Archive for January, 2007


Here is a picture of the scarf I’m making. I’m not sure how clearly you can see the ribbing, but you get the general idea:

…and here is a cute picture of Mary, in case you lack for them in your daily routine:

I like that hat she’s wearing. The pompom cracks me up.


one more thing

I’m reading a Dennis Lehane novel right now–yesterday I read his book “A Drink Before the War,” and now I’m reading “Darkness, Take My Hand” (so his titling skills seem to have deteriorated). Anyway, I’m really enjoying them, this one more so than the first one. They’re just mysteries, nothing particularly literary, and there’s a bit more daddy angst than I like, but they’re really suspenseful in a way that most mysteries just aren’t. I think part of the reason is that Lehane doesn’t seem to mind killing off characters, and not just the ones you expect (i.e. the children and mentally retarded, a la Dean Koontz, master of all that is terrible in fiction).

Lehane–who wrote “Mystic River”–writes about Boston, and I find that interesting too. I was under the impression that detective stories were required to be set in LA or New York, but Lehane seems to have been awarded an exemption.

And I don’t JUST like it because the epigraph is from “The Power and the Glory.”

where’s my grass skirt?

It’s downright balmy in here. The heater repairman came today–Larry, who is becoming our new best friend since we moved in. Oddly enough, the last time I had to call the repair company, the secretary said, “Okay, your tech is Larry, right?” So I said yes, and she sent him out, and it was a different guy–younger, and with a smarmy southern accent. But his name was Larry. I asked him about this and it turns out that there are only two techs at the company, and they’re both Larry.

Anyway, Larry the First came back today and went to the basement and banged on some pipes and rattled some levers, and then he pronounced that he couldn’t find anything wrong with it and it started right up when he turned it on. I told him what we had tried–turning it off and then back on, turning it up higher, etc., and he shook his head and said, “Sometimes they can just tell the repairman’s here.” He’s going to call our warranty company and recommend that they replace the boiler.

This sounds like a good idea, but that only lasts until you look at our basement. The boiler is in a little room (I call it, in a flight of fancy, the boiler room). There is a cutout door in the wall; this door is substantially smaller than the boiler itself. There’s also a full-size door leading to the laundry room, which is completely filled by our washer and dryer. (When I say “completely filled,” I mean that there is no room to open the dryer door more than 2/3 of the way.) So Larry’s big plan is that we would lift up the dryer and put it ON TOP of the washer, then use the created space to pull the boiler out that way and back it out through the hallway leading to the laundry. I’m skeptical about this, but he thinks it would fit. The other option? A crowbar. There’s no REASON the cutout door has to be smaller than the boiler…in any case, this sounds like a pain in the ass. Nonetheless, I would like a boiler that works all the time instead of some of the time, and we have a home warranty for a reason, right?

Dissertation pages today: 0. Oops. But I read some.

ice cubes

Our heat has stopped working. Again. We had a whole series of people out here to fix it in October, November, and December; it’s been working since December 4, and then yesterday we woke up in a cold, cold house. (It was 52 degrees! And it’s been dropping ever since!) I’ll keep you posted on the situation until my fingers freeze and fall off. Then you’ll just have to guess based on my blogging silence.

We went over to visit with Conor’s aunt and uncle on Saturday, which was a good time, and then yesterday we decided that we were all too sniffly/pathetic/cold-ridden to go to church. We spent the entire day doing absolutely nothing and eventually ordered Chinese food and then went to bed. It was gloriously unproductive. I think Mary’s getting over her cold, but she gave it to us. Our Kleenex bill is astronomical. I think there’s an entire roll of toilet paper wadded up into little pieces on Conor’s side of the bed.

some things that made my day ridiculous

1. I finally got in touch with my dissertation advisor. I always feel better after a conversation with a member of my committee, until I realize hours later that I still have to write my dissertation. (I somehow forget this in the first heady rush of discussing my brilliant ideas.)

2. A piece for my breast pump broke and I had to go get a replacement. So I decided to go down to Waldorf and go to that Babies-R-Us (a store that I hate passionately, but they carried the part.) I picked up Mary and carried her downstairs to leave, and then she proceeded to produce one of the foulest diapers of all time. So I took her back upstairs and changed her diaper, as well as her clothes, which had not survived unscathed. Then she made angry hungry noises, so I had to feed her. Then she spat up, voluminously, all over both of us, so I had to change my clothes and change her clothes again. So finally I put her in her car seat, and then she started making hungry noises again (presumably on the “I didn’t actually EAT any of that!” logic). I think time from starting to leave to actually leaving was something like an hour and a half. Then I got to the store and discovered that they were out of the part anyway, but they told me that I could use, instead, a part that I already own. !

3. While Conor and I were eating dinner, I picked up a piece of an apple and put the edge in Mary’s mouth. Usually when she tastes something she looks horrified, like she can’t believe humans eat that. But she seemed to love it. So I bit into it, and then offered it to her again, and must be it was better than the dried-out cut edge, because she was crazy for it. She started licking it and rolling her tongue around it in a way that would have been positively indecent if she were older. I couldn’t decide: cute, or gross? I never did come to any conclusion about it.

Is that your baby?

Mary and I went over to my department today–I checked my mail, visited with some of the other TAs, and looked, fruitlessly, for members of my committee.

Here are a few questions that amuse me:

(When people see you with a baby in a baby sling, about six months after they last saw you enormously pregnant): “Is that your baby?”

(When people see our house): “Boy, you have a lot of books. Do you read a lot?” (Follow-up question is also always the same: “Have you read all these books?”)

Mary is wearing a hat. Conor clipped her pacifier string to her hat. Now she looks like she’s wearing one of those hats that holds beer cans, except for that instead it’s holding her pacifier. This also cracks me up. I think I’ll put one on each side and send her out to mow the lawn.

Like I said earlier, I’m making a scarf. I’m using this yarn:

…in the color called “Spice,” which is nice and orange. I like it. It feels all nice and springy, which means that the knitted result is stretchy and comfortable. I think I should have a hat made from it, too, but I don’t know how to make a hat. Slippery slope.

dissertation pages today: 8…plus one good idea!

out and about

We just got home from a night at the Kennedy Center, where we saw “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” It’s the same production that we saw twice in New York–it went to London and now it’s touring. It’s a great cast (Kathleen Turner and Bill Irwin). We took Grandma to it as her Christmas present. NOTE TO MELISSA: This will be coming to Chicago. You. Must. Go.

The big weirdness of it was that we left Mary for the evening. The only time we’ve left her with anyone else was in Denver; she stayed home with David, Nina, Mike, and Sandy while we went to see “Casino Royale.” But that was a pretty short trip and she knew them already. Tonight she stayed with Conor’s aunt and uncle, Michelle and John, and their two kids, Sarah and Samantha. She seemed to handle it well. I, however, was a mild wreck–I just felt bad leaving her. John and Michelle have small children of their own and I wasn’t worried about them taking care of her; I just didn’t really want to leave her there, especially since she’s still sick with this cold. Basically I’m neurotic. I think it’s hormonal or something though, really. It’s probably adaptive behavior, right?

She, however, seems to have thought that we were just taking showers or something–I’m not sure she really noticed that we were gone.

Now we’re home. Mary is hanging out with me; I’m about to put her to bed. (Is it wrong that she keeps the same hours as the average college student?) She says, in case any of you are feeling like you haven’t spoken to her recently, “Pbbbbbbtt aaaawwwaaaaa.” (She’s very advanced.)

I have now progressed from practice knitting to an actual project. I’m making a scarf. Tomorrow I’ll post pictures of my progress so far–I love the yarn. It’s orange. And soft. But mostly orange.