On Scribd: Market-Watching Flowchart Guide

I was going to give you some etymology for Tuesday, but as I was driving home from work and listening to NPR, I found myself feeling a bit blue. If you need to ask why, good for you. I’m guessing you’re in the dark about the nation’s rough financial state because you spend too much time volunteering in your community to listen to the radio. Keep up the good work, and don’t bother reading this comic.

If you know exactly what I mean, read on.

On Scribd: Apnea Oliphant

My mother recently started wearing a mask at night for sleep apnea, which my parents jokingly refer to as her “elephant nose.” I thought it wasn’t quite fair that she should have to endure the embarrassment all on her own, so I threw together an elephantine nose warmer to help my dad empathize with her. Here’s the pattern, for anyone who could use a little chuckle.

Apnea Oliphant (Click to download or print.)

 

On Scribd: Butterflies on the Lattice

I was going to write you a nice long story about the epic journey I’ve been enmeshed in over the past four days as I designed my first real knitting pattern, but the thing about epic journeys is that they don’t leave you a lot of energy to work with when you get home. My brain feels like it’s been in labor for something like 96 hours…which actually fits rather well with the conversation John and I were having earlier about being a “co-creative” couple instead a “procreative” couple. We’ve decided that we’re better suited for contributing to the memetic pool than the genetic pool, which I may blog more about later.

For the moment, I have only these announcements:

1. I’m on Ravelry now, so look me up if you’re there too.

2. I’m thinking about starting an etymology-of-the-days-I-don’t-otherwise-blog section, so keep an eye out for that and send me words you would like to know the history of.

3. Here’s the pattern I’ve been slaving away at designing and testing this weekend. Leave a comment if you have a question or correction!

Snazzy photo credits go to John, as usual.

Butterflies on the Lattice (Click to download or print.)

Sir John & the Arachnid

When John and I were dating, we lived almost an hour away from each other, so one of the primary ways we got to know each other was through long phone calls. After one particularly long day of translating Greek and Latin and coding data from my thesis experiment, I was looking forward to a nice, relaxing talk with my fella. The voice on the other end of the phone, however, was a little bit manic.

John: “Check your email. I just sent you a picture of this spider. You would not believe how big it is!”

Me: “Okay…” (checks email)

Me: “…”

This spider was the instigation for what has become one of the epic tales of our lives. John saw the spider on the outside of his screen as he was making dinner one night and was too creeped out to let it continue in peaceful existence near him. He didn’t want to open the screen, however, and chance letting it into the apartment, so he bent his very creative brain to the task of killing the spider through the screen.

When pins and needles failed to reach the oblivious arachnid (to this day, I really don’t know why he had such seamstress notions in his bachelor pad), he scoured his apartment for objects skinny enough to fit through the holes in the screen and stiff enough to do some serious harm to his little foe. He eventually lit on a brilliant idea: skewer the spider with uncooked spaghetti.

Just let that image sink in for a second. Yeah…there you go. Now, add in my husband’s obsessively perfectionist approach to projects, and what you get is a college graduate with an architecture degree spending who knows how long sharpening spaghetti noodles to a fine point with sandpaper. Several of them, in case any should break…

The long and short of it is that spiders are pretty nimble creatures, and this one had plenty of space to mockingly escape into from the powerful blows John landed with his spaghetti-lance. We were always slightly concerned that the spider had gone off to find a way into the apartment in order to exact its revenge, but we never saw it after he scared it off.

The image of John battling a spider with spaghetti has always been very vivid in my mind, however, and yesterday I finally got around to sketching a silly little comic of how I have always envisioned this event…
Sir John & the Arachnid http://d1.scribdassets.com/ScribdViewer.swf

My husband is a spider-slaying hero.

Spring Cleaning

Do you remember actually liking spring cleaning as a kid, when you could go into the attic or the basement and discover the strange joys of your parents’ mysterious old things? When their dusty schoolbooks and graduation robes were like magical tomes and wizards’ garb?

Me neither. Spring cleaning actually evokes more of a “Mom’s getting out the bucket and mop–run for your life!” reaction in me. The only visions spring cleaning conjured into my imagination were the remnants of swept cobwebs and the conviction that the displaced spiders had decided to nest in my clothes.

But imagine that spring cleaning really was a fun, enchanted time of rediscovering old things. That would be good, right?

Work with me here, people.

Sigh. Okay, fine then. Spring cleaning is torture. My real point is that I have just sprung clean my computer files and discovered a mess of comics and very short pieces of writing that you may or may not have any interesting in reading. At the risk of bearing the weighty consequences, I have assumed that you all find everything I produce to be witty and fascinating. Or, barring that, that you are capable of being picky consumers on your own. To that end, I’ve just posted a whole mess of files on Scribd and linked to each with a lovingly crafted post with appropriate caveats.

If you poke around the “Comics” and “Random” pages, you will find neither cobwebs nor wizards’ robes, but hopefully you will find a chuckle. At least.

UPDATE 6/27/2010: I just finished making all of the Scribd files embedded instead of linked, which means no distracting ads. Handy reading tip: if the type is too small, click where it says “Full Screen.” I think you’ll find it’s a more comfortable reading experience.