Friday, February 26, 2010

Suddenly It's Friday

I haven't had the best week and now, out of the blue, it's over. My kids are home from school because it's been snowing for two days. My son is using a mixture of flour, cornmeal and rice to establish a construction zone in the kitchen and my daughter has a Playmobil gymnastic situation going. At some point, we'll head out, but for right now, we're ll tucked in while the storm stalls above us. Sometimes, things stall.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Knitting as Golf

Last night, I set to work assembling a sweater I'd made for my daughter. This morning, I told my husband that, after thinking about it, I'd have to take out and redo much of what I did last night. When he heard this, David gave me a kind of quizzical look. Gentle, but quizzical. After a minute, he said to me, "Knitting is like golf for you. It's like you have to really master it but it's intricate. That's the way people get about golf when they decide they want to do more than just show up."

I want to think of knitting as this fun, cozy thing I do while watching TV. I can not only make nice things for people I care about but also enjoy the feeling of making something (that's not edible). But I'm not a very good knitter. Worse than that, I want to be a very good knitter. Which means that David is right. Knitting for me can be, if I'm not completely exhausted, very serious business. I hope that means it can still be fun. I mean, if it's not going to be edible, it should damn well be fun.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Winter Olympics

I have yet to be entirely caught up in the Winter Games. Usually, the Olympics appeal to my most basic TV-loving instincts, the part of me that worships the creators of Hulu and would gladly spend hours lost on the couch. At its best, like in men's figure skating finals or women's downhill, watching the Olympics sends me back to the childhood years I spent immobile and rapt while Wide World of Sports brought me news of Ironmen Triathalons, off-year figure skating championships, rowing regattas, and various other competitions that in the pre-ESPN audience brought niche sports to the masses. What could be better than to spend a sunny Saturday afternoon inside watching the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat? That's what I think when I'm watching the Olympics and enjoying them.

When I'm not enjoying the Olympics, though, when commercial after commercial for cars and beer and highly packaged juice products take pride of place, all I can think about is how they had to ship the snow to Vancouver and how the weird weather guy from the Weather Channel told Bob Costas and the rest of us that what we were seeing "weather wise" was "March in February." At those moments I can barely keep images of Canada's now slushy tundra filling my mind's eye and blocking off the smiling faces of all the pretty people selling things on MY TV. You can see how this could seriously keep someone from falling in love with the Olympics, even if I did kind of fall in love with the Norwegian guy who won the Super G last night. He was one tall drink of fresh clean water. Who doesn't love that?

Friday, February 19, 2010

So Long, See You Tomorrow

I just finished reading William Maxwell's So Long, See You Tomorrow. I'd never heard of it and got it out of the library when someone described it as "masterful" and noted some of it is told from the perspective of a family's dog. The book is masterful, it's short, it captures the loneliness not only of childhood but of the act of remembering, and the use of the dog is just brilliant. The book is short, and it's worth spending some time with.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Half On, Half Off

Here's one thing about having two kids in two schools that I hadn't bargained for: Different vacations. I should have known it would happen. I'd seen it happen to others, but somehow, I just figured it would all work out. This week, though, Helen has off and Elliot is in school, which means the built-in play dates that twins make is not happening.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Losing It

I've started losing things. I don't know if it's a seasonal shift or a call to clean out the apartment or what but in the last two weeks I lost a scarf that I really loved, then I lost my kids' mittens, which happens, but this is the worst time of year for it to happen because kids' gloves are hard to find, and now I've lost my keys. We went to Providence, we came back and presto blamo gonzo! So the ends are loose and clearly, it's time to lose a whole lot more stuff so the season of losing stuff can turn into the season of gaining space.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Where Did This Week Go?

I have no idea. With the work and the snow and the this and the that, I've hardly been home and apologize for dialing out. I'm trying to dial back in.....trying.....

Friday, February 5, 2010

Debunking the Vaccine Myth

This week, the English medical journal The Lancet retracted the study published by Andrew Wakefield in its pages claiming a link between autism and the MMR vaccine. Rahul Parikh, MD, has a short but good story about it in Salon that unpacks not just the Lancet's goals in publishing the study in the first place but the media's role in promoting the news of the study. Unfortunately, this genie is not going back into any bottle soon, but at least it's a start.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A Little, Slightly, Overwhelmed

I'm a little overwhelmed these days nearing the end of a big project. I'll be tied up for the next few days but hopefully I'll be coming back around by Monday. Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Oh Baby!

I can never thank Marjorie Ingall enough for this.

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Kindergarten Blitz

It seems like every two years or so, some New York media outlet does a story on standardized testing for 4-year-olds and how crazy New Yorkers get about the whole thing. The latest article is in New York magazine and it suggests that the unpredictability of the tests as well as the prevalence of testing prep could make these tests obsolete -- or nearly so -- in the school admissions process, particularly with private schools. But even if it makes sense to do away with the tests, and I think it does, I think they won't be going anywhere anytime soon. In any case, here's the article.