Again, with the signs. Look, sharks, which are good for the ecosystem! Predators are very important to the health of the reef. What kind are they? I dunno! It doesn't say on the %$#*ing sign! What is their range? What do they eat? Cool facts about these particular ones? A sample of skin to feel?
About three of the very cool fish there were in each tank were labeled on each tank, each of which was teeming with about twenty cool fish and other creatures. But the reef is in danger! Do you need a plush baby seal? No, we don't have seals on exhibit. Would you like a balloon hat?
Minimal education, maximum sensory overload with canned soundtracks. Goofy store. Dreadful food options (not really surprising). No shark teeth at the store, no Triops, no science kits, no origami, no marine animals from the Mezosoic. Just four kinds of cups with kid names on them, stuffed animals (there were some good ones) and a few books.
Ultimately it was a feeble attempt at political correctness that wasn't convincing and that just couldn't make up for the elegance of the displays, and anti-intellectual signage that didn't disguise the fact that the curator is an aquarium genius. When was the last time you saw a Picasso Triggerfish? I just happened to know that one, there was no sign.
On the other hand, if you already know something about ocean and freshwater creatures, it was really cool to see them frolicking and snoozing and doing their creature thing. The river otters were tiny packages of delight. Actually bigger than we expected. The tiger, of course, was pretty impressive. There was a big green eel (couldn't tell you what kind!) that was a real ham, and a very cool creature all around, and the green of it's skin is so now! We did not expect green. Actually I just googled green eel and found out it's a moray, and it eats squid, gets caught in fish traps, and lives off the east coast of Central America. Two seconds online and I got more information than two hours at the aquarium.
The place was packed with beautiful colorful fish, big fish, yummy looking fish (doh!) and other cool creatures. The kids loved petting the horseshoe crabs, and I loved petting the supersoft manta rays. There was a very sweet hornbill that came close to us and wanted something. It was so cute. We want it to have a mate. And some of the cool tanks curved over us, had bubbles to crawl under, had windows to stand on, had habitats above for land and air animals. It was really cool. The sets were pretty well done too. Cool faux painting.
All in all, I think there's some room for growth, but the creatures themselves really shined.
We did get a plush otter and a card game called Chomp! which is a food chain and reflex bonanza. Really fun.
Wednesday, September 28
Again, with the signs. Look, sharks, which are good for the ecosystem! Predators are very important to the health of the reef. What kind are they? I dunno! It doesn't say on the %$#*ing sign! What is their range? What do they eat? Cool facts about these particular ones? A sample of skin to feel?
Tuesday, September 27
Just read a charming book at Tattered Cover called God Bless the Gargoyles by Dav Pilkey. On a totally visceral level I found it to be fabulous. Now I sit back to analyze and I don’t even believe in angels, who figure prominently, but I’m not sure that matters. I’m not even sure about the political conclusions one could draw from some of his theory. But I’m also not sure that’s what’s important. It’s a children’s book, after all, and as such gives a helpful and inspiring message to everyone. I like the beauty of the way it’s written, the faith is tantalizing, the illustrations are lovely and expressive. I’m such a sap, I actually cried. Gimme a little credit though! I expected it to be drivel! I did not expect to find a book with a heart!
On another note, I’m totally in love with Vintage Knits by Facett, Hargreeves, et al, and that makes me feel so helpless, because, let’s face it, I’m nowhere near being able to make any of those little morsels. Gaaaaa. Can’t I just get better over night?
I am excited about felting though. I got some good ideas from some of the books I saw. I like the idea of cutting to the chase by buying thrift store sweaters and felting them for patchwork blankets, bags, etc.
Bought a book on fasting. Thinking of baby #3 and gearing up. That would be a good thing to do before we embark. I haven’t done one in years, and never a juice one. T wants a Vitamix when we get back. We want to do the bunch of dark greens (lacinato kale, lamb’s quarters, etc.) with a banana or other piece of fruit thing. Must have greens! The Vitamix will help up the raw intake. The dehydrator is good, and I wish I had brought some flax bread & crackers and can’t wait to crank it up again, but it will be good to have the intense greens from the Vitamix as well. I think it’s better than the juicer, especially for keeping the sugar uptake mellow by keeping the fiber in the mix. And if it cuts down the ice cream consumption in the house (which is relatively low, but still) 'cause we can do frozen fruit, all the better.
I’m looking forward to baking in our new oven this year. Holidays with a real, gas stove and a convection oven!!!! Yay! And T’s family will come from Britain for Thanksgiving (irony?), which we’re all very excited about as we haven’t seen them in what seems like ages, and there are several birthdays coinciding to boot. A very nice start to the holiday season! I wish I had a non-dairy pumpkin pie. Eggs fine, but maybe nutmilk, or even goatmilk? Almond might be nice. With the molasses, maple and spices we couldn’t possibly notice, especially if it’s homemade. Maybe I’ll try some raw holiday stuff this year too. An organic turkey still isn’t likely. Maybe next year, if/when all our new manufacturing takes off. It's even possible my grandmother may come. That would be really cool. The kids would have Tday with their grandparents from England, and their greatgrandmother from Texas. (I wonder if they'll understand each other's accents?!)
We’re eager to get back home (we miss our kittycows!), but apprehensive, too, due to hurricanes. And while we do love Naples, it has been really, really nice to be in a city again, especially one with a serious Whole Foods and a serious book store, and a serious toy store, and yarn, and people our age, with kids our kids’ ages, and dogs who are not pit bulls, and a general level of education that is much more, er, familiar and comfortable. I know that’s not the most delicate thing to say, but Collier County can be rather alarming sometimes on that front. Between the unmotivated teens and the domineering old folks, the Stepford Wives and the Confederate sympathizers there’s precious little leeway. Also, being here makes Naples seem kind of uptight and bourgeois. I’m not sure I actually have a problem with that, but it has been nice to have a change. I feel refreshed, better connected to my generation, and more informed.
I’ll be glad to get back into our routine, I miss all our friends from town, homeschool and church. It’s been strange to be gone for the month when everyone is re-establishing the autumnal schedule and re-convening.
We go back to some serious action at Integrity (Bishop to celebrate), serious adult formation at the church (History & Polity, Biblical Interpretations, Human Sexuality), and I’m going to be doing an intense Catechist Level 1 formation class as well. Our school schedule will be slightly new and different, small tweeks of classes and days, and entering a new curriculum year (maybe by Nov/Dec) with new challenges, and adding more chores and rewards and consequences (not unlike life, eh?). And working on baby #3. And names. And holidays. And family visiting. And the website launch. And lots of work. And birthdays. And Ruby. And friends. And finally kitties!
I think that just may be a list of blessings.
Saturday, September 24
Just found this. I've seen the likes of it before, but this is just the cat's meow of info!
That raw goat blend sounds like a great substitute. Great soy info, and he's really honest about the need to use a processed formula base. The expense sounds prohibitive for most. We could never have done it. I'm glad I knew enough about nursing to want to know more, and that I was able to do it, and had great support and information around me. I don't know how people do it without adequate support. Maybe they don't. The whole family has to be on board, and then there must be outside support as well.
I really don't know anything about formula. My first was virtually without solids for her first year, and nursed until 3 1/2, only weaned because she didn't like the taste of colostrum when I was carrying my second. She nursed through most of the pregnancy, and for about three months post-partum. Then the baby had a growth spurt and I called off the extra nursing. I never pumped or used bottles, ever. I think I would be more inclined to if we did it again, just to occasionally have a break. Part of me resists the idea though. I don't know which is more logical.
Second baby was more hungry, hungry, hungry, and I was already eating like a sumo wrestler to keep up, so he had natural baby food starting around four months, but he was nursed for almost three years. 9/11 kind of made nursing hard, there were so many changes with moving to FL, and he was such a little tanker, and I'm pretty tiny, it was too much. I was done, so he was too.
I didn't eat any dairy products of any kind while nursing them, and niether did they. We had negligible runny noses, no ear infections, and clear breathing. Now they both eat dairy, but he can really only have goat, and niether kid eats much. Cow lands him at the doctor on a respirator. Scary, and not worth it. They say it's not asthma, but an asthmatic reaction to illness. I see the cough is always preceded by a runny nose, and the runny nose is always preceded by cow's milk. It's just not possible for it to be a coincedence at this point. Should probably cut wheat in the house too, but that's just not going to happen quickly. Given K's "tummy aches", diagnosed as irritable bowl syndrome (for which barbituates were prescribed! Tossed the paper it on the way out of the office), it would be ideal to get both kids in some decent alternative care. Diet changes and homeopathic colocynthis seem to help her, plus plenty of GNC papaya enzymes.
We have phenomenal care from Fit For Life Health Services in Naples, we like Seekins and Paule. But there's always that extra bit that could make all the difference. Pieces of the puzzle.
We just met with a friend in Boulder (of T's from college) who says there's a technique called Network Spinal something (have to look it up) and it can help with both situations. It sounds sort of esoteric, but I don't care as long as it works. (I draw the line well before Reiki over the phone). I wish there was a classical homeopath in Naples, but the only one just moved away. Both can be found on the East coast. Blah. Silver lining? I guess it won't be the price of gas, but that could inspire me to find out more about green diesel...
This just looks so sweet, and filet is so fast...I might have to make this. I might have to finish what I've already started. My inner good cop, bad cop struggle is well under way. Can you believe I just waltzed right into a needlepoint shop in Cherry Creek and bought little kits for the kids, and some canvas and a few skeins of color for myself? I don't even do needlepoint! I used to embroider in my late teens/early twenties. That must count for something.
And it's not enough to just buy a painted canvas (which I didn't, couldn't do), nooooo, I have to buy blank, because I'm not just going to learn needlepoint, I'm going to design and paint my own canvas.
And I've pulled out my grey sweater at least three times. The yarn is going funny.
Anyway, here's the new provocateur:
Thursday, September 22
Fascinating fodder from the Opinion Journal:
Not Liberating, After All How did feminists end up in bed with Hugh Hefner?
BY WENDY SHALIT Wednesday, September 21, 2005 12:01 a.m. EDT
I'm not sure about where I stand on the modesty issue.
My inner feminist says modesty schmodesty.
My inner voice that keeps me safe says not all guys think about bodies and women's freedom the same way, especially if they're from someplace where things are way more conservative and old-fashioned, and it's best to err on the modest side except under certain circumstances for safty's sake.
And I'm not crazy about the abject craze, the insane and relentless desire for the dregs, the Jerry Springer factor, Survivor, Girls Gone Wild. That's what's passing for culture? Feminism means you can show your titties, eat bugs and smack your ex boyfriend? What the f#%k?
And after reading this I feel oddly justified in switching colleges until I found someplace on the wholesome side (credits be hanged), filled with genuinely religious girls from the suburbs. They were like some polar opposite of what I had always known. The professors had nice familes, and some sense of morality and the benefit of capitalism. They weren't smarmy like at some of the other places. They may have been dull, and even naive, but they weren't self obsessed commie break-down-the-sexual-barriers-for-the-sake-of-liberation lying bastards.
I didn't ever get burned, lest you think the lady doth protest too much, but some of those near and dear to me did. It wasn't pretty. And it was so couched in political doublespeak I'm not sure anyone knew exactly what they were doing or why, or that it was even problematic. Well, maybe they did, but they were never going to admit it. Callousness is the goal, after all.
And here's a newsflash, though I consider myself a feminist, second generation at that, I still think there are some basic places where feminism has dropped the ball.
Why is childcaring such a despicable way for a woman to spend herself? Why not mommy? Kind of a wierd aristocratic cum arm-chair liberal twist on things, don't you think? While it may be of benefit to children to see their mommies working and being paid for their labor, it should not be at the expense of having a mom around sometimes. And not one who's perpetually frazzled, or out of town, or prioritizing work to the point of absurdity.
Here's a true story. My neighbor, in NYC in the late '80s, was at the playground with her kids when she saw the son of a friend of hers. She looked for her friend, but then realized the boy must be there with someone else. She approached him and said hello, and asked after his mother. He gave her a blank look and asked if she had been one of his nannies.
And what about the whole wierd alpha mom thing? Something not right there. And there are so many like her, or who want to be made to feel more "real" by those like her. Not that Mothering Magazine always gets it right, but that's where I'd go to feel real. Not to one (with her cast of thousands) who may have some bonding issues with her own child. And some about-to-be issues with her husband.
What about this lost generation of loose sexual mores and a life is cheap attitude? What has feminism given our girls? How did it get so skewed?
I suspect the adoption of more Marxist socialist ideas came with the territory when the women that first used his most excellent and well developed language and techniques for discussing oppression changed the face of feminism. This would result in a social fabric that only respects deconstruction.
In this model nothing can ever be embraced or rejoiced that is not cynical, because everything boils down, ultimately, into degradation, filth and death. Anything more positive than that is naive delusion, offensive to someone, and acts as a cancer of ignorance in society and upon the earth. Anyone not engaged in deconstruction is a philistine.
Wow. Where do I sign up for that one? What a great place to raise kids! What a positive influence on their sense of self!
So we send them off to schools where they're subjected to constructivist math, anti-individualist literature (and only from non-western writers, with socialist themes), revisionist history, and blow jobs in the back of the room. Gosh, these kids today, their teachers playfully joke. It starts with preschool anti-individualist primer The Rainbow Fish (talk about the power of political pressure to conform!) and ends with paying thousands of dollars to colleges where your darlings are screwing around all night and being molded by leftist political agendae all day. How the hell is Noam Chomsky still at M.I.T.? And as a professor of linguistics, why is he allowed to engage in political diatribe straight out of the Communist Manifesto with students?
And then these poor sweet human beings graduate, and pair up, and over-extend themselves before starting a family so she must go back to work (macha, right through the tears, hey, we're all in this together), and then the toys pile up because there is no time, and then the kids prioritize their friends (because there's always that desirable state-sponsored period of the Lord of the Flies phase, the first stirrings of thuggery that must precede graduation to more nuanced political versions of same), and then they move 3000 miles away, because parents just don't get it (i.e. refuse to communicate only in dialectics), and the alienation is almost complete. Some go for the finale of divorce with its financial halving and promise of social services. These are the only pennance a capitalist society can provide for loyal comrades in a pre-revolutionary state.
Two plus two must equal three or their entire lives have been a farce. What are solutions? I'll think on that and get back to you.
Wednesday, September 21
Found my gang in need of some basics. Thought some of you might like these too.
Here's one where you can make worksheets to print, with matching answer sheets:
This one is my favorite. It has a rockin' flash card program in java, as well as non-java and worksheets:
Various drill sheets to print:
This one is a little clunky, but also supremely customizable, and can include stuff for older kids too:
That should do it!
Friday, September 16
Here's another interesting one. I'm guessing she's English. Might be worth checking out her links too. I haven't checked out the patterns yet, but I'm guessing I may not be quite ready for many of them.
Somehow cracking the knit lace mystery is proving difficult. I get the basic concepts, but have trouble lining up the rows properly. It makes crochet lace seem so easy, if useless.
Just found this and I think it may be terribly useful for my handwork habit. Who knew there could be so many knitters in the sub-tropics! Too bad about her other passions and politics...heart's in the right place though, great charity ideas. And I'm too excited about a new yarn place, even though it's in Bonita Springs. If I'm up that way, I'm sure I'll just have to stop by.
We had odd and sad news this morning. Two aquaintance-friends went off to Greece on a cruise, and we just found out from another friend, who went to help, that one of them died of meningitis. Got sick and within a few days was dead. In Greece. And if that's not bad enough, they were living just outside of New Orleans. That alone would be plenty. Life is so tenuous. Flowers seem so inadequate.
On a lighter note, it appears Ruby has a cold. It's wierd to hear a dog sneeze all night. Poor baby. So no going out on the town today because she absolutely cannot bark in the room again. I'm tempted to give her a benadryl and try to go out anyway, but we really can't afford a kennel, nor would it be good for her at only seven months old. So we're stuck except for walks in the park. It's a nice park, so it's not so bad. Frankly I may be coming down with something, too, so it's just as well.
We're about half-way through the first Redwall book, so we'll all just curl up and read today. It's a little overcast anyway.
The ad for the magazine is all-but-done, I'm waiting for confirmation they've received it, and the hard copy, then the website could be up by tomorrow. Oh my God.
Also, Integrity has become complicated. Some of the guys infuriatingly cannot seem to separate national politics from church politics. I have a call in to the Rector. Also some whack jobs discovered and publicized the date & location of the Bishop celebrating for us, so now anything's possible. Ugh.
Maybe I'll crochet a bit. Found a cute pattern for a sweater (with modifications) in Family Circle Easy Crochet (Fall/Winter 2005). It's number 5, kind of a cardigan, but more like a jacket. I like the springy pattern of the stitch. It's a little looser than a plain single crochet, the stitch is picked up only on the back loop. It makes a zigzaging v-shape, kind of like a horizontal ribbing. Crochet is so wierd.
I'm taking off the kooky bottom bits, a bit too medieval looking. I'm also sizing it down for a better fit. I'm using an Emu DK wool in charcoal, and a mauvy/pink Katia Ingenua mohair blend fingering for the edging, and I found a lovely Silky Wool fingering by Elizabeth Lavold in a dreamy olivey/pine green (008). I'm going to use that between the grey and the pink. Just one tiny row for depth. I'll make something else out of the remainder. I may have to buy more at some point and make a sweater.
Thursday, September 15
We have checked out Dinosaur Ridge (both awkward and amazing, they found the fosils when they blasted through for the road), The Museum of Science & Nature (I totally want a river table), Boulder (yes, very crunchy) and Wizard's Chest toystore in Cherry Creek. Also the Goodwill in Glendale, great $3-$5 sweaters! I got Abercrombie, J. Crew & Banana Republic, plus some wierd brand vintage ones that are fierce. Tons of kid's clothes. Everyone's looking groovy. We shopped without guilt.
Ruby has had several succesful afternoons in Doggy Daycare (we got a no barking in the hotel room single warning, no choice), and some of the cooler mornings in and out of the car...
Apparently it snowed in the mountains yesterday. Things are feeling quite autumnal, really a novelty for these Florida kids. We're hoping they'll see some snow this trip. B has seen it, but doesn't remember. K remembers, but it's been awhile.
Our business website is nearly up. At last I got the photos to Logoworks, and sent the final copy. Boy, that was a beast to write, but it is done. We're all very excited about the launch. Ad for the magazine is almost done. Cross fingers!
Off to the jacuzzi in the chill night air. The kids love it.
Monday, September 12
Here's the thing. I think people shouldn't bring up scrapbooking in polite society like they shouldn't bring up religion or politics. (I'm not sure what that means about this blog...)
Either you think it's harmless or the greatest thing since sliced bread, or you think it's insipid navel gazing and a waste of a woman's time, treasure and talent.
Is it wrong to put it that way? It might be mean. Is it wrong to think it might be mean? Is that patronizing?
No! I think women should be able to defend it, and the hours spent on it, in a meaningful way. Hours and hours, countless dollars, all to make a meaningless monument to their impression of a person or event. It's a diary gone amok. (And don't even try it, this blog takes a few minutes every few days, it is not even close). It is an imposition on the memories of the people included. It denies them their own impressions. The people included are, ostensibly, the beneficiaries, yet it is controlling of the past, and even present, by the scrapbooker. Oppressive. Controlling. It is basically about poop, to put it in analytical terms. I guess I just don't find poopy issues interesting. It is not about information, it is not about relationships, it is isolating, it is not creative.
Yet it's everywhere I turn. Like Invasion of the Body Snatchers. I think find someone who isn't one of them, and then it comes up, like doing drugs or accepting Jesus, at the most inopportune moments, like in a conversation with me.
Gee, how do I really feel about it?
Wednesday, September 7
Okay, the Denver Zoo is pretty cool. Nowhere nearly as cool as the Miami Metro, but somewhere between that and the Carribean Gardens in Naples. Very funny to come all this way to see fake cypress and mangroves, but we got to see the underwater fishies. Too cool. The snow leopard cubs are really awesomely cute and beautiful. The cats are pretty stunning in general. Great reef aquarium stuff there, too. Komodo dragons, also cool.
Supremely bad signage though, all around. From signs not in the right places, to the Asian elephant seemingly being called African, to not being able to read from a distance what thing you're about to see, to not being consistent about saying where creatures are from or to what they are related. Nary a cladogram. My favorite bad sign? In the Tropical building, there's a tank of fish listed as endangered, but it doesn't say what they are. Just miscellaneous endangered fish. That was pretty entertaining. Also not enough water fountains, no playgrounds. Get it together, guys.
A good amount to take in in an afternoon, though. And could easily see most of the creatures in their enclosures, very nice. Came all the way to Colorado and finally saw a roseate spoonbill. God forbid I should see one in Florida!
Loved wearing my Godzilla tee shirt. Why did they change their name from ShopOdd to the boring CottonFactory? I never would have remembered it if I had known. I may just need a "How's Your Aspen?" tee while we're here. Forget the stupid "Got Altitude?" ones. It's just a measly mile. But the bungalows around Washington Park are so adorable, I forgive them.
Monday, September 5
1. It's weird to be on (working) vacation with so many people suffering from Katrina. Instead of buying all the things at the mall I wanted (as if we could afford any shopping), I only bought a tiny canister of Green Tea solid perfume from L'Occitane. Then I came home and drew pics of all the clothes that caught my eye. They can be future knit/sew projects. Skirts, sweaters, lacy tops, silky things, accessories. Anthropologie has some truly lovely lovelies, and there were a select few at Banana Republic, J. Crew & Urban Outfitters. Didn't see much at Abercrombie. I'm so glad I already have my Lucchese boots. If we had a scanner handy, I'd show you my notes.
Living in a hurricane-prone place is also strange. Because when it doesn't hit us, I feel so relieved, and then that feels wrong because it hits someone else. So I cry anyway, and send money, and let the kids watch too many cartoons. This one is particularly bad, as you know, and sooooo politicized...meanwhile, there are still people displaced from Ivan and Charley. Ivan was headed straight for Naples at one point. Cat 5. It was really fucking terrifying.
One thing having kids teaches you though is that life goes right on, often in fifteen minute increments, and what are we doing today? Can we go to the pool? When will Daddy be home? Can we go to the pool then? I'm writing a book with hippogriffs in it, will you read it? Mommy, when are we going to the zoo? Can you tear out this piece of paper for me, please? I'm hungry. Mommy, I'm making a newspaper. Time to get dressed, you two, Ruby's going to need do go out soon. Then we'll go to the Botanical Garden. Yes, the pool but after we go out. Please, go get dressed.
2. Can you be a feminist, and still think feminism has done women a great disservice? What is the alternative? Is there one, other than a burka? Is it the on-paper vs. in-practice conundrum? I'm not saying more about this now. It's just something on my mind. You'll have to wait for a full-on rant.
3. How do I get a profile picture up if I don't have it elsewhere on the web at its own special url? It's so buggy! And why are there so few pictures of me by myself in our archives? Am I only a mommy? It's funny. I mean, nice work if you can get it, I'm not complaining, at all, it's just funny looking through the files for something I can use, and finding not one relatively recent photo of just me. I must have something to do with it. Something about, "please, not first thing in the morning," or, "why do you want a picture of me while I'm sick?" Is it so wrong to want to look human in a photo? I'm sure if I ask, I shall receive. Note to self: consider preparing.
4. Went to Tattered Cover, ooooooh, I love that bookstore! It's like the old eccentric neighbor's mansion. It seems like it must have secret passageways. Went nutty and bought Encyclopedia Prehistorica: Dinosaurs (The Definitive Pop-Up) by Sabuda & Reinhart, and if you have any kids in the 5 to 9 set, you have to buy it too. Also bought War of the Worlds, The Stepford Wives, Oedipus Rex and Selected Federalist Papers for less than four bucks each! And got Gnarl! by Rudy Rucker, possibly my fave sci-fi writer, for a mere $5.98. My Good Will find, Claudius, the God, by Micheal Graves just doesn't have the same umpf as I, Claudius. Must be the absence of Caligula...anyway, I needed something other than my intended read. And I grew up with such an institutionalized constructivist agenda (NYC public schools), that I can't say I've read anything on Federalism, or any of the great Greeks. God forbid anything but socialist and non-western resources should be used. Talk about an on-paper/in-practice problem!
Speaking of Marx, I had a realization only a good college class or a good bookstore can produce. I realized I haven't read enough Nietzsche, at all, and that's a problem, because of a Marx imbalance. Also I'll need to think of some mystical antidote (lest I fall into some sort of existential stupor). Meister Eckhart? Thomas Merton? Given that I haven't read either, I should probably read something of both. Mind the Gaps!
I had a dream last night that some friend and I, and some other people, were sitting in a booth at a restaurant, and I asked the friend (who was cool, but perhaps more provincial than he or she thought, and of undefined gender, which makes the rest grammatically problematic) if they (case in point) had ever had a Semiotics class. I was surprised that the university s/he went to even had one, but then s/he said something about Jesuit Dominicans and it all made sense. But s/he didn't know what Liberation Theology was. Go figure.
Literally in my dreams. As if I'm going to find anyone in Naples who I could possibly be both on the conservative/right and not totally naive about language, semiotics, and cultural criticism. Well meaning people with blackamoor statues, saying "Oriental" rugs, and using words like Jewess, or arguing in preposterous ways against homosexuality (ever heard the throw a ball like a sissy theory? How about the circumcision/AIDS theory?). Good God. And on the left they haven't done their homework, either. Patronizing and fetishistic attitudes about all things and peoples non-European. Perpetuating the myth that understanding will solve all social ills. And Bush bashing just for the exercise. Deifying the environment, viewing humans as a pox upon the earth.
It's not as exhausting as NYC, with its persistent and unforgiving perpetual self-examination, its perpetual deconstruction. I left there wondering how to ever create again, when the decon loupe was to be applied to everything, till all that was left was abject fetish and, ultimately, diagnosable. Then I decided to embrace the Neo-Naive (my new movement). The problem is that merely naive is not the same.
5. Would it be imprudent to read The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam on an airplane? What is its opposite (observe the dialectical rigor...hah!)? Is it of benefit to carry knitting needles? Is Jodie Foster weird for her new scary airplane "film", or what? And while we're at it, I just watched one of the all-time most awful movies. I mean goes on the top three list: The Final Cut with Robin Williams. Just awful wannabe existential drivel. You've been warned.
Very French. He dies, (in what feels like the middle of the movie but is actually the end--hint, hint) yet his death is for a "good" cause. And plenty of gratuitous body art. Fraught with meaning, I'm sure. Who could have guessed tattoos would be our salvation! Bring down The Man! He lies, covers up the truth of vile humanity, who is only defined ultimately by eating, shitting, and incest! Corporations are conspiracies! And in the end he must die for the cause, even involuntarily, to be fully redeemed because, like during the witch hunts, any Stalinist/Nazi can tell you only in politically prescribed death is there true redemption and purity!
6. Denver makes my nose bleed. I'm sure I'll just melt when we go back to Florida. I'm anxious about going back. About living there at all. But it's where the work is, for which we are grateful.
7. Found the yarn shop the other day, and got stuck, and a lovely Denver knitter drove us home. There are several yarns I just want, and several projects I'm eager to do, and I've made a mess of the Stitch 'n' Bitch cardigan, which will require major surgery. I'm not willing to undo because the needles are too small, only a six (they wanted a four, which was a total no-go), and I want to finish this thing. I can always crochet over the editing. Typical me, for my first sweater I changed the needle size, gauge, and all the numbers, using a ratio that should have worked, and in length it's just dandy, but the thing is too wide...still too wide. I'm not sure what to do about the sleeves. Ultimately, I'm going to have to make a paper pattern and custom plan for each project. Ugh. I'm just too small for most of the patterns out there. Paper pattern, figure gauge, maybe even convert to crochet for ease. I'll post a picture or two of the cardigan, if I ever finish it.
By the way, for learners, there's dollar yarn at Target right now, along with bamboo needles, also a dollar, but in need of sand paper, and little dollar project books. So cute!
Friday, September 2
Alas, we will not be at the annual Ice Cream Social, but someone asked about bringing things for people to look at. I think everyone else will cover the other stuff, but if we were coming, I would bring the following Waldorf, and Waldorf/Unschooling style, resources for grade school darlings. I'd also bring some things for the new homeschoolers to see. I'm going to leave the links in link form to minimize linking problems, and because I refer to parts of some of them.
Creative Form Drawing 1
http://www.hawthornpress.com/books/cfd-123.html, a British site, if you don't mind paying in pounds and shipping, but it looks like great alternatives to these originals can be found at http://www.waldorfbooks.com/edu/thr/form_drawing_handwriting.htm, and they may even be better for the homeschool parent.
Hay For My Ox
scroll down, it's on the right, but the link just bumps you to an Amazon vendor. Also available used sometimes on Alibris.
Not Waldorf, but arts-integrated science supplement, more Unschooly, with interesting results: http://www.the-private-eye.com/html/home.htm
peruse the site...
Family Math, popular with Unschoolers
While we're looking at links, you may also want to check out
http://www.live-education.com/, very true to Waldorf schools
http://www.enkieducation.org/, like Waldorf without Anthroposophy
http://www.oakmeadow.com/, in the spirit of, but not purist at all
and more links etc. on my website http://www.homeschoolresearchreview.com/
I'd call that a shameless promotion, but there really are more links there, and why do the work twice?
And a general recommendation, especially for new homeschoolers and Unschoolers:
You may want to pick up a generic homeschool journal from R.O.C.K. Solid (the only place I know to get it), it's called The Homeschooler's Journal, there's a high school version too, and it's about $10, holds everything from book lists to field trips, and is very versatile:http://www.rocksolidinc.com/cgi-bin/VirtualCatalog/CatalogMgr.pl?cartID=b-2600&SearchField=op5&SearchFor=10-10101&sort_on=description&template=Htx/prod1.htx&hdrFile=Htx/header.htx&ftrFile=Htx/footer.htx#10-10101
That's the product number at the end, after the #. You can call them and pick the cover color if you like.
What I like about this book is that you fill in the day and date, and they needn't be consecutive. The subjects can be what ever you do, from formal schooling to loosey-goosey (it all counts!). I've put Lego and making pancakes under math, and watching a movie in French under Foreign Language. It allows you to even add a Misc. section for P.E., playdates & sleepovers, etc. Or you can use one book for more than one child and just list more concisely under each child's name for the day. Plus there's a long lined column on the right for other notes, plans, records, diary, milestones, etc.