1. Corelli's Mandolin I loved the lyrical writing. The story was heartrending. The movie was miserable.
2. Game of Thrones, all five books Discovered this years ago. The HBO series is wonderful.
3. Stumbling on Happiness, by Daniel Gilbert Already told you about this in another post from the past. Am considering starting on my third read of this book. That good.
4. The Paradox of Choice Helps explain so much about us. My consumer behavior changed after reading this book. I spend less, I buy less, I fret less over the possible choices.
5. The Assassin series, by Robin Hobb I usually do not like multiples. The story dilutes, complexity makes the reader's life difficult. Not here. She just released the start of a new trilogy, Fool's Assassin. On my Kindle now. Half way through.
6. Lord of the Rings trilogy The books and the movies were superb.
7. Sarantine Mosaic (two books) by Guy Gavriel Kay. He is a wonderful author.
8. Hugh Howey's Wool Hard to stop thinking about this one.
9. Angelique A great series from when I was growing up. Love, betrayal, yearning, passion.
10. A History of Wine by Hugh Johnson Not only a history of wine, but a history of Europe through centuries. He covers vineyards, feudal conflicts, wars, taxes, boycotts, egos, royalty, trade partners. Painless way to understand lots of usually tedious subjects. The lens one uses to view makes a difference. The newer edition is much shorter, and I am not sure that would be a good thing.
Sunflower, from the Bridge of Flowers, Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts, August 2014
Riffing off TenOnTuesday's threshold theme, random thoughts on Convergence, Providence, Rhode Island, 2014.
1. Convergence is one of the biggest weaving conferences/workshops available to weavers. Classes. Market. Workshops. Lectures. Gallery. I signed up as a prod for my stalled weaving.
2. I signed up for a weave structure that I LOVE. Rep.
3. The class was far beyond my current level of weaving expertise.
4. I was sure I could figure it all out. That is always a sure sign of hubris.
5. Warping the loom to prepare for the workshop almost killed me. Many times, I knew for certain, that I would drop out of the workshop. Remember all those nightmares you have about not being prepared for the exam? Or arriving in the middle of the semester to a new class, with the exam about to begin? And you have done none of the reading or studying? All of that, in real weaving life, trying this new warp structure. I wasn't dreaming. And I did it to myself.
6. With significant down-to-the-wire help from a weaving buddy, the warp was done.
7. Small segue here of driving to Providence, finding the hotel, getting the loom out of the car, getting the loom up to the room, getting the loom back into the car, trying to figure out where to park the next day at the start of the workshop, figuring out how to register, figuring out where the workshop room was....well, if it doesn't kill you, it may make you stronger.
8. The workshop was round-robin style. We each wove on everyone else's loom and warp. I eff'd up the treadling pattern. And the packing of the weft. And the order of the treadling. And the selvedges. I got some samples out of it. I surely got technique. I got theory. I met two amazing women.
9. I improvised the world's cheapest cone holder after spending valuable workshop time chasing after cones that bounced and rolled around chairs, table legs, and across acres of floor space.
9. Providence has a wealth of good restaurants. 121 Local and Circe stand out. McCormick and Schmick's was nasty.
10. RedFish Dyeworks rocks.
11. When I got home, I tied the remaining warp to the front apron beam so that I could weave off the rest of it at home, slowly, carefully. There may be two useable placemats there. Or not.
12. And I finished warping a handspun Jacob sample, and am weaving that off. Yes, learning new things that I didn't even set out to learn.
13. I am knitting the endless Nuvem. Wollmeise Lacegarn, purchased from someone whose washing machine broke. She held a destash. There may be some uneasy karma in this yarn.
14. I bought a small floor loom for the workshop: 38# was more shoulder friendly than the Baby Wolf. After weaving on six floor looms and twelve table looms at the workshop, I am happy that I did not buy a table loom. It is fine for some fabrics, and not so good for others. This was one of the not so good ones. Can't beat it hard enough with most table looms. Picture my left hip rotated to hold the loom on the table while I beat the thick part of the weft into the cloth. Awkward.
15. I bought some aspirational silk. It is exquisite. I probably need to weave more before I use the pretty stuff.
16. It took DAYS for my brain to recover. And now I want to weave ALL the fabrics.
1. Galaxy Quest: SO funny. SO perfect. Hits the genre exactly, and well acted. When in the car using a gps app, I am Tawny Madison because I repeat everything the app tells us. It is my job, it's a lousy one, but I am going to do it.
2 and 3. Start Trek, the new canon: These are the ones with Christopher Pine and Anthony Quinto. I thought I would hate the changes they made in the story line, but I don't. They took a stale franchise, and made it addictive once again.
4. Dirty Dancing: Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze doing everything perfectly.
5. The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: A timeless classic. Clint Eastwood doing one of his best. I clearly like it better than the Dirty Harry stuff. "Hey Blondie!"
6 The Matrix: It was groundbreaking, and amazing. The others disappointed. But my alterego is, indeed, Trinity.
"My officers can handle one little girl."
"Lieutenant, your men are already dead."
7. It's A Wonderful Life: Over and over again, it is a holiday season must. I like the B&W version best. And I cry every single time.
8. Wizard of Oz: Only the Judy Garland version. There really is no place like home.
9. Charade: Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn doing what they do best. Saw this so many years ago, and find new stuff in it every time I watch it. Life lessons: if you want to make sure he is really dead, put a mirror under his nose to see if he is breathing. And if that doesn't convince you, stab him with a pin.
10. When Harry Met Sally: A classic. Nothing they did after was as good as this one. Billy Crystal just talks and talks and talks, and it works.
11. The Princess Bride: Totally stolen from Carole. But she is right. This is a classic, oft quoted film in my household. The Inigo Montoya line is just the start.
Ten bands or artists. I was young in the era, lucky to see what I did. Then I went to *m* school, and that was it for concerts.
1. Arlo Guthrie: He did Alice's Restaurant. It was wonderful.
3. Yes: It was in Connecticut. I was really close to the stage. I could see the keyboard hands. Yow!
4. Laura Nyro: Loved her. Up on the Roooooooooof
5. Led Zeppelin: Stairway to Heaven. I was so young, and I was so hip. Not.
6. Jethro Tull: Aqualung. Oh YEAH.
7. Peter Paul and Mary
8. Gordeon Lightfoot: His music was excellent, and he was a schmuck. Prima donna.
9. Trans Siberian Orchestra
11. Livingston Taylor: I kept wishing it was James.
12. David Wax Museum
13. Jonathan Edwards
Could not afford the Who, the Stones, the Grateful Dead. The Beatles were out of the question at my age at the time. May have seen Emerson, Lake and Palmer, or may just think I saw them. Would have killed to see Jefferson Starship (or Airplane).
I am only posting this because Margene told me to.
Practical? Or pie in the sky? Coulda woulda shoulda? Learn vs try - a difference of intensity, commitment, passion?
Combining last week and this week:
1. Try to get back to the exercise habit. I fell through a hole in the floorboards of that wagon after the winter season ended.
2. Try and organize my stuff. Yeah, perennial favorite, this one. But this is an aspirational list, rather than a to-do list.
3. Try to cook more new recipes. That will include healthy, delicious lunches that substitute for the crap sold in the hospital cafeteria. Their tuna tastes like metal. Their sandwiches look like they were put together by Salvador Dali.
4. Try to keep better connection with my distant friends. I come home from work tired, and the weekends are filled with shoulds/must dos. Reordering of time is on the list.
5. Learn to weave better stuff. Or, as one famous spinner puts it, "suck less".
6. Learn enough Spanish on top of what I know to become fluent. I need to learn something other than the present tense. Sikudi nopazmi! (Oops. High Valyrian doesn't count.)
7. Try to learn to knit faster. (HA. Both at once, try and learn.)
8. Learn to knit good sweaters. Lynn says the only way to do this is to do this. Crap. I knew there was a catch.
9. Try to clean up the garden before it reverts back to woodland. Neck and neck on this one.
10. Try to watch the Belmont Stakes if California Chrome is running. He may be the first Triple Crown winner in 36 years. Reminds me of Secretariat, when he would pull multiple lengths away from the rest of the field, and coast across the finish line. (The camera has trouble keeping all the horses in one shot here. Understand that throughout Triple Crown history, 27 horses have won the Derby and the Preakness, but have failed at the extra length of the Belmont Stakes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V18ui3Rtjz4
11. Try to blog more often. I have so much knitting backlog to post.
3. Remove live (and dead) creatures of the insect variety from the house.
4. Dishes. Scarred on this one from my childhood.
5. Mulch the landscape. Actually, this one gets hired out. It takes them about 1/5 the time it would take me, and they are used to picking ticks off themselves. Me? Not so much.
6. Clean the lowest gutter. This gets hired out once per year, but needs to be done more often. I always volunteer that if he brings out the ladder, I will do the cleaning. But then he does both. *love*
7. Make morning tea or coffee. We split this about 50/50.
8. Pack the suitcase. (He has an excellent geometry brain.)
9. Finish the Amazon order. I put stuff in the cart, and never get around to checking out.
10. Clear the walkway after a snowstorm. We split thiis one 50/50 also. I like the exercise most of the time. But then he zooms up with the snowblower, and it is done. I do it if the snow in the driveway is taking a long time to snowblow.
1. I feel very very glad that the Olympics are over. Too much of a time suck, too much noise, too much television.
2. I feel this has been a perfect winter. Yes, my driveway is a skating rink. The ice dams are laughing at us. But I live in New England for good reasons, and this is one of them.
3. I feel almost badly that you don't agree with me. Almost.
4. I feel overwhelmed by my knitting. Too many WIPs, too many problems to be solved.
5. I feel pretty. Not really. But how can you not throw that in?? (It starts at 0:59 here.)
6. I feel impatient. I want Spa here NOW. What am i going to do there? Laugh. Knit. Spin. Hug. Sip an adult beverage with good friends. Buy yarn. Walk. Shop at LLBean. Relax. Have a Hilton Garden warm chocolate chip cookie on check-in.
7. I feel the need to get better organized.
8. I feel much better now, thank you. The cold is gone.
9. I feel as if my To-Do list has reached the top of Mt. Everest, and is now descending the other side.
10. I feel out of shape. Or at least out of better shape. Need to climb back on that exercise wagon and start whipping those ponies.
I was going to foist these on you in a random post. Now I have the excuse of structure. Poor you.
1. It is all Olympics all the time here. Winter is so much more popular than the summer for us. The irony of sitting on my future lardass for hours at a time watching people work their 0% body fat to the bone is not lost on me, yet again.
2. I started my Olympics knitting 56 hours late. (Travel, virus, all the excuses that none of the Olympians ever utter.) My goal was to start a baby blanket, and knit the first 560 yard, 8 oz ball of yarn during the Games. For some of you, that would be easy. It is not easy here. There is work that interferes. And the fact that I am NOT a monogamous knitter. Knitting one project intensively for two weeks is making me want to burn it. But I am sticking to it, measuring the progress on the scale each morning. I may succeed. It has the momentum of being started, and significant progress made. I can't just abandon it. Or can I?
3. I am continually impressed by the stunningly hard work and commitment that the athletes had to invest for YEARS to get to the Games. And then only three people get medals. This small subgroup of 20 and 30 somethings have had to understand the idea of winning AND losing. I respect that. The media is infuriating when they talk about the joy and honor of being at the Games, and then emphasize the medal crap. I understand that is what sells their broadcast product. But it really IS about the experience. I fear the young athletes are too young to truly understand that until later. But then, people like Shaun White and Bode Miller probably lost millions of dollars of endorsements by not getting gold. That is the way the world works, and it still sucks. I just hope they understand that we at home are watching their competition with all our hearts.
4. The personal connection is astonishing at times. I have seen an athlete from my teeny tiny hometown. And there are serious medal contenders who are the children of my colleagues. Six degrees of separation, indeed.
5. I am trying to use the skiing stuff to make my own techniques better. Visual focus on the body positions and tactics (alpine, nordic) is an intriguing focus. The alpine guys go far too fast for me. It hurts my brain to look at them. I often have to turn the sound off to be able to watch.
6. I am really tired of the same commercials over and over and over again. Stop the competition, and cut to...the same shit I watched for the last half hour. I'm looking at you, Verizon. And others.
7. There is poignancy and inevitability in the evolution of prior athletes. Tonya Harding is larger and ugly. Brian Orser is overweight. Thank dog Scott Hamilton looks the same except for his wrinkles. I love Scotty. He overcame so much. I didn't give him a fig's chance of making it this far.
8. Watching some of the individual montages of people working out has been illuminating. The cross country skier who leaps with an impossible weight of barbells on his shoulders? Okay. I can do my small amount of exercise per day. (It also explains why even though I put in some time, I don't get their results. Yeah.)
9. I am so glad that Charlie White and Meryl Davis won.
OTOH, I have been horrified by how many athletes smack their heads. The snowboard cross woman who was knocked unconscious apparently was put to bed, as is correct. (Total cognitive rest is what is required.) The literature on concussions in young athletes has been unsettling. The concussions are not treated as seriously as they should be. The culture is to shrug them off, get up, and keep on training/competing. No. That is not right. The woman skier who crashed (French?) and twisted her neck AND whacked her head should have been immobilized and backboarded, then scanned. What kind of health care are athletes getting in the host country? And what do they get HERE? Machisma is stupid and damaging.
10. I leave you with this. I found it on the LSG board on Rav. I laughed so hard I spilled my tea.
1. I am tired of being sick. The virus started late last week. Meticulous care (sleep, Vitamin C 1000mg BID, hydration, decrease stress by deep breathing) made it go away in 24 hours. I was astonished. Thrilled. Look at me! I can control the virus! Then it came back with a vengence yesterday. Wha??? It lives where in my body with no symptoms for three days?
2. I am knitting only mindless things. That predated my cold. I cannot seem to strike a balance between mindless and impossible. I have never been a highwire knitter.
3. I am learning to appreciate every day. To cope with adversity, I have learned some tools to ground me in the moment - breathing, meditation, yoga. They really work. And you know what I see every.single.day at work. I keep thinking, "that isn't me....yet". Ever wonder what it is that will eventually get you? I do.
4. I am on a yarn diet. It has been 46 days since I have bought yarn.
5. I am joining the Raveldacted Renegade Games team BokBokMF for the Olympics. I hope you are not shocked. It means I can knit anything I want, make my own rules, and swear ad lib.
6. I am tired of snowstorms that mess up my commute, but I am not tired of winter. Today, I lifted my face to the snowflakes, and smiled. I could feel pinpoints of icy fire where they melted on my cheeks.
7. I am in the middle of warping a handspun Jacob 2ply sample for a blanket. Lynn suggested that I see how it came out in a chosen pattern, so I could decide how to spin the rest. But I am going to spin it from BFL/churro. Oh well. I will learn something, get a small warp done, and see what handspun does on the loom.
8. I am trying systems that help organize a complex and befuddled life. This is the latest iteration of lists. It is very good at tracking many things in telegraphic form. I like it.
9. I am having fun teaching the residents how to read EKGs. Willem Einthoven got a Nobel prize in the early 1900s for figuring out the electrical axes of the heart. He created a string galvanometer. It is amazing to me that an ancient technology like this, inexact as it is, stays relevant.
10. I am tired. I will turn out the light and go to sleep.
1. No bugs. No yardwork. Undivided attention to fibery pursuits.
2. Great food. I am on a short rib/hearty stew tear right now.
4. No 90 degree days, 90% humidity torments.
5. Knitting with wool is possible, desirable, functional.
6. Wearing the knits is warm, cozy, a full circle kind of experience.
7. Red wine is a reasonable choice.
9. Cozy husband snuggling.
10. Landscapes. Spare. Revealed. Monochromes.
This video was caught today, driving by trees. Mr. E stopped the car to watch a large hawk. The big bird suddenly had company. Another hawk flew at him, and they danced in the air. Hawk #1 landed on a branch, while Hawk #2 dangled below him, hanging onto a slender ex-rodent that was also clenched in Hawk #1's talons. Neither would let go, until the dangling hawk evidently outweighed the grip of the branch hawk, and flew away with his pilfered lunch. It was amazing, and something that leaves would have hidden.