Category Archives: Blogging

There will be time, there will be time

To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.

-From “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” T. S. Eliot, 1917

I’ve been wondering why I haven’t posted anything much here lately. Remember NaBloPoMo? A post EVERY DAY, for heaven’s sake.

There have been eminently practical, homely reasons: illness, work, lack of sleep. But I think the main reasons relate to blogging itself.

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Filed under Blogging, Deep Thoughts, friends, life, Poetry

Who Does She Think She Is?

Heidi over at there is grace recently posted about this wonderful documentary about the struggles women have in modern society in balancing their need for artistic creativity and the demands of motherhood.

I haven’t seen the film yet, but something in the trailer caught my attention: people on the street were asked if they could name five female artists. They couldn’t even name one!

At first I was self-righteously disgusted. These were people on the steps of the Met Museum in New York, for heaven’s sake, and they couldn’t even name ONE woman artist? I could name a dozen right off the top of my head, right?

Hmmm. . . .


This one is easy for me:

Ursula K. LeGuin
Marion Zimmer Bradley
Edith Wharton
Christine de Pisan
Jane Austen

Susanna Clarke
Judy Grahn
Mary Balogh
Christina Rossetti

Margaret Atwood
Mary Stewart
A.S. Byatt

J.K. Rowling
Zadie Smith
Jane Yolen
(and I could go on.)

Visual artists

Hmm . . . getting a little harder:

Frida Kahlo
Liane Collot d’Herbois
Tove Jansson

Mary Cassatt
Diane Arbus
Annie Leibovitz

Georgia O’Keefe
Elsa Beskow
(I had to reach into anthroposophy land to find two of them!)

Now, I’m not going to do actresses, as that’s too easy, as is musicians/singers. And of course there are quite a few writers and artists in my own blogroll! But it was interesting to realize that while I can name many female writers, it wasn’t that easy to name more than five visual artists.

As I mentioned to Heidi, I don’t know if that’s a reflection of poor arts education or the patriarchy of the art world. Even if artistic work is easier for women without children (if only because they have more time!), why aren’t more women prominent in the visual arts? Why can I think of fifteen male visual artists in a few seconds and struggle to think of that many women?

Patriarchy certainly plays in there — notice all of the female artists I thought of date from the late nineteenth century at the earliest, but I can think of male artists dating back to the early middle ages. On the other hand, apparently writing has been an “acceptable” female activity for much longer. I wonder why that is?

Try it — how many can you name?

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Filed under art, Blogging, movies, Rants, Writing

Recent Feed Reader Items of Note

A meteorite fell to earth in western Canada, and miraculously was caught on video. Great ball of fire!

Ever wonder what all those odd names on the world map mean in their original languages? Turns out it’s harder to figure out than you might think.

Come on, a cute kitten photo won’t kill you. It might even cheer you up.

Evidently, no Dorito is safe….

Google: You can find old friends, learn a thing or two, or figure out where the flu is breaking out today.

And for a complete change of pace: learn to make lard and make a dog very, very happy.


Filed under Blogging, friends, Silliness and Mayhem

When Editors Get Riled Up About Dirty Words

One of my daily pleasures is reading the discussion posts in the Yahoo Group for the
Editorial Freelancers Association. Aside from the usual technical questions, there are often posts labeled “Chat” that relate somewhat more remotely to editing or freelancing, though they usually have something to do with words or writing.

Recently someone posted a “Chat” about an author’s fight with the New York Times about including the word “bitchassness” in an article. Evidently the Times, though they have allowed “bitch” and “ass” many times before, are balking this time. The word is being included in reference to Sean “Diddy” Combs’s numerous YouTube blogs, one of which includes this word in its title.

The original poster simply thought it was funny to what lengths this author had gone to argue his point with the newspaper. But others were not so amused and said that the word offended them and was hate speech. This has led to a lively little conversation about free speech, censorship, figurative meanings, and cultural mores.

We have roughly two camps: those who think that the word should be allowed because 1) it’s not that offensive, or 2) it’s being used as a quotation and not directly describing someone; and those who think it’s offensive hate speech that is derogatory to women.

If Mr. Combs uses this term solely for women, then perhaps there would be a stronger case for it being derogatory. But I watched the offending blog post, and the term seems to be used in a general sense. Interestingly, he uses the “N word” several times and a variant of it appears in text at the end of the post — but nobody has mentioned that being a problem!

Some people in the EFA discussion argued that there are plenty of words that have had more negative and even salacious connotations or meanings in the past but are commonly used today: “jerk” and “suck” were two examples. But then others responded that just because some words have passed into common usage doesn’t mean others should follow.

On a related note, I’ve been following the case FCC v. Fox Television Stations currently under consideration in the Supreme Court, mostly through rather hilarious posts on Language Log. If you don’t want to read lots and lots of swear words, don’t click those last three links!

Here the question is all about the “F word” whether the FCC is applying its rules consistently to fine broadcasters who neglect to edit out obscenities, even if fleeting. But I have to smile at linguists using rather complex semantic analyses, including graphs, to decide whether certain words are used as intensifiers (“effing brilliant!”) or as actual references to obscene acts. And for really funny stuff, read the comments.

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Filed under Blogging, Deep Thoughts, editing, Writing

Commenter Meme

I saw this first on Charlotte‘s blog, but Ellie tagged me for it.

The rules:

1. List the last ten people who have commented on your blog.

The List:

  1. Eve
  2. Lori
  3. Dawn
  4. Alida
  5. (un)relaxeddad
  6. David
  7. Denise
  8. Helen
  9. Jen
  10. Nana

1: What is your favorite post from number 3’s blog?

I liked her series of posts on the history of her relationship with her husband. High school sweethearts!

2. Has number 10 taken any pictures that have moved you?

Well, yes, I suppose numerous pictures of me when I was a baby, plus some good ones of my kids as well.

3. Does number 6 reply to comments on their blog?

Oh yes. Sometimes they are more entertaining than the posts.

4. Which part of blogland is number 2 from?

The Midwest of the US.

5. If you could give one piece of advice to number 7 what would it be?

I can’t imagine that Denise needs any advice. She has a wonderful blog and does amazing things with her kids every day. Maybe…be kind to your back? 🙂

6. Have you ever tried something from number 9’s blog?

I might have to buy some whiskey to try her hot toddy recipe, if this sinus congestion turns into another cold.

7. Has number 1 blogged something that inspired you?

I can’t pick something, because literally all her posts are inspiring. Eve writes about parenting, psychology, religion, life, the universe, and everything. And always provokes me to write long, convoluted comments, which she responds to in kind!

8. How often do you comment on number 4’s blog?

I just started reading her blogs, but I pretty much comment on each post.

9. Do you wait for number 8 to post excitedly?

Oh, yes! I love to hear what Kikzy’s up to, and how her latest novel is coming along.

10. How did number 5’s blog change your life?

(un)relaxeddad has reminded me that music is important, even if it’s from the 80’s. He also helps me be a “world famous blogger,” as my husband likes to put it, being in the UK.

11. Do you know any of the 10 bloggers in person?

Nana doesn’t have a blog, but since she’s my mother, I suppose you could say I know her in person. I might someday get to meet Dawn, Alida, or David, since they all live in my general region of the US. If I had my way I’d meet you all!

12. Do any of your 10 bloggers know each other in person?

I don’t think so.

13. Out of the 10, which updates more frequently.

I would say Denise, Dawn, and Alida are probably tied, though Eve did have a prolific streak leading up to the election!

14. Which of the 10 keep you laughing?

All of them! David has a particularly witty sense of humor, and Helen’s observations of her son are very amusing (and I can relate to so many of them).

15. Which of the 10 has made you cry (good or bad tears)

No bad tears, but Eve has stirred my heartstrings on many an occasion.

* * * * *

OK, I don’t like to tag people, but supposedly if you’re on my list you should do this meme, too.


Filed under Blogging, friends, Memes, Silliness and Mayhem

Weirdest Spam Ever

I got this back in July, but never got around to posting about it. Now that it’s NaBloPoMo, why not dust off your moldy old drafts and share them with the world, too?

* * * * *

“Your response required:

The Order of The Illuminati under the jurisdiction of the all Seeing Eye, Master Nicholas Brenner has after series of secret deliberations selected you to be an optional beneficiary of our 2008 foundation laying grants and also an optional opening at the round table of the Order of The Illuminati.

These grants are issued every year around the world in accordance with the objectives of the Order of The Illuminati as stated by Thomas Paine in 1810 which is to ensure the continuous freedom of man and to enhance mans living conditions.

We will also advice that these funds which amount to US$2,000,000.00 be used to better the lot of man through your own initiative and also we will go further to inform that the open slot to join the Order is optional, you can decline the offer.

In order to claim your grant, contact the Grand Lodge Office secretary David P. Roberts.


Dr Paul Winsdor,
Order of The Illuminati

Stefan Brink,

The ultimate goal of the Order of The Illuminati has always been to replace the destructive forces of monarchism, nationalism, religion with the productive dynamics of business. Toward that goal, Neo-Tech/Zonpower adds

· free-market dynamics for societal decisions plus.

· the essentialness of working-class individuals.

For, such working-class individuals are disconnected from the elite class, which is intellectually indoctrinated into closed-circle visions of nature. Thus, non indoctrinated workers have retained their childhood capacities for fully integrated honesty — for wide-scope viewings of nature. While vision-controlled elites, specialists, and philosophers — including most Objectivists — have lost their capacities for fully integrated honesty.

The main objective of the Order of The Illuminati is making good men better, making strong men powerful.

Order of The Illuminati.”

* * * * *

Um, yeah.


Filed under Blogging, Silliness and Mayhem

Introspection Season

Let’s see what’s rattling around in my brain this Michaelmas season:

I should be blogging more.

I should be making my native plant fairy book.

I should be working more hours on editing each day.

I should be keeping the house cleaner and neater.

I should be making Christmas present already.

I should be doing that artwork I’ve been thinking about for the last few weeks.

I should have done the reading I meant to do so that I could have written this year’s Michaelmas post.

I should be doing some sort, any sort, of regular inner work.

I’ve been very, very busy lately, yet I don’t feel like I’m getting enough done. And I know, these words like “should” and “could” and “enough” are traps, of my own making.

Eve (who created the lovely new header) has been writing about this recently, too. About having plans, goals, visions, even commitments for what to do and how to be. And then somehow, we go astray. We get busy, with only God knows what.

I seem to have lots of plans rattling around, and yet none of them get accomplished. Am I just not prioritizing correctly? Do I need to simplify something else in my life to make room and time? I’m a mom of two young kids, so there already I am busy much of the time. Plus I’m trying to work almost full time, take care of the household, and then there’s the idea I am pondering of getting a second BA. How am I going to get all of this done?

I do know that I spend a lot of time reading blogs when I could be doing these other things. I love all my blog friends and refuse to abandon them! But maybe my feed reader could use a little trim. I don’t really need to read about the 10 all-time greatest sci fi movie death scenes, now do I?

Sometimes I feel like a big anthroposophical faker, because I don’t do any meditative work. It’s like I read Lievegoed’s Battle for the Soul about the three spiritual streams of humanity, decided I wasn’t in the meditative stream, and gave up, because, hey–I’m doing practical work here! I’m a mom, so I’m immersing myself fully in the material world and manifesting spirit that way. Right.

What do you do to get it all done? Or how do you compromise with yourself to let some things slide?


Filed under Anthroposophy, Blogging, Deep Thoughts, life

Visit the Hermitage

Have you ever discovered a place, in your wanderings along the busy highways and leafy byways of the internet, a place so intriguing and beguiling, so full of wonders and mysteries, that you never want to leave for fear of missing some new delight?

I have.

Far away and long ago, there was a place that is also close by and right now.

To get there you must step around the corner of everything that you hold to be real, and yield to an odd world which will take you in hand and tell you stories so strange and beautiful that you will be sorry to leave.

Welcome to The Hermitage…A little cottage in the forest, a stopping place on your journey.

Please come inside, stay awhile and wander through rooms of curiosities….

A recent comment on Scribbler‘s blog led me to the world of Rima Staines and her blog, Into the Hermitage. (Warning–image heavy!)

Not only does Rima create whimsical drawings, photographs, and paintings full of myth and melancholy, she also makes books, beautiful things from wood, illustrates online magazines, creates stop animation films, and has a very cool home on wheels. She graciously gave me permission to share some of her work with you here.

Rima and her partner Tui make their home in Scotland, and kindly share beautiful photos of the countryside with us throughout her blog. Tui is a musician, and Rima grew up in a family of artists. They are very inspiring!

Amid all the whimsical and haunting images and words, I found a link to Rima’s Etsy shop, where I immediately purchased two prints — “Soup and Pipe,” top (for me — so cozy and comforting) and “A Button House for a Button Mouse,” left, for the kids’ room (they love it!) I’ve got my eye on several others, as well.

All images and blockquote courtesy Rima Staines.


Filed under art, Blogging, Crafting, Uncategorized

Weekend Update

Well, we had such a full weekend that I am compelled by tiredness to just give you all a few snippets until I can get back to my regular programming.

  • I took the kids to Rhode Island over the weekend to celebrate an old college friend’s birthday. I let the kids watch way too much TV, we had absolutely no naps, but really it could have been much worse 🙂 On the bright side, we had awesome barbecue and my friend’s SCA friends did some impromptu English country dancing on the back deck. They’re all going to war at Pennsic soon, and I’m a bit jealous.
  • On the other hand, I’m exhausted from staying up far too late every day, having my first drink in too many years to count (a tiny margarita) and driving four hours each way. And coming home today, a redtail hawk struck our car as we were driving down the highway. The bird hit the car like a brick as it tried to fly across the highway too low, and was definitely killed. It also broke our side mirror. Very traumatic.
  • Dr. Nokes over at Unlocked Wordhoard was so kind as to accept my offer to be his fangirl. I love his blog! He writes about “all things medieval” and recently posted about how he thinks “applied medievalism” (read: the SCA, Renaissance faires, films [Beowulf] etc.) in modern culture doesn’t necessarily detract from scholarly work in the area, and in fact there is a “hunger out there for smart-but-accessible writing about the medieval.” Recent posts include a discussion of which female medieval figures drew women to interest in medievalism, an inquiry into possible sources for the tale of a massacre of cats during the Black Plague–sparked by an episode of Babylon 5, and a discussion of why the term medieval Catholics is just plain wrong.
  • Speaking of medievalism, we have listened to Richard Thompson’s 1000 Years of Popular Music enough times in the car that the kids can sing along passably well with “Sumer is Icumen In” and “King Henry“. They also try to do “So Ben Mi C’ha Bon Tempo“, but the sixteenth-century Italian stumps them.
  • We might be moving to a location without a Waldorf school. We’re wrestling with the likelihood that homeschooling wouldn’t work for us, and putting the kids in a Lutheran school. Arrrgh. We’ve had it easy up until now, always being in anthro land.
  • SillyBilly will be getting his hearing aids in a few weeks. More on that as things develop.

I hope all my American readers had a good Fourth of July, and as for you furriners…well, let’s just all enjoy our independence in all of its forms!


Filed under Blogging, Family, Food, friends, Hearing loss, holidays, Parenting, Silliness and Mayhem, SillyBilly

Blogging as Placebo?

In my feed reader today I found an article from The Scholarly Kitchen about how blogging is good for you.

“Hah!” I chortled. “Scientific proof that I’m not wasting my time!”

The Scientific American article that was the basis of the post started out so well, describing the “therapeutic benefits of writing about personal experiences,” both psychological and physiological. (Hey: did you know blogging cures cancer? And it’s a happy pill without a prescription!)

But then things started to get a little less complimentary toward us bloggers (emphasis added):

As social creatures, humans have a range of pain-related behaviors, such as complaining, which acts as a “placebo for getting satisfied,” Flaherty says. Blogging about stressful experiences might work similarly.

People with Wernicke’s aphasia speak in gibberish and often write constantly. In light of these traits, Flaherty speculates that some activity in this area could foster the urge to blog.

Located mainly in the midbrain, the limbic system controls our drives, whether they are related to food, sex, appetite, or problem solving. “You know that drives are involved [in blogging] because a lot of people do it compulsively,” Flaherty notes.

Well. I think they just likened blogging to complaining, spouting gibberish, and uncontrollable monkey-brain drives.


Then the article’s author redeemed herself with this last paragraph:

Some hospitals have started hosting patient-authored blogs on their Web sites as clinicians begin to recognize the therapeutic value. Unlike a bedside journal, blogging offers the added benefit of receptive readers in similar situations, Morgan explains: “Individuals are connecting to one another and witnessing each other’s expressions—the basis for forming a community.

That’s right, we’re forming community! Remote, electronically mediated, asynchronous, nonsensory community.

But hey, I’ll take it.

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Filed under Blogging, Health, Rants, Silliness and Mayhem