el? Appar­ent­ly we are — a major­i­ty of the par­ents in Ocean­side thought there was noth­ing wrong with this lit­tle exper­i­ment. Shake those kids up a little. 

Water from Stone?

Water From Rock, Eas­i­er Than Blood From Stone

Gyp­sum, a rocky min­er­al is abun­dant in desert regions where fresh water is usu­al­ly in very short sup­ply but oil and gas fields are com­mon. Writ­ing in Inter­na­tion­al Jour­nal of Glob­al Envi­ron­men­tal Issues, Peter van der Gaag of the Hol­land Inno­va­tion Team, in Rot­ter­dam, The Nether­lands, has hit on the idea of using the untapped ener­gy from oil and gas flare-off to release the water locked in gypsum.
Chem­i­cal­ly speak­ing, gyp­sum is cal­ci­um sul­fate dihy­drate, and has the chem­i­cal for­mu­la CaSO4.2H2O. In oth­er words, for every unit of cal­ci­um sul­fate in the min­er­al there are two water mol­e­cules, which means gyp­sum is 20% water by weight.

van der Gaag sug­gests that a large-scale, or macro, engi­neer­ing project could be used to tap off this water from the vast deposits of gyp­sum found in desert regions, amount­ing to bil­lions of cubic meters and rep­re­sent­ing tril­lions of liters of clean, drink­ing water.

That is so cool! And not the kind of thing I expect to read in the Med­ical News Today newslet­ter. There’s always some­thing inter­est­ing in it, though. This was also in it.

Body Clocks Dic­tate The Beat Of Life

Body clocks deter­mine whether peo­ple are ear­ly birds or late ris­ers, “home­bod­ies” or “par­ty ani­mals”. As Pro­fes­sor Hanspeter Herzel (Insti­tute for The­o­ret­i­cal Biol­o­gy, Hum­boldt Uni­ver­si­ty Berlin, Ger­many) now report­ed at the inter­na­tion­al con­fer­ence “Com­pu­ta­tion­al & Exper­i­men­tal Mol­e­c­u­lar Biol­o­gy” in Berlin, Ger­many, these bio­log­i­cal watch­es not only reg­u­late the sleep-wake cycle, but also blood pres­sure and blood tem­per­a­ture. “They are con­trolled by a mas­ter clock which con­sists of 20,000 neu­rons in the brain,” Pro­fes­sor Herzel illu­mi­nat­ed, “where they oper­ate togeth­er to adapt us to the chang­ing demands of day and night.”

So much for those idiots who think that being a morn­ing per­son is a char­ac­ter issue.

I must have slept wrong. My right arm isn’t work­ing prop­er­ly. It’s annoying.

But Sam fixed a great break­fast (yes, on Father’s Day). And we’ve got Firefly.

Amazon Weirdness

I’m tired. I spent entire­ly too much time over the last 48 hours futz­ing with the library part of this site.

The soft­ware I use to cre­ate that, Now Read­ing, auto­mat­i­cal­ly pulls images of book cov­ers from Ama­zon when­ev­er I add a book to the library. Ama­zon auto­mat­i­cal­ly sets affil­i­ate links up that way, so they’ve already said they don’t mind (there are affil­i­ate links to them on every page, so they are get­ting their traf­fic). I don’t usu­al­ly hotlink to any­thing, but some com­pa­nies actu­al­ly pre­fer it.

For some rea­son, the images keep going away ran­dom­ly. Some are for old­er books, but some are for fair­ly new releas­es, too. Ama­zon still has an image on their pages, but the graph­ics have moved on their servers.

I know they’ve tried to get their affil­i­ates to use their dynam­i­cal­ly-gen­er­at­ed wid­gets, which would pre­sum­ably update them­selves when a file is moved. I don’t care. I want to link to spe­cif­ic items that I’ve read or want to read or want to talk about, not what­ev­er their algo­rithms decide to link to.

Now I get to go through all 600+ books in the library, find images for their cov­ers, save same to my serv­er, and update the library records.


Neptune On My Mind

Well, sor­ta. Katie and I indulged in a Veron­i­ca Mars marathon tonight, watch­ing most of two DVDs of episodes. It was a good thing to keep me occu­pied while doing a very, very bor­ing tech­ni­cal chore. She was doing some mend­ing, so it served the same kind of pur­pose for her. Sam’s been try­ing to get anoth­er chap­ter of Heart of the Hunter out.

The sweet man brought home pas­ta from Azio’s for din­ner! Yum­my. Their Fet­tuc­cine Alfre­do is almost as good as his. It’s def­i­nite­ly an accept­able alter­na­tive, espe­cial­ly when it’s just too hot to do that much cook­ing at home.

Poetry: Jane Kenyon

The Blue Bowl
by Jane Keny­on

Like prim­i­tives we buried the cat
with his bowl. Bare-handed
we scraped sand and gravel
back into the hole.
                               They fell with a hiss
and thud on his side,
on his long red fur, the white feathers
between his toes, and his
long, not to say aquiline, nose.

We stood and brushed each oth­er off.
There are sor­rows keen­er than these.

Silent the rest of the day, we worked,
ate, stared, and slept. It stormed
all night; now it clears, and a robin
bur­bles from a drip­ping bush
like the neigh­bor who means well
but always says the wrong thing.

Oth­er­wise: New & Select­ed Poems