Monday, April 23, 2012


Back in the 1990s, scholars started calling the contradiction between an increased opportunity to connect and a lack of human contact the “Internet paradox.” --Stephen Marche, The Atlantic

I love Facebook. I love the way it's gathered friends of mine from all age groups and parts of my life and points on the globe and given me a window into their lives, their vacation and family pictures, their interests and even the unfolding of their days, whenever I care to have a look--which is pretty often, by which I mean daily pretty much and often more, even if I snark sometimes about oversharing, even if I overshare. But I am going to cut back, drastically, I hope. 

I know that the statement above isn't news, exactly, but it hit me as a truth I need to act upon if only because it so neatly encapsulated what I've been saying less neatly for years about having loved to write letters, then loved to write emails, then loved this blog, then needed to make time to make phone calls, then preferred texts, then preferred to click the like button next to your name. Because I really do like you.

I'm not sure how successfully I'll be able to wean myself. I'm not sure how it works, if you can really hit rewind and if taking FB out of your days means a space will open up. I'm in the airport on my way home from a visit to a half lifetime ago, where people from a half lifetime ago remember me and hold out their arms and say my name, and what I'm saying  is that my self as projected on FB is expendable. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Prompte et Sincere

By the end of August I'd figured out that if I didn't rekindle something of a creative life, I was going to die, beautiful baby, handsome husband, and stable-if-not-exciting job or no.

By the end of September, I'd made no headway, but I did suppress my panic about leaving said baby with her loving and competent Da long enough to spend 48 hours in Grand Rapids at Art Prize with a couple of my oldest friends, MLP and C. This turned out to be an excellent thing to do, not just because these are very good friends, but because Art Prize is a very, very good event. I knew not to underestimate Grand Rapids after Newsweek proclaimed it the 10th most dyingest city and the city retaliated with this, but the level of the submissions and the realization that there are regular people out there, thousands of them, doing beautiful and singular and passion-driven things every day made me almost giddy, all in all.

Within hours of getting home, MLP had picked 30 minutes of raspberries and turned them into 3 pints of jam, and C had taught herself to popcorn crochet, churning out the little top in the pictures for her very own sweet V. pretty much as quick as she could get her hands on the yarn. Cabe destacar that neither of these women has anything approaching an easy life or a lot of time on her hands, but they get shit done, and they love me. They love me! And so, although this post and the last had to be prompted by an email from M, I have prompters and am prompted. Here is my heart. Cor meum tibi offero. Talk at you soon.

For the record

I did make the five little Oliver & S outfits for V. and her cousins for Grandmafest this summer. I cut them out in April, putzed around with the little dress bodices in May and June, and then basically powered through the rest in the first couple of weeks of July, finishing at 2 a.m. on the last night available for sewing. Other than the time pressure, particularly during the hours from 9-2 on that last night when I discovered that I'd attached the back of the size 5 to the size 6 shirt and vice versa, a mistake I'd have to remove four sleeves to fix, it was enjoyable work; the outfits were appreciated by the respective mamas, who were ultimately the ones I was doing it for; and V., at least, got a good amount of wear out of hers through the end of the summer. But given the ratio of creative manifestos to actual output recorded on this blog, a bit underwhelming. Which leads me to the next post....

Saturday, February 26, 2011

In which she bites off perhaps a bit more than she can chew.

Well, I'm not quite the mama in creative overdrive I'd planned on being, but I've made a few things: a sundress that I worked up in peacock blue with cream dots just about 10 minutes before it got too cold for V. to wear it; a party dress in a very old-timey blue lawn that I worked on in the week of V's birthday but finished in January; and a poncho that I knit from variegated, hand- loomed and painted wool V's Tia A. brought back from a trip to Wales. Also, I've successfully navigated the transition back to full-time work and I sometimes read books.

But now the sew-o-rama begins. I just got Little Things to Sew from Oliver & S* so I could make this for V. to carry her beertje around; that might actually have to wait behind this and this, which I'm making up in various colors and combinations of this, this, and this for V. and five little cousins for Grandmafest this summer at the end of July.

Wish me luck.

*Do you notice a theme? Besides liking to support the business of an old acquaintance, I love these patterns! The construction is impeccable and the instructions are great. I am improving my technique with each pattern I complete.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

In which she embraces e-books

I got a Kindle for Christmas, thanks to my parents and inspired largely by the largeness of Infinite Jest, th'usband's favorite book, which I'd been trying to read on the subway for about the past year.

If you're not familiar with the novel, it is over 1,000 pages long, 200+ of which are end notes that carry a surprising amount of the plot, such that it is, and require constant toggling back and forth, all the while not smudging or in any way otherwise besmirching th'usband's first edition hardcover, of which (the hardcover, not these efforts, which he found inadequate despite the fact that I was using Book Bungees and everything) he is very fond. I will say much more about said e-reader, and more importantly about David Foster Wallace, in a not-too-distant post, but in the meantime the point is that the reading is going much better now, mostly in the middle of the night when I'm up nursing the baby. I can jack the font size way up and turn pages or toggle with a single thumb. It's awesome, and I don't think it will mean the end of paper-type books in my possession or anyone else's, despite some pretty compelling essays to the contrary. And the further point is that th'usband and I have borrowed and slightly modified one of DFW's pet IJ acronyms, P.G.O.A.T. (Prettiest Girl Of All Times) to serve as a pet name for V., hereinafter the P.B.O.A.T.

The fittingness of this name being obvious to all who know her, the prettiest baby of all times has already inspired her super awesome Brazilian Tia A. to make the first of what in all rights should be an entire line of excellent babywear, as pictured, except that all the other cute-ish babies who might otherwise be candidate wearers are by definition but pale shadows of the P.B.O.A.T. I can't pretend to take credit for this bit of DIY genius although A. suggested that I might machine-stitch the little boat down to prolong its laundry life, which I just did with a zig-zag so as best to harmonize with the excellence of the original disen~o. I'm posting it here because it's still kind of a big deal that merits celebrating when I turn the sewing machine on.

The P.B.O.A.T. beckons from her swing in front of the Christmas tree. Time for another feeding, and a few more pages on the Kindle.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Here I am, baby.

So it looks like it's been a year. More than a year. I could go on and on about that, or just trust you to understand that a lot has changed in the intervening time. Most saliently, I am now a mother. My baby girl, V., my most ambitious and promising DIY project ever, was born on November 1. She fills me with all kinds of plans, most admittedly dependent on having all kinds of time that I never have been good at safeguarding but swear I will learn to be now that she's my Everything that's at stake.

To wit, this item discovered by browsing my alumni magazine tonight: Oliver and S., a children's sewing pattern company evidently begun by an old college classmate of mine. That V. is on the receiving end of a hand-me-down supply chain so awesome and intense that the girl may never wear the same onesie twice doesn't mean that I don't want to be the kind of mother who makes her all of her favorite clothes. Who makes her all of her favorite clothes out of custom-printed fabrics, even, although I admit that could be a little obsessive. Who freelances or owns her own business or finds some way to keep her little girl by her side every day. Or even if she can't, who fills the time they do have together with fun they make with their own four hands.

She's napping now. Time to clear off my sewing machine.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

After the reading

Don't think that I don't know that I do this. That I start things. That much, much later, as it turns out (as it will turn out), I will never finish said things. That I cut out pants that I translate from the Dutch that I bellydance on Wednesdays that I can my own sauce that I'm a blogger a knitter a salsera that I'm a crooner and a wife. That I am crooning. That eventually, like just now, between the third and the fourth poem, I'm not even listening anymore, that I've bored of my brewing my apples my half marathon in February. My stockings and my garter belt. The funny thing is that the people I like best tend to do the same things over and over. And over. I know. What can I say except that I'm sorry. Except that I'm here. Again. Now.