31 July 2012

the third annual summer cleaning song

Re-organised tea cupboard, 2010
Some of my friends will likely recall the cleaning-themed songs that I sent them the last two summers; I will post those here eventually.  For now, here is this summer's song, which I wrote when I should have been cleaning. 

I've Got to Clean  (to the tune of 'I've Got a Dream' from Tangled)

    In my fridge, it’s rather scary;
    I think there’s moulding dairy;
my pantry and my shelves are not the neatest.
    but despite the crumbs and dust,
    and that little spot of rust,
someday my housework will be most completest.

26 July 2012

black & tan

For those of my readers (do I have readers anymore?) who are looking for something more interesting, the book Black and Tan by Douglas Wilson is currently available to download for free, here.  In this book, Wilson argues that the American Civil War was the wrong way to end slavery in the United States and led to modern disregard for the Constitution.  This book makes it quite clear that Wilson, contrary to popular opinion, is by no means a racist, and that all the people screaming about racism are, in their zeal to pick fights, either too sidetracked to see or too fainthearted to face the real isms that drive his thought (hint: two of them start with 'Calvin' and 'postmillenial').  Although I would differ with Wilson on some (or many) theological points, I've always enjoyed his writing style.  So if you want a bit of interesting and controversial writing to make you think, download this book while it's still free.

[Update 6/8/12:  I see that the free download is no longer available.]

25 July 2012

a profound meditation upon toast and tea

I am so fond of tea that I could write a whole dissertation on its virtues.  (Boswell.)

It is an unalterable conviction of mine that toast was made to be dipped into tea.  Yet I do not speak of all kinds of toast: dry toast was made to adorn salads, limp toast, to feed chickens, and white toast, to stuff pincushions.   No, a good piece of toast must be made with good, brown bread, toasted until the edges are just black, and then spread liberally with butter.  Nor is it all kinds of tea that I laud, for black tea afflicts the soul with wakefulness and camomile, with sleep, and fruit tea brings to mind jam.  No good piece of toast should be insulted with jam.  Put jam on white toast, to cover its wretched poverty, but let butter be the only adornment of the toast of brown bread.  For such toast, the king of all lesser toast, is required the queen of teas, which is mint.

I have heard it said that with the gift of mint the Victorians were wont to indicate either protection from illness or warmth of feeling.  That is healthful, no one would deny; but that it is congenial can be tasted properly only with toast.  To have crumbs on the bottom and a skim of butter on top is the glory of a cup of mint tea.  This tea must, of course, be made first, before the toast is made, lest the toast become limp with waiting.  Then it must be drunk, and the toasted dipped therein eaten, in utmost serenity and meditation.  What, indeed, is the good of tea if one does not take pleasure in it?  The sages of old were rebuked for tithing their mint and neglecting justice; but I would rebuke whoever makes tea and does it the injustice of neglecting to taste it.  Among all material pleasures, tea is supreme because it costs so little, takes so little trouble, and brings so much happiness; and not happiness only, but also a moment of reflection in which to enjoy the crisp of the toast, the richness of the butter, and the calm of mint which is the nectar of the gods.

23 July 2012

18 July 2012

two little grid-drawings

A calendar dedicated to the Landquist girls, who have made similar drawings:

The alphabet through P:

alphabet soup

16 July 2012

address tricks, part 1

Imagine that I have a text document of addresses in blocks.  Instead, I want a spreadsheet with five columns:  Name, Street Address, City, State, and Zip Code.  If I  have only three addresses, I can retype them.  But what if I  have three hundred?  Or three thousand?

10 July 2012

everyone likes change, especially quarters and dimes...

Life is changing.  After three years at this college, I will leave campus for what is colloquially called 'the real world' in seven weeks.  After two years in Singapore and twenty in the midwestern United States, I will leave this country for Europe in two and a half months.  And after twenty-two years as a Sandquist, I will leave my family for the most intelligent, handsome, and altogether delightful young man in the history of the world (biased, you say?  I don't know what you mean) in one month, twenty-eight days, twenty-two hours, and fourteen minutes.

With so much change in my life, it seems a good time for this blog to have its own changes.  Don't worry:  It will not disappear.  It will not even move from this URL.  I am getting rather tired, however, of this blog's narrow subject and would like to post about other things.  So readers can expect to see posts on many arts, not only calligraphy and paper art, but also domestic arts (sewing, crocheting, cooking, baking), organisation, literature, perhaps music, and others.  To fit these changes, the blog will also have a new design (some links may be broken as I re-organise) and a new name.

Any thoughts?  New name suggestions are welcome.

01 July 2012


I bind unto myself today
the power of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, His might to stay,
His ear to hearken to my need,
the wisdom of my God to teach,
His hand to guide, His shield to ward,
the Word of God to give me speech,
His heavenly host to be my guard.

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

(Attributed to St. Patrick, transl. C. F. Alexander, 'St. Patrick's Breastplate'.)