Saturday, April 7, 2007

Beantown Bound

So for those of you who don't know me, (though I'm pretty sure no strangers are reading this, at least not yet) I went to Boston University, graduated in December of 2005 and moved home jobless. I got a job down here in NJ, as an editorial assistant at Prentice Hall. Despite an utter hatred for all things Red Sox, I absolutely love Boston and miss it to death. I also love working in publishing, and opportunities in Boston are very limited in comparison with New York. So I had mostly resigned myself to living in NYC.

BUT I just got promoted to Assistant Editor, for another list--located in Boston! I'm so freaking excited. The job is kind of "more of the same," but more intensely, and with less administrative crap. Poo on administrative crap. (Haha, get it?) It's weird, because I didn't even really formally interview. My editor gave me rave reviews, there were a couple of phone calls to an editor up there, plus the Editorial Director (like an Editor-in-Chief, but responsible for more $$), and bam, I was offered the job on Thursday.

So I start May 1st from the office down here, and am going to spend May traveling up to find a sublet for the summer, and probably also training a replacement, assuming my editor hires someone before I move. I just kind of shut down when I think about HOW MUCH I have to do in the mean time. I have a big list of stuff my editor wants done before I leave, plus I have to find a sublet in Boston, possibly buy furniture, figure out what exactly I have and need for apartment living (I still have a lot of stuff from my college apartment, but a Swiffer, for instance, will need to be purchased, because I don't know what happened to mine), pack, say goodbye to everyone down here, start figuring out what to do with my car, etc, etc, etc. Oh, and learn how to do my new job! They want me in Boston in June, hopefully, so that's a lot on my plate. Have started looking over craigslist, have done so math to figure out what I can afford, etc. I think I'm going to need to move fast to find a good place for the summer, though.

Oh, and I'm supposed to be writing a paper right now. Oops.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

In Which the Knitter Actually Knits

So you've got the pseudo-intellectual-ese, now for some knitting.

This is my WiP, the Central Park Hoodie from the Fall 2006 Knit Scene, in Knit Picks Swish Navy. I'm fearing it will be too small--that's the front panels and the back knit as one piece. Fretfretfret.

A close-up of the cables:

I like this project. It's my first sweater. The Swish shows the cables nicely, and is soft. I'm just afraid about the sizing issues--I'd heard that the CPH runs small, so I'm knitting the largest size, and it still looks small. I'm also knitting very, very slowly on it, because after a weekend spent on the couch, knitting like a demon and on my laptop for inordinate amounts of time, I started getting tingling and pain in my hands and wrists, which I fear is early symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. More fretting!

I am proud of the photography. It's actually in natural light, with no flash! The color is a bit washed out. My photography skillz are pretty craptastic.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Poetry Spam!

"April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain."

T.S. Eliot, "The Waste Land"

And, because Geoffrey Chaucer told me to the General Prologue of the Canterbury Tales:

Whan that aprill with his shoures soote
The droghte of march hath perced to the roote,
And bathed every veyne in swich licour
Of which vertu engendred is the flour;
Whan zephirus eek with his sweete breeth
Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
Tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne
Hath in the ram his halve cours yronne,
And smale foweles maken melodye,
That slepen al the nyght with open ye
(so priketh hem nature in hir corages);
Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages,
And palmeres for to seken straunge strondes,
To ferne halwes, kowthe in sondry londes;
And specially from every shires ende
Of engelond to caunterbury they wende,
The hooly blisful martir for to seke,
That hem hath holpen whan that they were seeke.
Bifil that in that seson on a day,
In southwerk at the tabard as I lay
Redy to wenden on my pilgrymage
To caunterbury with ful devout corage,
At nyght was come into that hostelrye
Wel nyne and twenty in a compaignye,
Of sondry folk, by aventure yfalle
In felaweshipe, and pilgrimes were they alle,
That toward caunterbury wolden ryde.
The chambres and the stables weren wyde,
And wel we weren esed atte beste.
And shortly, whan the sonne was to reste,
So hadde I spoken with hem everichon
That I was of hir felaweshipe anon,
And made forward erly for to ryse,
To take oure wey ther as I yow devyse.
But nathelees, whil I have tyme and space,
Er that I ferther in this tale pace,
Me thynketh it acordaunt to resoun
To telle yow al the condicioun
Of ech of hem, so as it semed me,
And whiche they weren, and of what degree,
And eek in what array that they were inne;
And at a knyght than wol I first bigynne.

The Cruellest Month

Continuing the theme from yesterday, April is National Poetry Month. Read a poem, be it Dr. Suess or Goethe or William Carlos Williams. Write a haiku, who cares!

Though there are people who say that National Poetry Month is bad for poetry. Charles Bernstein writes:

National Poetry Month is about making poetry safe for readers by promoting examples of the art form at its most bland and its most morally "positive." The message is: Poetry is good for you. But, unfortunately, promoting poetry as if it were an "easy listening" station just reinforces the idea that poetry is culturally irrelevant and has done a disservice not only to poetry deemed too controversial or difficult to promote but also to the poetry it puts forward in this way. "Accessibility" has become a kind of Moral Imperative based on the condescending notion that readers are intellectually challenged, and mustn't be presented with anything but Safe Poetry. As if poetry will turn people off to poetry.

And he's not all wrong. It's like the poetry given to you in middle school. Watered down, flat. Boring. Unstimulating. Unimaginative. Good poetry should make you want to wrestle with it. It's an art form that engages the brain, as well as the imagination and the ear. It should be accessible on a multitude of levels, with subsequent readings adding new layers of meaning for the enjoyer of poetry.

But he's not all right, either. National Poetry Month is like the Oprah Book Club. I want to think the Book Club is bad, because people are only buying the book because Oprah told them to buy it. They're being sheep, they're not exercising their own judgment, they listen to her because she's a celebrity. She gets people to read and buy books that otherwise they wouldn't have bought or read. And she tends to pick really good books. (I am choosing to ignore James Frey's A Million Little Pieces, and Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections, both of which lost her endorsement anyway.) Many of these people are not readers, and wouldn't be if not for Oprah. Readers who do buy the book are likely to buy it whether or not Oprah recommended it. Similarly, National Poetry Month just might get teachers to talk about and encourage poetry in schools. It might cause someone to pause at a National Poetry Month table or endcap, and find someone new. Maybe someone will hear a poetry reading. Maybe one or all of these things will change something about a person, and suddenly, they will be poetry readers, or critics, or writers.

The problem isn't poetry, or National Poetry Month. The problem has to do with how our society is structured. With our schools. With allowing people to become frustrated and give up before they've even tried. Not enough teachers push their students. And we don't have enough good teachers because our society doesn't care about education. But that's a rant for another day.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Not with a bang but a whimper

I spent some time trying to think about what I would do with this blog. Should it be knitting exclusive? Should it have any knitting? Should I make a (pseudo) intellectual blog? Should I just post whatever I wanted to post, whenever?

I don't think I could stay monogamous to one topic, and after typing "intellectural" elsewhere on teh intarnetz, I decided that probably wouldn't be the best of ideas.

I've got nothing of substance to post tonight.

This is the way the blog starts
This is the way the blog starts
This is the way the blog starts
Not with a bang but a whimper.