Monthly Archives: April 2013

Pollyanna struggles along womanfully

Lyda here.

Okay, I don’t know if I am struggling along womanfully, or struggling along whining and complaining and dragging my feet… although I suspect the later.

One of my siblings sent me an email a while ago that went “I was talking to [two of our other siblings] and we all realized that we don’t know what’s going on with you.”

That’s because nothing much is going on with me.

Since graduation. Last August.

Work? Same. Living situation? Same. Finances? Mostly the same. Instead of paying for school, I am now paying off debt. Which is good. Physically? Same. Or possibly worse.

I’m trying Crazy Aunt Purl’s 20-minute plan for the cleaning.

Otherwise, same stuff, different day.

So, in response to the “we don’t know what’s happening with you, sister,” I did two things.

  • I sent an email to these three siblings, and told them the only Big News (which isn’t my news at all, it’s the Sith Master’s news):  my son received official notice that he has gotten into the university that he wanted, and he will be transferring from his community college to the university in the fall. Woo-hoo!
  • I actually answered the phone on Saturday when One of the Three called me. And as I suspected I would, I blubbered all over him about all kinds of stuff, and asked him questions he had already answered previously, and generally was a mess.

And the good thing is, they all love me and they don’t care if I cry on them. Not that they don’t care if I cry, they do – but they are okay with me falling apart in phone conversations and/or emails. As my brother said on Saturday and I paraphrase: “This is real stuff. I’d rather talk to you about this than talk about surface b.s. anyway.”

So here’s to talking to people about real stuff. Especially the ones who love us.

Because if we can’t be real with them, what’s the point?

As Robin Williams said on his comedy album:

“Reality. What a concept.”

I highly recommend that one. I probably still have most of it memorized.

More Robin Williams: “Weave? I don’t even knit!” Ha! Still a knit blog!


Pollyanna is a tree-hugger

Lyda here.

IT’S ARBOR DAY! Plant a tree. Or at least hug one.

Here’s an appropriate mug for sci-fi geek tree-huggers like the Pollyannas:

Trees For Tomorrow! Mug

Of course, we’d also like the space pirate mug. Hoist the solar sail so we can be off lootin’ and plunderin’ the cosmos!

Or the Ladies World Domination Mug“Don’t make me come down there.”

But I digress…

Pollyanna tries not to whine

Lyda here. This started as a side note in another post, and grew and grew – as these things sometimes do – until it became it’s own post. Sometimes these things get away from me.

Sam: So how’s your life?
Karen: Oh, great. How’s yours?
Sam: Not so great.
Karen: Oh, we’re telling the truth.
                  from The Big Chill

I have a chronic illness. Please don’t ask me about it, or about my health. Odds are, I won’t tell you, and if I do, odds are we’ll both be sorry.

I try not to think too much about it, as there isn’t much to be done that I’m not already doing. I certainly try not to talk about it. I find it boring, so it’s got to be deathly dull to others.

I finally stopped telling people what it is, because I find it exhausting. Either people have never heard of it and want me to explain it to them – as if I am a medical version of the Hitchhiker’s Guide* – or they know all about it and they know exactly how I am mishandling it.

The second category tells me that their sister’s podiatrist’s cousin’s neighbor has the same thing, and they are:

  • handling it so much better than I am through diet/exercise/medication/prayer/painting themselves blue and lying in the middle of the road – and I’m stupid if I don’t immediately do it too,

or else the person is:

  • suffering so much more than I am and doing it so nobly that it is an inspiration to everyone on the planet. Unlike me. I’m such a slacker.

To which my response is:

             This is not a competition.


We are all just doing the best that we can with whatever we each have to deal with. I like to believe that we are doing it with as much grace and humor as we can muster on any given day. I’d like to think that we are helping each other along the way with humor and tact, and always with the understanding that each of us is on our own journey.

So I prefer to keep the health part of my journey private. I’d rather talk about other things.

Books. TV. Cats. Zombies.

Seen any good movies lately?


*  “In many of the more relaxed civilizations on the Outer Eastern Rim of the Galaxy, the Hitchhiker’s Guide has already supplanted the great Encyclopaedia Galactica as the standard repository of all knowledge and wisdom, for though it has many omissions and contains much that is apocryphal, or at least wildly inaccurate, it scores over the older, more pedestrian work in two important respects. First, it is slightly cheaper; and secondly it has the words DON’T PANIC inscribed in large friendly letters on its cover.”  – Douglas Adams


It could be worse. It could be raining.

Pollyanna and the Random Weirdness of Work – now with 50% more sex!

Lyda here.

It’s been a while since we’ve had a Wednesday Random Weirdness post. So here goes:

The Random Weirdness of Work – now with 50% more SEX!

1.) Jobs that we’re glad are extinct (at least, we hope they are extinct).

“But, Dad, I don’t want to be a gong farmer.”

2.) Jobs that robots are going to take from us

A “gigantic vending machine for controlled substances” sounds like that guy you knew in college, y’all know the one I mean. Robot soldiers may still be a dream, but robots in combat have been a reality since WWII. But – I know it’s radical but hear me out – wouldn’t it be better to try to create robots who help us create peace?

Yeah, that’s just the crazy talkin’.

Be sure to read the bit about sexbots. That’s what he said!

3.) Jobs that are really weird

“Dad, I told you, I want to be a pig inseminator!”

Want to know about some weird jobs?

Some weird research? Some weird scientists?

How about some weird stuff about sex?

I thought y’all would go for that one.

Read this book. Wicked funny, and truly fascinating book on the strange bedfellows that science and sex have been over the years.

And you’ll learn some stuff about sex.

Pollyanna promises.

When Pollyannas Collide…

From the dusty archives of our Drafts folder:

This is what happens when the Pollyannas met up on Facebook late one night… The colors let you know which Pollyanna is which. Also, the names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Not us. Our families, silly.

Anna-Liza:     Hey there – are you really on right now? Or is it just a Facebook illusion?

Lyda:              Yes, I’m on.

I went and started a cooking project and now I have to stay up ’til I’m done.

How much longer are you going to be up?

Hoping less than half an hour. I have something simmering – have to check it once in a while. Then I can pour it in a jar and let it cool and go to bed.

Not too much longer, then.  Hey, I graduated.

I saw! Congratulations!

It’s kind of weird. It felt like this huge thing before it happened, and hardly anyone has even acknowledged it. I thought the people at work would all sign a card or something.

Wow. Nothing?  Although it’s not totally surprising, I guess.


Then again, there’s that whole karma around getting validation from outside.  Bleh. 

People keep asking me “What are you going to do now?” and the truth is I have no idea. I’d like to do something completely different, but I’m not sure what.

I’m hoping that, now that the kids are in school again, life will be less crazy and I can indulge myself with a call to you once in awhile again.

And, in re: “boring job,” you *must* read “Radical Homemakers.”

That would be awesome! I miss our long talks. I saw your note [on Facebook] about “Radical Homemakers.” Sounds interesting.

It’s a quick, but sort of intense, read. I think it will weirdly fit in with your studies.

My son the Sith Master thinks I should be a teacher and teach English so kids will learn to love books and reading and writing, instead of learning to hate it.  I don’t know though.

I have to do some posts on the blog…

God, I am not even sure when the last time I posted was. Blogging is another thing I want to get back into.

And I’ve started making these cute little stitch markers that my knitting group is “test driving” for me. If they work well, I’m thinking of selling them on Etsy.

Me too. I need to post about graduating, for one, and check off a big thing off my Bucket list. I did do this.

To jump around a little, one of the big reasons we like living in our own house is that we can garden a lot more extensively. We want to do an “urban homestead” kind of thing with a lot of edible landscaping.

Stitch markers – cool! I haven’t knitted in so long. It’s finally cool today, so I can think about dusting the needles off. I’m thinking I’ll just make a scarf with yarn I have, and then give it away to someone…

Maybe even backyard chickens eventually.  A scarf’s a good way to get back into knitting.

“Urban homestead” – I like it. Edible landscaping is a terrific idea.

You know those books about women’s knitting or quilting groups? I swear our knitting group could inspire one of those.

There you go, something else to do in your copious free time. And hey, while we’re at it, we really should write a book together too.

We’re growing pole beans on our front porch railing, and we’ve been getting really tasty green beans.

[about writing the book together] Yep.

Something with lots of sex in it. I’m not having any right now, so at least I can live vicariously by writing about it.


I can’t write well about sex – it always comes out too serious.

Or just stupid.

“Mmmmmmmm .. Mmmm … Mmmmmmm … ” Didn’t we make fun of some book like that way back when?

I know – comes out serious, stupid, or insipid when I write about it. Maybe together we can keep it fun and funny.

 “RRRRRRrrrrrrr …. VVVVVVVVVv”

Sorry. Got carried away there.

You are cracking me up!  “And she arched her back and screamed like a lioness…”

Do lionesses scream, exactly?

I’ve always wondered…

The scream thing annoys me. How many women actually scream when they orgasm?

Probably not so many.

Well, mountain lions scream, or so they say. I haven’t heard if they scream during sex, though. On the nature shows, the lioness always just looks bored during sex.

Yeah, she does. Lions seem a lot like this one guy I dated…

[On “How many women really scream during sex?”]  Good question. Probably less than men pretend they do. But is that because the women are worried about someone hearing, or are they thinking, “I’d scream, but it would be stupid”?

Or it’s just not a natural response.

Moaning, gasping … “Mmmm”ing … seem more real.

OMG, I think we should do a whole chapter of the book comparing old lovers to animals from the nature channel.


Names or aliases? I think names could cause problems…

Yeah, moaning, gasping is more real. I think Playboy started the screaming rumor, and some women just play along. Probably most women don’t even talk except to say “yes yes more more” but really, what else do you need to say?

Definitely aliases. We might want to visit Texas again someday.

[On what else women need to say during sex]  “Stop that”

“Get off me”

“I told you not to do that”

Hopefully followed by “do this instead,” or “let me be on top now.”

Yeah, but I wonder if men hear it after “stop that”. It would be a turn-off to hear her say “I hate when you do that”… or maybe not, what the hell do I know?

I think we have a blog post here.

I don’t think I’d say that during the act…

Well, “stop” if something hurt or was really unpleasant.

At least one! Hey, let’s just turn it into a knitting / quilting / urbanhomemaking / sex blog.

Isn’t it that already? Well, maybe the urban home thingy not as much.

I keep having this image of two very proper people explicitly discussing sexual acts over the tea and crumpets. Sounds like a Monty Python skit.

Which is actually not a bad idea…  I mean, if you really need to give detailed feedback or suggest something complex, maybe it’s better to discuss away from bed.

The Radical Homemaker thing is about disengaging as much as possible from what the author calls the “extractive economy” and engaging in the creating of a “life-serving economy.” Backing off from consuming…

Yeah, I guess the urban home not so much, especially since I stopped writing about cleaning too.

And yes, discussing away from bed is probably best.

Wait; let’s go back to talking about sex.

Nothing like a serious discussion to kill the mood.

We should just copy and paste this chat to the blog.

True. Et voila!

And when discussing one’s partner’s technique, they might feel safer if they have their clothes on. Of course, the dinner table might not be the place either… not if there are knives on the table. Better to serve pasta…

Or gazpacho.

Yeah, hot soup would be a bad idea….

This one time, the bed collapsed. I thought that was pretty frickin’ hilarious. How can you not laugh when the damn bed collapses? The man in question, however, did not think it was funny. An important clue that this was not the guy for me.

So another chapter in the book = funny, embarrassing, weird moments in sex.

Hey, are you done cooking yet? And by that, I mean on the stove…

How could we not? I remember the bed collapsing story – still can’t believe he didn’t think it was funny. That happened in a production of Fiddler on the Roof I did makeup for – Tevye’s dream sequence. He ran and jumped into the bed, and it collapsed.

Yes, the jars are cooling now.

Oh wow. I bet everyone working the show still tells that story.

Cool. We can work on the post tomorrow. Or I should say “I can work on it tomorrow.” Since I’m not the one with two active kids at home…

Probably. “Tevye” is now a voice actor in CA. Works for Disney, done some good stuff.

And I’m babysitting AND Very Superior Husband is doing a weekend retreat up at the cabin.

I sometimes wonder if I’ll run into one of our theatrical classmates out here but hasn’t happened.

Speaking of sex… you could go jump in bed with your gorgeous husband now. But… don’t jump too hard.

And no I can’t – he’s at the cabin.

You see how I did that with the bed-collapsing reference? I’m so good.

Which is probably why I’m up late cooking.

[finally getting a clue] Oh. Well. He’s at the cabin and you aren’t?

[about the “I’m so good” thing] Yes! You are!

And he’s doing a retreat.

So you are herding the kidlets alone this weekend? Wish we could do it together. Damn I miss living in the same city as you. Stupid pointy mountains!

Pollyanna reads on Discworld, part two

Lyda here. The Reading on Discworld Challenge continues. I’ve read more books for the challenge.

I already wrote about completing some of the challenge and reported on the books I read for item #s 1, 2, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, and 15. I am trying to read new books for most of the challenge. I want to discover some new books to love – which is really why I do these challenges. (I already re-read the Terry Pratchett books mentioned in the challenge. Of course.)

Now I have completed these parts of the challenge too.

6. Read a mythological book, or a book of myths, or a book about mythology.

I read “A Game of Thrones” by George R.R. Martin. Knights, kingdoms, strange creatures… definitely mythological! The Sith Master has been reading the whole series, and now he has me hooked too. I haven’t seen the HBO series, although I’ve heard good things about it. This is an exciting and fascinating story full of interesting, complex characters. The only problems are a) losing sleep because I’m reading these and I can’t put them down, and b) eventually getting to the end of the series. I’m already halfway through the second book…

8. Read a book about money. 

I read “The Prosperous Heart“. I love Julia Cameron’s books, so it went quickly. This is an excellent book, which gave me both small practical steps and big leaps of realization. I’ll be implementing this in my life, gently. Julia’s books are always gentle.

12. Read a book about a strange new land, or a travel book – fact or fiction.

I read “The Fine Color of Rust” by P.A. O’Reilly which is set in a little dusty town in Australia. A good funny “coming of middle-age” story that starts out lighthearted, touches deep, and ends up being hopeful.

14. Read a book that most people would be embarrassed to read in public, because of the title, the content, or the cover art. And then read it in public.

I read “Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex” by Mary Roach. The library copy I read had a white cover with the word BONK in very big letters on the front. Plus the book has illustrations that are… interesting. Mary Roach is a wicked funny writer, and she bravely asked scientists and others the questions we would have asked if we’d had the courage. I recommend it highly. There are definitely more Mary Roach books in my future. Reading the book was fun. Reading the book in public was hilarious.

I still have the following parts of the challenge to complete:

3. Read a book about something you’ve always wondered about.

7. Go to the library and wander into an aisle you do not usually frequent. Pick a book from the shelf and read it.

13. Read a book about sex, sexuality, and/or sexual politics.

16. Read a book with an inanimate object as a character and/or an important part of the plot.

17. Read a book that teaches you something. Something that will not come in handy in your everyday life. Learn something completely impractical.

18. Read something spiritual, mystical, mathematical, or amazing. Something that will remind you of how magic and unbelievable the universe and everything in it really is.

19. Read a detective novel, a crime story, a mystery, or a thriller.

So far, I’ve done 12 of the 19 parts of the challenge.

I post about this so I can keep it straight in my own head. Which is a rather chaotic place sometimes. I need to see it written down where I can find it again.

Which explains the digressions…