Saturday, September 29, 2012

Auntie Nettie Reads A LOT 2012 - 3rd Quarter

If you are just finding the blog, please note that this list was maintained mainly so that I could remember what I've read this year. The record does not fully represent me or all of my interests, so don't judge my reading habits. My interests change quite frequently. Also, as a general rule, I don't do book recommendations or link to major retailers or publishers. Except for the ARCs listed below [thanks major publishers!], most of these books came from MY library or a public library.
Go forth, use your library card and READ!

July 2012
Eldest (Inheritance Saga No. 2) by Christopher Paolini
Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Undead and Unstable by MaryJanice Davidson
book or two I forgot
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Brisingr (Inheritance Saga No. 3) by Christopher Paolini
Little Night: A Novel by Luanne Rice
Island Apart: A Novel by Steven Raichlen
Maman's Homesick Pie: A Persian Heart in an American Kitchen by Donia Bijan

August 2012
City of Ravens: London, the Tower and its Famous Birds by Boria Sax
Of Poseidon by Anna Banks
Sugarhouse: Turning the Neighborhood Crack House into Our Home Sweet Home by Matthew Batt
The Violets of March: A Novel by Sarah Jio
The Jane Austen Marriage Manual: A Novel by Kim Izzio
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain
The Girl in the Gatehouse by Julie Klassen
Ten Girls to Watch: A Novel by Charity Shumway (ARC)
Paris, My Sweet: A Year in the City of Light (and Dark Chocolate) by Amy Thomas
Darcy's Story: Pride and Prejudice told from a whole new perspective by Jane Aylmer

September 2012

Wallflower in Bloom: A Novel by Claire Cook

The Watchers by Jon Steele
2 books from own collections I forgot to record
The Baker's Daughter by Sarah McCoy
The Last Will of Moira Leahy by Therese Walsh
The Book of Mormon Girl by Joanna Brooks (in progress)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Quote of the Day: Sounds of Silence

Hello darkness, my old friend
I've come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence

In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
'Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence

"Fools," said I, "You do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you"
But my words, like silent raindrops fell
And echoed
In the wells of silence

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said, "The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls"
And whispered in the sounds of silence

~Paul Simon 1964

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Retroblogging 1980: September 23, 1980


Today I woke up at 6:45. Then mom came up to get me up. When at breakfast I had cereal and some toast. Then I did the floors. Then I went to school. At school I did math, reading, writing, spelling. When it was time to come home I had to write in this book. When it was time for supper Dad did not come home. He had to go do a special program.

While this is the last entry in this particular journal, I am still staring at a pile of paperwork that proves that this is not the end of the retroblogging retrospective(s).

Not to mention, I know that there are endless buckets of materials to glean from at the parental units house ... despite the buckets that ended up at my house.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Photo of the Day: Just Another Day at the Office

Sometimes you just feel like all the animals at the zoo are out to get you - or your colleagues. Sometimes you are sitting at your desk, and you swear -- there's not much difference.

Spotted in an exhibition at Governors Galleries
August 2012

"Tattered and Torn (On The Road To Deaccession): May 26-September 30, Governors Galleries: An installation of costumes de-accessioned from various museums due to condition issues that make them undesirable for exhibit in the upper echelon museum world. Empire Historic Arts takes a different stance and offer them as an amazing resource to people interested in the design and construction of 19th century costume.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Back to School Fall 2012 Part 2

Note about Back to School: I had actually written the first part of this post up a few days before it "aired" and in the interim, someone had not only posted the pictures to Facebook, but to their blog as well. Thanks gang!

I'm happy to report that the Monkeys in Idaho also headed back to school in style.

Ms. Elle is much more styling than I ever was - what with the matching shades, sox, and accessories. What a pretty pretty pre-schooler!

Big sister Amber headed off to first grade also decked out in purple pastels. Again, so much more confident in pictures and poise than I was at her again. You go girl!
So proud of my girls - especially their Mama for surviving. It's a good thing that Papa took them out on the water from time to time to play.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Back to School Fall 2012

Rather than wait and forget to do a Back to School round-up like I did last year, I have been diligently mentally flagging e-mails and other social media contacts with my friends and family in order to share in a post. Many thanks to friends and family for permission to post their pictures of all cutie kids.

I don't have a full round-up -- I'm waiting for an installment from the Idaho contingent ("but I posted them on Facebook, but you aren't on there ..." Yep, and not going to be, so please? e-mail?) -- but here's a few of the back-to-school pictures from a few of my crews.

There's been a lot of things happening out West this summer, not the least of which is Drew the Dude starting second grade in August. SECOND GRADE! What?! If you've been reading along, that makes Drew about the same age(ish) as some of my ramblings from old notebooks. We just had a conversations the other night about how I like mail - like letters and cards. Well ... apparently, HE just likes to call and likes leaving voice messages, but he does like getting mail too. I think he's sloooooowly getting the correlation between writing letters/cards and sending them and then getting stuff back. What he doesn't know is that I'm encouraging him to write me stuff, so I can save most what he sends me - so he or his descendants also have some old-fashioned pieces of his childhood to boggle over when they are "mature" like me.

Drew the Dude, posing in the yard/squinting in the sun
Drew was also recently recognized in his local paper, as one of 46 local school kids who participated in the 2012 "...County Library District Summer Reading Program, taking advantage of the summer months. They were able to complete challenges and earn prizes, working hard to not lose reading skills while they are on break."
Can you pick out the Cape Cod loving-kid in this photo? (which is courtesy of the paper submitted probably via the school)

Moving East, the St. Chuck Gang aka My Blondie Girls also got back to school in mid-August.

I was so blessed to spend some time with these three sweethearts back in January and my, how time flies. I can't believe that they are 11 and nearly 13! There is skating, soccer, sibling spatting, violin, viola, guitar, drawing, dancing, choir, cello, piano, orchestra, teasing, tempers, tantrum, and tears -- the latter especially from Ms. "StarGirl" on the momentous day. Here's a photo commemorating the first day of 5th and 7th grade, and apparently there was this interaction between mother Kari and her beloved eldest:

Me/Kari: "StarGirl, you're just going to school, not to prison!"
StarGirl: "It's the same thing!!"
This apparently was just one of several photos of her crying and wiping her eyes on her sleeve. I have a feeling the next few teen years are going to be eventful for the St. Chuck crew. (Poor Poor Noel. The only man in a house of four hormonal women.) I'd refer you to her new blog, but oh my ... the expletives! [Oh wait -- she shared the expletives somewhere else, the blog is semi-okay for this family-friendly site.]

Meanwhile, in the north, the Maine Crew got back to school after Labor Day.

According to Krippy:

"[Eldest daughter] headed back to the middle school for 6th grade .... She’ll be with her entire group of friends, have some of the same teachers, and will be having a new teacher for her math and science classes. Her band and chorus permission slips are already signed and she’s looking forward to just getting back to school."
Her Dude: "... in his last year at the elementary school ... as a big 2nd grader. He’s excited to do lots more math, be with some of his guy friends from first grade and check out all the non-fiction books in his classroom."

And her babies? Her twins? "... will be in the same kindergarten class this year, with the same teacher that both [their elder sibs] had. It was an easy decision to make, because I know that the teacher is a perfect fit for them both, and having them together to start such a big, wonderful adventure will be good for them both. "Another summer down - and in spite of all the tumultuous-ness and togetherness, everyone survived! Gold stars for all the parental units. Thank goodness for venting/sharing/therapeutic methods of choice!

Photos courtesy of parents, via e-mail, Twitter, and their blogs.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Auntie Nettie's Attic Merchandise 2012 - August

If you have happened to stumble across the blog, I'm .... well, shocked. I can't even get my family to read this thing, forget acquaintances, colleagues, friends, or cyber-stumbler-uponers/strangers. But welcome!

I'm Auntie Nettie, and this is my version of Jo (from Little Women) scribbling in the garret.

This blog has become a bit of an archive for me to try and keep track of some of my activities, readings, wonderings, and wanderings. It's also a bit of a therapy log - including an actual log of some of my craft therapy projects. Rather than eat my pain (I kid, but I don't), I try to keep my hands busy, to varying degrees of success.

To recap some of August, you could read through some of the archives to see that I:
~went on a lot of walks through New York City that month;
~did some Island Hopping;
~tried to meet some friends (sorry to miss you Casey and Poopeh), and did see some others, like Christine and Amelia (a bunch of times!), and the library gang;
~ saw off my summer intern with a long lunch with colleagues;
~ cleared out and organized more of the personal archives;
~ caught up on televisions programs;
~ went to the Botanical Garden;
~ took a couple of sick days, prior to the real "fun" beginning; and
~ had a week that I would prefer to forget, except that it resulted in a shiny new bathtub and quality up-close-and-personal time with Wendy and Emily.

It was a very, very, very "interesting" month, and I am just hoping that all the drama got out of my universe's orbit, so I can just deal with September.

Perhaps, in retrospect, that is actually why so many little birds hatched in my attic. Or, maybe, why there was so much POOP to deal with?

In any event, here are the many creations from August, including:

ANA 2012-55: Fuzzy Slouchy Hat
(mystery tag sale yarn, acrylic, as well as mystery chenille)

(as of 11/2012, no longer available, donated to Hats for the Homeless)
ANA 2012-56: Mini Purple Owlie
(assorted leftover mystery yarn and batting)ANA 2012-57 and 58: Red-winged Blackbird family, adult and child
(Assorted leftover yarns, acrylic, and batting)
(as of 12/13 no longer available, gifted)
ANA 2012-59: Black and White Owlie
(Assorted leftover yarn, chenille, acrylic, and batting)

(as of 4/14, no longer available, sold)
ANA 2012-60: Rainbow Rook
(Leftover mix of yarns, acrylic and chenille, batting, and button)
(as of 12/13, no longer available, gifted)
ANA 2012-61: Grey-flecked Owlie
(Assorted leftover yarns, chenille, acrylic, metallic, batting, and buttons)
(as of 2014, no longer available)
ANA 2012-62 and 63: Fuzzy-winged Birdies
(Assorted mystery acrylic yarns and batting)

(as of 12/13 no longer available, gifted)
ANA 2012-64: Light-blue Owlie
(Leftover mystery yarn and batting)
(as of 4/14, no longer available, sold)
ANA 2012-65: Dark-blue Owlie
(Leftover mystery acrylic yarn and batting)

(as of 2014, no longer available)
These two were completed during August, but I totally forgot to record them in my log, so the numbers are out of order!

ANA 2012-68: Mini two-toned boys hat
(Leftover mystery yarn)

(as of 11/2012, no longer available, donated to Hats for the Homeless)
ANA 2012-69: Exotic Pastel Sparrow
(Leftover mix of acrylic yarns and batting)

(as of 4/14, no longer available, sold)
Still in progress:

2012: Presents for Phineas and Ferbina, the nephew and niece to be. Not posted here as they were supposed to be a surprise for my sister-in-law's shower. Thanks to FedEx, they were scheduled to get to Nevada at 4:30 - and the shower was scheduled I believe for 5:30! That's cutting it a bit close, no?

2010: Yeah, Yeah, Yeah. Didn't you read all about the sagas of the month? It's amazing I got anything done ... at all!

So, about the shop. Again, when have I had time? IF what was discussed by my friend Wendy actually happens, HOPEFULLY, I can pack a bunch of animals and/or scarfs off to her and she'll schlep them to a community-church craft bazaar. (Please, please, please!) If not, the animals will continue to run the asylum and threaten to choke me. (As of this weekend, the count was 37 birdies, 2 pandas, 1 polar bear family of three, 10 bunnies - and that's not counting the scarves, hats, bags, and blankies -- I need a shop keeper.)

HOWEVER, if you see something here that you must adopt, please contact me for prices and availability. You would be helping me clean out the Attic.

I have a stash of fabric, bits, and bobs that I would love to run through the sewing machine, but I'm trying to stick with one craft obsession at a time.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Retroblogging 1980: September 16, 1980


Today when I woke when mom got us up. After I had breakfast, I did the floors and went to school. At school I did art, reading, math, drawing and spelling. Mrs. Makslla was nice today. Today for lunch I had chicken in gravy, carrocts, a roll, and vegetables. After school I came home, did some homework and practiced my piano, and then I played with someone. Who?

My nerdy self could make a Doctor Who joke here, but really ... is that wise? Just admire my spelling and artistic marginalia instead.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Summer 2012: Island Hopping, Governors Island 2

As I previously mentioned, there is so much to do on any given day on Governors Island. Here's just a partial sampling of some of the things that we did. (This is in multiple parts, past - and future.)

When we got off the ferry and through the Cooper Hewitt exhibition, we came across this informational board outlining some of our other options. So much to choose from, however, what you see here is Christine, and then me, deciding to take the advice of the wise man Neil Gaiman:

We made Good Art*. I added the blue musical note (of course), while Christine released her inner Pollack. I just hope that these dream catchers didn't catch all my dreams. It's more than welcome to catch all my nightmares. There are a lot of those.

As we wandered around, I was trying to figure out where to leave a new installment of a Toy Society drop. I had this crazy hare-brained idea that somewhere on this Island would be a perfectly innocuous place to leave a present for a visitor.

However, it is a part of the National Park Service, and way too close to Lower Manhattan to not potentially cause a kerfuffle, so I wasn't sure what to do -- until I came across the Library.

(And of course I found a library. There is a homing beacon installed in everysinglelibrarian as part of our indoctrination, I mean, accreditation process.)

To be honest, I'm still not completely sure what all this installation is, but I added the bunny to the collection and appropriately logged it in the book. It's now part of the collection and I'll let their curators deal with it later. If it gets taken home, great. If it stays with part of the library lending program, great. It's out of my attic! (I should probably "check in" my object, as per the signage. But please; what patron of any library EVER reads the signage?)

After we left the library and made our contribution to "good art," we got to play around on some much larger installations gracing the Parade Grounds. We skipped the mini-golf, as there were too many family groups that wouldn't appreciate our athletic prowess and/or editorial pejorative-filled play. (Amelia has a mouth like a sailor, thanks to her brother in the merchant marines! And not just her - but I will say nothing more about that! Nope, not me.) As it was, there was a great deal of poop flying around - due to the resident flocks of Canadian flying poop machines - I mean geese. SO MUCH POOP! If you go and traipse through the Grounds, DO NOT WEAR OPEN TOED SHOES OR SANDALS!

Some of the installations, giving you a sense of scale and the skyline. On the right, you can see that the chairs in the foreground are not for sitting, while the baseball players are in the mid-ground, with the fortifications of Fort Jay in the background. More on those baseball players below.

More of the installations: Christine is readying for her close-up, and on the right kids are rambling all over the face of liberty. I'm such a geek, in my head, I kept calling this the Face of Boe.

Live! From New York - It's Amelia and Christine!

In one of the outtakes from the Liberty shot, Christine knelt down and started to pretend to pick the nose. The family group queued up behind us had kids, and I started to tease her that she shouldn't have done that, as there were impressionable "utes" around. The kids had probably missed the whole thing, but once I started teasing Christine, the dad immediately turned to his kids and told them to pretend to pick Lady Liberty's nose. *head slap*

As we were roaming around, we came across one of the many houses of worship on the island.

Is there anything sadder than an empty, deserted church? I don't know. If you listen though, and look, sometimes you can still sense the Spirit lingering around the holy places.

You just have to open a window and let the Light in.

After culture, arts, frolicking and fun, it was time to think about some food. We were closest to the food trucks/stall set up on King Avenue, and looked at the various options, including Mr. Softee (no thank you EW), and set-ups like Pete's ("a wide variety of hot sandwiches, beverages, and delicious snacks") or Pyramid Coffee ("a variety of fresh sandwiches, salads, drinks, chips, snacks and ice cream"). Also intriguing was Veronica's Kitchen ("Veronica's Kitchen, a former Vendy award winner, cooks up West Indian favorites such as Jerk Chicken and Curry Goat. Veronica's has a variety of homemade beverages and delicious sides"), but nothing beat the advertising and the set-up of a Perfect Picnic.

So cute. So very French country-side with the picket fence and baskets and decor. And the prices were just right: $10, for my chips, ginger ale, and my mozzarella, tomato, and basil baguettini -- just light enough for a hot summer day. (It just wasn't the day to try stomaching curry goat, if you know what I mean.)

We were entertained by the music piped in from one of the stalls, and amused by the antics of the kids next too us -- especially as they moved on to their dessert and ended up with bright blue faces from their cones of Monster Cookie Crunch ice cream from Pyramid Coffee. (Due to trademark infringement concerns, they probably couldn't call this Cookie Monster blue, but it's that shade - and that's the color his entire face and tongue were from that ice cream.)

Ever since we had seen the sign listing the days options, and since she had caught a glimpse of young-ish looking men playing sports, Amelia was clamoring for us to head to the baseball game.

It wasn't just any old baseball game, it was an old-fashioned baseball game, c. 1864 rules, pitting the New York Gothams against the Brooklyn Atlantics Base Ball Club.

Don't you love the juxtaposition of vintage baseball against a modern sculpture?

The "old-timers" were good about spending time with the "moderns" to explain the game, the differences in rules, and some of the intricacies in uniforms, equipment, etc. I think that the guy on the left is trying to interest the 21st century Little Leaguer in eventually signing on, and we're not quite sure why "Pigtail" from the Atlantics spent so much time with us, but I suspect pretty girls paying attention had something to do with it. I think Amelia was trying to signal an "out" so she could get a new, "fresher" batter up on the bases, but the coaches weren't responding to her signals.

After we settled in for some more action, we got some more information about 1864 Base Ball, and how it relates to modern games like softball. The Atlantics continue to honor one of their founders, "Old Dutch" by playing the game, passing on his love of the vintage sport, and by spreading word about his life. On their website, it says this about "Old Dutch" and Base Ball:
playing the game was the important part, and if you enjoyed the game, and had fun playing it, then you won. It shall never be "Win one for Old Dutch", but rather "Enjoy one for Old Dutch". There is no doubt that he is smiling down on us from that great base ball field in the sky. "Old Dutch" will be missed, and remembered, for all he did for our re-creation of vintage base ball.
I think that sums it up this part of our trip, and we thoroughly enjoyed the whole day. So Old Dutch? You aren't forgotten. Play on.

Unfortunately, for you reader ... there is still more to be posted about our day on Governors Island. All kinds of good stuff, art, shopping, and beauty in unexpected places.

* You should really read the entire transcript of this 2012 Commencement address. It's one of the better ones out there from recent years, and so much better than some I've had to listen to at an arts institution!

Best bits - Emphasis my own:
Life is sometimes hard. Things go wrong, in life and in love and in business and in friendship and in health and in all the other ways that life can go wrong. And when things get tough, this is what you should do.

Make good art.

I'm serious. Husband runs off with a politician? Make good art. Leg crushed and then eaten by mutated boa constrictor? Make good art. IRS on your trail? Make good art. Cat exploded? Make good art. Somebody on the Internet thinks what you do is stupid or evil or it's all been done before? Make good art. Probably things will work out somehow, and eventually time will take the sting away, but that doesn't matter. Do what only you do best. Make good art.

Make it on the good days too. ~ Neil Gaiman