Friday, March 26, 2010

kids and the internets

It was a bad day in choir last week. I believe that the major contributing factor was that these 5th graders had just watched the movie (in separate rooms) "boys get erections and girls get periods." That might ruin any happy-go-lucky 11 year old's day.

While no one actually mentioned the actual viewing of the movie, kids responded according to their personalities. They were loud, sullen, silly, and annoying. Mostly running the gamut, as only 11 year olds can, of emotional responses to having to "know" this knowledge in a group setting.

One girl in particular sat staring at me, while everyone else was "singing", with her lips sealed, her eyebrows furrowed and a decidedly "you can't make me sing" look on her face. In regular music class I let these things pass- it's not everyone's favorite thing- in choir (where they elect to be) it's a "no-go." When I asked her what the problem was she said "I don't like this song." (of course one of my favorites.)

I offer up one of my rare rants (not specifically to her) that includes "if you can't pull it together to sing here, maybe we Won't sing at the 5th grade graduation" and "I'm really disappointed in you" and "I'm going to quit talking and you're just going to sing so I won't say anything that I don't mean" and "I sure hope things change when we get back from Spring Break."

While their behavior was aggravating, given all of the contributing factors, it was to be expected. I realized this a little later and got over it mostly

Last night "you can't make me sing" girl friended me on Faceb00k. This afternoon she sent me this message:

Hey Mrs. Sophanne,
I am sorry for having an attitude in choir!!!! Next week after break I will come in ready to sing even if I don't like the song!!!! :)

The internet is nice for adults as a way to express themselves that might be less scary- more honest-true to themselves. Seems kids can find some use for that opportunity too.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Wool Peddler's Shawl Done

About 900 yards of malabrigo later, we have a Wool Peddler's Shawl from Cheryl Oberle's Folk Shawls.

I added an additional repeat of the pattern but other than that I just followed the rules. Go Figure.

There is a favorite thoughtful kindergarten aide at school who has the most beautiful red hair. I was working on this the other day while student teacher was teaching and realized that I really want to give this to her. All of me except the part that loves it too much to give it away. I'll let it finish blocking, admire it and then I will probably give her a surprise.

So There 10 in 2010. One Is Done. I cast on for the Kauni Swallowtail last night. I'm using the green transitioning Kauni rather than the traditional one.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Nothing says Happy 6th Anniversary like an Asian Ladybeetle Trap. In fact, we love each other so much we got "His and Hers" Ladybug Traps. They don't come that way but a Sharpie will make just about anything His and Hers. Much more practical than the iron sculpture the internets suggested. And hopefully will prevent us from wanting to burn the house down to get rid of those beetles.

While we're at it... we have His and Her alarm clocks. A necessity when he gets up 2 hours earlier than I do.

What we don't have are His and Her refrigerators. Not that it hasn't been suggested. He's such a bed-time snack-eater. I never was a treat buyer therefore didn't have to deal with the treats in the refrigerator. Now there is a constant supply of yummy fatty goodness which he eats only at bedtime and which I eat every time I'm a little "noshy." He was opposed to the separate refrigerators- anticipating, I suppose, the begging and whining for the combination and/or key to the treat fridge.

Happy 6th to us and if those Ladybeetle Traps catch the bugs the way Mr. Sophanne "caught" me, we're good to go. (holy crap was that corny-and he doesn't even read the blog to appreciate it.)

ETA- for clarification- these aren't your regular red and black ladybugs. These are swarming Japanese beetles that disguise themselves as ladybugs. You can still love ladybugs.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


I am not frequently sick (insert wood knocking). Usually I can feel my body starting to get something and some sleep kicks it right out. Today, however, I went home early feeling mostly "clammy." That's really the only way I have to describe it. So blog friends, not wanting to go to a doctor for "clammyness" and ruling pregnancy out as a possible diagnosis, what terrible illness might I have?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

some advice

If you're knitting a project with Blackwater Abbey Yarns and you get some Malabrigo in the mail, finish what you're doing BEFORE starting the Malabrigo project. In fact, probably unless you're knitting with cashmere, don't start a Malabrigo project until you've finished what you're working on. The softness sucks you in like nobody's business.

On the other hand, I'm pretty sure I'll finish the Wool Peddler's Shawl in Malabrigo before the end of March.

The two babies in my friend's belly are now on the planet. They couldn't wait any longer. Welcome Samuel and Jacob!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

the lunch room - my new laughing place

I've told you about Chicken Bob's non-sequiturs at lunchtime (physed guy)

Today we planned a little lunchtime special day. And by "we," I really mean "I." Today was to be non-sequitur day. Nothing was to relate to anything else. There would be no real conversation only endless amounts of unrelated facts and questions. The "gang" was all for it.

This was planned while Chicken Bob was at another school to be undertaken the next day he was here. We practiced a little bit to see if we could do it and mostly we did.

Today everyone showed up exactly on time for lunch. No hallway lollygagging for this devoted group of teachers.

And we did a pretty good job of not talking any sense. I'd like to tell you what ridiculous things everyone said but I was thinking so hard about my next unrelated comment that I didn't have the capacity to retain the words of others.

I do know someone said "I hear blue is in this spring." Someone else said "My dog has to have two teeth extracted."

Chicken Bob seemed puzzled but laughed along with it all. I don't think he ever figured out what might have been going on. In fact he said that today at lunch was funnier than last night at the bar.

The funniest part of this adventure into the absurd was my most favorite secretary (the one I will knit socks for if that tells you anything.) She's the best tricker on the planet. I figured she would be the most successful at maintaining absurdity. (She did in fact lead to the success of the candy-machine caper.) All she kept saying at various intervals was "The principal didn't call yet." and "I had spaghetti for dinner last night." That she kept repeating these was pretty funny. But then she poured the pepsi that she was drinking out of a bottle into her bowl of popcorn. This was not intentional. It was just that she was thinking so hard of what to say next she forgot to actually drink from the bottle. And it was the best part of the experiment.

Good teachers that we are, at the end of the half hour we discussed our success and failures and ways to improve the activity.

Failure Number One. Everyone started immediately machine-gunning their irrelevant pre-thought of phrases. After about ten minutes, we were fresh out and really struggling.

Failure Number Two. It's really difficult to completely ignore people when they mention a topic and talk about something else.

Plans for the future.

Not all conversation has to be unrelated. A topic can be introduced and after some commentary someone else can interject something irrelevant.

I may be wrong, but I think I've brought the joy of the absurd to the lunchroom.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


I don't have any kids. I think if ever I would have been with child I would have been the funniest most amazed pregnant person on the planet. I'm pretty sure I would have spent my time walking around pointing to my belly and shouting to the world "THERE'S A BABY IN HERE!!!!!" (to which everyone would regularly reply "yeah? so? You're not the first.")

As that has not happened, I am of late living vicariously through my friend who is on hospital bed rest with twins- scheduled to arrive in the next few weeks give or take a week.

Yesterday when visiting I walked in, pointed and said "YOU HAVE TWO BABIES IN YOUR BELLY!!!!! HOLY COW!!!!" This is slightly improved to the response I had several years ago when I would ask pregnant friends if they felt like Sigourney Weaver in Aliens.

And then the nurse came in to listen to the fetal heartbeats and I got tears in my eyes. It's a crazy life.

In other very different news...

A hero around these parts is "Big Ben" (Pgh Steeler QB.) He has found himself accused, for a second time, of sexual assault. His public persona does not really fit these accusations and it became yesterday's lunchroom topic of conversation.

Slightly Tacky Lunch Eater- So, what does everyone think of Big Ben?

Everyone- mumble mumble yeah, yeah, whatever.

Clever Lunch Eater (to slightly tacky)- What do YOU think?

Slightly Tacky Lunch Eater (ignoring the general rules of propriety in a public school even if it is the teachers lounge-and not really understanding you can't say anything anywhere-and she's over 50 so I don't think that will change) WELL... I think she offered to give him a blow job and he took her up on it.

Yours truly can keep up with the best of the pirates and rap stars and isn't reluctant to do so when she knows the environment doesn't frown upon it. This however, was not one of those moments and instead in the room, after a few spit takes, there was silence.

Our physed teacher "Chicken Bob" broke the silence. Yea, once a guy gets accused of something like that, others come out... like copy cat killers.

At this point I could NO LONGER keep quiet. With eye contact and a slight plea for forgiveness I sought the tentative permission of those who might be offended and said "Must have been a Serial Blower."

***Insert Spit Takes and Hysterical Laughter.***

Finally-10 in 2010 update

After yesterday's post, Yarnhog suggested that she would enjoy my efforts (however delusional) at trying to complete this Herculian task. In a small way I took this as a personal challenge. When I got home from the hospital, I wound a skein of Malabrigo and cast on for the Prairie Shawl. Clearly the solution to not finishing 10 in 2010 is to at least START 10 in 2010.

EDITED TO ADD: HOLY CRAP- I can't even repeat my own jokes... I didn't say Serial Blower. I said "Copycat Blower."

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

10 Shawls in 2010

So I joined the Ravelry group 10 Shawls in 2010. And it occurs to me that it is indeed March. March is the 3rd month of the year. I am only close to finishing one of these potential 10. It also occurs to me that the odds of me really finishing 10 in 2010 are slim to none unless of course they secretly mean 10 shawls in the next decade.

The yardage requirement for these shawls are much less than the shawls I have planned but I hates me a skimpy shawl.

In spite of the poor odds, I am going to continue to delude myself that I'll be able to do this.

I thought I'd document my delusion here by listing the shawls that I'm going to make. (all rav links)

Kilkenny Cable Shawl from Folk Shawls- in the yarn called for is about 2 skeins from being finished

Highland Shawl from Folk Shawls - in the yarn called for- about 50 rows into the whole thing.

Not started but planned include:

Eliina in some noro sock yarn

Wool Peddler's Shawl - in some malabrigo worsted

Matilda- in some laceweight that I have on hand from one festival or another.

Swallowtail- I ordered some Kauni for this one- somehow once it gets here I imagine it will go to the top of the list. If you plan on clicking any links, click this one. It's MonaR's swallowtail done in Kauni and it is scrumptious!

Romi's new Brandywine - in the yarn called for color birch

I realize there are only seven and not ten listed here but I'm betting that in the next 10 years there may be 2 or 3 more shawl patterns to love and add to the list.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Here in Whoville

I read the book The Help by Kathryn Stockett. Recommended by a "what are you reading" blog. I recommend it as well.

I watched the movie The Soloist. Liked it. Usually I don't love movies that have music/musicians as part of the plot (in the same way lawyers don't like Law And Order) This was different and worth the time.

I started a sock in a (k) 2 rows (k2p2) 2 rows pattern.

I walked the dog.

I was invited and will be attending a Brandon Mably knitting workshop. So glad for the invite and relieved to have plans for an adventure.

Yarnhog has some baby chickens.

I've got two and a half more skeins of yarn to go on Kilkenny from Folk Shawls.

I watched Mr. Sophanne play Super Mario Galaxy on Wii.

The sun was out today and it made me smile but that whole "change of the season" thing requiring me adapting to change leaves me a little tentative. But you know, something has to.

I haven't anything clever to say. But I missed the blog. Just count this as a Whoville post- We are here! We are here!