Archive for the ‘getting old’ Category

lost arts

October 15, 2013

I read the book Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros some years ago and a scene from it just came back to me today.

Part of the book talks about how one of the character’s mother was a renowned maker of shawls.  But the mother died before she could pass on her skills and knowledge, and all the daughter had was a half-finished piece, which she, as a young child, mouthed and took comfort in and knotted and unknotted the strands.  The knowledge was lost forever.

I wonder, if I keep knitting, will my children care about the pieces I make?  Will they want the last thing I was working on?  Will what interest I have in crafting be passed on, or will it be lost?

I do have a plan to teach the kids to knit, regardless of their ultimate interest in it.  Beyond that, I guess I don’t have a say.



crafty kids

April 27, 2013

You know what I love about kids and crafts?  They just do it.  There’s no “why” or “what good is this for” or “what am I getting out of this?”  You give them something to make, and they tend to make it.  (My kids are pretty young, maybe that’s why this still works.)

Kids get the whole thing about “making something.”   H isn’t super interested in the doing of it, but he’s interested in the end product and wants me to make him stuff.  J is interested in making a stitch or two and then she’s done.  But she likes to watch and try on the things I’ve made (hats for virtually anybody, socks for her father, mitts for me).  It’s pretty funny.  We both enjoy it.

I don’t know what happens to us as we get older and many of us lose that understanding of “making something.”  I did.  And where storebought and the status quo becomes desired.  And now that I’m back to making stuff without some voice in my head asking “why,” I’m a bit sad.  Imagine how awesome my knitting/writing would have been had I focused on it years ago.

Still, I’m making something now, my kids get it, and I’m good with that.


May 8, 2012

My mother guilted me into going home this weekend and attending the first birthday party of my sister’s twins.  Yes, it’s very important.  It’s also a bit annoying to discover I am so easily moved by guilt into doing something that is really inconvenient for me.   Then my mother guilted me into buying gifts for the twins, when I had a perfectly good check to give, so I ended up giving both things – all the things.  Then I ran around a bit running errands for her (my mother/my sister – it doesn’t matter in this case as the end result was the same).  No matter how old I get, I am never going to be immune to my mother’s guilt-inducing powers.

It was an okay weekend for other reasons.

I had a couple of conversations with my father about what it was like to live in Korea after the partition but before the war.  He tried to explain about the  mandatory ‘critical sessions.’  Once a week, everybody in the village would go to the meeting hall and there somebody would be selected to be criticized.  “You’re bad!” or “You’ve done bad!”  is what he said lots of people would say, and he demonstrated a lot of pointing.  He still remembers this, having attended these meetings from when he was seven.  He said it didn’t really matter how old you were, you still got yelled at by everybody in the village.  Also, you had to speak quietly in your own house, because you didn’t know if somebody from outside would report you.  People also disappeared from the village.   He said that years after they had crossed into South Korea, his father, my grandfather, caught up with some people from their home village.  It had been rumored that my grandfather’s name was next to be “disappeared.”  (I’m not remembering it exactly, but some people might have shown up a day or two after my grandfather had crossed over, presumably to make him disappear.)

I also learned that this one adult from my childhood wasn’t just a random friend of my father’s.  He was actually a kind of cousin.  (Head, meet desk.)  I am so oblivious, somebody should just whack me on the head periodically, just because.   My brother and sister did a bout of eyerolling because I just am so clueless.   But this explains so much!  Why he felt so free to drape an arm around me and pat my head.  It seems suddenly less  weird (it wasn’t very really creepy, because he wasn’t a creepy guy, but just I had no idea who this guy was which was what made it weird).

Talking to my parents make a lot of my childhood seem less random.  Perhaps I should talk to them more, but because I want to and not because I am guilted into it.

This post is getting long, so I’ll just end it with this:  remind me to tell you the story about my grandmother – it’s like something out of a soap opera.

it’s good to be old

September 30, 2011

I bring you news of the internet – where I have been hiding. I mean, thinking about writing.

I have found lots of pronz.  Which is sort of uh, not awesome.   Because I wasn’t really looking for it.  (Geez, you’d think that’s all that drives technology.  Wait a minute…)  But, I have found this totally awesome thing – here (warning, posts here are occasionally NSFW).  There’s Fanfic Friday, where there is much sporking of bad fanfic pronz.  Ohh, I love the spork. It is delish, yo.

And then, randomly, there are the cooking communities on LiveJournal.  Which is weird, because I sort of now equate LJ with fanfic that is often NSFW.  I have even found a slow-cooker community.  It’s like – I don’t know – all of my dreams of fanfic and food In One Place.

I’m so glad the Internet did not exist in its current form when I was in school.  I would never have gotten anything done.   I don’t wonder how the students these days are incapable of finishing anything – or so I’ve heard.  I’m barely capable of finishing anything.   Speaking of which, I should get off the net and actually start crackin’ on my exchange fic, now that I’ve gotten my assignment and all.  (But honestly, I’m sort of excited about it, you guys.)

recent favorite quote

December 17, 2010

“I know I tell you kids a lot of inappropriate things,” (followed by, ” but there’s no way in hell I’m telling you that).”  From the show How I Met Your Mother.

I was going to put up a funny image I had made, but I am apparently too bass ackward to figure out how.  But soon.  I just have to venture into the help to learn what else I’m failing at while I get this little piece of information.  Eeek.

Also, I just saw the ad for the movie Eclipse and it made me laugh out loud.  SO INTENSE.

Youth and beauty? Nuh-uh.

August 6, 2008

I have some friends who have some young guys at in-laws, and I have to say – maybe I’m an old lady or something is wrong with me – but these guys are kind of butt. Really full of themselves and know everything and not particularly helpful or anything. The kind of guy who would make their wives/girlfriends carry all the luggage if they didn’t feel like carrying it themselves.

When I hear about guys like this, I wonder about all those older women who have things with younger men. I mean – yuck. Why have a thing with a young guy who’s an idiot – unless it’s just for physical things – but you’d have to talk to them sometimes, if only to tell them to get out. Maybe I shouldn’t say ‘all those’ because I actually don’t know any.

I am getting old. I was recently talking to a student and he asked me something about how his map/poster looked and I said to get rid of some thing because it made the item look nicer and easier to read. Then he replied ‘but it’s prettier this way.’ Then I said, “at my age, one prefers simplicity and easy to read over beauty.” He found this hilarious. But in thinking about it, I do believe it. I’m over beauty only. Give me simplicity and easy to read. And a dude who’ll carry all the luggage while we’re traveling.

the good, bad and ugly

August 4, 2008

So I’m starting my downward slide into old-lady health early. I’ve got IBS (irritable bowel syndrome, for those in the know. Like anybody wants to be in the know with this disease). It’s a terrible name for a condition that’s livable, but embarrassing.

This is not helped by some of the things in my past. I used to work for a bookstore, and I had received in a book (probably called something like “living with irritable bowel syndrome; management techniques” or something fairly medical sounding). The title that came up under that ISBN was ‘good gut, bad gut.’

I’ve had IBS for going on 10 years now – and it’s not great, but manageable. I’m a bit under the weather right now, which is why I’m up to writing about it.

W calls it ‘gimpy guts.’ He’s so supportive.

This syndrome gets no sympathy. Maybe that’s because of the body part involved. If you had irritable heart syndrome, people would treat it more seriously – and they’d give you that ‘oh, sorry’ face while you talk about it. But because it’s about bowels – it becomes funny. Even little things. Warts are icky. But genital warts – that’s horrible, and giggly. Even- god forbid – cancer. You get butt cancer, I don’t care how serious, you’re going to get your butt cut off, people will laugh. That’s why it ‘colon cancer.’ Not ‘anus cancer.’ Or ‘butthole cancer.’

So, where’s my celebrity endorsement? Ronald Reagan and Rita Hayward are the face of Alzheimer’s, everybody is helping AIDs research, and Bill and Melinda Gates are all about malaria awareness and prevention. Who’s the marshall of my parade? I’m willing to hear the case of anybody interested. Nobody’s interested. That’s right. Nobody wants to be identified with good gut, bad gut or butt cancer. The closest we’ve got is Katie Couric, because of the colon cancer checkup stuff. All I can say is if Katie Couric actually had IBS, no way would she be that perky. I’m sorry, but that’s true.