30 March 2006

Our neighbors stopped by tonight with their swseet baby Natalie (3 months), who has just decided she will only eat if fed by her mother or father.  This is problematic because her mother is about to go back to work.  As an experiment, Steve and Ann had me and Kristin try to give her a bottle with predictable results.  After her father fed her, though, she was happy as a clam, and very taken with our pillows.

29 March 2006

I cuss, you cuss, we all cuss for asparagus!

I know it's spring not by the longer days, not by the flowers in bloom, not by the warmer weather, but by reasonably priced asparagus. It is quite possibly my favorite vegetable, and the other night I had it my favorite way: pan-roasted. I started with some lovely asparagus spears, nicely washed, trimmed, and dried.

I melted some butter and olive oil together over medium heat. When the butter started to brown, I added the asparagus spears in one layer and covered them for about three minutes. (The spears were pretty thin . . . if they'd been thicker I'd have cooked them for a bit longer.)

After three minutes of cooking I uncovered and cooked for three minutes more, by which point they were nice and crunchy at the tips and undersides, and bright green on top. A squeeze of lemon juice, plus salt and pepper. Then serve over rice with almonds, toasted if I've been diligent.

Is there any felicity in the world superior to this?

28 March 2006

Dear Student,

I know a three page paper that I have already given you the stupid outline for must be a real trial.  The possbility of failing to measure up to your own exacting standards of excellence probably weighs heavily on your mind, and that is undoubtedly what led you to plagiarize.  Here is a bit of advice:  Next time you pull this stunt, do not copy directly from a source I told you about.  There is just the slightest chance I may have actually read it.


27 March 2006

Aaahhh, too much to do tonight!  And 24 on in 5 minutes!  (Okay, if there was really so much to do I wouldn't watch it, but you know . . . )  Class to prepare for, lease applications to fill out, etc.  More tomorrow night.

26 March 2006

My so-called hat

Okay, so, last month I finished a delightful hat from Teva Durham's Loop- d- Loop that Kerry got me for Christmas. It's called the Asymmetrical Mock Cable Hat, and there are also similar patterns for a vest and adult/child sweater which I will not be using because sweaters sort of freak me out. Anyway, here's a picture of me in the hat.

It's a really cute hat, made in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino, cream-colored. I had some issues with the cable, my stitch counts kept getting off, but I don't really think you can tell . . . I mean, I have to look for it, and I know where I messed up. Another oddity is that it was started in the round and then knitted back and forth for the top, then all stitched together at the end. This was vastly preferable to using dpns (double pointed needles, or, for me, d___ pointed needles), but there was some stitching to do at the end. Also, I had to graft together the top of the hat, but there was not an even number of stitches, which you usually have to have when grafting. The pattern told me this would be the case, but it didn't really say how to address it.

At any rate, it's a great hat, nice and warm, and if it's a little oddly shaped when it's sitting on the hat and scarf shelf, it looks perfectly lovely on my head. Now, if only someone could explain how to crop pictures in iPhoto . . .

Heard Os Guinness yesterday morning, and he preached in church today. (You may be able to hear this morning's sermon on the 3rd Pres Web site, they usually have sermons posted there.) Hope to have my thoughts arranged on that shortly, I took so many notes I wore off a cuticle on my right hand and had to apply a band-aid. Like drinking froma fire hose. We're reading Hosea in Sunday school, which is a pretty depressing book. Those minor prophets must have been a real blast at parties.

In other news, my roommate and I went out apartment shopping today and found a great place near where we are now. We put a 24 hour courtesy hold on it and hope to have some good news by mid-week. (There was one other place we wanted to look at but it wasn't open on Sunday.) Then we can get cracking with packing, hiring movers, changing address, etc. Sigh.

24 March 2006

I took the Muppet Personality test!

You Are Scooter

Brainy and knowledgable, you are the perfect sidekick.
You're always willing to lend a helping hand.
In any big event or party, you're the one who keeps things going.
"15 seconds to showtime!"
Just got back from hearing the genuis Os Guinness speak at church.  The topic was "Can Freedom Last."  An interesting and sobering lecture.  I took tons of notes . . . and he'll be speaking tomorrow and Sunday as well, so more later.

22 March 2006


So, I woke up this morning and thought, "It's awfully bright." Then I looked outside and saw snow. Snow. Snow, on the 22nd of March, I mean it's spring for heaven's sake. Anyway. Had to spend five minutes scraping my car I hadn't been planning on spending, but that's okay. (And the snow, as you can see, really wasn't all that bad, it all melted by the time I got home.)

21 March 2006

When Octogenerians Kill

No word on why my one grandmother was trying to strangle the other. It may have had to do with a discussion about whose side I most favor.

Ha! No, it's just an unfortunate - but funny - picture. Below is a better shot of my two sweet grandmothers, who I saw together for the first time in forever this weekend. Below that is a picture of my Aunt Betty that needs no comment.

Excellent weekend in Williamsburg, just being mellow and going with the flow as I visited with my grandmothers and aunts, some of whom live around here, and some of whom I get to see rarely. It's such a treat to spend time with them. I finally learned where my flexibility comes from (I had a feeling it wasn't a Smith trait, but my Aunt, in her mid-fifties, can still not only touch her toes but actually put her palms on the ground) and relaxed into puttering mode for a few days. Went to the outlets, went to the mall, went to this house, went to that house. No hurry - we're on vacation.
Back from Williamsburg!  More tonight, including pictures!  (Oh, and I see it's Bach's birthday today, so do hum "Sheep May Safely Graze" to yourself.)

19 March 2006

Monument of the Week!

Here we have the Jackson Monument, ironically posted on a Sunday. (Ironic because Stonewall was apparently such a pious Presbyterian that he wouldn't send a letter if there was a chance it would be in transit on Sunday.) We have in the Library a few Jackson letters, and when I first started working there they let me see them. It was definitely one of those This is why I'm an archivist moments that keep you going when you're explaininng, for the fifth time that day, why the Library of Virginia does not have "all the Civil War stuff." (Reason: We lost.)

And speaking of losing, I see that Alabama lost their playoff game last night, which I was certainly sorry to see, especially as I might have caused it by glorying a little too much in Tennessee's misfortunes. But as my brother pointed out, we were the underdogs (I guess that makes UT the - is there such a thing as an overdog?) and lost to a team seeded higher. Not nearly as shameful as losing to a lower-seed team.

Since it's Sunday, I'll close with a religious quote and then get me off to church, which should make Stonewall happy.

Prayer is not overcoming God's reluctance. It is laying hands on His willingness.

Richard Trench (Archbishop of Dublin, 1807-1866)

18 March 2006

Quite possibly losing my mind

This is the third day in a row I have left the house without earrings. This is just unspeakably unusual for me, I mean, I never leave the house without earrings. I am not a jewelry girl otherwise, but those little silver hoops just make me feel polished.

Tee hee, just checked the scored and discovered that Tennessee lost their game. Ha! However, I shall attempt not to gloat too much, as the last time I did (when UT's football team lost to Vandy, for heaven's sake) Alabama lost as well. Bad karma or something.

17 March 2006

And now you know my favorite word is wonky.
Hmm, tried to post last nght but blogger was being wonky.  Also wonky is my "This Day in History" widget, which seems to think it is the 16th.  (And re that:  James Madison, fourth US President - and a Virginian - was born on 16 March 1751.)

16 March 2006

Blogger appears to be acting a bit wonky tonight, which is just as well since I don't have all that much to say.  Perhaps I can recover the post it seems to be having errors with, in which case you'll read it tomorrow.  In the meantine, rest assured that you didn't miss much.

In which I begin to see the problem

Well, I was thinking through my day and realized the fatal flaw with the blog thing, and it is this: I don't really have all that much to say. I'm not sure that anyone does, to tell the truth, but it doesn't seem to stop them. So I put the pretty picture of flowers at the top to distract people from this sad fact.

I'd hoped by this point I'd have my new yarn to start me new sweater, and I could share the process of knitting that first sweater, which would undoubtedly be filled with amusing pratfalls. The yarn has not gotten here yet, and I'm getting rather antsy in its regard, may break down and buy still more yarn. Maybe for a summer top or something. Or I could make a project of photographing the knitted disasters I've made, for example, the knitted yoga pants. Not a bad idea, but the, ah, rise is a little low. Channeling Britney Spears low, which is not a look I ever really strive for.

15 March 2006

Beware the ides of March!

And now I've got that out of my system, I don't have all that much to say.  Did have a good run tonight, managed to work in one more interval of fast running.  The 10K is in, like, two and a half weeks!

14 March 2006

I hate Tuesdays

Well, don't want to sound overly negative, but I am just not a fan of Tuesdays. I work all day, teach all night, then come home (hopefully before ten) and usually have to do something unpleasant, like change the litter box. By that point I have been condescended to by patrons, griped at by students, and haughtily meowed to by my cat, who can't believe I do anything as vulgar as work.

The only variation in the routine tonight was I had the bright idea of trying out the camera in night scenes. It's a gorgeous night here, full moon, clearing, Bradford Pear trees blooming, and finally a little cooler after the unseasonally scorching temperatures of this weekend.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you:

Clearly, something is desperately wrong here, but I'm not sure what. I tried a variety of ISO levels and they pretty much all looked like this. So it looks like my next Books-A-Million purchase will be Digital Photography for Dummies or similar.

In other news, I was reading the Best of the Web Today feature from the fabulous Opinion Journal and came across a story about how the New York Times published a big story about something or other on its front page. It was then shown wrong in some aspect, and published a retraction on page 17. I think the new rule should be that you have to publish your retraction on whatever page the story originally ran.

Oh, and this is my first post using the Firefox browser, which Blogger recommends. It's much easier than Safari. Note, especially, the prevalence of links in the blog now. Piece of cake using Firefox, requires editing html in Safari. Firefox is free, too.

13 March 2006

It's so hot!

Oh my goodness, it is just unnaturally hot here. It's Richmond for heaven's sake, not Alabama, and here it is the middle of March and mid-eighties for a high. I am not going to turn on the a/c, I am not going to turn on the a/c, I am not . . .

Random photo of my cat, Marzie.

I saw this article in the Times- Disgrace Dispatch today: http://tinyurl.com/efd4a. Richmond's mayor started a bit of a kerfuffle a few weeks ago when he suggested that the bus transfers in front of the Library of Virginia might be reworked. There are two problems with the situation as it now stands: (1) Bus after bus lined up on Broad Street, blocking traffic, and (2) Dodgy people hanging around outside the Library at all hours of the day and night, littering, cursing, fighting, gettin' it on in the Library, etc.

Now, I have searched myself long and hard on this topic. The fact is that most of the GRTC riders are black, and Wilder's critics seem to imply that's the reason he wants to move the transfers. I wondered if, deep down, that's why I agree with him on this point, but in the end I don't think so. Surely the icky element is a relatively small one and the hard-working riders of GRTC (of which I am one) would be delighted to be rid of them? And I know from experience that the bus congestion affects the bus as well as the car; you just sit there for five or ten minutes, seeing your bus in the distance, but it can't get to you because of all the other buses out there. Maybe this is the impetus needed to get a proper transfer center, out of the weather and patrolled regularly by Richmond's finest.

12 March 2006

As it is Sunday

O God the Holy Spirit,
Thou who dost proceed from the Father and the Son,
have mercy upon me.
When thou didst first hover over chaos, order came to birth,
beauty robed the world, fruitfulness sprang forth.
Move, I pray thee, upon my disordered heart.

The Valley of Vision, page 31

It's just been a stunningly beautiful weekend, nice warm temperatures (okay, a little hazy today, but still) and my first Saturday/Sunday weekend in a while. I really do love a Saturday off - the whole feel of it is more laid-back than a Monday off. On Mondays I feel as though I've got to accomplish things and be efficient. On Saturdays, who cares? That said, I was up and at 'em with the chickens yesterday, had the oil changed, went to the gym, shopping, then to the park. Sadly I didn't bring the camera to the park (Maymont) - it was gorgeous.

And then today after church I took the camera for a spin. It's much more camera than I need, sort of like having an SUV to drive downtown in. (I really do like it, though, Dad.) I went down in the Fan to get some pictures for my brother and quickly realized why you should read instructions on new rechargeable batteries: They don't come already charged! Fortunately I got the images he needed. A sample is above.

10 March 2006

09 March 2006


Okay, I finally sat down and figured out the dig cam last night (I know) and just couldn't resist posting one picture. From left to right: my niece, sister, and brother in law. Unidentified guy all the way to the right will be photoshopped from all subsequent versions of this image.

The reason why . . .

I'm late to the party on the whole blog thing, but am determined to have one nevertheless. It seems a nice way to think through things, rave about subjects that I've already bored my friends with, and participate in, ah, a larger conversation. Also, it will give my mother another way to check on me.

In my first entry I have demonstrated why I should not attempt coherence after 10 p.m.