Answers 17/28

Feb 17

You had a question or two, and I've got an answer or two (or sometimes none).

Faun asked "What's your favorite way to prepare tofu?"

I don't actually eat much tofu.  I've been an ovo-lacto vegetarian since 1998, but I usually only have tofu when I'm at a restaurant.  One of the local Thai places makes a mango tofu dish that is so, so delicious.  Here's a recipe that sounds similar.  From my experiences eating tofu out, I'd say go with firm and marinate the heck out of it.  Hmmm…maybe I should give that a try!

Christina, who is firm in her fortitude about not buying any yarn, had several questions: 

Favorite colors? Black is my favorite color to wear, which stems from my years living in NY.  The first time my ex-husband's band played in CBGB's, I realized why city women so often do wear black.  I always thought it was because it's such a flattering go-to color, but I think the real reason is that it hides the filth of a city!  I got very attached to pink after my maternal grandmother passed away; it was her favorite color.  I knit a lot with green…I think it's another universally flattering color, and it reminds me of spring and summer, which makes me happy.  I also have recently (in the last year) become a fan of orange.  Not burnt brownish orange, but true, bright orange.  Especially when combined with a nice cream. 

Favorite hand made project in the past year? This is a toughie, but I'm going to go with the Bella's Mittens I made for my sweet niece for Christmas.  They were a truly interesting and fun project to make.

 What do you do for fun when you aren't knitting/sewing/just being crafty cool? Aren't you sweet to call me crafty cool?!  During the academic year, a large part of my "free" time is spent grading and planning.  In good weather, I love to bike or hike with my dogs.  I don't do it much, but I enjoy ice skating (only outdoors, though.  Indoor rinks are not happy making for me).  I'm an avid reader.  I don't know if I'd always call it fun, but I am revising my novel for the fifth time.  I'm also a sucker for period dramas, especially Tudor or Elizabethan England.

Karen's questions are unanswerable.  She asked "How do you manage to be clearer about statements such as, "late assignments will not be accepted" and "make sure that emails are received BY ME prior to the end of class"? Is there clearer language to use? Is it possible to translate this into multiple languages?"

Karen is a fellow college professor.  She knows perfectly well that you can say these things seven ways to Sunday, and they will be meaningless to a certain percentage of students.  I do accept late assignments, but I deduct points for every business day they're late.  I used to deduct for weekends, too, but I decided that was just too mean.

What mean things have your past teachers done?  

Stay tuned.  Tomorrow is my reflection on Lenten discipline.  

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Dec 17

My best pal from my NY days hopped in her car and drove to CT on Tuesday. After I collected final portfolios from my students, we met up for our annual cookie-baking extravaganza.

Nothing like a pile of cookies to get a girl in the holiday spirit!


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Oct 31


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Well, hey there, you!

Sep 01

I hadn't planned to take a break from blogging, but August zoomed by with nary a post. To tell the truth, I thought about closing the blog down about mid-month.  I wasn't missing it, and I figured neither was anyone else.  I mentioned to Spring that I thought FB and Twitter (which I've also neglected) were giving me enough space for my musings, that the blog had, perhaps, reached its natural end.  She kindly told me to keep blogging, and while I won't go into it any further, the argument she offered was so generous and supportive that I decided to listen to her.  I'm in the process of re-imagining the blog, though, and I hope to move it to its own domain (with a new name!  Stay tuned!) this fall.

So where did August go?  Well, here are some highlights:

  • Vermont College of Fine Arts Post-Graduate Writing Conference.  I lived in a dorm for a week, worked with an excellent group, learned so much from Clint McCown.  Once more, I'm ditching everything I had written all summer to start the novel over.  I better get it right.  I'm running out of stamina for this story.
  • Stumbled across a copperhead snake in the woods where the dogs and I walk.  Not literally a stumble, but Neal had to pull Maddie back from messing with it.  Then we admired it for a good, long time.  Copperheads are amazingly, well, coppery!
  • Took a class with Jared Flood.  He is, as I read in a Brit Kntting mag, the darling of the knitting world, and a darling indeed.
  • Finished up the inaugural Open Road Writing workshop.  I'm excited to get the next one scheduled and start working with my fabu students again.  Be sure to hop over to the site every Tuesday for a new writing prompt.
  • Got myself a permanent reminder about what I'm meant to do with my days.*  It was the best tattooing experience I've had, and if you're ever in ne003ed of ink while in VT, I recommend Esme at Venus Tattoos.

I confess to marking the 1,000 + Bloglines entries as read.  I, so rarely overwhelmed, couldn't face that number.  I kept up via Ravelry, but will you tell me about your August?  What did you do?  What did you create?  Think? 

I start teaching on Thursday, and I'm eager to get back in the classroom.  September sets everything right for me.  Hope all is right with you!

* Latin for "Never a day without a line," one of my favorite quotes from Horace.  Some might argue about my translation choice, but I prefer "linea" to "versus" in part because "Iinea" keeps it all symmetrical.  Symmetry makes me happy.

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Jun 10

Every now and again, someone comes into my life and surprises me by making a huge impact.  Here's a little story about one such someone who could use your help.

The scene:  roadtrip to move from New York to New Mexico.  August 2004.

I taught my last class for Mercy College the night we started our trip. Collected final projects, teared up at the lovely bon voyage speech my students made before they gave me a card and gift to send me on my next adventure.  Nine o'clock and the destination was Nashville, TN to spend some time with my sister and her kids.  We drove fifteen hours straight with a few fuel stops, an odd, barely remembered diner break for coffee, and a bad breakfast somewhere in the south.

Neal napped while I went with MB to run errands.  "You have to check this out.  We have a new yarn shop."  She brought me to Threaded Bliss Yarns where I met Sheila and her beautiful Border Collie, Rudy.  Those of you who know Sheila know what a dynamo she is.  She had just opened her store on her fortieth birthday, and what a yarn shop!  Her enthusiasm for color, yarn, and knitting imbued the place with a sort of magic.  We chatted about the Taos Fiber Festival, and I confessed I hoped to learn to spin.  I bought yarn, she wished me luck on my journey, and I continued on my own adventure.

A few months later, MB came out to help me move into my condo and to celebrate my birthday.  "Sheila sent this," she said as she handed me a copy of Spin-off.  "Sheila?" I was puzzled.  "From the yarn store."  I was so moved.  I started to read Sheila's blog and thought she was just the coolest.  Hers was the first blog I'd read, and I wondered if someday, maybe someday, I could start one, too.

Over the next few years, I did learn to spin, and I did start a blog.  I have Sheila to thank for both.  Whenever I visited MB, I'd make sure we had an hour or so to spend at the shop.

In 2007, Sheila sold the shop.  On my next visit to TN, she and her fabulous husband Tim had dinner with MB and me.  That's when I realized Sheila ought to have been one of my sisters, too.  Or I should have been hers.  Not long after, she called me to tell me news that was difficult to share: she has MS.  I assure you, though, MS does not have her.  Sheila is one tough woman, and she is handling this with grace and anger, a beautiful, inspiring combination.  Visit her blog to read more about health care reform issues.  You'll come away enlightened.

Now Sheila and Tim are facing some challenges with their beloved pets.  Rudy, the yoga-practicing Border Collie, is going through his own illness, and those of us who love him are waiting anxiously to find out what it is.  In the meantime, Sheila and Tim have entered him in the Eight o'Clock coffee contest (search for keyword Rudy).  Please, readers, take a few minutes to vote "five cups" for Rudy.  Once you've logged in the first time, you can easily vote every day.  The prize money will truly make a difference for Rudy and his loving owners.  Please let everyone you know in on this.  Let's show Sheila the true power of the bloggers, okay?  We all know what we can do!

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New Knitty!

Dec 10

I haven't gotten through the entire issue, what with using it as my procrastination tool (grade a paper, oogle a pattern), but so far, I think this is one swell issue.  I'm super excited for Everybody Knows.  I have a ton of Manos in my stash, just waiting for a pattern, and I think this is it.  And did you get a load of Romi's model?  I love the earrings, but that girl–too beautiful!  Did you totally recognize Norah Gaughan's work when you saw Surface?  I love it with the wrap over it.

What are you liking?

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