Thursday, January 31, 2008

the secret history of mr. crankypants

Well, I just finished reading Procopius's Anekdota, and I have learned two things. Number the first: my Greek is not as bad as I thought. Another three or four books and it should be back where it needs to be. Number the second: wow, this book is one of the few I have ever read that probably should be called "scurrilous." This guy *hated* Theodora, and I'm not too sure why. I know why he was peeved about Antonina, and other sources back him up on the idea that she was a mean-spirited nouveau-riche with very little to recommend her, but seriously -- this guy completely had it in for Theodora. He seems to have not liked Belisarius much, either -- again, other sources say he was kinda insufferable, too, so I'm cutting Procopius some slack on that front. On the upside, Procopius would be far less fawning and much more entertaining on the subject of LiLo, Paris, Tara, the catastro-trainwreckasaurus that is Britney, et al, than Jezebel or TMZ.

In short, I believe that I have found the Ted Casablanca of the archaic world. There are even little moments in Anekdota that you honestly would not be far wrong in translating as "One Blind Vice."

I decided, upon finishing up this book, to take a couple days off from the Greek to work on a hat. Characteristically, I will finish it pretty much when this cold snap ends. It's being worked in Trinity stitch, which you may know as popcorn or blackberry stitch. It's a bit of a pain, but I think that's just because I'm at the point where I had to upsize the needles and add in 42 stitches to the round and I didn't leave a lot of give in the stitches I'd been working as the ribbing. Oops. Also, it appears this may end up being too small for me. (My own dumb fault -- I didn't knit a swatch for gauge.) So one of you lucky (4) readers may end up as the recipient of a charcoal-gray knitted hat with cute little knobbly deedlybobbers all over it. I'll see if I can think up a contest. Also: your head should be smaller than mine...I'm a 7 & 3/8ths, which I know from acquiring a fitted Louisville Bats cap a couple of years ago. You'd think I would have measured the circumference of said cap and knitted accordingly, but you'd be giving me far too much credit for craftiness, subtlety and guile.

Finally: I am mortified, as I spent much of yesterday announcing in dire tones that we were expecting 8 inches of snow. It appears that we are now expecting only two inches of snow. Curse you, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration! I'll fix your little red wagon one of these days! (Picture your faithful narrator, shaking her clenched fists at the sky.) On the upside -- well, I'm not having to deal with 8 inches of snow.

Also: I decided that I will go to the Democratic caucus on SuperAmazingMegaJumboTuesday. A report will appear here. The mechanics of caucusing are unknown to me; I hope it does not involve fisticuffs. Just in case, I'm going to brush up on the Marquess of Queensberry rules. I'll let you know how it goes.


Amateur Reader said...

I found your missing 8 inches of snow. They're a little ways east of you.

There's a NYRB article out now either complaining, or not, about blog writing. One of the complaints, or commendations?, is the use of words like "catastro-trainwreckasaurus." The article istself is a great example of muddled writing. Excellent word. Keep us posted on those nefarious Byzantines.

tacitly complicit said...

That article's a hoot. I love it when real journalists (whom I think of mentally as "Strunk & White fascists") try to do some Very Serious Writing About the Ways of the Hoi-Polloi. I was really really hoping that she pulled "catastro-trainwreckasaurus" for use, but since her deadline was probably, like, last September, all I got was a bunch of stuff that has come and gone like last year's Project Runway contestants.

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