Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry, merry!

Happy Christmahannakwanzaadanstice to all!

As my gift to you, I present the following, which, although it has definite Christian overtones, is non-denominational in its hilarity.

Now get off the internet and go celebrate!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

An update, because I promised.

Well, I refused to take any guff from that take-home final.

I gave my final project what-for.

And I took my final paper out into the back field and beat it severely, like that scene with the printer in Office Space.

Yeah, this is what I did to my finals:

And now they're dead done. And I slept in today until 1:00 and I'm writing this in my pajamas and I'M NOT SORRY. In fact, this is the best I've felt since school started in August. So join me in a great sigh of contentment: *ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.*

And now, less than a week before Christmas, I finally have time to put up the tree. I'm looking forward to next December when I will actually be able to start the Christmas festivities at the beginning of the month, rather than three weeks in.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

BOY, you WILL . . .

That's how Shallow Man's theory of discipline starts out. I've decided I'm going to see how it works in semi-real life.

All right, take-home final. This is it.

You don't like me and I certainly don't like you.

But you're going to get done.


That's all there is to it.

In other words,


you WILL

be written and printed



Thank you.

That will be all.

I'll let you know how it turns out, folks. Stay tuned.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Bartering; or, What I Really Want for Christmas

Dear Santa,

I know I haven't written to you in a long time but this year I really, really want something, and I was hoping you could put in a good word for me.

I know, I know, when people ask me what I want for Christmas I usually tell them I want an iPod touch, or a copy of My Fair Lady, or Lego Rock Band or maybe even just a pair of fuzzy socks. Because you know how I love my fuzzy socks.

But that's not really what's at the top of my Christmas list this year.

Santa, this year I would like a firstborn child. I know it's a huge responsibility. But I'd take care of it myself. (Shallow Man would help.) And it's not just a toy, either. It's incredibly versatile. You can trade it in or sign it away for just about anything.

Or so I'm told. Because right now all I've got to barter with is that old standby, the pint of blood. Which is great and all, but I think I'd like to upgrade.

See, a lot of my friends have one. Some of them even have second-borns, you know, like as a back-up. And I want to be one of the cool kids. You know, because everybody's doing it.

I know some people might just ask for a positive pregnancy test, but I'm asking for the end product right now. Just to be safe. Because I had a whole bunch of positive tests back in May which say I should have 8/9ths of a firstborn right now. But apparently there was a recall on that particular model last July (and the same thing happened back in 2007 as well, if you remember), and I'd just rather not go through that again.

If you decide to give me an iPod touch as well, I won't complain, because it would be nice to have some tunes to listen to during all those sleepless nights, or at least to have one thing that will stop making noise at the time I designate, and where the only part that involves "changing" would be batteries.

But I'd rather have the firstborn child, if it's all the same to you. Heck, I'll even offer you a pint of blood and a . . . well, make that two pints of blood.

Respectfully and very hopefully yours, etc.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Quick Thought

So I'm watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (woot!) and one of the performing acts is announced as "Boys Like Girls."

And I've just gotta ask...

Is that a verb or a preposition?

Because inquiring minds want to know.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go eat a staggering amount of good food. Trytophan, here I come!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Remember, remember; or, Not.

Well, Guy Fawkes, I have failed you.

My memory + Guy Fawkes = EPIC FAIL.

What with Stump the Professor and two funerals and the midterm for my class and studying for the MPRE, and let's not under any circumstances forget Ratchet and Clank or SYTYCD and OH my old nemesis is back, I forgot Guy Fawkes Day.

So yeah, that whole
Remember, remember the fifth of November

thing? Totally not what I did.


Epic. Fail.

Well, I guess there's always next year. . . .

At least my forgetfulness was not the result of getting a manicure. (Name that reference for 27 points!)

If you wish to show your sympathy and solidarity, feel free to leave a belated penny for the Guy.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

How To

It's no big secret that there are no Little Nibs or Shallow Jrs running about the house here, nor is it much of a secret that we have been wishing this was different for some time now.

But I think I've found something that might help:

How to Make a Baby from Cassidy Curtis on Vimeo.

Ah. Well, now I see where we've been going wrong.* Problem solved! We'll be in Sunday School in no time!

*Boy, were we WAY off on that one!

Friday, November 06, 2009

Three for Grandpa, 1914-2009

The Secret

We have a secret, just we three:
The robin, and I, and the sweet cherry tree.
The bird told the tree, and the tree told me,
And nobody knows it but just us three.

Of course the robin knows it best,
Because she built the -- I won't say the rest --
And laid the four little --somethings-- in it.
I'm afraid I shall tell it every minute!

But if the tree and the robin don't peep,
I'll try my best the secret to keep.
But when the little somethings fly about,
Then the whole secret will be out.

- Anonymous

The Swing

How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!

Up in the air and over the wall,
Till I can see so wide,
River and trees and cattle and all
Over the countryside --

Till I look down on the garden green,
Down on the roof so brown --
Up in the air I go flying again,
Up in the air and down!

- Robert Louis Stevenson


A girl. Arms outstretched, swooping wildly
across the sky, returning mildly
to earth, on the end of a string
madly running, she catches the wind,
rises aloft. She holds the twine
to her ear to hear the wind sing.

A grandfather. Smiling slightly,
weathered hands grip his own string tightly
hovering steadily in the sky,
teaching her to hear the wind sing,
watching her swoop. He is remembering
the giddy new thrill of first learning to fly.


Touched you last, Grandpa!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Salmon Carrot Cake; or, Good Grief, I Love Parentheses!

So back when I was an English undergrad, I had to take a course entitled "Introduction to the English Language." I called it my crazy language class. The professor (whose name, and I am not making this up, was David Bowie) opened the class by saying that he was a Linguistics professor and that he didn't know why English majors had to take this course as a requirement, but that the powers that be didn't really know where else to put the class.

I spent a fair amount of the class keeping a detailed record of the random things this professor would say, along with the three other people who sat in the back right-hand corner of the class. One of my favorite moments (besides the time when he stopped, mid-class, to tell us "Where I grew up, hurricanes were the natural disaster of choice, so earthquakes just freak me out") was when he was talking about how the mind processes things we think we hear but that just don't make sense. The example he used was from his youth in the South (yayy for sight rhymes!) and a group of ladies (in my mind I picture a Sewing Circle like in Anne of Green Gables) were discussing what goodies and delectables to bring to the Big Function. (Probably a bazaar. Which, when I was little, I always thought people were saying "bizarre." This could explain some of my dislike of shopping.)

BUT ANYWAY. One lady said, according to my professor, "Salmon carrot cake sounds nice." (His response: "And it DOESN'T sound nice.") Everyone did a bit of a spit-take until they remembered that they were in the South, where people insist on speaking in such a way as makes misunderstandings mandatory (think: that moment in Gettysburg where Johnny Reb explains that the Confederacy is fighting for their rats), and realized that what she was really saying was "Cinnamon Carrot Cake" (which does sound nice), but her crazy accent had produced gobbledegook which everyone's brains had translated as "Salmon Carrot Cake."

Mmmmm… imagined malapropisms…. yum.

Well, I told you that story so I could tell you this one.

There's a moment in the Disney version of Peter Pan where this crazy pirate (I think he's wearing a pink shirt, but I may be wrong on this) is sitting up in the riggings with a (very fake-looking) accordion (seriously, it has no buttons!) and singing. (Yodeling, almost.) And Captain Hook loses patience with the long, drawn-out caterwauling and shoots him (whereupon you hear the sound of a falling fake accordion and a splash). And cute Mr. Smee tsks at him and says, "Oh, Cap'n. Shooting a man in the middle of his cadenza? 't ain't good form, you know!"

Yeah, I like that part.

But it wasn't until I was older that I actually realized that the word was "cadenza." As in, an improvised or written-out ornamental passage played or sung by a soloist or soloists, usually in a "free" rhythmic style, and often allowing for virtuosic display. (Thanks, Wikipedia!)

No, what I had heard as a child and for a rather ridiculously long time afterward was "credenza." As in, one of these:

It gives the line a whole new meaning, doesn't it?

Okay, everyone, all together now:

Mmmmm… imagined malapropisms…. yum!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

In which I repeatedly digress; or, Another new addiction.

Once again, I need to confess.

But let me back up a little bit.

I like the TV show 24. I used to watch it regularly before it jumped about seventeen sharks at once during season five or so. (If anyone missed that moment, I have two words for you: Vampire Jack.) I still will watch it occasionally, though, because Shallow Man evidently has a higher shark tolerance than I do.

I also have a fond weakness for Joss Whedon.

These two facts together meant that I was watching Fox on a regular basis back in January. And, as with every other January in memory, Fox started running promos for its fall lineup. Yes. Commercials IN JANUARY for shows that wouldn't air until September at the earliest. (In past years, September has rolled around and they've announced the series premiere for a show and I would stop, confused, because I was SURE it had been on the air forever. Which it had been. Or at least 30-second snippets of it.) Which bothers me, because I am usually of the opinion that overhype, even of a good thing, can ruin what's being hyped.

And if the hype-age continues and escalates non-stop all summer (when I'm also watching Fox regularly for amazing dance goodness), it makes me even more annoyed.

And also very conflicted if it's something that looks like something I'll like. Because my contrary streak wants to purposely not watch it just because it's been shoved down my throat for NINE months. I don't think advertising campaigns for a TV show should last the same amount of time as the gestational period of a human. But maybe that's just me.

But I really, really, really like singing and dancing and musicals. So I decided, when the series premiere finally came around, to give it a chance. Just once. Just to see.

I am, of course, talking about Glee.

Leaving aside the fact that the pilot aired I think three times before the official series premiere. Never mind that I'd had people asking me all summer if I'd seen Glee yet. Don't pay any attention to the endless commercials that have been running all year.

Once I saw it, I loved it. I forgave everything. Because it's fun and smart and sassy and full of singing and dancing and oh my goodness Matthew Morrison. Yes, that Matthew Morrison. The Matthew Morrison who, as Lt. Cable in the most recent Broadway revival of South Pacific hit one of the most gloriously beautiful high notes I've ever heard in my life in "Younger than Springtime." If I believed in putting up music players in my blog sidebar (which I don't, because they always make my browser crash; if you have one on your blog and I still read your blog it means I really love you) then I would have my blog sing that note to you pretty much non-stop. (Okay, not non-stop. I'd throw in most of the rest of the SP soundtrack and Donna Murphy singing "One Hundred Easy Ways" in Wonderful Town. But with plenty of High Note thrown in.)

Well, with all that, how could I not love it? I can't unreservedly recommend it, as it veers into very PG-13 territory from time to time, and the way they portray the not-pregnant wife is beyond the point of unbelievability (no person in that situation would naturally react like that). But for the most part it is, as far as I can tell in my admittedly limited experience, the best show on TV right now with the possible exception of So You Think You Can Dance which did I mention I'm going to see in concert in less than two months and YIPPEE for that? (Yeah, I don't watch too many TV shows. I'm more of a movie girl, or a discover-the-amazing-TV-show-AFTER-it's-been-canceled-or-is-just-about-to-be-canceled-so-I-guess-I'll-just-watch-TV-on-DVD kind of girl. See, e.g., Arrested Development, Firefly, Gilmore Girls, Pushing Daisies which also by the way does anyone have the DVD for PD so I can see more than the one partial-episode I've seen?)

But it still hadn't moved to "addiction" phase. Until last night's episode, which featured this sequence:

And there you have it, folks.

My name is Elliespen and I am addicted to Glee.

P.S. If you've missed out completely on this show so far because, say, you've been living under a rock for the past nine months or possibly just because you have higher television standards than I and never even flip past Fox, you can catch up on all the episodes so far on hulu.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Wouldn't You Know It; or, "It's Possible Pig."

So yesterday Shallow Man had an unpleasant sore throat. He even refrained from yelling at all during the football game we went to, and was popping cough drops for most of the day. But we didn't think much of it.

Until I woke up this morning with a really bad sore throat. And not the kind you get from yelling at a football game—I can tell the difference. No, this was the full-on sick, swollen lymph nodes, have-fun-because-you've-caught-a-bug type of sore throat. And I was all achy and my cough was a lot worse than usual.

I was ready to blame Shallow Man's stupid "my-immune-system-made-it-through-South-America-for-two-years" habits, which dictate that if there is an illness to be found, he'll have it for 8-24 hours and I will catch it twice and be sick for at least a week.

Except he was WORSE today. Fever, chills, sore throat, cough, etc., etc., etc., every single symptom listed on all those YOU WILL CATCH SWINE FLU AND DIE websites. Which means, if he's really sick, that 1) it is actually something, 2) I'm going to be even more of a melted puddle of misery in 24 hours, and 3) well, so much for school or work this week, since all the YOU WILL CATCH SWINE FLU AND DIE websites say you need to stay away from large groups until 24 hours after the fever breaks.

So we're staying home. Because even though I'm not [usually] the [extremely] paranoid type, if it involves something serious and contagious like potential swine flu or pneumonia or what have you, I believe you should stay home, even you don't care about your own health, out of consideration for those around you. Don't be like the girl sitting in class behind Shallow Man at the law school last week who was, between fits of coughing up a lung, telling how her doctor had tested her for pneumonia and the results would be in that afternoon.

No, folks, if you potentially have something serious, please do me the courtesy I am now showing you and stay far, far away from me.

Which is my short way of saying, we'll probably see you next week.

And now I'm going back to bed.

P.S. Many enthusiastic thanks to the MotionDeSmiths team for braving the nest of germs and bringing us all the essentials for proper recovery: delicious dinner, yummy dessert, and a bunch of old Star Trek episodes. You guys rock.

P.P.S. I also do be ashamed to own that yesterday passed without my sharin' a hearty chorus o' "Happy International Talk Like a Pirate Day To Ye" with me hearties. Here's a bottle o' rum lifted in hopes that yer plunders were bloody, yer wenches pulchritudinous, yer decks properly swabbed, and yer planks well-trod by scurvy lubbers. Avast, me mateys! Belay that yargh-ing!

P.P.P.S. And no, this post's title is NOT missing a comma.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Let me introduce . . .

Well, folks, I have some exciting news for you. Today we have a very distinguished guest here at The Scritchy Nib and...

(whispered aside) Wait, what? Who wrote this? "Very" distinguished? Really? . . . In fact, is "distinguished" even the word we want to be using here? . . . So maybe not distinguished, but still a guest . . . Or not. . . . Did we issue an invitation or anything like that? No? So not really a guest, either. Um . . . how about we just say:

Click here.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I believe you have my stapler.

So does anyone remember that small scene in the movie Office Space (which I've only seen edited on TV, but really, who hasn't wanted to take the recalcitrant printer or other bit of office equipment out to the back field and whack it with a baseball bat?) where you hear this squeaking noise going up and down repeatedly and then the camera pans over to the next cubicle where the girl answers the phone and it's her voice pitch changing as she says "Hello" and "Please hold" that was making the noise the whole time?

Yeah, me neither.*

But I'm sitting at my carrel here at the law school at 5:36 p.m. when most people are gone so the few people who are left feel safe talking a bit louder than they otherwise would, and the tone of their talking is having the same effect where it sounds like some sort of cricket or small baby bird has made its way into the law library and is chirping whenever someone says a word containing the letter "s" anywhere in it.

Which of course, leaves me torn between the desire to save that poor baby bird and the urge to find that bug and kill it (or at the very least make it leave the building).

Which I guess is the long way of saying that the reading for tomorrow's class has failed to catch my interest.

*Actually, I totally remember this part. I just couldn't find a clip online quickly and didn't feel like making a protracted search effort. If one of all y'alls finds it, though, please feel free to share it with the class.

Monday, August 17, 2009

And I ask myself . . .

Why is it, do you think, that smoke detector batteries only die, thus causing the smoke detector to beep periodically until you unplug it, between the hours of three and five in the morning? Why is it always during the hours where you are most likely to be in deep sleep mode, causing you to wake up to a beeping alarm in a state of intense confusion and grogginess, leading to disorganized panic? Why can't they ever die at, say, 6:20 p.m.? Hmmm?

The sad thing is, this happened very early Saturday morning and my sleep schedule STILL isn't back on track yet. Grrr!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

In which the hubby gets a new nickname.

So we teach Primary, as I've mentioned before. In order to keep the kids in order we have them earn points for doing things like bringing their scriptures or wearing their CTR rings or not strangling each other during Sharing Time. (This latter activity actually loses them points. And brain cells, one would imagine.) When they collect 100 points they get to have a party of their choice. Tonight we had an ice cream party with ridiculous numbers of toppings and five different flavors of ice cream.

At one point Shallow Man was following the directions on the Chocolate Fudge Magic Shell bottle and Shaking Well Before Using. Of course, that was when he found out that he had neglected to completely screw the lid back on after removing the inner seal. Chocolate Fudge Magic Shell went all over the place, mostly on the face and shirt of one of our Primary kids.

PK was a good sport about it, though. He cleaned up as well as he could with water and a paper towel. I think a bowl full of an 85-15 mixture of Sprinkles and Ice Cream went a long way towards appeasing any upset feelings. Later on, when Shallow Man was apologizing to PK, PK not only informed us that his mother is "a forgiver" (which is good, because she's also a counselor in the Primary presidency), but also made this remark to Shallow Man:

PK (sporting an impish grin on his really-too-adorable-to-be-legal face): "Maybe we could change your name from Brother [Shallow Man] to Brother Clumsy."

I think we may be on to something here.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

On a much more personal note...

It's been a long time since my last post, and while that isn't terribly unusual, the reason for this particular lapse is.

This has been a difficult month as Shallow Man and I have gone through our second encounter with miscarriage. I'm not going to go into great detail about it here, though. Instead, I'd like to direct you to my new blog. This is not something I would normally post about, but I've had the strong feeling that I should share this experience in the hopes that it may help someone else.

Please don't feel obligated to follow the new blog, as I will continue posting here for all other topics. However, if you or someone you know has been dealing with infertility, miscarriage, adoption, or any related issues, please feel free to pass the word along or add your comments to the mix.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

An orphan, but not often.

I am sitting at a desk in my sister's old room in my parents' house as I write this. I'm camping out here overnight even though my parents and sisters are out of town, since Shallow Man is flying back into town on an 11:35 p.m. flight and who wants to drive another hour to get home at that point in time?

Not me!

I've been an orphan for the last few days while Shallow Man was out of town, and feeling a bit neglected because my sister pointed out that none of my family loves me. Well, not in so many words. What she SAID was, "Did you know you're the only family member who's not going on vacation this weekend?"

Yeah, they've all abandoned me. Shallow Man was in DC for an interview (and coming back late tonight as aforementioned), the parents and my two younger sisters are at Mount Rushmore (hence the empty house), my brother and his wife and son went camping, and my other sister and her husband and son are visiting her in-laws.

And I'm here (i.e., not on vacation).

I ask you, where's the love?

Oh, well. At least I have the house to myself, and I only promised not to burn anything important...

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Raising awareness.

Whenever people ask me if I have any pet peeves, my standard answer is "People who commit apostrophe abuse." It's a pretty good way to see if this person and I are destined to be BFFs, good friends, casual acquaintances, mortal enemies or "let's-just-pretend-this-introduction-never-happeneds" based on their respective responses:

BFFs: "I KNOW! I can't stand the villains! (falls into sobs at the thought of the poor, bruised bodies of abused apostrophes) Oh, the humanity!"*
Good friends: "Yes. Why can't people just learn that apostrophes do not make things plural?"**
Casual acquaintances: "Um... Okay."
Mortal enemies: "Thats stupid. When a book gets it's apostrophe's wrong its the best thing ever. How are you're celery stalk's?"
LJPTINHs: "What is an apostrophe?"

So now that you all know exactly where you stand in my regard (or why I never answer your calls or emails, etc.), I would also like to give you the solution. I know you're all just dying to be BFFs with me. And once you get the proper help for your condition, I'd be more than happy to hang out sometime. Call me when you're ready. Or if you need a sponsor. Or, you know, if you just feel like calling. Whatever.

*Actually, if someone ever did give me this response, I have to be honest and say I'd probably just smile, nod and back away verrry slowly.
**Except in very, very special situations, like the tag for this post.

Monday, May 04, 2009


So I figure it's about time for a new post, but as I am once again doing epic battle against my old nemesis, the cold of the century, I'm going to pull the old if-I-post-a-randomly-cool-picture-they-might-not-realize-I-didn't-actually-write-a-post trick. Enjoy, and I'll try to get a real post out soon.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Free stuff for you, part the second.

OH. And speaking of free stuff, there are still two spots left from the other post. I'm doing this not so much as a what-the-heck-let's-DO-this-meme thing but as a give-myself-something-constructive-to-do-with-my-free-time-over-the-summer-so-I'm-not-left-to-my-own-devices-because-we-all-know-that-can-only-end-in-tears thing.

So please, please, can't at least two more of you find it in the goodness of your hearts to comment on that other post and get the free stuff?

You don't actually have to sign up to do it on your own blog (although you can if you want, or even in lower numbers, like just doing it for one or two people). I'll never check on you. You can feel good about yourself by helping save me from myself AND.... you get something awesome from me. And we all know how cool I am.

Right, guys? Right?

I really can't believe how hard I'm having to push this. Doesn't anyone like getting free stuff anymore?

(If for some strange and miraculous reason more than five people end up commenting I'll see what I can do for some of the rest of you but I can't make any guarantees. I have a lot of extra unscheduled mischief to be getting into, after all. )

Home improvement.

Or at least blog improvement, although I plan to do some home improvement this summer as well (which will probably be in another post). This is one of (several) things on my mind, especially since I have a long-ish paper to write that I don't particularly feel like working on at the moment. I'm not a techno-geek type of person, so while I am adequately adept at making my blog look presentable given nice, pre-swinged* widget generators to work with, I can't really do much of anything on my own as far as blog design goes. Which is frustrating when there are no nice, pre-swinged widget generators that do what I want them to.

Example: I want a nice, classy, unique background for my blog that says, "I am awesome. But not necessarily normal. But not too not-normal, either." And I don't want it to be too scrapbook-y.** Because while scrapbook-y stuff can be cute and fun, I personally don't do scrapbooking and I worry that it makes my blog look too crafty and may mislead potential readers into thinking the wrong things about my blog and pegging it as something that it's not. And the only real pre-swinged type blog backgrounds I've been able to find in the whole (extremely limited) time I've been looking have either been 1) not really pre-swinged with WAY too much assembly required on my part, 2) scrapbook, scrapbook, and more scrapbook, or 3) Blogger's generic backgrounds.

So what's a girl to do?

Turn to her loyal (seven+)*** readers!

If any of you people are gifted in this area (or know someone who is) and want to make (or volunteer them to make) my blog pretty for free, let me know. Because, really, you'll be doing all of us a favor by letting us look at something besides the lighthouse or the black-and-white stationery with ribbons.

Or, if you really, really, really love the lighthouse or the ribbons, tell me that, too.

UPDATE: Wow. The power of procrastination can work wonders. With the input of Shallow Man and some tutorials, I've managed to make it look a lot more like what I want it to look like. This is only temporary, unless it works (or unless no semi-professionals out there want to fix it). Let me know what you think.

*pronounced "swindge-d." This is a favorite family word which I discovered, once I moved out for college and used in on my roommates only to get blank stares as a result, that the rest of the world is sadly deprived for not knowing. Pre-swinged means what (I think) it sounds like it should mean: Already made, no assembly required, maybe-just-add-water but pretty much good to go with minimal effort or assemblage or work on your part. Pre-swinged. Use it in a sentence today and spread the good news. Note that while no studies have yet been made to determine if a thing can be just plain swinged, I am coming up on summer break and will have extra time with which to delve into this and other mysteries of the universe.

**Disclaimer: I do not think any less of anyone who may happen to use some of these scrapbook-y blog backgrounds on their blogs. I think they can actually be really nice looking. They just aren't what I'm looking for with my blog.

***Yes, I know there are actually more of you than that. But "seven" still just has a nice ring to it.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Free stuff for you!

So I saw this a while back on Barb's blog and thought it was a fun idea. Therefore, in the interest of taking a break from studying for finals, I give you:

The Free Stuff Challeeeeenge!!! (thank you, Stinkoman.)

Here's how it works:

The first five people to comment on this post will get something handmade by me. I reserve the right to choose what it is when I see who comments.

The winners must be willing to post this on their blog and do the same for five of their readers. Winners are also allowed, if they wish, to post a picture of their prize, although this is not required.

Prizes will be mailed or hand-delivered (depending on where you live) by the end of 2009. So you'd be getting a surprise as part of the package! Really, how can you lose? (Except by not being one of the first five people to comment... Maybe number six will get a booby prize.)

UPDATE: I'm trying not to feel offended here, folks. Four days and only three comments so far? Do you really not trust my handmade stuff? This could be delicious treats, it could be something cool for your wall, it could be something awesome to wear, it could be a teddy bear, for goodness' sake. It could be anything! Or is it that you don't want to make something for other people? You could use the alternate version of this and just do it for three people. Or do you just prefer to lurk? But really, I promise, your handmade gift will be amazing. Just comment!.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Oh, now that just ain't right...

Why? Why? Why?

My soul just died a little bit.

Although I will concede that they got the look of the Wild Things right from the book. But still, I ask, why?

Monday, March 30, 2009

And a leave-ish of absence

This is just to let all 12-20 of you know that I will be preparing for and taking finals for the next four weeks, so posting here may be slim. Not that this is a huge change from the norm, but at least I'll have a good excuse this time, as opposed to mostly just laziness.

Although, on the other hand, it's also entirely possible that I will post here even more in an effort to procrastinate said studying. We'll see.

Yup. The excitement never ends here at The Scritchy Nib!

Tell me you've never wanted to do this.

Go ahead. Tell me.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Hope and change and a great, great day.

I'm relieved to see that someone is finally taking a stand in Illinois against sin and corruption. I'm glad that we finally are seeing the government using a firm hand to direct us through these troubling times. It gives me great peace of mind to see that someone is speaking out in favor of the wronged and oppressed.

I speak, of course, of the Illinois Senate Committee's unanimous vote in favor of declaring Pluto a planet. One can only hope that the full Senate follows their most excellent example.

Way to go, folks. Way to look out for the little people, especially that ever-so-small-but-oh-so-vital minority of Americans Who Have Discovered Planets Only to be Vilely Cheated Out of Their Legacy By a Minority of Dirty Scientists. (Population: Clyde Tombaugh, Streator, IL.)

And way to nip that scientific coup in the bud. In the words of Senate President John Cullerton:

"I supported Senator Dahl's effort even though I was kind of surprised that apparently Pluto was decommissioned as a planet by a vote of scientists. But he claimed the vote was a very small percentage of the scientists," Cullerton said. "So he . . . chose to have us basically appoint Pluto to be a planet rather than have a special election among the scientists."

Those scientists, always trying to keep the proletariat down!

Comments from the groundlings showed both support for the measure and contempt for the depth of corruption involved in the IAU's controversial decision:

"Guys I'm really sorry but I'm a sidin with a Republican so it must be a just cause. When I first heard of Plutos' demise I was as Uppity as all git out. You cannot deny a scientific fact and occupation of space by mass. gosh pretty scientific stuff that for an ignurante furriner like me. Galileo was recently pardoned by the Catholic Church when they admitted his theorys' were true regarding the earth and the sun revolving around one another or not. If as a species we try to dominate nature to such an extent that we deny certain scientifc facts to fit some 'pigeon hole of conformity/description'. We run the risk of losing our own identity in time." --cpndodgee, Concerned Internet Citizen

"The Illinois legislature has more sense than those four percent of the International Astronomical Union, most of whom interestingly are not planetary scientists. That vote was hijacked by a small group with its own agenda of excluding Pluto and artificially limiting the number of planets in our solar system. That is why it was opposed by hundreds of professional astronomers in a petition led by Dr. Alan Stern, Principal Investigator of NASA's New Horizons mission to Pluto, and it is why both scientists and lay people are working to get the demotion overturned. Pluto is a planet because it is spherical, meaning it is in a state of hydrostatic equilibrium, where its own gravity has pulled itself into a round shape. That is a hallmark of planets, not of asteroids and comets.
It is this tiny minority of the IAU who erroneously believe they are rulers of the world. They're not. They cannot change facts, and Pluto's planethood is a fact."
-- laurele, Concerned Internet Citizen

This is, indeed, a momentous event. I am humbled and thankful indeed that the pleas of the oppressed are finally being heard. As you may remember, I have spoken on this issue before, and I must admit that I am moved almost to tears to see The Cause gaining support on a governmental level. Maybe now we can begin to heal.

Hang in there just a little bit longer, Pluto. Your time is coming, and that right soon.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I just have to brag for a minute.

How many people do you know who can not only fit an entire set of dishes for 12 plus a week's worth of clothing and toiletries and a bunch of touristy souvenirs into two small carry-on suitcases, one large-ish checked suitcase and a plastic bag full of a new down comforter, but also arrive at home across the country after three flights, two ridiculously long layovers, and an hour's drive home for a total of 13 hours traveling without breaking a single dish out of the 65-piece set?

Well, if you're reading this, you now know at least one.

Yeah, I'm* awesome.

*Okay, so technically it should say "we're" because Shallow Man was a part of the enterprise. But it's still my blog.

As another small side note, the plastic comforter bag even burst open at some point between the time it was checked and when it slid down the ramp at the baggage claim, and we still didn't lose any of the random miscellany we'd tucked in there with the comforter. Pretty awesome considering that our packing efforts were the floor show at Shallow Man's family's house the night before. They didn't think we'd even fit everything in, let alone make it home unscathed. Hence the gloating.

Thursday, February 05, 2009


There are no words. Just watch.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Disappointingly misleading.

I just received an email entitled "Information from CTU."

Imagine my chagrin when it turned out to be from Colorado Technical University.

Maybe next time, Jack.

Friday, January 23, 2009

It's raining!

So even though I know that I won't be as excited when I have to drive on the resulting icy roads tomorrow morning, I just have to say that I love the fact that I have been able to listen to rain all night long.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Fading out.

Anyone who knows me knows that I chronically have too much on my plate, although I usually manage to keep it all under control. And that's fine. Keeping myself involved with things is good, and I usually enjoy it.

But sometimes it's too much. Sometimes I just can't handle it all, or even any of it. Sometimes I just need to fade into the background and let it all be too much until I figure myself out again.

And I've decided that that's fine, too.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Awkward transition phase.

What's with the phony accent? Nobody talks like that!

So I just saw a movie trailer on TV for Revolutionary Road, and the voice-over announcer guy pronounced it "RevolutioNAHRy."

I guess they're still in the awkward transition phase of trying to find a go-to announcer guy after Don LaFontaine's death. Which is going to be hard, and I'll try to cut them some slack. (After all, it's got to be hard to find a replacement for a guy who, in Shallow Man's words, "sounds manly enough to have been a character in The Godfather.")

But seriously. RevolutioNAHRy?

I hope they find a satisfactory replacement soon and this guy's just some sort of temp.

Oh, and 15 points to whoever can correctly identify the opening quote.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Mixed blessings

I'd been watching the upcoming new year and subsequent Primary changeover with some trepidation. We teach the 6- and 7-year olds, which in 2008 meant that we had three boys in our class. Even though we had some adventures with those three (one in particular, who is the bishop's son and at one point threatened to have us "fired") by the end of the year everything was going great. And every Sunday during the opening exercises and Sharing Time we would watch the class in front of us, the 5- and 6-year-olds, and I would try not to think about how we would be inheriting that class. It's not that the kids are really bad or anything (with one major exception), but the fact that there were ten of them was not comforting at all. That's a five-to-one ratio; I didn't like the odds.

So you can imagine my relief when the Primary president (who is laboring under the false impression that I'm pregnant--I'm not, folks, but it is kind of funny*) informed us that they would be splitting our new class into two smaller sections, probably in the interest of giving the teachers better odds. And I was even more excited when I found out that the above-mentioned major exception was not in our section.

But then came the bad news. This year there are enough incoming Sunbeams to fill up four, count 'em, FOUR classes. Which means that the Primary room is no longer big enough to hold the entire Primary. This means that for the rest of the year opening exercises are being held in the chapel, and Junior Primary moves to the Primary room when Senior Primary is dismissed into individual classes. Generally, the 6- and 7-year-olds are the oldest class in Junior Primary. But with the sudden influx of Sunbeams, the Primary room can't even hold all of Junior Primary. So our class got moved into Senior Primary. Which could be a good thing: one of the reasons we had problems with the bishop's son is that he thought he was too old to be in Junior Primary with the babies (the age difference between 3-year-old Sunbeams and 7-year-old bishops' sons is much vaster than it seems on paper), so moving the 7-year-olds up a notch would probably keep them from revolting too much. However, in Senior Primary they don't sing wiggle songs. This may be helpful for the dignity of 7-year-olds, but certain 20-somethings need to get up and move around from time to time. I don't know if I can sit still for such an extended period of time. It's going to be a long, long year.

Please join with me now, in remembrance of our dear, departed wiggle song time:

I'm all made of hinges 'cause everything bends...

*It's also not completely irrational, though. The policy in this ward seems to be that Primary is where they send the childless couples in order to convince them to have children. You'd think this wouldn't necessarily be the best policy, as after watching the now-more-than-70-Primary-age-children in operation would probably scare anyone out of having kids, but it actually does work. Because the only ways I've ever seen any couple released from teaching Primary was for them to either 1) move out of the ward or 2) have a baby. And after enough weeks of being confined with the 70+ small crazy kids, a lot of people seem willing to take whatever measures necessary to escape. We have currently been teaching Primary for about 17 months, so from a leadership perspective we're probably ready to jump ship as soon as possible.