Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Marie O'Keefe Vorobely

My dad just called. Grandma died last night.

I met Grandma when I was just a little girl, 2 or 3 years old. She lived in the apartment complex opposite ours. She had other grandchildren - her sons' kids - and we all used to play together. I remember that she used to have the flavored ice cream cones - the cake cones that were brown, pink, or green. She wasn't biologically related to us, of course, but that never made her any less family.

Her first marriage was abusive, and with the help of her parish priest, she escaped and divorced. I can only imagine how bad the marriage must have been for a Catholic priest to actually condone divorce. She was a tough lady with a sparkle about her... my mom always referred to her as a leprechaun. The last true memory I have of her is from 1999 when I took her to a Dervish concert (Irish music) in Pittsburgh. She practically danced in her seat the whole time. She wasn't even five feet tall, but her spirit was huge.

That sparkle has been extinguished for many years now. Alzheimers took her mind and spirit long before her body died, but I still feel incredibly sad to know she's really gone. And her husband Sam will be devastated. I don't know how he's going to keep going without her. Their friends have slowly disappeared, unable to cope with Marie's slide. Grandma was always the social butterfly, and Sam was the cranky old man with the heart of gold.

I'm worried about how that heart's going to hold up through this.

But wherever Grandma is now, it has to be a better place than the one she'd been trapped in for the last eight years. So I'm going to picture her in her gingham square dancing dress with the fluffy petticoats and that impish grin and twinkling eyes.

I hope you're dancing with all the handsome young men. I hope they can keep up with you.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

What I've been doing instead of blogging

Now, hopefully, I'll get this picture thing right the first try... here goes.

This is the belated xmas/valentine's present for my G'ma-in-law:

Swallowtail Shawl 1

Note my teeny tiny desk and the resulting mess. Also note the brand new MacBook! Now, knitting lace is kind of nifty because it looks all soft and squishy (and far smaller than desired) when fresh off the needles. To change this, you have to soak it and then stretch it flat and pin it in the desired position like this:

Swallowtail Shawl 2

I have more pictures to post, but I'll stop momentarily to test the process.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Snow Day!

****But first... HAPPY 23rd Birthday, Kar-baby! Enjoy the Big Day in the Big Apple!****

Now back to our regularly scheduled posting...

College was cancelled today because of massive amounts of snow! Yay! (To both news items - snow for skiing and a day without classes... what more could a tired adjunct in Vermont want?)

Of course, I still haven't gotten a passport picture taken, though I did pick up the form, and it's all filled out and ready to go. My errand time has been sucked up the last week or so by the Craft Night event I organized for this past Monday. I had to make flyers and get the student women to put them up, send out campus-wide emails, make a 4 foot by 6 foot banner to hang in the theater lobby, shop for supplies, harrass the staff and faculty women for additional supplies and money, and ultimately show up for two hours to help people learn knitting basics.

The event was really fun though - people who had to leave early seemed very sad about it. Students painted unfinished wooden picture frames and door hangers (the flat rectangular type that has a round hole for hanging from a doorknob), while others learned to crochet or knit. And now I have a list of ten names of people who want to start up a stitch'n'bitch group on campus. My next project...

So I am going to enjoy my snow day. I'm going to knit and read and play on the computer and not worry about anything school related.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Yes, I know it's just a comic strip

I read For Better or For Worse most days. Recently, at Christmas, one character rushed back into the house to save his just finished manuscript. So, obviously, the earliest he could have sent it out would have been a few days after Christmas.

Last week he gets a full book contract in the mail. RIGHT. He sends a manuscript, unsolicited, to a publisher, over the holidays... and they get back to him with a full contract in a matter of weeks? On what planet? Things can't work that differently in Canada. I won't get into the point that the book is supposed to be coming out in the fall...

Yes, I know it's a comic strip. Yes, I know that the creator is trying to tie up all storylines by the fall. Yes, I know that people should not be relying on comics for accurate representation or information.

But it still bugs me.

Monday, February 05, 2007

The Next Wave

The tail end of the flood of marriages is passing. We've been to a dozen or so weddings in the past 5 years. Our friends (and we) were all slow starters, relatively speaking. The first of my friends to get married was a Dartmouth classmate who married his childhood sweetheart in 2002 on labor day weekend. Five minutes later, two other dear ol' Dartmouth friends married each other. Since then, many more friends - college and otherwise - have gotten hitched. The last of my inner circle who wants to get married is doing so in Denver this May.

So now the next phase begins. The divorces.

In our completely non-scientific observations, we've noticed that the more people spend on the actual wedding party, the shorter their marriages seem to last. (We figure we're sitting pretty, having only spent $75, plus tea and dessert at the local coffee shop.)

Two friends who married on Long Island in the summer of 2003 (and whose wedding probably cost at least 1000 times what ours did) have recently filed for divorce. Two more friends who married "down the shore" in New Jersey in the summer of 2004 have a disaster brewing - both of them liked the idea of being married more than they liked each other. I can only hope they do the right thing and call it quits before the karmic debt skyrockets.

The only positive aspect of this is that the divorce wave is hitting before the baby wave did.

Of course, I hope I'm not speaking too soon...