There was a star danced

And under that, kthread was born one year ago today.

For her birthday, I’ve finally added a blogroll of the sites that inspire me to continue kthreading at the bottom of the sidebar.

And, since in recent weeks I’ve blogged mainly about cooking and entertaining, friends have wondered if kthread was streamlining into a food blog or if I would begin a separate food blog with recipes; I’m inclined to keep everything here, so now there is a “Food” tab on the main menu at the top; all the posts categorized as such will appear on the food page as well as kthread’s main page.

I’ve also added a food section to the photography portfolio and new images to the people section. I seized the opportunity this fall to contribute images to the new University of Virginia English department site that will launch this spring; some of those images of undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty appear along with my sisters and a rising pianist in this section.

Of the many things I’ve learned this year blogging, my favorite might be the geography lessons from Google Analytics; hello there to readers in places I someday hope to visit (Unterlembach, Austria, I’m looking at you) and thank you to my core readers and lurkers. How would I otherwise know that Walt once took care of a goat named Gruffy? What “braggot” is? That Ally thinks my posts are like “Simpsons” episodes? (A generous and very helpful comment—relevant blogging requires knowing thy readership.)

In keeping with today’s date, and the usual quizzical nature of kthread, here are twenty-one moments from this blogyear:

1. The Good: My good friend Rob Stilling found a Robert Frost poem (“War Thoughts at Home”) and during the media blitz that followed, appeared on Canadian television at 6:45 one morning; one of the talking heads referenced the poem’s title correctly half of the time.

Rob Stilling

2. The Greater Good: Jim Webb won; kthread attempted citizen journalism.

Voting panel

3. The Bad: My beloved Ciboulette closed. (No, I am still not over it.) There is no place to eat an obscenely long and wine-filled lunch in this town.

4. The Ugly: I drove across the country this summer. Twice.


I consider my stomach relatively strong and my interest in new foods healthy, but this snout sandwich from C&K Barbeque outside St. Louis was nasty (they were out of ear sandwiches). I haven’t eaten barbeque since.


5. The Distrastrous: My roommate Ben realized that the damp carpet in his closet was due to a leak behind the wall, and I had to replace all the pipes in the house. The next day the water heater died. Embracing the artistic possibilities of the new hole in the drywall exposing the shower line behind my bed and following the principles of feng shui (fire tempers water),

Hole in Wall

I painted a favorite explosive Kerouac quotation above. I still dream about water.

Kerouac quotation

6. The Terrif: My friend Steph and I decided that “Thoroughly Modern Millie” contains some of the most incredible scenes committed to film. Steph maintains that she needs a pair of gold lamé pants (like the ones Muzzy wears in the movie) for her life to be complete—darling, I’ve found them. Three cheers for American Apparel; we needn’t worry about any sort of slavery in the making of these as we tap our way up elevators in years to come. I heart Carol Channing. And tap, tap, tap, tap, tap-i-o-ca.

7. The Silly: Shallots flew, strange family videos were made,

Shallots fly

Costume Design

Crazy Dancers

a butane lighter was used on Jesus’s birthday cake (the logical Christmas dessert).

Cake candle

8. The Oddly Addictive: We watched the “Shoes” video over and over and over… Let’s get some shoes. Let’s get some shoes.

Watching Video

9. The Bizarre: Visiting Kassandra for an April performance in Pittsburgh, Katrina and I crashed an Elvis convention in the hotel. I let Katrina pose with the hott one, too bedazzled to care.

Katrina Elvis

Kristen Elvis

10. The Delightful: I discovered skyr, the wondrous cheese that tastes like yogurt with no fat and a third of your daily protein requirements; I win, you win, we all win with Icelandic foodstuffs.


11. The Enchanting: Dana the Puissant read cards for all the Solsticers—a marvelous gift we’re still discussing.

Dana cards

12. The Fleeting: I spent twenty glorious hours in Montreal, praising the blinking walk signs where the little man has feet,

Montreal blinking street sign

watching the carpeting of the basilica,

Basilica carpet

shuddering at manpris,


devouring chocolatines, and sucking marrow (Katrina and Reid told me recently they are still traumatized) before ordering ile flottante au caramel at L’Express.

13. The Edgy: Katrina and I photographed Kassandra in unfinished houses and commercial construction in Atlanta this December; I laugh to think about the entertainment center or bookshelves that will never know.

Kass in house

14. The Perplexing: As we neared Santa Cruz at the end of our road trip, things became stranger. I thought the weirdest point would be the Marty McFly moment where we decided to offroad and look for cave markings in deserted Arizona,

Back to the Future

then we almost drove off the road when we saw zebras keeping pace with us on Highway 1.


15. The Organic: Last spring, my enthusiastic food writing class woke up early on a Saturday morning and visited the Charlottesville City Market; they understood why local food was important, were fascinated by freeveganism, and wouldn’t let anyone they knew order fish at a restaurant on Mondays. I miss them.

Food class at market

16. The Uplifting: In the summer, I taught an advanced web design seminar; we called ourselves the Bread Brigade and made an Earth Sandwich for Ze Frank. I miss them too—they rarely call, they rarely write (sigh), but they are out making the world safe for whole grains through compliant, clean code.

Earth Sandwich

17. The Intervening: I asked my Modernist survey class this fall to chalk Eavan Boland excerpts that resonated with them near the Lawn at the University of Virginia;

Chalking the Lawn

the usual chalkings are announcements and not interventions; I was pleased to note the puzzled expressions while students tilted their heads sideways to read as they passed the next day.

Chalking the Lawn

Chalking the Lawn

18. The Wikifying: Students in my media studies classes embraced the course wiki Jim Cocola and I implemented this fall; in my final class meetings, with no direction beyond that we were all writing a story together on this wiki page now, go, we wrote a collaborative story. The later section demonstrated true understanding of ninja/pirate distinctions, pizza bagels, macarena lyrics, your mom, and the Turing Test. (Obvi, check the page’s history for creation details.)

19. The Torsioning: I spent seven wonderful, challenging weeks directing a computer camp this summer at the University of California at Santa Cruz. (The campers are being banana slugs, the campus mascot, below.)

Banana slugs

I learned how to keep a poker face when frontin’ for campers attempting to fake out the Predator (it’s a camp thing),

predator face

the perils of Lazer Tag alliances,

lazer tag

the best kind of team building,


and how to induce a salad frenzy (the dining hall staff was impressed).

Salad frenzy

20. The Amaranthine: Our friends helped us celebrate the New Year until five in the morning with dancing, cheese, panettone, good wishes, and their excellent company.

Dancing New Year's

New Year's

New Year's

New Year's

21. The Fortuitious: A British faun named John (whose name more than just the trees and the wind can pronounce) appeared, reveled, and slept on our couch for two weeks.

John the faun

I hope he returns and that the inexplicable continues in the next revolution of kthread…

Related posts:

  1. year three: there was a star danced
  2. Year Two: There Was A Star Danced
  3. Bringing braxy back