Thursday, January 24, 2008

first picture?

Let's see whether this works: bad lighting, the camera on my laptop, and a 3-second delay. Plus trying to figure out how to upload said picture...

The mitten on the left is in Dale Baby Ull, on size 3 needles, and the mitten on the right is in Valley Yarns Superwash on size 4 needles.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Where's the knitting?

I don't recall deciding to turn this into a cooking/ranting blog, but the knitting seems to have vanished this month. Actually, the knitting continues apace, but the lack of camera is seriously irritating me - to the point where I don't want to blog about it if I can't show it. I'm on 2-color mitten #5 of my career, and this one (when done) will complete a pair. Maybe I can beg or borrow a camera with which to show off the completed work.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Non-Random Acts of Kindness

Today I earned my "nice human being" award for the week by helping a former student (note: not current student) prepare for a big test. He's a nice kid, and very grateful for the help, which makes it all worthwhile. I feel vaguely responsible for his plight, since I apparently didn't drill enough material into his head last year.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Ahh, dinner!

Just got back from a lovely dinner party hosted by my in-laws. Good food, good company, and a relaxed atmosphere where the kidlets could run around between courses.

On The Menu
Potstickers: rice, smoked mackerel, and dried apricot, or curried cream cheese with mozzarella
Honeydew Sorbet
Homemade pasta, eggplant-zucchini stirfry, fresh bread, turkey stroganoff or vegetarian stroganoff
Endive leaves with cherry-tomato salad on top
Almond pear pie


I worked until midnight.
Came home, staggered into bed.
Realized I wasn't ready for this morning's work.
Staggered to the sofa, prepped for work.
Heard SecondSon fussing.
Sat in dimly lit hallway trying to work while reassuring grumpy toddler that Mommy was still there.
Staggered back to bed just before 2am.
Yes, I'm tired. No, I will not be pleasant to deal with this morning.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Idiots redux

I have discovered FaceBook.

Now, my students have discovered me. My policy is simple: I will not initiate by "friending" them, but if they choose to "friend" me I will accept. A number of them think this is very funny, and have chosen to do so. I spent a fascinating hour surfing their photo albums, walls, and quotes.

The amount I can learn about them is amazing. In what is perhaps the scariest example of this, the student hasn't Friended me, but I can see his prom photos (through one mutual friend) and his end-of-school-party photos (through another mutual friend.) I now know what his house and pool look like, whom he took to the prom, the names of his non-school friends, and what his parents look like. I can deduce many of the people he considers his close friends, based on proximity in photos.

In another example, I know (from reading his Wall) exactly what one of my students did for his 18th birthday. I wish I didn't know. It won't get him into any official trouble with me, but I can't help but let it color my perception of him. Perhaps disillusionment is good; I tend to be overly optimistic and a little naive about my students. Still, I think I was happier that way.

So are they being idiots when they allow me this much access to their lives? That's what I've been pondering all evening. More on this tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Sometimes we're all idiots

Today I was ranting at one of my classes about how they're all about to be grown-ups. They're about to head for college; they've got take on responsibility; they can't "slide" on me just because they got into some big-name universities.

One of them asked me if I was sorry I'd volunteered to teach several classes of seniors this year.

I said that I wasn't, because I like the subject matter and I like most of the students that I teach.

He immediately wanted to know which people in the class I didn't like.

(I was so, so tempted to say that it was him... but it truly wasn't. It was the kid next to him, who whines constantly and always has to put down everyone around her. She should be grateful that I don't teach in one of the "historic" classrooms with antique weaponry on the walls or something equally dangerous that I could easily have at hand.)

So we bantered for a minute about how I wasn't going to tell them, and while it may be a load of crock that I "like all my students equally" that's my line and I'm sticking to it. I went on to brag that I've taught people I couldn't stand and they never knew it. (I later realized that most of them did guess later, once I started to like them in a subsequent class and they understand the difference in my attitude. But that came later.)

Now for the part about the idiots. Two of my best students - I mean, smart, polite, likable, "if I had a teenager I'd let you date my offspring" type of students - asked me, in all seriousness, if I meant them. They actually came back after class was over to ask me this.

I repeated the bit about how I wasn't going to tell them, or - more to the point - even if I didn't like them I'd lie through my teeth and say I did, so there wasn't any point in asking me.

One of them is now seriously worried that I don't like him. I think the other one finally got it, or else cared a little bit less. I've promised to tell them after graduation if they still care then.


Monday, January 7, 2008

North? Are you nuts?

Today I saw two V's of geese heading... north.

Guys, it's January 7th. Yes, I know it's 51 degrees outside, but it won't last. Trust me.

Friday, January 4, 2008

And she loves the mitten...

I finally showed my "first mitten" each to two of the recipients... and they loved them.

What a relief!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Insert Rant Here

I had a rant all prepared, but now I'm too tired to remember most of it.

I don't know whether it's the antibiotics or the cough suppressant that's making me feel like I've lost 50 IQ points, but I want it to stop! Now! Teaching smart seniors with a sub-average IQ is amusing at best and humiliating at worst.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


I'm bad at New Year's Resolutions. However, here's a first pass at this year's list:

1) Lose weight.
2) Eat healthier food.
3) Spend less time watching TV.
4) Knit more.
5) Read more.
6) Spoil my dog.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy 2008!

I did not ring in the New Year; I was asleep by 9pm, with the "junk in the lungs" disease still taking its toll on my system.

Today, I triumphed over adversity by whipping together lunch for six in about 15 minutes: fried rice (left-over caramelized onions and rice, plus some butter, white wine, pecans, and grated cheese), deviled eggs (hurray for left-over hard-boiled eggs!), sliced fruit, cheese, and crackers.

Why? Relatives who were trapped at our place by the snowstorm. I hadn't thought to go grocery shopping earlier in the morning, so my resources were very scanty.