My rainstorm costume is… growing. This will be the last webcam photo of it, because it’s getting too large to photograph at arm’s length.
It’s really fun to chalk the seawall every April! I’d love if there were more frequent chalk events there. (I’d also love if parents didn’t let their kids smear my chalk drawings WHILE I’M STILL SITTING THERE. So rude!) More pics of the day’s event are in this Flickr set.
Thanks to Peter for this link, in which we learn that the biggest single point source for pollution in the Chesapeake Bay is… the Lackawanna River. More than fifty years after the end of anthracite mining around Scranton, the flooded mines and acid drainage are a continuing hazard to the people of the area, and to anyone unfortunate enough to be downstream. Choicest quote:
Peering through a metal grate down to the borehole, one sees the churning violent water emerging from deep under the ground. What comes out runs along a trough and then enters the Lackawanna River, where the iron from the acid mine water begins to kill the river by scavenging oxygen and coating the river bed with iron, giving it an orange look and a rotten egg smell.
BG=Book Group selection. I’m in two book groups, so a lot of my reading is driven by that. These are numbered in chronological order, from January to December. I don’t read very fast, and I don’t read a lot of short books, so 27 books in a year is pretty good for me. Almost entirely fiction this year; and as evenly split between male and female authors as an odd-numbered list could be. (That wasn’t on purpose.)
- Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore
- Rachel Simon, The Story of Beautiful Girl
- Ana Castillo, Peel my Love like an Onion
- Julia Stuart, The Matchmaker of Perigord (BG)
- Neil Gaiman, Neverwhere
- Tom McCarthy, C: A Novel (BG)
- Roy Grinker, Unstrange Minds: Remapping the World of Autism (BG)
- Hilary Mantel, Beyond Black
- Geraldine Brooks, Caleb’s Crossing (BG)
- Lisa Genova, Still Alice (BG)
- Banana Yoshimoto, Hardboiled and Hard Luck
- Lloyd Jones, Mr. Pip
- Ray Bradbury,Machineries of Joy (BG)
- Marina Endicott, Good to a Fault
- Mary Robinette Kowal, Shades of Milk and Honey
- Margaret Forster, Keeping the World Away (BG)
- Jan-Philipp Sendker, The Art of Hearing Heartbeats
- Neil Gaiman, American Gods
- Dara Horn, The World to Come
- Michael Chabon, The Yiddish Policemen’s Union (BG)
- Ernest Cline, Ready Player One (BG)
- Tom Rachman, The Imperfectionists
- Sue Reidy, The Visitation
- Joseph O’Neill, Netherland
- John Connolly, The Gates
- Liz Jensen, The Ninth Life of Louis Drax
- Kage Baker, In the Garden of Iden
The story of Elsie Scheel, the “perfect specimen” among Cornell coeds in 1912, has come back around. What ever happened to her after her that moment of fame? I didn’t see an answer to that question in a quick look around, so I put some tidbits together about her life beyond the headlines.
Rachel* Rebecca Scheel (b. 1888) was born to Sophie Bade Scheel and John H. Scheel of Brooklyn, their fourth child of five. Her mother Sophie was a physician, daughter of German immigrants, practicing and teaching at the New York Medical College and Hospital for Women. Her father John, a hydropath, is credited with coining the term “naturopathy.” So she came from a family deeply involved in health and wellness, and more than passing supportive of women’s education and suffrage. Sophie died in 1933; Elsie’s younger sister Senie Scheel died in Florida in 1985, age 93.
Not too long after leaving Cornell, Elsie married Frederick Rudolf Hirsh, and had at least two children, Elise and John (1921-2004). Her son John became a surgeon in Florida.
That’s about all I can find right now. If there’s more I’m missing, drop me a note in comments. (I’ve seen snippets of a 1991 article from BBW, apparently written by one of Elsie’s children. But I can’t see the whole article.)
*See comments on strikethru.
I’m putting this up now, before I forget the necessity. If you call me for a phone meeting in August 2013, this is what I will link you to.
I’m writing this a year ahead of your request, so it’s not personal, but no. No phone meetings in August. Whatever you want to say, we can discuss by email. No phone meetings in August. I don’t like phone meetings most of the year, but in August they will necessarily compete with too many other claims on my time and attention, because my kids are out of school. No phone meetings in August. NO PHONE MEETINGS IN AUGUST. I might try to be nice and fit you in, but it will be a bad idea for both of us. Your questions can wait until September. You’ve been warned. No phone meetings in August.
Some things I learned from the challenge:
1. I have a lot of clothes. Okay, I already knew that, but I really have way, way more everyday dresses than most people do. Which is fine if they fit and I wear them, take care of them, etc. This challenged helped me see which things were worth the storage space and laundry duty, and which probably need to move along into another closet (or be remade into something that interests me more). In the course of this challenge, I cleared several unwearable dresses from my closet; I dyed three dresses; I mended a few; I made a new dress from two thrifted garments (and some scrap fabric from a third).
2. A dress is no-fuss dressing. It seems like we’re trained to think the opposite–a dress, it’s dressy!–but honestly, a good day dress has the virtue of being one garment–no matching, no layers or fuss, just pop it on and go. It already matches itself. You can get dressed in the dark and be confident that it’ll be okay.
3. Aprons are a dress-wearer’s best friend. I was fine to wear a dress and wash dishes, bake cookies, care for kids, eat lunch, even paint–because I have a sturdy denim apron. That also makes the pocket question moot–serious aprons nearly always have pockets. (Some, these days, even have a buttonhole and interior pocket for your iPod or phone, to keep it away of splashes and spills.)
4. Dressing for a “special day” can make a special day. I remember someone telling me to dress my baby daughter up in all her cute clothes whenever the mood struck, and not “save” them for special days. Maybe someone should say that to the moms too. Why wait for someone else to decide the day calls for a dress? You don’t need a party invitation. Wear a dress anyway, just because it’s fun.
5. There are dresses for every kind of weather. It was funny–the women in France were insisting that they couldn’t wear cute dresses because it was too cold there; but meanwhile, I’m looking longingly at my cozy wool dresses and sweater-knit tights, which could never pass for spring gear in Southern California. I tend to wear long dresses more than short, and layer them with cardigans, crinolines, underskirts, overdresses, whatever–perfectly fine options for the complete range of May weather here.
6. A dress makes the day-into-evening transition more definite. By this, I don’t mean evening-after-work-drinks-and-dancing; I don’t have that kind of life! I mean, the moment you say, I’m home now, I’m in for the night, I can change into my loungy pajamas and sit down with a nice drink or my crochet project and relax, decompress. I like having that be a decision, rather than the default mode.
What will I wear tomorrow? Probably a skirt and a t-shirt, which is my typical choice.