If I’m very careful to leave the house before 8 and leave work no sooner that 5:30 and not really go outside in between, I can imagine that it’s fall here, because it does get cold over night.

Okay, I’m being crabby, but I’m actually happy that at least we have some indication of fall.

On the positive side, we can still dry clothes outside. (And the light is nice — October.)


And K and I went out for dinner (just blocks away from occupy Oakland).


Here’s poor, old, arthritic Jim.


I miss the kids — that’s what it is.


Oh well.


In pictures

The front


the back


It kind of works, don’t you think?

I had a lot of fun with it. M and I picked out the fabric in August, and she was going to make it but there was never time. I had to go back to the fabric store on Sunday to get a bit of extra stuff for the tail and the woman told me not to burn myself as she handed me the bag. Then I went to the toy store to get a space gun (because she’s a shooting star, get it?) and a head-lamp (there was a star tiara, but it’s lost in M’s room and I can’t find it) and the guys there thought it was pretty clever, and even the woman at the post office, who guessed that I was mailing a costume to my college-aged child, was kind of excited about it.

So — I hope she likes it. She’s heading to another college campus with K’s cousin A, and since he’s getting his MFA in painting, she will be going to the art dept party — so there is some pressure to have a good costume. I hope it fits. I’m pretty sure no one will notice the terrible construction.

And now I have to think of something to wear myself . . .

There’s always this, available on amazon:

The sexy garden gnome . . .

Shooting star

Because I am the pushover mom, and because M has no sewing machine and because I actually enjoy it a little bit, I am assembling a costume for M. It’s nearly all done except it needs to be hemmed. It’s a shooting star costume. It’s a midnight blue silky sheath with a cape of silky blue, orange and red with bits of red and orange tulle and a silvery star to somehow attach to the front of her. It’s good, I think.

But now I am tired. I’m suffering from work-crankiness. It happens.

I think I might go to bed now and get up early in the morning. Yawn.

That’s the news.

Weight of the world

The conference went very well.


The poster session was a great idea — it gave more people a chance to participate and it gave people something to look at in the in between moments.



The refreshments seemed adequate.



The speakers explained, debated, conspired and inspired.

John Willinsky -- the Open University

Maria Elena Cortez -- the Labor University

The librarian panelists provided practical and inspirational information


People hung around for the reception, which lasted an hour later than we’d even imagined. The weather cooperated, too.


It’s the kind of thing — you don’t realize how much you are worrying about something until it’s over and you feel like you have 20% of your brain back. I think, and it’s hard for me to be objective, that it was a great success.

Karen Butter -- conference closing

Also, side bonus, because the preconference mixer was at my house, my house is now incredibly, delightfully, clean.


We were in Maine about a month ago to see N. Part of the festivities included a concert by the college’s 80 bazillion a capella groups. They were all great, but one, the Manic Optimists, hit me in the clever sophmoric humor funny bone. They didn’t actually sing the song I’ve posted below, but I think it’s my favorite. It’s been stuck in my head ever since I found it on the interwebs.

I’m in Ohio


Sure is pretty here. (I do not know that man. Sorry, man.)


I really do like trees.


M knows these horses. The one on the right looks like a stumpy little hobbit horse. I think (M thinks) it’s a halflinger.


Here’s the student at work.

I wasn’t sure I should come. There’s a book on Jeanne’s table (Jeanne has a lot of books — I’m sure this will surprise you) about how important it is to disentangle yourself from your college-aged child in this digital era when it is possible to text them 40 times a day. This sort of thing does lead one to wonder what the correct amount of connectedness is, and whether you should actually just leave your kids alone and not visit them for parents’ weekend, especially when it is a somewhat expensive plane ride away. This year, the answer seems to be that you should visit your child, that it will be comforting to see the parts of their lives that are working well and even a relief to know about the parts that are somewhat worrying. That, of course, is from the perspective of the parent. But I was able, for instance, to buy M a lamp which seems pretty useful, and take her out for dinner and even force her to eat some fruit at breakfast in the dining hall (which seems oddly organized, but not horrible) and even provide some librarianish assistance. I’m not sure what we provided N beyond conversation, and some water bills which might prove useful for one of her classes. Well, and meals. I wish, now that we had gone to visit her more often.


A million thanks to Jeanne and her family for letting me stay in their homey house.