Friday, November 18, 2011


I know my Floridian-born-and-raised husband would certainly disagree with me on this, but there are few things that I love the way I love sitting in the house with all the blinds open and all the lights off in the late afternoon of a late November day waiting for it to start snowing outside. I can smell the snow; it's right around the corner and I'm so excited for it.

I won't love it so much when I have to shovel it or drive in it or watch said husband come home and start madly searching for jobs in Florida while he mumbles angrily under (or over, occasionally) his breath about "the enemy from above."

But waiting inside, curled up with a blanket/good book/cup of hot chocolate/two snuggly kittens/the cutest toddler ever?

That's my favorite kind of snow, and I'm kind of psyched for it.

Sorry, hon. If it helps, I promise not to sing any Dean Martin songs encouraging that particular form of precipitation. Or at least not while you're in the room. Or at least not too loudly.

Monday, November 14, 2011


I've been really lucky since the Little Guy was born in that I haven't needed to take very many "sick days," as it were. The problem with that is that when I *do* need one, it feels like several sick days all saved up at once.

Which is what today has been like. Seriously, it reminds me of the first trimester except I can absolutely guarantee that's not what's going on. But it means that all I want to do is curl up in the bed and sleep it off.

That's not exactly the Little Guy's idea of a good time, though.

He's just learned to walk and he's in the process of giving up afternoon naps and isn't exactly impressed with the brand-new-and-definitely-not-improved model of Mommy, The Lump! So I've barricaded us in the study (the smallest room in the house aside from the bathrooms, which makes it the easiest to keep warm), which incidentally has tons of books, a desk, a TV and a Love Sac, so I can sort of nap and sort of keep an eye on the Little Guy without going over the line into neglect. He loves the chance to sit on the Love Sac and eat animal crackers and watch PBS Kids (okay, seriously, Martha Speaks? THAT'S NOT HOW ANATOMY WORKS), so it's really not as rough for him as you might think.

So with any luck, we'll both survive until Daddy gets home from work. And with any more luck, tomorrow will be better.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I need to get back to solving the puzzling question of why on earth that dog is still alive if she's got alphabet soup stuck in her brain.

Friday, November 11, 2011

And here is a video for you.

Don't forget to De-Lurk, please!

I was going to write about Shelob's lair today but I am ridiculously tired and kind of brain-dead, and that story deserves a better treatment than I can give it in my present state of mind, so instead I'm giving you an awesome video. This song gives me the giggles every time I hear it. There are lots of other video versions, but I have a soft spot for this one simply because of the ponies (you'll see what I mean), which double the giggles.

The song is Skullcrusher Mountain by Jonathan Coulton.

And yes, if you were wondering, this is the same man who brought you that beloved classic, the IKEA song.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

De-Lurk Day 2011

There's a blog I read which for a long time sported the saying "I don't hate comments" on its sidebar. I can agree with this sentiment. (Confession: I don't know if the saying was removed because the sidebar was getting crowded or because one day the author woke up and said to herself, "You know what, actually I do hate comments," but I'm going to assume it was the former, because really. Who hates comments? Not me, that's for sure.) Another blogger has explained the reasons why it's okay to be a blog stalker.

I freely admit to stalking blogs and am well aware that there are some people who stalk my blog. I know this mostly because Google Analytics—which is one of my favorite toys, just by the way—shows some regular readers in places where I do not know anyone (or at least, I'm not aware of knowing anyone from these locations).

Which I think is pretty awesome. I like the fact that I can get to know a little bit about someone I've never met, or that I'm sharing my quirky little random stories and thoughts (because, let's face it, that's about as "themed" as this blog gets) with others that I wouldn't have had the chance to share them with otherwise. I like the way the blogging world shrinks the real world in some ways.

But in other ways, I'm a little sad that it tends to be so anonymous. I've found some really cool blogs from people who comment on this and other blogs, and I wonder how many more I'm missing because people are lurking and not commenting. I admit that I frequently lurk at blogs without commenting, usually because I don't want them to freak out about the fact that I happen to be lurking. It may take months of lurkage before I post a comment.

So I don't want any of you to feel worried about this. Following the lead of yet another cool blogger, I declare today to be official De-Lurk Day at The Scritchy Nib. Please leave a comment and let me know if you're reading the blog, where you're from, your favorite dessert, any requests you have for future rants well-thought-out commentaries, any questions you have for me, or anything else you feel comfortable sharing.

I love comments and I love finding new blog friends. Let's make this a day to celebrate both.

(And if you are a regular commenter, please know that I already hold you in the highest esteem, and feel free to continue in that excellent vein.)

Please note: In keeping with the theme, all of today's external blog links are brought to you by blogs of people I do not personally know, and at which I have lurked and subsequently de-lurked and commented.

And yes, if this post seems familiar, it's because it mostly should.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

How can you not love it?

So I don't have much to say tonight, or at least not much energy to say anything worth reading.

And that means it's time for a video link!

I love this clip and have shown it to several of you throughout the years, but it's always worth revisiting. (Stick around through the opening and watch the whole thing. It's worth it, I promise.)

And that, friends, is how you make an acceptance speech.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

An unforeseen benefit to having a son.

As I have mentioned multiple times before, I do not like spiders. They are gross and creepy and generally all-around-bad. I mean, they do have their good points like they eat other bugs and *spoiler alert* turn Peter Parker into Spiderman and save pigs from being eaten (although I can't guarantee those were both done by the same spider).

But really, I'd just rather not have them around.

I know some people who are more humane than I am and will rescue spiders they find indoors and transfer them outside on a piece of paper or in a cup or something so they can live a free-range spidey life. And that's cool if they want to do that. I do that with grasshoppers my cats drag in to play with, and with bees that get in the house if I can catch them.

But spiders? I have put them on notice many times before—if they come into my house their eight-legged lives are forfeit.

For me, a major perk of getting married was having someone to kill my spiders for me. Don't get me wrong, I can and will kill spiders on my own if I have to (the summer Shallow Man was out of the country for an internship featured several harrowing run-ins with large arachnids, which I feel like I've blogged about before). I am adept at the shoe swat, the stomp, and the turn-the-shower-on-and-wash-the-spider-out methods. I just would prefer, if someone else is around who can do it for me, not to have to get close enough to the spider to actually kill it.

I also figured that, as the mom, I would have to be the designated spider slayer for years to come while dad's at work because the kids wouldn't want to kill spiders (GROSS!). So I've been reluctantly resigning myself to the role of spider killer, and have even whacked one or two when my husband's at home so he knows I'm not a complete wimp (remind me to tell you sometime about the times when the spider I wanted him to kill turned out to really be as big as I said it was, rendering his rolling of the eyes totally unjustified).

So this afternoon I got back from an errand and had taken off my jacket and shoes. The Little Guy was standing up by the TV stand waiting for me to get his jacket and shoes, and just as I reached for his coat zipper, I saw a spider running on the floor. I turned to put one of my shoes back on so I could stomp it, but the Little Guy took one look at that spider, gave me a glance that clearly said, "No worries, Mom; I've got this covered," and he and his sneakers proceeded to stomp the living daylights out of that trespassing arachnid.

Wow. If I'd realized this was one of the perks of having a little boy, I'd've done it *years* ago. (Oh wait. Never mind. We tried.)

And now I dream of the day when I can just relax in a lounge chair and sip a fruity drink as my army of little boys stomps away all my spider-related woes. That's not too much to ask for, right?

Maybe I should've named him Samwise the Brave. . . .

Monday, November 07, 2011

In a funk.

The post title pretty much sums it up. I find myself feeling sluggish about life these days. The creative juices are flowing but seem to be trapped under a sheet of ice.

Like they're a mosquito stuck in amber and I can see them there and I know there's dino DNA to be had, I just can't get to it. And that's frustrating.

Yes, I'm a nerd. Said nerd turns around after an analogy like that and says, well, maybe it's for the best. You don't want to breed raptors, after all. That never ends well.

And I say, you know what, inner nerd? You're right. Plus it's a lot of work breeding raptors. It takes a lot of energy. I would much rather just snuggle up on the couch with a good book or with useless interwebs.

Inner nerd says, let's watch Jurassic Park instead.

But then the annoying industrious side of me pipes up and gives the rest of us a guilt trip about being unproductive, so I can't even lounge properly until the funk goes away but my veins are too full of molasses to actually get much of anything useful done, so, yeah. (In the interest of giving credit where it's due, it's not just Industrious Me's fault. The Little Guy also contributes a LOT to the preventing-me-from-lounging fund. Especially now that he's walking.)

This is all extra frustrating because it's keeping me from really enjoying November, which is usually one of my favorite times of year. (Yeah, I know that just adds to the weirdness. Whatever.)

I'd write an angry letter to someone, but I just don't have the energy.

Maybe I'll put in that Jurassic Park DVD instead.

If you see my missing get-up-and-go, please kick its wandering little trash back home to me. Much obliged.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

"How Long?"

This poem, by Darlene L. Young, really struck me today. She says, "I wrote this poem during a long period of chronic illness about how hard it is when you are pulled up to a stop in the path you thought you were taking in life, either through chronic illness, infertility, a crisis of faith, or something else." It was one of those moments where you read something that hits you exactly right, and expresses what you've been feeling so perfectly that it resonates in your soul. And so I'm passing it along to you.

How Long?

by Darlene L. Young, pub. Irreantum vol. 9-10

I find myself Lehi, encamped in a tent.
It’s pleasant enough here, with plenty to do.
Arise, retire.
Arise, retire.
Work and pray and dance.

I could build a house here and let go the dream
of the swaying of camels, the saltwater lapping.

But I heard a voice—and its memory has me
stretching my neck at the dry desert wind.
Still I hear only whisper of sand and tent flapping.

Arise, retire, and I used to pray
at every new dawn, “Lord is it today?”
Arise and retire. I no longer ask
but remain in my tent. You know I’ll obey.

I’ll make it my work to arise and retire
and cling to the ghost of the voice in the fire.
But, Lord, there’s the ocean.
And what shall I do with this lack of motion?
This poem copyright 2009 by Darlene L. Young.

Thank you, Darlene, for your poetry and for being amazing in general.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Hey, remember that one time . . .

. . . I wrote a blog post about my associations with Guy Fawkes Day?

Hey, me too!

Let's remember remember the fifth of November together.

I've never seen V for Vendetta; this is just pure geekery.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Just what I needed

I was going to write a different post today, but then I came upon these two blog entries from two separate blogs, both written yesterday, and both exactly what I needed to hear today. So I'm going to share them with you instead. Thanks to Casey and Ashley for being in tune.

Coincidence? I think not!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

So it begins.

Imagine this at our house tonight, only more manly and tough, and with the Little Guy instead of pigs. And without, you know, the singing. But other than that, this is exactly what our evening was like.

Yeah, we are in soooo much trouble.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Second anniversary

I've been thinking about two years ago, especially now that we're living in what was my grandparents' house, and thought it would be appropriate to post these once more.

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 01, 2011


I'm hesitant, sometimes, to talk about ideas or goals or aspirations that I have. It could be that I feel like if I don't tell anybody then nobody will be disappointed in me if I don't finish what I start. Which, let's be honest, is something that does tend to happen with me. Or it could be that I feel like the magic will be gone if I say it out loud; that something will be spoiled once it's not just my little secret thing anymore. The result is that at any given time I may have two or three dozen little seedlings of projects or plans germinating in my brain that nobody else knows about. And I think that's okay.

That doesn't really have much to do with anything except that I wanted to say something without saying anything. You know, the way it's not as fun to keep a secret if nobody knows you're keeping it? Yeah. Like that.

In other news, the weather today was lovely. Not, perhaps, in an objective sense, but it was exactly the kind of fall weather I love most. Great for snuggling with a cute toddler, curling up under a blanket, reading a good book, sipping hot chocolate, or all of the above, and giving germination a chance.

Happy November, everyone!