As the World Learns

Thanks to this blog, I am learning so much already. I have discovered that extract of rapeseed milk called factis is the stuff in a natural eraser that actually absorbs the graphite (according to, no less). In plastic erasers, like our Chubby, it’s a harmless synthetic polymer similar to Silly Putty. I also found out that Zhejiang Province, where Chubby was born, is really lovely, at least according to this photo by Louisa Salazar. I’m still trying to contact Eileen Zhu, because I know who buys them and cries over them, but who designs these things, who makes them, who sells them? I want to read Chubby’s memoir. Except the part about ending badly in Arizona.)

But the learning list goes on. Did you know about styluses? With a stylus, I could sketch quick pictures onto an electronic pad and not have to bother with graphite or erasers at all, or the scanners and cameras then used to convert them into binary code. My friend Solveig, the Open Office guru  (, put me on to the stylus. She has introduced me to other magical appliances, too, like the $34 espresso maker that I threw down my ideals for and purchased at WalMart. So my confidence in her gadget instinct is infinite.

Another thing I have learned: Either the tapping of the keyboard from the next room over awakens Gbot, or he just somehow senses consciousness and ventures forth to investigate. For the last two mornings, five to six turned into five to five-fifteen. Not conducive to calm, which was, of course, a blogging goal. Not conducive to calm, either, I learned within twenty-four hours, is having a deadline—even a self-imposed one—every day. It is gratifying to have sent a little capsule of thought out into the world. But the act of sending it raises my stress level instead of lowering it. Let’s not even go near comparisons to bodily functions.

So I’m changing my plan. Writing from five to six is still a good idea. Blogging from five to six is not. But because I’ve learned so much in just three days, I’m going to keep blogging. In fact, I’m even getting used to the word. Blogging. Rhymes with jogging. There was a time I scoffed at the thought of jogging. Back in the eighties, when my mother did it, just before she bought a leotard and signed up for an aerobics class. Now, I would kill* for just a forty minute run. Because that’s what it’s called these days—no one jogs anymore. I mean, we’re doing the same thing, maybe not wearing velour, but still. I know in my heart that I’m not going any faster than my mom was in 1982.

So there, I got my moment of blog-induced levity, thinking about my mom in her leotard. I wonder if, in twenty-five years, blogging will be an embarrassing word? And if my sons will giggle, thinking of me doing it?

What did you learn today?

*term used euphamistically

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