Word of the day

November 20, 2011

Aawww, freak out! It’s a KNITTING POST! Woop, woop!

Hold on to your cats, spinsters, we’re gonna get wild up in here.

It’s that magical time of year, again. It starts with the leaves changing colors, and it ends with me rocking quietly in a corner and vowing that we’re going to celebrate Christmas like Buddhists next year. (We will all stare at a wall and contemplate the freedom of not wanting, having, trying or doing. And come December 19th, that will sound like the best bloody Christmas miracle.) But it’s still pre-Thanksgiving November, which means that I haven’t yet hit the wall. The wall, you ask? The wall that is that crushing realization that once again, I will not succeed in making hand knit gifts for everyone I know; I will fail to make the 7 kinds of Christmas cookie that define the season in the Martha part of my brain; I will forget how long it takes to write Christmas cards, resulting in dashed signatures or late arrivals, or both; I will struggle to find the time and Rockwellian enthusiasm for decorating the tree, knowing that every ornament we hang is just one more I have to pack away in a few weeks; and I will develop a Pavlovian response to the ringing of bells. Of course, instead of drooling, I will involuntarily lower my eyes and move furtively away from the Salvation Army volunteer.

But I digress.

A lot.

Hey! New word: digracious. Adj. Easily distracted. Talkative, but without focus. Also: possessing the tendency to overshare. Also, also: probably what I should have named this blog.

Whoops! There I go again. Getting all digracious  on you guys. You’re welcome for that word.

So, it’s that magical time of year, when the holiday spirit has gripped me, but is not yet squeezing the life out of me. And I am knitting. Furiously. Do I know you? I probably have a little project that I’d like to make for you. Socks, felted slippers, thrummed mittens, a hat, scarf, or if you’re really special, a sweater. (And by really special, I mean Jesus and midgets.) (I haven’t the patience to knit large garments.) (Dan lacks a sweater, and a number of sock mates.) (Around here, it’s never the same sock twice!) (ba-dum bum ching!)

As a result of this neurotic urge to knit gifts for everyone I know, I have half-finished knitting projects covering my desk. It is a miracle I can even reach the keyboard, and my arms are resting on 5 needles. Of different sizes. (Non-knitters, this means I need a damn intervention.) I am taking a break from knitting to write this. And consequently, I probably won’t take a pee break until Tuesday. Maybe Wednesday.

Must. Knit. All. The. Things.

Furthermore, the weather is not playing around anymore. It is getting what we in the South call “cold as a snake’s legs*” (and what everyone in the mid-west calls “almost too hot, where are my shorts?”), and my child needs a hat. I knit her a dah-arling hat last winter. I purposely knit it two sizes too big thinking that I’d get a pass on knitting a hat for her this year. Behold the cuteness of a six month old (gloriously non-motile!) baby:

7 months old!

And behold my little Stewie** in her hat this winter:

Uh-huh. (These pictures stink, but my kid won’t stand still for an instant, and my needy dog was attempting to apply his body to mine in almost every shot.)

For comparison, here is a random adult’s head wearing the same hat:

The heck, kid? You’d better be growing enough brain in there to solve the world debt crisis AND climate change. That is what hat knitting costs in this house. Be glad I buy your sweaters. (Dan, you want your sock-mates? You owe me a teleporter.) (People, that is called LEVERAGE.) (You can thank me in person for the teleporter.)

Next post: The “toddler” hat I knit for Ivy. Followed by the “bucket-sized” hat I knit for Ivy. Followed by a detailed account of Ivy’s birth story, including the part where the OB told me that she was literally holding pieces of me together when the head was crowning! It was awesome.

I’m exaggerating, of course. With all the knitting I have to do, I won’t have time to write a damn thing.


*I made this up. But it does sound rather Southern, doesn’t it? Promise that if you ever say “colder than a snake’s legs,” you’ll say it with a thick southern accent? And really, I don’t think inserting a ‘hoo-doggie’ would be going too far… Granted, I’m fake-southern. But gen-yoo-winely digracious! Hoo, doggie!

** Fellow cave-dwellers, this is a ‘Stewie’:



November 15, 2011

Dan: Dinner was good. You know what would go really well with dessert? That cheese…what’s it called?

Steph: Oh, yeah….it’s….

Dan: Elderberry?

Steph: What? No, it’s–

Dan: Erkenbrand?

Steph: Erkenbrand?! What is wrong with you? No, it’s–

Dan: Exthilion?

Steph: Gah! Stop saying words! I’ll think of it, just–

Dan: Ettenmoor?

Dan: Entwash?

Steph: Quiet! You are making this hard.

Dan: What? I’m waltzing around it.

Dan: Etonwall?

Steph: Wensleydale.

Dan: Wensleydale!

Ivy is 18 months old!

November 8, 2011

Where did the time go? Where did my baby go?

Ivy is walking, running, jumping, and she can say about 25 words. She has a sense of humor, and she is kind and affectionate. Or mercurial and imperious. Depending on the day. Her favorite thing to do is to put on her shoes and go outside, and she will happily walk herself to the park. Close friends may remark that her sense of direction outpaced mine about four months ago. Her favorite food is tomatoes, and she should be watched carefully in the produce section of any grocery store. She is a joy.

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After I published my last post, WordPress very kindly made the following suggestion:


Add a couple more tags to make your post easier for others to discover. Some suggestions: sexual harassment allegationskim kardashianrabbit holessweet silence, and dead babies.




Thanks a lot, NPR.

November 7, 2011

Okay. I know things have been quiet around here for a while, but this blog is largely about how I manage to do things in a comically wrong way. And sometimes, it takes a little while before my idiocy is apparent to me. I think that’s kind of what “personal growth” is like, only instead of blogging about it, you actually change. Or something. I really have no idea.

So anyway, you guys know how we have no TV? Yeah, there’s kind of no good way to say “Oh, we don’t have a TV. On purpose.” without sounding like a total douche, so I try not to say those words very often, but it is actually kind of relevant to this story. Because TVs have pictures. They also have news about current events.

And to complete my mis-under-knowing trifecta (of two things), I have been on an internet news diet because I always get sucked down rabbit holes of horrible and depressing news that disturbs and distresses me, and finishes off with a whopping side of guilt for even clicking on the link in the first place. You know, links to stories about dead babies. Or Kim Kardashian.

When I am not enjoying the sweet, sweet silence of a quiet house, I sometimes half-listen to NPR. Which has news, but no pictures. [—Can we just pause for a moment here, while you all clap for me knowing the name of the President? Thank you.—]

All of this is important* because I was driving around in my car today, listening to some call-in talk show and they were blar-blar-blabbity-bargh about Herman Cain and his political tailspin, and then all of sudden, this lady called in and started talking about race politics. (*this word may not mean what I think it does.)

And I couldn’t figure it out. She didn’t sound crazy. But wh’uck do race politics have to do with sexual harassment allegations?? And then another person called in, talking about race. And the hosts were all like ‘yeah, yeah, yeah! blar-blargh-blah-blah-blah.” And I sat there, at a stoplight with my head tilted, looking at the radio, and feeling like I was missing something.

You see, I did not know what Herman Cain looked like. My head created this image of a Republican candidate with a tax plan that sounds like a sale at an auto dealership, who is also the owner of a pizza chain called “Godfather’s” and who knows some dirty old man moves. And my brain chewed that information up and spit out a guy that looked like…


This is not Herman Cain.
Not even a little.

You’re welcome.

There you go, kids. Watch all the TV you want. Be informed. Then explain Jersey Shore to me.

A little merriment.

November 4, 2011

Fall always catches me by surprise. I love the colors, the crunchy leaves, the fresh air. But I always find myself a little glum for some reason. Dwindling daylight, most likely. Also, I think somewhere in my brainstem is a neuron from the Mesozoic and it’s telling me to find a cave and tuck in. And all the cynical snark out there erodes my happy.

But lately, all kinds of joyful things have come my way, and I thought I’d gather them and put them here. Here’s to humans! There’s 7 billion of us, and sometimes we’re wonderful!

This came from my mom. And I won’t lie, my eyes were leaking before it was over.

This has been making the rounds, but likewise with the leaking eyes toward the end.

Nature is amazing. It should be honored and protected. Even starlings.

This made me all nostalgic for being young and in love and up to my nostrils in angst. But it’s also quite beautiful, nostalgia aside.

Humans are awesome. But sometimes in a bats-crazy sort of way.

I have… nothing. Can you ask cheese?

Sabre-Toothed Squirrels. For realsies. Hello, AWESOME!

And last, but most:

So, that’s it.

Merry Friday!

What do you know? This blog plays Jedi Mind Tricks. It’s all like “yo, this is not the blog you’re looking for, blog author, move along and find something else to do.” And me, with my mushy mom brain is like “Yeah! Okay! Wait, who said that? Ooh, pretty yarn!”

So, what else have I been up to?

Oh, you know, a little of this, a little of OHMYGOD.

This rental is charming and the space fits us, but we have no living room furniture, yet. It’s been ordered, but it’s not going to be here until right around Christmas (pleasepleaseplease come before Christmas). But this turned out to be a blessing of sorts. See, our front dining room window started doing this really cool trick where it would make a little waterfall come out of the moulding around the window casement whenever it rained. It really added a lot to the ambiance of our dining room. Or it would have, if we hadn’t had to move the dining room into the living room to keep it dry.

The landlord sent this repairman out, and he is straight out of a Dicken’s novel. “Mr. Blimperscaggs was a spindly spidery sort of man, whose limbs and joints never seemed able to straighten completely. His head was graced by brown eyes under thick brows and a small cluster of grey teeth on his bottom jaw. The remaining hairs on the posterior portion of his head were of a length that would delight any barber. He moved about in a cloud of stale smoke, freshened at regular intervals by new cigarettes. When observed, it was his habit to collect the butts of these cigarettes in his pocket. However, when left to his own devices, the area around him would sprout cigarette butts like a fairy ring of toadstools.”

No, really.

Anyway, Blimperscaggs came out and punched a big hole in the wall and found all kinds of rot and mold and badness. So he went away for a day and came back with the supplies to replace the rot and mold and badness. Then, that night, as the plaster was drying, we had another rainstorm, and lo! the waterfall was back in force!

I decided to take a look in the attic crawl space above the window. And now I have PTSD. The End!

This was a problem that had not developed overnight. Ecosystems take time to assemble, and you can trust me on that, I’m a biologist. So, Blimperscaggs was back with plastic and wood and saws and ladders and shingles and oh yeah, we were expecting out of town guests that day. Lovely. Welcome to my house. We have no furniture for you to sit on, except the dining room chairs, which are conveniently located in the living room because there is a four foot hole in my roof and a man inside. But we can stand in front of my house and pretend it’s Mardi Gras! Except instead of beads, you can try to catch moldy insulation and bits of rotted wood. Show your boobs, and you might get a rusty nail thrown your way!! Good times are always to be had at Casa Goodrich.

The hole in our roof is patched. That’s the good news. The slightly troubling news is that there are now all these stress cracks on the opposite side of my house. I’m a little concerned that the replacement boards that Blimperscaggs put in when he took out the rotten ones aren’t bearing the weight quite right, and the house over my head is now shifting enough to crack the plaster on the back side of the house in fairly impressive ways. For instance, the corner of the ceiling in the kitchen is separated from the wall by about 1/8″. That’s normal, right? Blimperscaggs says the brickwork on the outside all looks good– no cracks there, so it’s probably fine. It’s just that I have this nagging suspicion that bricks on houses aren’t structural…

If we have to move THREE times before my daughter is two, I will go all Britney and shave my head and move in with my mom. LINE IN THE SAND, UNIVERSE.

You & Me

October 22, 2011

Psst! Hey, Handsome:

When the kids are old enough, we’re going to teach them to fly.

Uh, hello, Officer?

October 12, 2011

Listen, I hate to bother you, but there’s a moose in my pool.

No, I mean an actual moose.

No, the animal. In my pool.



Clearly the moose was not done swimming yet.

Which brings me to what a liability it would be to have handles on your forehead. As the lady with the ropes, it might be kind of nice to have forehead handles on a toddler, but only if they had crumple-zones. I don’t know about you guys, but my kid’s head is entirely blunt, and it still manages to elicit plenty of stars and tweetie birds. So, nevermind. Back to forehead handles being a huge liability. FOR EVERYONE.

UPDATED: So, I just learned that it’s DRUNK MOOSE SEASON! (What’s the appropriate greeting for that? Moosle Tov?)

Hello, officer? I have a drunk moose in my pool.

If you are my daughter, then I am hilarious.

That is all.