20 October 2008


The lovely Cynthia has talked me into joining up with her, and many like minded bloggers, to celebrate NaBloPoMo -- National Blog Posting Month -- by, obviously, Posting Every Day For a Month. That month being November.

So I'm getting ready for the marathon. If you join up, you pretty much get to make your own rules, Cynthia says. So you can faithfully write every day, even if it's just a little bit, OR you can write ahead on the days (such as American Thanksgiving) when you don't have a computer.

Here's my plan: I'm taking the laptop to New Mexico for Thanksgiving. So I can predict now that I will be posting ALL about the difficulties I'm having finding gluten free, dairy free enchiladas.

14 October 2008

Medieval Debate Procedures

I like to blog in a timely fashion, as proof that I am Keeping Up With Stuff.
So, since the third and last presidential candidate debate is coming up soon, I'll share with you the medieval view of the proceedings, as given to us by Bayeux Rhythms:

06 October 2008

Family Photos in the Email

I had treats in the email this morning -- my double-second-cousin Melinda sent photos that she'd gotten from her mother. Taken around 1955 (probably on Long Island), they include this picture of my great-grandmother, Berthe Eskelund Lindtveit. Things I know about her: 1) Her famous fiskeboller actually came out of a can; 2) MANY of us have "her" krumkage iron, cause she would buy them, use them, and then give them away to daughters and grand-daughters; 3) she remembered the primroses on the fjords in the spring; 4) she told my mother that she left Norway because she had "the wanderlust."
Maybe that was true, at least in part. Whenever I go to Norway, I wonder again how anybody could ever leave it. It's got to be the most gorgeous place on the planet. Also, the food is tasty (see fiskeboller and krumkake, above; also lefse, strawberry cream cake, lingonberry jam, and salmon. Lots of salmon). Also, the humans are cheerful and sane.
But time and economics doth happen to us all. Only Ireland lost a higher proportion of her people to America, over the middle of the 19th century and into the first part of the 20th. When the hard times come, you do what you have to. You remember the primroses. You get your brother the sea captain to bring more fiskeboller.
Thanks, Melinda! Nice to start the week with treats. And some excellent perspective.

03 October 2008

Palin Debate Flow Chart

Boing Boing has been kind enough to post the "Sarah Palin Debate Chart," courtesy of ph33r and loathing. Thanks!

01 October 2008

My Latest Advice on Papers

My latest advice on papers, which I am able to give you because of the one I am reading Right Now, is:

Do not, especially if you are the sort of student who has not shown up ONCE in class so far (we're now at midterms), begin your paper with a statement about how the best literature in the world has been produced by British writers, especially some from the twentieth century, though class in the last few weeks has opened your eyes to the wonders of medieval literature, because

a) It can't possibly have done that, since you weren't here, and

b) even had I not had the training I've had, I would be able to Quickly! Like a Shot! recognize this sentence (and indeed, the next four pages, as it turns out) as Blithering Meant to Take Up Space Until You Reach the Page Count.

Head. Desk.

I'm going to go eat my dinner; tomorrow I'm sure I'll be able to approach this paper calmly, pointing out simply that there is no thesis (at least not one that I've discovered yet), and that if you've only got 5 pages, you need to actually focus on an aspect of one work, in order to discuss it fully. Rather than, you know, discussing All of Medieval Literature.

And by that time I'll be able to be polite about it.