Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Stuff to drool over

I'm not going to lie about this: I'm posting these links in part because I hope my brother and other assorted relatives who feel the obligation to buy me unnecessary stuff can see it.

But I'm also posting these because they're cool, funky little ebusinesses/analog businesses that have awesome ideas and I'd love for them to stay in business. In other words, so that y'all can buy stuff for your relatives from these places. Or just look at the stuff and rip off the designs in your own creations ... whatever.

An all-women designer cooperative in Toronto: Fresh Collective
Littlecat Designs -- look at the profiles of the cartoon characters! Lot of sturdy messenger-style bags for the grad student in your life.
Coccoon in downtown Geneva, Illinois
ModCloth Vintage
Pixelgirl Shop -- where else are you going to get sushi earrings?!?
For alternative, reusable giftwrap options, EcoBags

Friday, November 17, 2006

One of the reasons I married him

My husband has -- should I say developed? Exhibited? -- the habit of, whenever we drive by a Canada Goose, crying "Goose!" at it. This is not a, "Look! A goose!" sort of cry. No, this is a, "You are Goose!" Therefore, every goose gets a "Goose!"

As in, "GooseGooseGooseGooseGooseGoose!" There were six geese.

Now, y'all remember the Wheaton area? Former wetlands? Lots of water retention ponds?

A few weeks ago I was driving us down Roosevelt, turning right onto Main. Hubble Middle School is right on the corner, with a nice big football field. Geese parked as far as the eye can see. My eyes got big. "Oh, no."

"Wait! Stop the car! This is the moment I was BORN for!"

Why Flying Squirrels Are Better Pets Than Hamsters

Kermit was playing by his water dish when I came in the living room this morning. He played Keep Away from Mommy for a few moments, then backed up and jumped on my arm, scampering all over my back. (He likes to hang on my back and hop sideways -- yes, while I'm standing straight up.) I lured him onto my hand with the bottle (syringe); after 4 1/2 ccs (a big breakfast) he was back to playing all over me. I brought him over to the cage and he jumped onto it as soon as we were in range. He played Keep Away for a few more seconds, then stopped at the edge, bopped his head around (gauging distance) and leapt to my face. As in, forepaws on forehead, aftpaws on nose. Tail in mouth. Then he turned himself around and leapt into his cage.

I think he's getting used to me.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

He's here!

I would like to announce the addition of Kermit, one Southern Flying Squirrel, to the Rivet household. Once I either get a digital camera or figure out how to send the pics on my phone I'll get an actual picture of the guy up here. Suffice it to say that he's incredibly cute. He's about 5 1/2 weeks old and weighs maybe 2 ounces. I'll be bottle-feeding him the next couple weeks (it's a combination of puppy formula and heavy whipping cream, administered through a 3cc syringe), but we also shared a snack of pecan bits this afternoon.

We've got his cage pretty pimped-out, too. Michael had the inspired idea to not only get branches that screw on to the sides of the cage (found in the bird dept. of your local pet store), but to get some snakier pieces of grapevine (from the reptile section -- oy ... pun not intended) and wire them to the sides for extra fun. Kermit also has his choice of log-like items to crawl through, a rope ladder, a hammock (that I knit -- yes, I'm psychotic, what else is new?), a nest box and a wheel.

Strange behaviors thus far: Kermit will fall asleep wherever his activities lead him. Last night, he explored a narrow crevice between the cage wall and his nest box -- and fell asleep wedged in there. Clinging to the side of the cage. He's been known to use the nest box (how he managed to plan that far ahead as to be at the sleeping place when he wanted to sleep is beyond me) and the hammock (eons of cuteness), but he mostly ends up just curling up in his precious wheel. The wheel he can't use for very long at a time, because he ends up running too fast and flipping himself around. He's also convinced that vertical blinds are climbable, and shows signs of developing a definite Thing about Climbing on Top of the Cage. He's not allowed on the furniture (for fear that he'll just keep exploring, and he's just too tiny for that), but he seems to think that because it's His Cage, he can Go Where He Wants -- even On Top. In theory I might see his point, but I know that this is merely a premise to get him to his Everest, a.k.a. the Tall Bookshelf. He's already figured out that he can get a grip on the rough plywood on the back of the shelves and shimmy himself up.

He's been here 48 hours, he's a baby, and he's already rebelling. I'm so proud.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Down, alpha male!

I'm really digging that my blog is now a hotbed of controversy! Sweet!

Jordana reports that while she'd love to comment, her silly school's firewall prevents doing so while she's supposed to be enriching young minds. Typical. We all know those so-called impressionable young minds are texting each other under cover of desk, and there's no firewall for that now, is there? Unfair treatment, I say!

In the meantime, I've received notice that my squirelly friend is ready to be ripped from mother and siblings and placed in an alien environment wherein there will be none of his kind. YES!!! So this Friday it's Squirrel Time! If I can navigate my way solo to the breader, anyway. (Did I ever mention the time I tried to drive 4 hours to my grandma's house in Iowa -- a straight shot down Highway 30 -- and ended up in Wisconsin?)

Only four more sleeps.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Sorry, Will ... and Jordana ...

Do I even need to say that I'm incredibly amused? Talk of drunken, golfing ninja, giving Will the ugly stick, eye-gouging -- my life almost can't take this much excitement!

Finished The Little Lady Agency. Thoroughly entertaining, had some interesting points about self-confidence (female self-confidence in particular) and its development within one's family of origin. The denouement was overdone, with almost every character weighing in, comic-book-final-battle style. I suppose I could care, but I don't.

-- Speaking of final chapters, Mary (now that I know you're there!), I read Bonfire of the Vanities after you recommended it (two years later, but still). I liked it well enough up to the epilogue, whereupon I wanted to find my own bonfire for more fascist purposes. For someone who probably has read a few newspapers in his life, Wolfe's "news story" ending was shameful. I saw red on so many levels, I'd better not even start.

I hope we haven't alienated you, Jord, from the discussion with our wanton abuse for old Shake ... I'd actually like your opinion of this particular topic (if you've got the time/inclination). It would be incredibly interesting to get the perspective of someone who genuinely loves Shakespeare's plays and is trying to rope adolescents around to some kind of understanding of classic literature. Does the state set your curriculum especially with re: which plays you teach? What would you like to teach, were you given the freedom/time to prepare? What literature do you think would get the best reception/most attention/reflection from your students?

Confession time: I never actually read the introduction to Chaucer's Canterbury Tales in high school. Our teacher assigned it, even handed out photocopied packets of a (a modern translation of) the thing and gave us two weeks to read it. I gave it 20 minutes during the lunch right before class -- not even with full concentration. I was curled up in an instrument cubby in the band room, keeping my feet away from the furious game of "Snapple cap kick-hockey" taking place right below me. I managed to BS my way through that class period by pretending I was letting the other students get a word in edgewise. Heh.

Two years ago, I took some grad-school classes at Northern Illinois University (as a grad student-at-large -- a way to take classes not for credit, in preparation for maybe applying for grad school). My favorite by far was Chaucer, which we read in the original Middle English. By now I've got my minor in German, though, and I had a blast. (My German accent has suffered a bit as a result ...) My grade, had I been taking the class for credit, was an A. (Yippee!) I felt like I should call up Mrs. Meir at Capital High School with a much belated explanation and apology.