Comment now »
As the snow falls outside my window, here in the Northern Berkshires, I’m making two kinds of hot cereal for my kids, Alex and I will be enjoying a bowl of steel cut oats, cooked in almond milk & water, Cate will be trying red quinoa and maple syrup – her request.
I know 2009 was very hard on a lot of people, but I had one of the best years of my life. I trained for and completed my first triathlon, I saw my first Phish show in 10 years at Fenway Park with my husband, which was an exceptionally wonderful night. I climbed to the top of Mt. Greylock, twice in one weekend. I spent a week at Kripalu undoing a spectacularly disastrous relationship with food, which lead to a dramatic change in my diet, where I went vegan, gluten & sugar-free and dropped 50 lbs. Daily, I am making the kinds of choices that support me becoming the woman I want to be.
This upcoming year, my hopes and wishes are just as big, I’ve got my eyes set on a snowshoeing weekend in the Adirondacks, skiing with my kids on Friday afternoons, and another go at the triathlon, hopefully hitting my goal weight by the fall, and still balancing that all with my full time job and my part-time teaching. This year, I’m hoping to become a better online instructor and a better instructor teaching others to teach online. If enrollment holds, I’ll be teaching Gender in Virtual Worlds, Homosexuality in America and The History of the 1960s.
No, I didn’t finish Moby Dick, but I’m still tempted to add Dante’s Inferno to the list, I’ve got nice translation by Longfellow on my shelf that I may just pull out on my next snow day.
What are your hopes and wishes for the new year?
Comment now »
A completely unrelated matter sent me to my blog this afternoon and as I was re-reading back entries, I thought I’d follow up on this post.
Since I haven’t updated this site in forever, I thought I’d keep it alive with a quick update. Here is what I hoped to accomplish this year:
Read Moby Dick – EEEk – I’m about 1/2 through.
Bloom @ Amy Stevens Online – I doubled my business this year!
Climb Mt. Greylock – done! And I did it twice in 3 days, just to prove I’m a bad ass.
Celebrate a birthday with some sort of splash. – I saw an amazing Phish show in Fenway Park, I finished my first triathlon, and I bought myself a fantastic pair of pink Fluevogs.
I’ve got 2 months to finish up Moby Dick, think I’ll make it?
Comment now »
I, like thousands of other GenXrs, picked up the paperback copy of David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest in the summer of 1997. I was turned on by the cover, by the size, and what I thought reading it on the subway would say about me. I was taking the subway from Davis Square in Somerville, downtown every day. I stopped in hip coffee shops and bars on my way home from work to read and drink. I was all about being seen reading this hip, trendy book.
But the truth was the book was wicked heavy and my shoulder started to hurt and I, truth be told, never read at home. I only read in public in those days. And so while the book was interesting, it wasn’t interesting enough to override the sore shoulders and the book went back on the bookshelf and was eventually given away in one of my annual fiction purges.
Fast forward 12 (TWELVE!) years to a few weeks ago when BitchPhD posted a small blog about joining in for the summer reading of Infinite Jest over at Infinite Summer. She was in, and after I clicked through and read up on it, I was in.
I downloaded it to my I-Pod touch, purchased a paper back copy and also a reader’s guide — which makes great bathroom reading in case you wondered. I began reading late last week, and suddenly all the characters came back to me in a flash. And this time, I’m so much more aware of the writing, how the creation and structure of certain sentences please me in ways I didn’t expect.
I’ve got a nice little reading space set up at home now, complete with a book holder to prop the book up. I’ve got the appropriate number of bookmarks (one for the text, one for the endnotes) and fancy page markers so I can flag certain passages for later discussion, and this time, I’ve got a great schedule that paces me out at 75 pages a week and a giant community cheering me on.
This will be a great summer read.
Comment now »
Openings at 10 and 2 today, are you aligned?
3 Comments »
I was driving back from an outing with friends today and drove past the Goodwill store. I’ve lived in this town for over two years and while I try really hard to shop local, I’ve never ventured in. Today, I had a couple moments to spare and remembered a friend who went in a couple weeks ago and was met with a fantastic sale on sweaters, just what she had walked in to find.
My mom spent a fair amount of time in thrift stores when I was a kid. She loved bargin hunting. I sided with my dad, and found the process tedious and a bit embarrassing. There was a brief period of time in high school when I flirted with the goth crowd and spent my Saturdays trolling the vintage stores between Central and Harvard Square, but I never found anything remotely appropriate.
I didn’t have a goal today, I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, but I was curious. Would I find something worthy of the hunt?
Within minutes, I found the waterproof children’s mittens that had evaded our search. Poor Alex has spent the winter with mismatched mittens and was loosing that at a rapid rate. Tonight, I’ll attach a string to these new ones, thread them through the coat sleeves and hope they last two weeks.
As I was browsing the women’s rack, a very lovely man announced to the store that for the next half hour, all pieces of clothing were only $1.49. What? Did I hear him right? I had my hand on a pair of pants and wasn’t sold, until I heard the announcement . I grabbed the pants, added another pair, three shirts. I browsed the rest of the store, contemplated a fondue set but decided not to clutter up my cupboards.
I noticed that my current pocketbook has been shedding it’s pleather coating and stopped at the purse bin. After a moment or two, I found a styling brown leather bag and added it to my stash. I had just moments left before the sale was up and headed to the check out counter.
As the cashier was ringing up my bounty, I looked around and the shop was packed. There were people in every aisle, their arms laden with clothes. My grand total, $8.50.
Thrift is clearly the new black.
1 Comment »
ok, maybe it is.
I just woke up to find out we’ve been gifted with a snow day. This is why I live in New England, you don’t get snow days in the south. The children won’t let me go back to bed, so as I sit here drinking my morning coffee, I realized my day is a blank slate. Our post-Christmas tidying means I am somehow sitting in a clean home, my syllabi are in a holding pattern, waiting for approval from the powers that be, and my next bookclub book is sitting in the post office, waiting for delivery.
If there was ever a day to start Moby Dick, it is today. But (there is always a but, right) I’d also love to spend my day knitting in front of a fire. The two aren’t incompatible, thanks to the wonders of the internet and a little site called Librivox. Libravox keeps a repository of volunteer-recorded audiobooks that are in the public domain. I’ve subscribed the the RSS feed for Moby Dick and am downloading it into my I-Tunes podcast stream right now, one chapter at a time.
Long time readers of this blog know about my love for podcasts. I’ve downloaded podcasts to help me run a 5k, practice yoga, keep on top of new media and keeping up with my knit sibs. Thanks to Librivox, I’ve listened to Edith Wharton and Louisa May Alcott, and today, I’ll spend the day with Herman Melville and Edgar Allen Poe.
What are you doing with your snow day?
2 Comments »
I’m not banning anything this year, but after a conversation with my friend Monique on New Year’s Eve, I realized there are a few things I’d like to do in 2009.
In no particular order, here we go:
Read Moby Dick
I’ve got a bit of a 19th century whaling fetish, I’ve done the museums, read many books, but somehow have missed “the” book. I have three versions to choose from, one old and hand illustrated, one new with no pictures and one on my i-phone. No excuses. This will be the year.
Bloom @ Amy Stevens Online
I’ve always had a side consulting business, but this year, I’d like to take it to the next level. Put together a business plan, build out a website and begin to seek out more work as an audience hunter.
Climb Mt. Greylock
I’ve done most of the trails on my side of the mountain, but I’ve yet to make it to the top. It would be wrong, once the road is open, to hike down and walk home, and claim to have hiked the mountain, right?
Celebrate a birthday with some sort of splash.
I’m turning 40 this year, and I’d like to think that my 40s will be my best decade yet, so preparing myself for that milestone. I’d like to do something big to mark the occasion, a party? A trip to Krirpala ? Or maybe just climb to the top of Mt. Greylock?
I may need a reminder, so if you see me, ask me about the big whale, will you?
1 Comment »
The week between Christmas and New Years has always seemed like a bonus week to me – a gift when no-one expects business to get done, when you actually have the time to clean up your home a bit more (me? I cleaned the dish drying rack) and ideally tackle a project or two.
While I am working from home this week, I’ll also be plotting two courses I’d like to teach this summer, “Gender in Virtual Worlds” an upper level women’s studies course, and “1960s” an upper level history course. Both will be taught online over 6 week periods this summer. It’s been a while since I returned to the 1960s, but I’m thinking about using my book, “Daniel Shays’s Legacy? Marshall Bloom, Radical Insurgency and the Pioneer Valley as the outline.
What are you going to tackle this week?
3 Comments »
I spent far too much time this year playing in Photoshop. Much of it was inspired by the wonderful video series, “You Suck at Photoshop” Then I stumbled into the weird world of digital scrapbooking and just had to see what I could come up with.
So I present for you, our family holiday card.
Comment now »
I completely understand the furor over the selection of an anti-gay, pro-life minister for an inaugural speaker. But in the world of pragmatic politics, I’m going to let that slide if is a peace offering to distract Christian conservatives from causing a ruckus over the repeal of abstinence only education, which I heard was proposed last week and flew completley under the radar. [Now my source for that is a commentator on Fox News, and a google search couldn't confirm the story.]
And while we are at it, instead of writing a blank check to Detroit, let’s actually buy cars from them, — electric cars, hybrid cars, smart cars — can we replace the government fleet? Can we have a lottery and give the cars away?