Friday, March 27, 2009

The sign on the apartment door (Nine Things About Oracles)

A contribution to an ongoing thread, in response to this pendant:


The Oracle is in 6-8 Tuesdays, Thursdays and the first and third Saturdays of the month. First come, first serve. No appointments.

Do not let the cat out when you open the door. No smoking.

One person at a time, one question at a time. Trust me on this.

Payment required before services rendered. Pay what you think an answer to your question is worth. Barter accepted.

If there is a line, a three-question limit is in effect.

You must be old enough to ask the Oracle. Age is relative; she will know if you are.

Do not poke the Oracle. She is not asleep. She is not dead. She is working.

The answer is the answer. If you want clarification, see a therapist. (Due to possible conflicts of interest, the Oracle can not recommend a therapist.)

The Oracle can not communicate with your lost loved ones. See Odette down the hall for that. Follow the smell of incense, you can't miss it.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Avoidance strategies for the well-entrenched

Another of my peers successfully passed their Big D proposal through the department recently, making, I think, four in as many weeks, and more if you count the last several months. Every time someone who has been here a couple years less than I have completes this ritual (a 40-minute presentation to all faculty and graduate students in the department followed by an open question period), I simultaneously feel joy for them, and a sense of impending doom at my own lack of progress.

To that end, I made a pact with Lady S recently. Two weeks from the date of our last meeting, on a Wednesday, I am honour-bound to give her what revisions I have completed on the Big D proposal so far. We'll call this date "D-Day," for lack of a better euphamism.

I can't help but think this was an insane thing to agree to, and yet Lady S and I both know that this is the only way anything will possibly happen.

It doesn't have to be done, or even done right, which is a good thing, because I don't think I can do that. It just has to be something turned in, something which has addressed a significant number of her comments from a year ago. Not all of them. Some of them. Just... progress of some kind. And that I can do.

Since agreeing to this about 10 days ago, I have, of course, done nothing on it. I've fiddled around with the course I'm teaching, wasting a lot of time on things that don't require half as much effort.

I once again ripped out several rows on the double-knit hat from hell. Somehow the last time I picked it up, I knitting around the circle in the wrong direction, and chaos ensued a couple rounds later. Given that we're over halfway through March, I think it's safe to say that DH won't be getting the dratted thing this winter.

I have, however, finished knitting for secret projects #1 and #2, and begun to dive into #3 in earnest:

Finished bits of Secret Project #1 and #2

I've been combing wool and making rovings from seemingly bottomles supply of Dorset Cross fleece. These are for a beginner drop spinning class I'll be giving on April 4 (after D-Day).

I plan to make 10 spindle kits and roughly 200 combed roving nests for the classes, so that each kit contains about 60 grams of roving. 9 nests down, 191 to go. Hrm. Might have to break out the weapons-grade 5-pitch English combs next weekend and speed things up a little there. Here is one of the experimental drop spindles, made from recycled CDs, rubber washers, a dowl, an eye hook and superglue. It spins surprisingly well, so at least that's all good.

I even managed to finish a long-term editing job (4+ years) in its entirety. The final book is uploaded and available to order. Tell me THAT'S not some serious avoidance going on right there.

And now here we are. Saturday. It's warm and sunny in my kitchen. All day is mine, and all day tomorrow. DH is happily getting in some long-overdue game time (actually, he's snoring while the game plays on without him. Shhh!), I'm dressed, awake, have coffee and a full stomach, and it's time to start getting this thing together.

Ready now? One, two...

Say cheese. Prewrapped processed slices preferred, thanks.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

On the moment of silence between the *squelch* and the *splat*

I woke to the sound of a hairball being horfed up yesterday morning. If you have cats, you know the sound. It is unmistakable. It's a sound that can wake me out of a dead sleep from half a house away.

I particularly like when there is a short delay between the "squelch" sound of it coming out and the "splat" sound of it hitting the floor. That means it was horfed from a great height, and had trajectory and speed in its favour upon landing.

I knew all of this before I even opened my eyes yesterday morning.

When I did open my eyes, it was to see Ford staring at me from the foot of the bed going, "Not me, dude. I've been right here. But since you're awake, food would be great, thanks."

A few seconds later, a plaintive "Huh-rooow?" from Tiger in the front room. Honestly, it sounds like he's saying "Hullo."

Translation yesterday morning: "There's an icky here, someone come and make it go away?"

Cats are amazing communicators. Some more than others. There's nothing quite like the sound and smell of fresh hairball in the morning to make you want to crawl under the covers and not come out, like, ever.

In other news, I am officially too tired tonight from the last several days to even run a warm LUSH-filled bubble bath. It has been that kind of week. I love teaching, but it can be a serious challenge sometimes. I'm going to fall down and go boom now. Maybe a post with pictures over the weekend.