Monday, July 30, 2012

Love Means Never Having to Say...

I love my wife, you know I do.  However, sometimes she makes me crazy, crazy in that I am so glad I married her and saved someone else from that fate.  Case in point today she says, "Oh, Nancy sent that."

"That what," I say looking around, up, down trying to find out what that was.

"That, under the green card."

I pick up the green card and find a little framed count cross stitch sampler.  As I pick it up and start to look at it, I am truly unsure what exactly the appropriate response is.  "Nancy?"  I asked because this conversation seems so disconnected at this point.

"Nancy B-------, from New York, it is a belated anniversary present.  She apologized for it being so late, she had a hard time finding a design with dogs and cats on it.  She sent it to us last week." Natalie finally explains.

The pieces fall together.  Nancy is Natalie's co-worker and friend from New York.  I have meet her a few times, and she is very close to my wife.  Nancy, like so many people Natalie works with, feel like they know me fairly well because they are constantly hearing stories about my latest zany antics as perceived by Natalie.  I really don't mind, it means my wife loves me.  It also means strangers sometimes meet me and find I am not quite the character my wife has portrayed me to be. 
"Where do you think we should put it," she asks.

I examine the lovely stitch work and clever animal design with our names in the center.  Nancy has made something so thoughtful, and I can't thank her enough for her time and talent.  I smile at my beautiful and sanity stealing wife and say, "Somewhere we both can see it."  I love my wife, you know I do.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Deborah Harkness Stops by St Louis

Book 1 & 2 of the All Souls Trilogy

Last year I read this book, The Discovery of Witches, by Deborah Harkness.  I enjoyed this book full of witches, vampires, deamons, and one very smart female protagonist.  Not only did I love the characters, and find the story compelling, but, annoyingly, it ended on a cliffhanger.  Fast forward to this evening, and I am sitting in an auditorium with Harkness' new book, Shadow of Night, in my hand, the author standing at the front of the room discussing her "adult fairy tale" while tantalizing us all with the hints on her as of yet not named finale to the trilogy. Whew that was overwhelming!

Deborah Harkness
My co-worker, Kim(who convinced me to go with her) and I were delighted as she regaled us with what inspired her to write the books.  She said she saw a display at a book store of all these supernatural books with half-dressed vampires on the cover.  After a few days of snarking with her family about the display, they made her buy a notebook to write down her thoughts on the creatures of the night.  One of the niggling questions that she kept going back to was what would a vampire do for a living?  She said when the answer came to her she realized she could write a book about career minded undead. I am so glad she was troubled by these thoughts and worked it out in books I love.

Deborah Harkness and Tempesttea
Harkness was gracious enough to answer several questions, even mine.  I ask her what her colleagues and students thought about her second career as a novelist.  Other than surreptitious confessions of academics to careers as hunky cowboy romance writers, she also admitted her students relentlessly bring up her reviews.  One reviewer graded the book as a B+.  Students constantly remind her of the grade to which she assures them great things can come of a B+.  However, she said she still wants an A, she said she is competitive that way.  All I can say is that my evening got an A for good company and spending time with a truly charming author.  (Thanks Kim for asking me to go with you).

And the signed copy of the new book

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Why I Continue to Fight or Standing on the Rainbow Colored Soap Box Again.

Fridays I usually go to lunch with my co-worker, Cynthia.  We go to the same restaurant, usually sit at the same table, and always have the same server.  I like that they know us there and we are treated like part of the establishments family.  Sometimes Cynthia and I can get raucous in our mid-day break from the library.  This last Friday was not one of those days, with the heat and me being a little on the recovery side of a nasty sinus headache we were fairly subdued.
Midway through lunch I was telling Cynthia about the current boycott of Chick-fil-a because of COO, Dan Cathy's, offensive statement to the Baptist Press that, “I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say 'we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage' and I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about."  So when I say this stance was hurtful to same-sex families I am not exaggerating.  Nor am I wrong in choosing to take my arrogant gay money somewhere else. 

Granted I did not quote Cathy's statement, I just said, "Did you hear about the jerk who owns Chick-fil-a, telling me I am arrogant for wanting to be married to Natalie.  Boycotting Chick-fil-a from now on."

The old guy at the table next to us pushes his table back and gathers up his stuff and starts to walk away.  A server walks by and the man stops him and says, "I need a new table away from that..." pointing at me, "Gay talk."  He got louder on each word and started looking around as if he expected people to join in and start throwing stones at me.

Cynthia looked up confused and said, "What just happened?"

"Homophobe,"  I said loud enough for the old man to hear. 

The man was moved and the wait staff started circling around our table to laugh at the offended party.  I have to admit everyone, but the homophobe, was actually really supportive and more shocked by his reaction than that I am a lesbian.  However, it hurt.  Here I am eating lunch with my friend and he eavesdrops on our conversation and has the gall to be offended and make a scene.  I respect his right to have a different opinion, but not his right to an outburst at my expense.  Truthfully, I just wanted to tell at him to go eat his lunch at Chick-fil-a where they serve hate with a side of waffle fries. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Turning 100,000

Today my 2004 Toyota Prius turned 100,000.  I feel this was an important moment because I put all but 2 of those miles on my car.  I have never had a car before that I bought new and drove almost every single mile on it.  I felt like this milestone should be commented on and since my new year's resolution was to focus on the journey and not the destination I pulled over and documented the event.  The south side neighborhood residents thought we were crazy, even the cop that drove by and gave us an appraising look, but I did not care. 

I have loved my Prius, named Prudance, and found it to be a good car.  The tires, a conventional battery, and the water pump have been replaced because of use and dysfunction.  My mpg runs in the average of 40 to 45 range, but I have on a few notable occasions when the mpg has been over 50.  In other words I have been really pleased with my hybrid, I think it has fulfilled my expectations of a car that is kinder to the planet.  Overall, the car has made me feel like I made a good choice when I purchased it eight years ago and 100,000 miles ago. 

Oddly, on today of all days, I got a letter from a Dodge dealer offering me a trade in value over $6000 and a rebate of $4500.  I felt a little like someone was spying on me.  I love my Prudance the Prius and there is no way I would every replace her with a Dodge.  Now another Prius, that I might do someday, but not anytime soon.  I am hoping to get several more 1000 miles out of her, safe driving my friends.

Friday, July 13, 2012

I Knit What?

What is it you ask?

I admit that sometimes I get a little obsessive about a knitting pattern, even a knitting pattern for something I will probably never wear.  While cruising around online I found a pattern for "Arizona Flip Flop Socks."  (  Forget that I don't like flip flops or live in Arizona.  Regardless of these important facts, I decided to knit a pair thinking one day I might want to wear flip flops and I hate the way that piece of plastic feels between my toes. Maybe, my mind thought, if I had these socks I would not dislike wearing flip flops.   I also thought this would be a good use of scrap yarn.  With dpns (double pointed needles) in hand I knit a pair. 

The problem with the first pair was I ran out of the scrap yarn I was using and the sock was too tight on my big toe.  I decided to knit a second pair, because I need a pair of flip flop socks that fit.  I went back to the stash of scrap yarn and behold I knit a second pair.  However, now that I have two pairs of these abbreviated socks, I could not even bring myself to try them with a pair of flip flops, because as I said before I really don't like flip flops.  I dislike the cheap shoes so much that the hour I wear flip flops after a pedicure is almost like torture.  After several days of looking at the knitted items I finally gave in and modeled the the socks for photographs for my ravelry page.  After the photo shoot I immediately took off the shoes and the socks.

End result I still don't like flip flops.  The bottom line is maybe I should spend less time cruising on the Internet. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Chatty No More, Or I Think I Need a Nap

Wow, last month I was just a chatty little blogger, and here we are a third of the way into the month and I have not been moved to share a thing.  I don't know if it is the summer heat or a wave of apathy, but I am without inspiration.  I find all my energy is channelled into watching Season 4 of True Blood, and wanting to be lazy futon woman.  Must look for inspiration and relief from this ennui, in the meantime that futon sure looks inviting...

Taking inspiration from Leonard.