Monthly Archives: December 2012

Why aren’t there anymore burnouts?


When I was a kid, there were burnouts, and lots of ’em.  You could find them around dumpsters, in alleys and sometimes in convenience store parking lost. They wore earth tones and smoked and didn’t seem to go in too much for grooming. They were mysterious.

When you called someone a burnout, it was an insult, but it was also an acknowledgement of their courage to cross the line, to be something that society at large clearly disdained.

Where are they now?

I have made a semi-concerted effort over the last month or so to look for them and THEY ARE NOWHERE.

They’re like the honeybees, only worse. They’ve completely disappeared.


This is why I’m proud (and really shouldn’t be).


I wish there was a graphic for a fanfare, preferably Aaron Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man, because if there was, I’d have you hearing it right now.

The curtains are done. Done. They look adorable, are relatively close to the same size as each other, and they are hung up in Amelia’s room.

Here is proof:

They took way too long, but here they are!

I really couldn’t be more pleased. The fabric we chose (mostly her but with an unsarcastic thumbs up from me) does a lot for the room, in which two walls are blue and two are green. That’s a healthy dose of red right there and it’s lively.

It should not have taken me four months. In retrospect, it was a 4-5 day project, but fear of the next step kept me from making progress. Then I’d get so fed up with my lack of progress that I’d convince myself to just do the next step and then stop. And so it was 5 days of work, spread out over 4 months of worrying and watching “how to” videos and being afraid I’d screw it up.

Next time I’ll do better.

Why does my geekness sneak up on me?


Two incidents in the last week have cast my inner geekness in sharp relief.

First, although chronologically the second, I gave a full on, audible squeak of joy when I received an email telling me that the next season of Bones is now available for me to watch instantly on Netflix.  I started watching because I missed David Boreanaz, gradually grew uninterested in finding out who killed each episode’s victim, but remained tied to the multi-episode arcs of the main characters. Plus, it’s great to have on while knitting. I can catch everything by just listening. (Side note: I’ve finished my Christmas knitting [see below] and moved on to a delightful Christmas cross-stitch portrait of late East Coast rapper Notorious B.I.G.)

Secondly, and oh-so-much worse, here is a transcript of an actual conversation I had with myself while finishing said Christmas knitting, and watching X-Men 2:

If Wolverine counts as a non-human, I think he’d be my first choice for non-human fictional mate.
–Wait! That’s crazy. The Doctor, as played by David Tennant, would totally be number 1!
But what about Spike? Spike for sure. Season Six Spike.
–You’d take Spike over Angel? There are some days when Angel would really do the trick.
You are a giant 40-year old loser. Finish your knitting.

Which I did, but I didn’t stop pondering the question. And, since my need for a laugh far outweighs my concern for how people think of me, I slapped it up on facebook. The response was swift and enormous. Mostly from gay men, but from several other combinations of orientation and gender as well.  Captain Jack Harkness got thrown into the mix, although I think he wouldn’t qualify as non-human until after he becomes immortal.  I even got some background info on the genetic heritage of Wolverine.

Incidentally, if I was married to him, I think I’d call him “The Wolverine,” at least in public. It would be like being married to a Duke or a King.

“The Wolverine loves my lasagna.”

“The Wolverine has been getting home so late from work.”

“The Wolverine bought me the most beautiful sweater for my birthday!”

Interestingly, as the thoughts rolled for a few days, The Wolverine gradually lost out. The Doctor fell away–who wants to worry about regeneration?!?! And even Angel took a back seat. And that leaves Spike. Steamy, Season Six, Spike. Witty, tough, conflicted Spike. Unable to hurt anyone because of the chip, and with that clipped British accent. Winner winner chicken dinner. Unexpected bonus–I’d always look SUPER TAN next to him.

Why has this become my signature gesture?


First off, it’s appalling that I launched this and failed to keep it up. I’m making a three week early New Year’s resolution to do better. As Ghandi says, or Ghandi’s wife, at least in the movie when they talk about him being celibate–it is a solemn vow.

I’ve noticed, of late, that the sarcastic two thumbs up has become my signature gesture. I use it to my kids, but not about them. If we’re talking about some fourteen year old that can’t lay off the chew I might use the gesture. It’s two thumbs up, obviously, but it has to be accompanied by a face that says, “Way to go, you asshole.”  It’s like a squinty eyed, smile-with-only-the-middle-of-your mouth, accompanied by a slight, fast double nod. Try it. See?

I use it most frequently to other drivers when they screw up or are rude. I’ve never been a big giver of the finger (I think this is because the first time I tried to give someone the finger–7th grade–I put my ring finger up–after much effort–and my intended victim, Jimmy Steele, yelled, “That’s the wrong finger!” as I rode away on my bike) and this gesture is a nice replacement. There’s something about it that makes me feel superior without being crass.

I’m going to look for more occasions to use it.