Saturday, April 29, 2017

More Cats

I fed my neighbor J's cats tonight, as she's out of town. They were so happy to see me that I couldn't really get them to stand still long enough to focus.

One is floofy.
The other is not.
But they are brothers, and although J said that the floofy one is shy, he has been just as friendly to me as his brother, so it's fun to visit with them.

"Yes, keep petting please!"
"Oh, hallo."
I'll get to see them again before she's back, and although Carlos doesn't approve, it's only wrapped up in his disapproval of my ever leaving for any reason. He doesn't care who I smell like when I return. He is secure in his ownership of me.

~~~~~
The weather was very nice today, some sun and in the 80s. Tomorrow the high is supposed to be around 50. Siiigh, New England.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Absence Explained

So where was I last night, when I wasn't here as usual?

Well, I spent a few very enjoyable hours at this:
But I also spent a few not-at-all-enjoyable hours getting there and getting home again. And not to 100% blame my GPS, because I doubt there was a good way to go, at rush hour, but if you can't tell that there's a damned Red Sox game, and going anywhere near Fenway is a piss-poor idea, well, Margaret, I thought better of you.

Though I couldn't have done it without GPS, period. I hate city driving.

Still, it was worth the trouble, even if I will think twice (or three times) before making a similar plan again. I did manage to arrive juuuust in time to rush to the ladies room, and then find a seat*, before it started, and although the seats weren't super comfortable for that long (I stood during most of the intermission, to stretch my butt and hips and back), the production itself was great.
*I'm pretty sure it was sold out, which is kind of neat.

I studied Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead in high school, senior year, when Miss Thompson taught it to us alongside Hamlet, bless her. I credit her with making Hamlet my favorite of Shakespeare's plays, despite my not being a fan of tragedy generally, and Ros&Guil appealed to my love of words and wordplay like nothing else. The movie is good, too, I've seen it more than once, but I'm not sure I'd seen the play itself before--surely I would remember!

Although this wasn't the same as going to a live theater performance, it did feel closer to that than to a movie, even in a movie theater. And what both surprised and amused me, as someone who goes to very little theater, is how much of the audience didn't seem nearly as familiar as I am with the play. Intellectually, I know that one needn't have it memorized, or even know the story at all, to see it, but hearing the surprise in the laughter was unexpected to me. And the elderly man in the row in front of me who, at intermission, was telling one of his friends that, you know, they do die at the end... I suppose a spoiler alert on Shakespeare would be silly, eh?

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Normal for a Knitter

As I have often noted, I'm sure, I am an emotional eater, reaching for food to make me feel better in down times (I'm working on it). A somewhat more positive response I have also noted is an increased desire to knit: just as I feel that the right food will make me feel better, sometimes it seems the right knitting project would do the same. And let's face it, it's a slightly healthier impulse for me!

When the Bruins were kicked out of the playoffs on Sunday, I spent some time trying to choose a new knitting project, one that would soothe the troubled hockey fan. I didn't come up with one; I wanted something that could be more social knitting than Farfalla currently is, but I couldn't pin anything down.

I tried again today, starting with the premise that I like the non-triangular shape of my Bigger On The Inside shawl, which has proven to wear very well. It isn't the first time I'd tried to fill that bill, but this time I found one that I want to try, at least, and we'll see how it goes. I even had more than one choice of yarn to use, in enough quantity, at the recommended weight: three choices, in fact.

All in blue.

Ahem.

So, I am going to be trying the Tidblad shawl, using the Periwinkle Sheep alpaca-merino blend that I got at Rhinebeck in 2014. Please excuse me as I get out the swift and wind some yarn now.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

It's Raining

I think I reach this point at the end of April every year, when it's grey and chilly and rainy and I just can't believe it will ever get better. In this case, it's supposed to be improve in only a few days, if not permanently, but I was cheered much more today by making plans to go tulip-picking again. Now that will bring some color into my days! (And hey, thinking about that cheesecake is pretty cheering, too.)

They're sold out this weekend, but I'm going on May 7, and just about counting the days.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Moving On (hockey edition)

I'm more or less at peace with the Bruins' ouster; as I said before, I'd rather they didn't make the playoffs than make it in and be embarrassed in the first round, but they weren't embarrassed. It was a very close series, and they had a lot of key injuries; really, they acquitted themselves pretty well, for a team that for much of the year was questionable to make the playoffs. And young players like Charlie McAvoy give me hope for the next season.

Before we get there, though, there is (gasp) other hockey stuff to watch and follow. First is the playoffs. I've considered the remaining series (games start Wednesday), and am declaring my allegiances:

  • Ottawa versus the Rangers. Obviously I must root against Ottawa, as they knocked the Bruins out, so I am pro-NYR. I may turn these games off early, though, as I am So Over hearing about how fabulous Erik Karlsson is (I mean, he is, but enough already).
  • Washington versus Pittsburgh. I really don't like Pittsburgh, and I am hoping that this is the year that Washington finally sheds their recent reputation as a team that rocks the regular season but can't make it in the playoffs, so go Capitals, go Ovi. Get the monkey off your back.
  • Nashville versus St. Louis. Normally I'm not big for or against either, but I like how Nashville swept Chicago out in the first round (I don't like Chicago), and I'm also a fan of PK Subban, so go Nashville.
  • Anaheim versus Edmonton. I know very little about Anaheim, so I will root for Edmonton and their cadre of young stars, bought with many top drafts picks at the cost of many years of being truly rotten. This may not be their year, but they're on the upturn.

This is pretty relaxing hockey for me to watch. I'll turn it on if I'm home, but don't plan around it. I turn games off and go to bed when I'm tired. I certainly don't stay up for overtime, unless and until it could be the Cup-clincher. Last night I had a game on, but the noise level was a little jarring after a while, so I muted it. Peaceful. I have these preferences, but I don't truly care about any of them, not enough to get tense. It's kind of nice.

And after the Cup is raised, there will be a few things to look forward to:

  • The NHL Awards show, which this year will also feature the expansion draft for the new team in Vegas. I am very curious about who they will draft, obviously from the Bruins but also generally; it's been a long time since the league expanded.
  • Then there will be the regular draft, and free agency. I can't see the Bruins doing anything too big at either, but you never know.
  • After that, it will be time for the Bruins to have their development camp for the future players.
  • And then, it's the long desert until rookie camp, and regular camp, in September. At least it will be summer, and I will have nice weather to comfort me.
It's also possible, even likely, that there will be further repercussions to the NHL's decision not to shut down for the 2018 Olympics. Who will go anyway? Which teams will punish players for going, and which won't, and will the NHL put a rule in about that? Will some teams end up calling up half their farm teams for three weeks in February? How many college players will decide not to sign this year, but play another year in college in hopes of making the Olympic team? I just read about a player going to play in the KHL, with the implication that he's doing it so he can go to the Olympics ... depths and possibilities.

It could get interesting. And with about five months to training camp, I'll take what I can get.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Down, and Up

The Bruins were eliminated from the playoffs today, losing (again) in overtime (again). It's a bummer. I'll have to figure out who to root for in the second round; Montreal was also eliminated, last night*, meaning I won't have them to automatically root against, so we'll have to see.
*Not that I'm complaining about that, of course.

Meanwhile, it was time for a kitty visit this afternoon before the game, so at least the day has had that going for it. Remember my friends who have the two ragdolls? (Visiting one cat, the first; visiting one cat, the second; visiting two cats, the first; visiting two cats, the second.) Well, the puffballs are still adorable.





And now I need to leave the paean to the adorableness of cats and go kill Carlos, who is dissatisfied with the freshness of the food in his bowl and Will Not Shut Up About It. There's reality for you.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

A Long Report for a Short March

I am exhausted. Sore all over. Ouching with every move.

How did I get here?

Well, let's see. Thursday night I had water aerobics, so afterward, and Friday, I was generally sore, as I usually am. My hands were also having a bad day, which could have been due to the swimming in whole, in part, or not at all, who knows. The joys of arthritis.

Friday night I went to a friend's house to hang with her cats for a bit, as the family is away and she's worried they were lonely. I watched the Bruins' must-win game there, or I guess I should say I watched the part that happened in regulation; when it was going to overtime, I decided that since I was getting pretty tired and would only get more so, I should drive home while I was at least that alert. I caught the start of OT in the car, and then went inside for the rest of the first overtime period and into the second. There was a lot of drama, and I was highly stressed.

But finally, just before midnight, the Bruins scored! (Rational game recap here; emotional one here.) I was so happy for rookie Sean Kuraly, who tied the game with his first NHL goal, then got the game-winner in 2OT. He was leaping into the air, it was very cute. The whole thing was very exciting, but so exhausting to watch. I tumbled into bed just after midnight, feeling like I'd been beaten with a stick.

I slept pretty solidly, but got up (at 10!) still feeling surprisingly sore, and generally achy and tired. In hindsight, I should have thought twice about going in to the Science March, but I really wanted to go, and it wasn't until 2, plus it was actually a rally and not a march, so I thought I would give it a try, and gave myself permission to leave when I needed to.

Which didn't take long. I got there just about 2, when the crowds were already large but the speakers were just getting started.



You can see that the ground is wet; yesterday, the forecast for today just said it would be "overcast," but that turned out to mean drizzling and chilly and truly unpleasant. Stupid April in New England.

Anyway. I listened to some speaking, but my back and legs were getting painful with the standing, so I tried walking around, and that wasn't any better, and in short order I was in enough pain that I was walking back to the T. Disappointing, but when I was trying not to groan out loud at the pain of sitting down once the train came, I knew it was the right thing to do. It was a good, if painful, lesson in Listen To Your Body, and maybe next time I will get the message before I overspend my spoons.

There were lots of great signs there, and I got pictures of a few of them.





This one on the left I tried a few times to get. Cut off the top.
And cut off different parts. A for effort?




And a clever way to carry a sign.
My arms were too tired to hold my sign up much, but I made a small, two-sided one.

And the shirt I wore (which no one could see under my coat, but anyway):
I remember giving blood in college, back when the Red Cross would take my blood (yes, I am still bitter that they won't now), and they would offer us little stickers that said, "Be nice to me, I gave blood today." There were also stickers that said, "Be nice to me, I tried," which I always thought were rather sad. But today, I think I earned that much. I tried. I'm okay with that.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Even I Can See That Doesn't Add Up

I know that the Weather Channel is about weather, and not math, but I think they're flunking the basics anyway. Compare what I circled in red with the red numbers staggering* down the left side.
*MS Paint is not the best editing tool, but it gets the point across.
Also, that is not a lot of sunshine in the tenfifteen-day forecast, is it? Sigh. If I can't have real warmth, I would at least like the sun to be out.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

A Few Flowers, the Cat; It's a Start

My mother left for home today, so I can start getting back to my routine; it was a good visit, but I'm such a creature of habit that I appreciate the return to usual, even as I'm sorry to see her go. I'm off to water aerobics, and while a certain furball won't be glad to see me go out, he'll be happy when I get back.

So, a few shots of the flowers I brought for Grandma, including the unusual-to-me white tulips, which looked so fake.
But they hadn't come all the way up when I bought them, so I know they're real.
And this orange one, I don't remember what it was called, but it's pretty.
And then from the garden wall at my aunt's, spring beginning to spring up.
The hyacinths were just opening that day.
And not all of them were up.
Daffs, of course.
And more.
And more.
We had really nice weather, warm for the time of year, over the weekend.
Now it has cooled down again, which is unfortunate, but at least it didn't snow. So there's that.

Meanwhile, Carlos spent some pensive time this afternoon next to the catnip toy.
Not playing with it, mind you. Just keeping it company.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

I'm Home

And do I have stories from the weekend! But for tonight, I just give you Herman, the knit tarantula, in his bunny slippers.
Grandma seemed to find it amusing, so that's good.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

So Where Are We?

We are here:

  • Work is done for the day, and for Monday as well. Yay for a short break!
  • Mum's plane is in the air; it even left about on time. (And she's not flying United, phew.)
  • In a little while, I'll be leaving to meet her.
  • Things here are pretty clean, tidy, and overall ready for the visit.
  • But I expect I'll be jittering around poking at/dusting things until it's time to leave.
  • Well, that and getting things together for my packing.
  • It's nice, the clean and tidy, but it's a lot of work. I guess if I did it more often, it wouldn't be, up to a point, but still. Why don't I have staff to take care of these things for me?
  • When you have a cat, cleaning up the cat hair feels pointless sometimes. Love you, buddy, but the fur is everywhere.
  • We're leaving for NY tomorrow. Returning Monday; Mum flies out next Thursday.
  • I may or may not be back here over the next week, basically.
  • Y'all be good!


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Knitting Lately

I feel like I haven't talked about my knitting much recently, other than that I had to fix the divot in the Farfalla, and accept that it isn't stitch and bitch knitting for me right now. Of course, I haven't been doing a ton of other knitting lately, but due to not taking Fafalla out, I did finish the latest socks this week. My usual pattern, and the yarn is Linda's Car Socks from Pinestar Studio (though I just found that I had put in Ravelry that it was Ellen's Half Pint Farm, and that's not right, whoops! Glad I caught that). This yarn, the yarn I actually used, is Blue Faced Leicester, and feels very nice. I would call the color Mildly Colorful.

Formal feet:
Relaxed feet:
And, of course, next socks cast on at once.
Same pattern. Early days.
This yarn is Maple Creek Farm Alexandria, which I got at Rhinebeck in 2014. When I went stash-diving for which sock yarn to use next, it leaned out and asked if winter was far enough gone by that I could appreciate one of the less-bright skeins, and I decided that I could. It has a nice squish to it, and a slight, pleasant, wood-and-cedar-chip scent.

Stash is a funny thing. Every once in a while I will see, or think of, a particular skein, and feel that its turn must surely be here, but I don't know what to make with it. Recently, the skein of Briar Rose Fibers Wistful that I got at Rhinebeck in 2013 came up this way, not for the first time, and I spent a little while pondering it.

Having been so into making shawls recently, I am starting to feel that urge wane, since at this point, I have quite a few (and one on the needles, I know, but bear with me). I tried to think what else I could use it for, and got an idea when I saw this set of scarf, hat, and mitts that seemed a good concept. That is to say, I didn't fall in love with these particular pieces, but I like the idea of making such a set with this yarn. I haven't gotten any farther than that, and it may not happen, or at least not soon, but this post is about knitting, and these are knitting thoughts I've been having.