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April 30, 2009

A brief dissertation on why I did not become a professional pianist:

because I will never be that good.

April 28, 2009

This is just to say...

Normally, I work very hard to keep certain topics out of my blog. Religion, politics, money and any other traditional powder-keg topic are strictly verboten for a whole host of reasons, but mostly because I'd just really prefer to keep my opinion on such things out of the Internet Archive. But just this once, an article has caused me to want to break my rule a little bit. Call me crazy, but I'm interested in some reactions from other people.

Now, this article (Say Yes. What Are You Waiting For?) was interesting to me on several levels.

Go read it. All of it.
I'll wait...

You back? Good.

Full disclosure: I've been married to my college sweetheart for almost 8 years. We married when I was 22 and he was 23 (if you do the math, you now know how old we are, which gives you some context as to why I find this article interesting, I think). We didn't have a lot of money when we first got married, but we both have college degrees in good fields and are hard workers. We now both work highly-skilled technical jobs and are senior members of our respective teams. We own a 3-year-old house in a nice neighborhood in a beautiful "little suburb" of San Francisco. We have no children and can't really make up our minds whether we want to go down that path or not.

So. The article struck several chords with me as I read through it. The feminist part of me was offended at the idea that the rules are somehow different for men than for women. That there is this double-standard, captured perfectly by this statement:

...women's "market value" declines steadily as they age, while men's tends to rise in step with their growing resources (that is, money and maturation)...

That women are valuable only in terms of their ability to pop out babies, and men are valuable only in terms of their ability to pay for said babies.

The intellectual part of me is interested in the deeper implications of the various statistics:

...men and women were separated by an average of more than four years in 1890 and about 2.5 years in 1960. Now that figure stands at less than two years.
Marriages that begin at age 20, 21 or 22 are not nearly so likely to end in divorce as many presume.

and what they all mean in terms of the supposed perfect equal marriage or even in terms of trophy wives (or avoidance thereof). I mean, that part is interesting purely on an anthropologic level. I sense a bit of research on this topic in my future.

The humanist, compassionate part of me is heartbroken by the number of couples I know battling exactly this problem:

...women's fertility is more or less fixed, yet they largely suppress it during their 20s -- their most fertile years -- only to have to beg, pray, borrow and pay to reclaim it in their 30s and 40s

but wonders at the point of view of the writer of that article that would cause him to phrase the sentence exactly that way.

Maybe it's just the part of me that hates to be pigeonholed that doesn't like the sentiments in this article. Maybe it's not the feminist, the intellectual or the humanist parts of me, but the individualist part. Or maybe I just didn't like his tone.

What say you, Internet?

April 16, 2009

As seen on Facebook

A friend of mine posted the following comment in a discussion on Facebook.

Name concealed to protect the... well... embarrassed.


April 15, 2009


(Trust me - it's worth it.)

April 13, 2009

Anybody need a computer?

As you know, we are computer people. Schondy and I collect computers the way some people collect... blue jeans. Or running shoes. It's not something we buy every day, but we pick up a new one at least once a year. And, um, this year is no exception.

Earlier this year, it was my turn for a new computer. I got a shiny new 24" Intel iMac to replace my shiny, not-so-new 20" iMac G5. So now, there's an iMac at the house in need of a loving owner. It's not an Intel machine, so it won't run Windows or any of your PC software, but it's got plenty of Oompf for running Mac software.

I'm thinking I'm going to post it on craigslist, but thought I'd put the word out here first to see if there was any interest among the 2-3 people who read my blog.


The Knitwit Papers, Chapter XXVI: Baby Surprise Jacket #2

Date Begun: 01/07/2008
Date Completed: 01/18/2008
Yarn: Bernat Softee Baby in Yellow and White
Needles: US7 DPN (metal)
Source: Baby Surprise Jacket from The Knitting Workshop
The Story:
Well, there's not really a whole heck of a lot to talk about here, since most of this has already been discussed here. Here's the second of this year's never-ending string of baby jackets.

This was made for one of the twin girls born to a friend from work. Since I'd already done one of these, this was quite a bit easier than the first. But as I keep telling Schondy, I'm constantly amazed when it actually works out right. :-)

So, um, yeah. Baby Jacket #2 in Yellow and White with little baby chick buttons.


April 1, 2009

The Knitwit Papers, Chapter XXV: A Hat Fit for Me

Date Begun: 12/31/2008
Date Completed: 01/02/2009
Yarn: Lion Brand Wool in Winter White
Needles: US7 DPN (metal)
Source: A Hat Fit for a Boyfriend from Stephanie Knits
The Story:
This hat was the second try to keep my ears warm while walking the dog. As I posted before, attempt #1 failed miserably, mostly because I have a small head and that pattern was not designed for people with small heads. I could probably adjust the gauge and try again on that one, but who has the patience for doing the same pattern over and over? (Hint: Not Me.)

The top of this one was really intriguing and I wanted to know how it was done, so this was to become my dog-walking hat. This seemed like a reasonably simple task, and the top of the hat was actually much simpler than it appeared (hooray for simple things that look complicated!). Turns out it's a good thing I was working on this over the holiday break because I ended up needing the extra time to undo and redo the top for a grand total of three, yes, THREE completions of this hat. Why would a person do that, you ask?

Well, turns out that this particular pattern was designed to cover only the tops of the wearer's ears. I know it says that quite plainly in the pattern, but I wasn't really prepared for just how little of my ears were covered. And since the whole point of this exercise was to keep my ears warm, well, that meant I needed to modify the hat to fit my needs.

So the first try gave me a hat that was 5.5". WAAAAAAY too short.

Try number two gave me a hat that was 6". Ears partially covered, but only if I don't move my head... ever.

Try number three was the charm - 7".

The really obnoxious part of all this undoing and redoing was that this hat was knit from the bottom to the top, meaning that I did all the easy bits - the part closest to my face first. So when I say I had to keep trying, what that means is that I did the top of the hat 3 times. I am now excruciatingly aware of exactly how the top of that hat went together. And while it was a relatively simple thing to do, I don't really relish the idea of repeating that little exercise any time soon. So if you want a hat like this one, I'm happy to do it, but please tell me ahead of time just how much of your ears you want covered. :-)
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