Category Archives: General silliness

Inherited Bookishness

Warning: book-related geekery ahead!

Today SillyBilly and I had a book-lovin’ afternoon. First we watched this video of a modern book bindery that a fellow EFA member mentioned on our group discussion board (double click to open this one):

This contrasted nicely with another video we watched a few months ago, on hot metal printing circa 1947:

We were amazed to see the differences: the technology, from stamping each letter into metal, lining them all up in order by hand, and pressing them into a copper plate, to an almost fully automated, computer-controlled assembly line. And the similarities: it’s still just paper, cardboard, and glue.

This inspired SillyBilly to continue working on his book, which received its table of contents and first page today:

The Haunted Mansion
The Haunted Mansion

Table of Contents
By D. Hunt
(Table of Contents)
1) The Powerful Goo
(2-7 still untitled)
7 Chapters!
To Mama from D.

There was a dark, dark forest and there was a colony of ghosts. There was a very special rock that was powerful that the ghosts…

(I don’t know what’s coming next…. I’ll keep you all informed.)

I love that dark, dark, forest. It’s hard to see, but the red thing is the eerie glow of a ghost’s eyes.

Later at dinner I was describing the modern bindery video to Anthropapa and Napoleona. Evidently it caught her imagination too, because after dinner I heard them playing with books: SillyBilly was making little machine sounds (whssshhht! ffffft!) as he slid books down the tilted footrest of our recliner, while Napoleona “inspected” the books as they came down, checking for proper pagination and end paper gluing.

Imitation at its finest! Videos might not be a strictly approved Waldorf activity, but I love what kind of art and play it inspired today.

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Filed under art, Books, editing, General silliness, Napoleona, play, SillyBilly, Writing

Foreign Languages

I love learning languages. Most of them have leaked out of my brain by now through disuse, but I’ve studied a few. This is what I’ve accomplished so far:

English: mother tongue, duh.
Spanish: 3 years in high school
Latin: 1 year in high school
French, German: a few weeks here and there
Italian: 3 years in college, just missed minoring in it
Russian: a few phrases that cannot be shared on a family-oriented blog

I’d love to learn German next. Because my grandmother was German, because it’s interesting, because I could read Steiner in the original. But then I found this commentary by Mark Twain that gives me pause:

Now here is a sentence from a popular and excellent German novel — with a slight parenthesis in it. I will make a perfectly literal translation, and throw in the parenthesis-marks and some hyphens for the assistance of the reader — though in the original there are no parenthesis-marks or hyphens, and the reader is left to flounder through to the remote verb the best way he can:

“But when he, upon the street, the (in-satin-and-silk-covered-now -very-unconstrained-after-the–newest-fashioned-dressed) government counselor’s wife met,” etc., etc.

Wenn er aber auf der Strasse der in Sammt und Seide gehüllten jetzt sehr ungenirt nach der neusten Mode gekleideten Regierungsräthin begegnet.

That is from The Old Mamselle’s Secret, by Mrs. Marlitt. And that sentence is constructed upon the most approved German model. You observe how far that verb is from the reader’s base of operations; well, in a German newspaper they put their verb away over on the next page; and I have heard that sometimes after stringing along the exciting preliminaries and parentheses for a column or two, they get in a hurry and have to go to press without getting to the verb at all. Of course, then, the reader is left in a very exhausted and ignorant state.

Of course, I don’t think I actually have the time or energy to learn a new language, but a girl can dream, right?

(PS: To Papa Bradstein, who recently tagged me for the Infernal Eight Things Meme…not enough brain cells available for that right now. I’ll come back to it. Even though NaBloPoMo is NoMo.)

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Targeted Marketing Fun

An old friend of mine is involved in software research that involves targeting shopping and dining suggestions to your cell phone, based on data accumulated from your text messages, GPS, coordinates, and so on. I got to thinking about those ubiquitous Google ads in the sidebar of my email screens. This is what came up the other day while I was writing an email to the raw milk group I coordinate:

Meat = Animal Cruelty
Watch the video the meat industry doesn’t want you to see.
http://www.ChooseVeg.com
(Um, we’re not eating the cows, just milking them.)

Raw Grass-fed Cheese
Artisan cheese high in CLA from the raw milk of cows on pasture.
http://www.grassfedtraditions.com
(Do they feed grass to the cheese?)

Cattle Grazing Research
Free Video/CD/DVD on grazing research with proven solutions.
http://www.beefgraze.com
(Thanks, but we’ve got no actual cows.)

Thick Premium Bully Stick
Processed in an Official Certified USDA Facility. 100% all natural.
http://www.digitpet.com
(This was the weirdest one: I had never heard of these items. Now I wish I never had.)

Cow Sense Software
The premier cattle management information system. Free Trial!
http://www.midwestmicro.com
(Personally, I prefer nonsensical cattle.)

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Filed under computers, General silliness

A Message from the Bard

I promised Anthropapa that in the interest of familial harmony, I would not use the computer tonight. Not, as you might think, in order to have a nice chat, some nice smooching, or anything like that. No, it’s so I can hem some of his pants.

So, instead of finishing up the long post I wrote last night, I thought I’d share what my iGoogle “Shakespearean Insult” generator gave me this morning:

[Thou] hath more hair than wit, and more faults than hairs, and more wealth than faults.
-Taken from: The Two Gentlemen of Verona

It’s eerie how well that describes me today, except for that wealth bit. More hair than wit…was that the world’s first blonde joke?

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Why I’m a Big Editing Geek…

Because I laugh my tuchus off sometimes while reading the Q&A entries on the online Chicago Manual of Style:

Q. Is it ever possible to put a period after other punctuation as in: He had asked, “Will she go?.”

A. It’s definitely possible, but it would be wrong.

Q. For those who make a hobby of cruising garage sales, are they going “garage sale-ing,” “garage saling,” or “garage saleing?” Or are they not permitted this usage?

A. Oh, my. Is garage saleing anything like parasailing? The mind boggles. As you suspected, this phrase would not survive the red pencil at Chicago. (Why can’t you just go to garage sales?) I can tell you that suffixes like “ing” don’t normally take a hyphen. After that, you’re on your own.

Q. If Susan has a master’s degree in publishing, does Betty have master’s degrees in publishing and literature?

A. I have no idea, but I can tell you that the question is styled correctly.

Q. At the annual meeting of our local PBK chapter, dispute on the pronunciation of “archival” arose: whether the stress falls on the first or the second syllable. Give us your wisdom. I will pass it on in the column I write weekly in a local paper about any subject that pops into my head.

A. As a style guide for writers, CMOS must resist the temptation to weigh in on an issue of pronunciation. We are editors, absorbed in our manuscripts. We can go for days without even speaking. I suggest you consult the linguists who write dictionaries for this purpose. (I’m sorry this won’t give you anything to put in your column, but thanks for your help with mine.)

And thank you to you witty CMOS editors for helping with mine!

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Filed under editing, freelancing, General silliness

Halloween Lantern Walk


Another autumn, another Waldorf Lantern Walk.

To elaborate for those of my 6-7 loyal readers who aren’t familiar with the Waldorf world — Halloween is no exception to our general avoidance of commercialized holiday celebrations.

There is no trick-or-treating. There is no candy.

There are costumes, and darkness and light, and a small treat at the end. (Biodynamic raisins, this year.) It’s a bit of Halloween, a bit of Martinmas, all rolled into one.

At Rudolf Steiner College and Sunbridge College (the two largest Waldorf teacher training colleges in the US), the students, faculty, and staff create a beautiful Halloween experience for the children of the community. On campus grounds they create scenes from fairy tales, pirate adventures, undersea realms, water fairies, and other imaginative pictures for the children. Years ago, RSC also had a “Perilous Path” for older children, complete with goblins jumping out at those brave enough to walk the path (the children only need say “I am the light!” for the goblins to be dispelled).

Many of the scenes are enacted in silence; some are stories abridged to a few scenes, while others are simply tableaux. In this way, the children’s imaginations are inspired. For the youngest ones, just being out after dark, walking along a dimly lit path, is magical!

The college students also get a taste of the work and joy of creating a community festival, similar to what many of them will do once they are teachers at Waldorf schools.

For several years Anthropapa and I participated in Lantern Walks. One year we were the King and Queen of the Undersea Realm, complete with a quite fishy song Anthropapa wrote for us to sing! “Come dance with us, come swim with us, under the sea so blue…” With our fellow students, we swathed a small classroom in blue and green cloth, draped a stack of folding tables for our royal dais, and strewed the room with ocean creatures made of paper and cloth. One student with metalworking skills made us crowns and a trident!

For the last two years, the Lantern Walk has gone right through our backyard…so our jack-o’lanterns are part of the overall decor, and the kids had the thrill of watching some friends put up an enormous (full-size) tepee next door! Our yard is also graced with a small fire ring as a result of the Rumpelstiltskin story taking up residence there last year. But the best part is that tonight from 5:45-8 pm, we had to turn all the lights out in our house. That meant candles, and lots of them. Even pooping before bedtime in the dark!

This year’s favorites, according to SillyBilly and Napoleona: Snow White & Rose Red (complete with Bear!); the Witch and Wizard Stirring Their Potions; and the Pirates Digging Up Treasure, Fighting Over Treasure, And Then Making Up And Sharing The Treasure.

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Filed under Family, General silliness, waldorf education

I couldn’t resist…

funny cat pictures & lolcats - imvisible corn on da cob

You can all thank Charlotte for this. I haven’t laughed that hard in….well, I don’t know. Maybe never.

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