Silliness and books

The silliness…..

I’ve been segmenting my evenings from serious stuff (work/the latest news). And once, when we didn’t have power because of a line repair, I went to the movie theater to enjoy their heat, light, and be amused for a while.

The Movie

Silly movie to go see: Knives Out. It doesn’t pretend to be anything other than a Christie-esque whodunit, with actors who give the performances of their lives… people who I wasn’t sure would fit in a comedy ensemble (Don Johnson, Chris Pine, Daniel Craig). And Jamie Lee Curtis and Christopher Plummer play their roles with elan (and a whole lot of humor). It does have barf humor/plotlines. If you can’t deal with that… I’d skip it.

The Books

Catherynne M. Valente, Space Opera. [Link is to an independent bookseller in the USA, but I suspect it’s available on Am$z0n or can be ordered in your region.] First, if you don’t know what Eurovision is, go here. And then imagine it held in space, between lots of planets. Somewhat reminiscent of the good things from Hitchhiker’s Guide, with a unique story/universe, etc.

Rosemary Mosco’s Birding is my Favorite Video Game. If you want a taste, check out her Bird and Moon comics here. This was a gift from a very smart family member who found out I was a fan of the comics. It was read by multiple family members before it was wrapped. Nerdy and fun. Possibly teen friendly.

Small kitten interruption

Raphael H started small, but he’s been growing gangbusters. Born in a cat shelter, he is a soft, silky boy. His interests are: chasing moving twigs, food, rolling things, food, string, food, chasing the middle cat, and food.

Since he became part of the family, our oldest cat has had a health scare. It’s been a whirlwind of meds for the older cat and the youngest.

Anywho… Christmas and New Years were a blur of caring for cats and dealing with travel-related colds. I recently visited Ravelry to bookmark things I find interesting, and I’m trying to figure out how to get some printing or sewing work done, without kitten assistance. He is very, very helpful with yarn (he sits on the project and tries to incisor the moving string).

Daydreaming

Pearl crescent, day visitor.

About traveling

Every so often I take out books on traveling to different areas of the US, or Europe… daydreaming about a trip around the world, or traveling for work again. I think a short hop is more likely than the trip around the world, and most of my travel seems to focus on getting to see family and friends. Which means there are at least 15 states to choose from and daydream about.

About projects

I have 3 knitting projects on the needles, and I’ve finished one sewing piece (a blouse). The new Knitty came out this week, and I’m eying this pattern: Saturday Night cowl by Juliette Williams. I have some yarn that might work. The other option is Always be Brave by Helen Kennedy, but the sportweight that I have right now is earmarked for this pattern: Pyukkleen cowl by Ysolda Teague.

About museums

This autumn, so many museums have delightful exhibits that I want to visit. For instance, down in Georgetown, Dumbarton Oaks has an exhibit called “Ornament: Fragments of Byzantine Fashion”. Baltimore Museum of Art has an exhibition of work done by artist Joyce J. Scott and her mother, fiber artist Elizabeth Talford Scott. Virginia Museum of Fine Art has a fascinating looking exhibit of Native American Art, as well as a collection of Faberge eggs. Delaware Art Museum has Mitch Lyons prints (he used clay to make his prints – it’s complicated).

…. the moment when summer starts to shift into fall is filled with so much promise. Our leaves haven’t started to turn, but students are back at the Universities and the libraries have switched their schedules to match study needs. If you’re daydreaming about activities, or knitting, or traveling, drop me a line.

Reading: No Time to Spare

By Ursula K. Le Guin. The subtitle is “Thinking about what matters”, and it’s a lovely conversation with the author. It’s been lovely to sit down for tea with this book, and hear discussions of her young cat, Pard.

“One moment he’s airborne, the next fast asleep. He is unpredictable, yet keeps strict routines…. He still won’t sit on a lap, though. I don’t know if he ever will. He just doesn’t accept the lap hypothesis.”

Le Guin, “Chosen by a Cat”, published in No Time to Spare, 2017.

I’ve enjoyed reading through her thoughts on Notre-Dame de la Faim, modern classical music, and a Christmas tree. It’s all very unlike the stories I know her from [A Wizard of Earthsea, The Tombs of Atuan, Always Coming Home], and yet it is still the same voice. Which makes me wonder: are there any writers you have read whose voice carries across media (say, poetry to novels, or expository prose to mystery stories)?

Hoping

We keep hoping things will get better, while we try to make things better. Double exertion/double exhaustion. I just have to remember that I can only influence what I touch, and cannot stop everything in the world to fix it.

Rose blooming in a yard.
Oh Texas rose, you are so thorny… you tower, queen of the yard.

Work has been busy (a good but exhausting thing), so I haven’t been online as much. And, we’ve made a few urgent visits due to older friends and family not doing as well as hoped. Although, other younger family members are improving their lives, or growing into adults step by step. So there’s this weird balance.

The garden is a source of delight — black headed vultures in the driveway eating their takeaway, hummingbird nest in one of the cedars, butterflies everywhere. A church nearby has created a monarch butterfly garden, and they’ve also been visiting the yard, along with the swallowtails.

Our two cats are sorting things out after 3 years (3 years, really?) of anger. The younger cat still has the crazies at specific times of day, and we just have to be prepared with a feather toy or a willow stick with leaves on it to distract her from scaling curtains and destroying the woodbound trunk in the living room.

The beauty of incremental change

Scrappy Thursday Afternoon

I’m in the process of clearing away things (still chaotic, but it’s a process), and hoping to clear off deskspace. I’ve managed to clear several work-related things off my “to do” list. And then there’s the knitting, which has gone out of scope.

Sort of in response to tackling a complicated shawl (and trying to work on it when I had a migraine, which did not do well), I have cast on several simple projects. From a purple and white cotton washcloth (using a ballband pattern that came with the yarn) to the socks I’d started earlier to a multi-striped Thursday Afternoon Shawl by Kate Atherly [Link is to the pattern on Ravelry] that is using up my trove of Green Mountain Spinnery Mountain Mohair wool (lovely stuff).

The beauty of my Scrappy Thursday Afternoon, is that while it gets longer, it also incrementally grows wider on one side, and starts doing a bend. And it’s that incremental change (and switching out yarn colors) that has me continuing with what is essentially a long ribbed scarf. It won’t get as long as a Dr. Who scarf, but mostly because I only have so many skeins of the colors I want to use.

Gearing up for spring

There’s snow on the ground, more forecast for later tonight. But… we have cut pussy willow branches in water, sitting on the kitchen counter (lovely fuzzy pussy “paws”)… and the Gardener says the forced bulbs should come up soonish. I’m looking at recipes for fastnachts and Jeck cookies. And there has been a little bit of prep for Valentine’s Day.

Once the sleet melts, maybe I’ll have a look outside again. But I’m uninterested in searching for anconites under the snow while sleet is still pelting down.

snow drops for hint of spring
The snowdrops aren’t here yet, but the yellow aconite is underneath sleet right now.

How about you? Are you in the mood for spring, or are you enjoying every second of winter sports and freezing ice in interesting shapes?


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