For a variety of reasons, some of which I’m not certain I could name, names are extremely important to me. I’m a linguist. I love literature. I love history, especially Church history. I love Saints. I love names and their meanings.

Despite being a young, single woman with no prospects, I have a selection of names that I want to use for the children I hope to have someday with my future husband. (Maria, Nicholas, John, Thomas, Katherine, Elizabeth, Felicity, Elinor, Teresa, Peter, James, and Michael are but a few ideas. Maria is much more definite than the others.)

Anyway, I just read a blog post about names. One of the comments on the blog said that when choosing a name, you should make sure that your child will never be asked “And how do you spell that?”

My name is Cecilia, in honor of the patron saint of music. It is a beautiful name and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. (I’m so glad I escape Petra and Paulina by not being born on this day 23 years ago, the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul.) But it is hard to spell. I get “Cecelia” and “Sicilia” far more than I get “Cecilia.”

Having had people misspell my name for nearly 23 years, I’ve gotten used to spelling it out. And my boss’s three-year-old named Francesca, I’m sure that’s going to be hard to spell. Nevertheless, it’s a beautiful name and she will live.

Someday, I’ll hopefully name one of my daughters Elinor. And people will confuse it with Eleanor and Elanor. But I hope that she understands the beauty of that name and the meaning behind it-the heroine of Sense and Sensibility as well as being derived from the same root as Helen.

So name your kids harder-to-spell names. Give them unique and beautiful names. And hopefully they’ll grow to love them.


Monday-ne Confessions

1. I’m bad at making my bed. I’m not sure I can explain this more clearly, but I’m just not good at making my bed. My sheets come loose. I can’t remember which side of the flat sheet is supposed to be up. And I don’t neaten up my bed every day. I only do that on Mondays when I change my sheets.

2. I’m working again. I rebind textbooks and I love it. But I’m so tired. So. Tired.

3. I’m also sunburned. That does not help. It only makes a tired girl cranky.

4. I finally finished one of Bigfoot’s socks. Mom asked if this meant that she had to listen to me complain my way through another sock. I said yes. I complain too much.

5. I’m thinking a lot about teaching this fall. I won’t let my students use “a lot”  in their writing but I do it in my blogging. Maybe I’m a little hypocritical.

6. I love the fact that Starbucks is named after a character in Moby Dick. It makes me respect them a little more.

7. I love thinking about finding ways to make books more accessible to kids. Plus, it gives me an excuse to spend my summer watching movies like Equilibrium and Gattaca. (NB: If you haven’t seen either of those movies, watch them. They’re delightful dystopias that make me so proud of all that the dystopian genre has accomplished since Brave New World. BNW was only the beginning of an exciting, intriguing, and disturbingly prophetic genre. I think Huxley would be proud.)

8. I’m trying to force myself to finish as many of my knitting projects as I can in the next ten days. We’ll see.

9. Pandora is currently playing “The Breaking of the Fellowship” from The Fellowship of the Ring soundtrack. It is my all-time favorite piece of classical music and it utterly breaks my heart and fills my heart with hope and joy-all at the same time. The instruments are perfect. The boy who sings the song at the end had such a lovely voice. And somewhere in it all is the idea that love is as strong as the grave. These people will sacrifice anything for their friends. As Aragorn says, “If by my life or death I can protect you, I will.”

That’s friendship. It’s heart-breakingly beautiful, and that’s what makes this stuff real art, in my book at least.


Another Open Letter

Dear Knitter,

Sure those other projects look pretty. And the yarns waiting to be used are gorgeous. But let’s be reasonable for a minute here.

You have five projects on needle at the moment. You need to finish some of them. So, let’s try this. You may not cast on any more projects until you finish at least two of the current projects. Try to get your June self-imposed sock goal met.

And finish the Sedum. It’s not hard.

So throw a movie in the DVD player and knit Katie’s sock. Then, when that movie is done, throw another movie in and work on the Sedum for a while.

Rinse and repeat this process as often as necessary until you have finished the sock and the body of the Sedum.

And cast the second Charade sock on so you can carry it around in your purse to the various events you must attend this weekend.

After all, you have the afternoon off work. Put it to good use.

Sincerely yours,

The five projects you currently have going

Assemblé Shawlette

A few days ago, I meandered into the free pattern testers group on Rav and found a designer who was looking for knitters to test a shawl and shawlette that she had designed. I had the right sized needles, some yarn I could use, and some time to kill; plus the shawlette looked pretty.

So I volunteered my services, received the pattern, and cast on. That was Friday. I finished it today. And I blocked it today.


Yes, I am a poor college student who really does use pushpins and cardboard for blocking. It works.

I’m a big fan of how the finished product looks. I love the detail on the lace pattern.

So, now all I need is a shawl pin and an excuse to wear it. It will definitely see use in the fall while I’m teaching.

Now, I need to go back to knitting socks. And I’ve got a skirt I need to sew.


Random Thursday

  1. So it’s June, June 2 to be precise. This means that there are only 29 shopping days left until my birthday and Canada’s birthday. While I’m not sure what the Great White North wants for its birthday, I have an wish list where you can peruse my dreams, hopes, and desires. And I want a Knit Picks ball winder. Or a mug that says something about how I am excessively diverted.
  2. In addition to this, I finished one of those socks I was working on the other day. The second sock in the pair has to wait until I get that package I ordered from Knit Picks on Tuesday…and then accidentally had it sent to my old address, so it won’t get here for about a week since the USPS will have to forward to me at my current address.
  3. In the past two weeks, I have fallen in love with two amazing songs: Adele’s cover of Bob Dylan’s “Make You Feel My Love” and Regina Spektor’s Samson.
  4. I have read both The Fountainhead and Brave New World. Now I just need to figure out what angles i want to teach them from. I think for BNW I want to use comparisons to other dystopian works-like The Giver, the Hunger Games trilogy, and Equilibrium.
  5. If you haven’t read The Hunger Games yet, go do it. Now. Especially if you want to teach English to middle schoolers or high schoolers.
  6. Today is the Feast of the Ascension. (In German, that’s Christi Himmelfahrt.) After all, Jesus ascended into heaven 40 days after his Resurrection, not forty days or the nearest Sunday to 40 days after. And Pentecost was 10 days after the Ascension, not 7. Dear Roman Catholic Bishops of American, please take a lesson from your English brothers and move Ascension and Epiphany/Theophany back to their original dates. Some people might like to celebrate the Twelfth Night and Ascension Thursday.
  7. I’m getting off the soapbox now. I really just want to see those Holy Days put back on their appropriate dates. I have this thing for the significance of numbers like 12 and 40.