1/31: many thoughts

A day of thinking:  about the Iliad and the Odyssey, about philosophy and poverty (prompted by Chris' reading/thinking for one of his classes), about what it is to teach and learn an ancient non-spoken language, about moves people (in literature and in life) make to shore up their identity.

1/30: returning home

...to conversation with Chris and scallion pancakes.

1/29: sun, sound, and remembering

Walking in the afternoon sun while listening to (and still very much enjoying) Wintersmith.  And remembering that I saw an eagle on Friday afternoon.

1/28: a little break

...from my to-do list.

1/27: sorting and straightening

No one came to my office hours this afternoon--which is kind of sad.  But I used the time to do some organizing and clearing that really needed to happen.  I'm glad I'll be returning to a tidier office on Monday morning.

1/26: starting and finishing

...the workday with Homer:  the Odyssey in the morning, the Iliad in the evening.

1/25: unexpected

A spur-of-the-moment end-of-day conversation with a colleague.  And we kept realizing that there was more we wanted to talk about together.

1/24: a few postcards

...written during quick breaks at work and dropped off at the post office on my way home.  They were all for really nice people to whom I owed mail, and it felt good to be sending something their way.

1/23: toum

When we were visiting my brother in Salt Lake City we went to a wonderful Lebanese restaurant in his neighborhood--he's a lucky fellow; it's only a few doors down from his house!  I loved the toum (a kind of garlic sauce), so I decided to try my hand at making some myself.  We had it with a Lebanese-inspired dinner yesterday and today.

1/22: after (almost) a decade

...I'm teaching the Iliad again.  I had to stop teaching it when I got colleagues who wanted to use it in their regularly taught courses (so I switched to the Odyssey for the general Myth class), but this semester I'm teaching a special course focused on the Trojan War, and we are reading the Iliad in its entirety for that.  Of course the past ten years haven't been entirely Iliad-less for me:  I've taught some of it in Greek and looked at select parts in Greek and/or English for various classes and projects, but it feels very good to be revisiting the text as a whole again.

1/21: after a decade

I'll be teaching some students how to sew a Coptic binding on Wednesday, so I had to rehearse how to do it myself.  It had been a decade (and perhaps a bit more than that) since I had done that kind of stitch.  It's not my favorite binding to do (hence the decade hiatus), but getting into the rhythm felt nice.

1/20: resurgam

I started today's Latin class with asking them to translate the verb form resurgam ("I will rise") and then showing them sketches of the 19th c. submarines named Resurgam designed and built by George Garrett.

1/19: morning epiphany

...of a new kind of assignment to try out in my Trojan War class.

1/18: welcome feedback

...from my partner in the swap which prompted me to make the Robert Burns booklets earlier this month.  My pamphlets are unusual, so I'm always a little nervous when I send them into the world, and then it's such a delight (and relief) when people receive them kindly.

1/17: bookmarks

I designed some Heron Tree bookmarks last week, and today they arrived from the printer.  I liked the look of them on my computer screen, but I had been holding my breath / keeping my fingers crossed that they would look okay when printed.  And they do.  Whew.

Here they are:

And this one lists one noun from each poem in our fourth (most recent) volume:

1/16: finishing, starting, and continuing

Finished:  a writing project that's taken far too long.  As a bonus I especially liked writing the last sentence; it seemed fitting as a last sentence.

Started:  listening to Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett.  It took me awhile to choose a book to start listening to (I finished Arabella on Saturday), and I'm really glad I persevered and found this one.  I got pulled into the story so quickly that I kept sweeping the house just to keep listening.

Continued:  proofreading Alfred Church's Faery Queen and Her Knights. It's my favorite thing that I've worked on for Project Gutenberg so far.

1/15: antidotes

I started reading Thoreau's "Walking" yesterday and was excited to pick it up again this morning. Unfortunately, my feelings about the essay changed as I read on; I got more frustrated and disgruntled the more I read. I was keyed up with ambivalence! Working on Trollope helped, as did a gin and tonic, a walk to the lake, and reading some of Ben and Me (a childhood favorite).

1/14: accordion binding

It's not my favorite book-binding technique, but it lends itself well to presenting certain kinds of content in a way that mass-produced books can't, so I've ended up using it a fair amount--for falling down falling through (summer 2015), metamorphoses (summer 2016), and now sprung tune (January 2017), as well as for 2 color-concept blank booklets (inspired by paint chips) I made this evening.  It can be a vexatious binding, but I'm glad I've gotten all the practice with the form and some variations, and I've made my peace with it.

1/13: concrete & the faery queen

I read an interesting article in Artforum magazine this morning about the restoration of Wolf Vostell's Concrete Traffic and the use of concrete in his other art.

This afternoon I did some Project Gutenberg work, proofreading some pages of Alfred Church's retelling of Spenser's Faerie Queene.  Really fun.

1/12: porch time

It was warm enough to sit on the porch with the cats this morning!

1/11: venus

...through my camera.

1/10: a song

...that made me smile and laugh (in delight) so much I almost cried:  the Dropkick Murphys' cover of "You'll Never Walk Alone."

1/9: new plan

A project with a deadline didn't work out the way I had hoped it would, but I thought of a substitute that would do the trick.

1/8: at home

It was good to see my family, but it's also good to be back home and still have a week before I have to be in the office regularly. This evening I went to the dock at sunset time, and the wintry lake was shimmering as I listened to Arabella on my iPod. I felt like me.

1/7: squarrels

Our flight left later than others', so Chris and I had a little longer in Salt Lake City with my brother.  We went to an art museum, had a nice lunch out, and played Squarrels, one of the squirrel-themed games he had sent me for my birthday.

1/6: curry for Epiphany

When I was growing up my mother always used to make curry for the feast of the Epiphany.  Today we were all together in Salt Lake City and went out for a curry dinner.

1/5: kandinsky cupcakes

I'd been wanting to decorate cupcakes like Kandinsky's circles in this painting (link), and my brother and I thought it would be a good thing to do when the whole family got together.  And it was.

1/4: a reworking

I finished reading Clemence McLaren's Inside the Walls of Troy (which is on the syllabus for my Trojan War class this coming semeter), and I liked the way she re-did Priam's embassy to Achilles.

1/3: Chris & fiction

A day with some errands and some body pains--but Chris was a great companion around town, and the Comet in Moominland (out loud with Chris) and Arabella (on my iPod) kept me company at home.

1/2: moomins again

Chris and I started reading Comet in Moominland aloud together via Skype when he was in New Mexico last year, but he had some health troubles while out there that made reading aloud at night hard, so we put the reading on hold.  Now we've restarted the book, and oh it's fun.

1/1: coffee and Carmen Herrera

Chris was out walking when I woke up this morning, but before he went he had gotten everything ready for my coffee--all I had to do was flip the switch on.

And while I was drinking my coffee I read an article by Sarah K. Rich in Artforum about Carmen Herrera's exhibit at the Whitney.  I was so glad to learn about Herrera, and I really enjoyed Rich's comments about Herrera's use of triangles.