Wednesday, May 27th, 2015 07:14 pm
Or: what DIDN'T you read this week?

We all have things we mean to read, but never quite find the time, whether it's a bunch of unopened tabs, or an ever growing pile of books by the bed.

What's on your to-be-read list this week?
Wednesday, May 27th, 2015 12:00 pm
Wednesday, May 27th, 2015 05:48 pm
I've not been keeping up with Craft Wot I've Been Doing/Finished - the last listing I made was back in July of last year. 

Where are those projects up to?

Crochet - all of the original three are finished and gifted (and at least one more finished and gifted), but I haven't got around to blogging them - I'm calling an amnesty on that, and declaring them done. Knitting - I think I frogged the rainbow blanket, and then created a crochet baby blanket from it instead (rainbow + purple suggests the one that went to baby sister of youngest's skate teammate). Youngest's jacket is still ongoing, but at least I found the instructions again this morning. Quilting - bright stripes went to someone (umm), as did the dusty pink (twin 2). Purple ducks and bright pink - one of these is sandwiched, the other needs one row of sewing for the top to be done. Blogging of the individual squares has stalled - again, I'm going to amnesty this one, as I would rather put my crafting effort into physical objects. But the photos are still somewhere...

As for the 'other quilts/bedding' - I don't think I've touched a single one of them. 

the current list )
Wednesday, May 27th, 2015 10:30 am
From Round About a Pound a Week, by Maud Pember Reeves and Charlotte Wilson, 1913

This is scuppering the myth that working class families are bad managers, who just need a little helpful advice from the lady visitors. And it’s done so well - stepping us, the reader, the middle-class why-dont-they’s through all the good, the very good reasons why the poor don’t feed their children porridge for breakfast.

The visitors in this investigation hoped to carry with them a gospel of porridge to the hard-worked mothers of families in Lambeth. The women of Lambeth listened patiently, according to their way, agreed to all that was said, and did not begin to feed their families on porridge. Being there to watch and note rather than to teach and preach, the visitors waited to hear, when and how they could, what the objection was. It was not one reason, but many. Porridge needs long cooking; if on the gas, that means expense; if on an open fire, constant stirring and watching just when the mother is most busy getting the children up. Moreover, the fire is often not lit before breakfast. It was pointed out that porridge is a food which will keep when made. It could be cooked when the children are at school, and merely warmed up in the morning. The women agreed again, but still no porridge. It seemed, after further patient waiting on the part of the visitors, that the husbands and children could not abide porridge to use the expressive language of the district, "they 'eaved at it."

Why? Well cooked the day before, and eaten with milk and sugar, all children liked porridge. But the mothers held up their hands. Milk ! Who could give milk or sugar either, for that matter ? Of course, if you could give them milk and sugar, no wonder ! They might eat it then, even if it was a bit burnt. Porridge was an awful thing to burn in old pots if you left it a minute ; and if you set the pot flat on its bottom instead of holding it all to one side to keep the burnt place away from the flame, it would " ketch" at once. An' then, if you'd happened to cook fish or " stoo "in the pot for dinner, there was a kind of taste come out in the porridge. It was more than they could bear to see children who was 'ungry, mind you, pushin' their food away or 'eavin' at it. So it usually ended in a slice of "bread and marge“ all round, and a drink of tea, which was the breakfast they were accustomed to. One woman wound up a long and patient explanation of why she did not give her husband porridge with: "An', besides, my young man 'e say, Ef you gives me that stinkin' mess, I'll throw it at yer." Those were the reasons. It is true that to make porridge a good pot which is not burnt, and which is not used for "fish or stoo," is needed. It is also true that to eat porridge with the best results milk is needed. If neither of these necessaries can be obtained, porridge is apt to be burnt or half cooked, and is in either case very unpalatable. Children do not thrive on food they loathe, and men who are starting for a hard day's work refuse even to consider the question. What is the mother to do ? Of course, she gives them food they do like and can eat, bread and margarine or bread and jam, with a drop of hot weak tea. The women are very fond of Quaker oats when they can afford the luxury, and if milk is provided to drink with it. They can cook a little portion in a tin enamelled cup, and so escape the family saucepan.
Wednesday, May 27th, 2015 01:09 am
I've been going to the gym lately. I've had a membership to a YMCA nearby but have had poor luck going consistently in the past. At least the Y is charity-like, so all those months I paid for nothing I can tell myself it was a donation.

I try to go every day -- wake up, roll out of bed and into clothes and off to the gym before everything but xanax. It was much harder trying to go on a schedule; it made every day require too much thought, decisions, anxiety. Now, I don't make it every day, but I try to.

I have no gym goals. I tend to see far off into the future, goal-wise. Occasionally that long view is motivating. The rest of the time the distance feels impossible, the small actions today an insignificant amount of progress, and the whole thing becomes a depressing failure.

A scorecard for my gym excursions would look something like this:
  • wake up at reasonable / earlyish hour
  • leave apartment w/ gym bag
  • arrive at gym
  • change into gym clothes in locker room
    • increased difficulty rating for someone else in same isle, or group of people talking nearby
  • rowing machine
    • increased difficulty for someone using the other machine (there's only two in the whole gym)
    • double increased difficulty if both machines are being used, because wtf am I supposed to do with myself while basically loitering
  • free weights (in the less intimidating of the two weight rooms; eventually I'll probably need to 'upgrade' to the other one)
    • increased difficulty if there's anyone else in that part of the room
    • increased difficulty for trying anything new
    • super increased difficulty if anyone is doing things close to what I'm planning on doing (currently this has always resulted in me NOPE'ing right out of there)
  • shower & change into street clothes in locker room
  • leave gym (basically a freebie for getting this far)