Thursday, September 28, 2017

Weather Weirdness, and Other Randomness

After having seasonal weather earlier this month, there was a week or so of "Summer is back! Where are the sleeveless shirts?" weather that, while of course very welcome, was a bit of a surprise to me. The humidity was way up, too, which was not so welcome, and Wednesday afternoon I cracked, closed the windows (except for His Lordship's), and opened the air conditioning vents again. Something about 70% humidity and temps near 80 (inside) just wasn't working for me; call me crazy, but I don't like sticking to everything.

The temperature today was much lower, and thankfully so was the humidity, so windows opened again. I just checked the gauge and it says 42%, in fact, so while it isn't cold at all, it's much more comfortable.

In other news, I booked my flight to Florida for Christmas, though not yet my return; I had enough miles to pay for the flight down, and I wanted to figure out when I would be traveling, in order to tell work (since I'll be working part of the time I'm there, and it's the end of our all-hands-on-deck crunch time). So that's all set! The day that I'll probably come back, there were multiple flights at the same price, so I didn't feel the same pressure to book that now. Eventually.

And in potentially moving news (not news that is moving, of course, but news about moving), I spoke with a realtor today (recommended by a friend), and she's going to come over and have the preliminary conversation about selling the condo, what it might be worth today, etc. When I told her that, having found the buying process overwhelming, I was expecting the same of selling, she said that it shouldn't be, which is nice to think!

Still scary to think about doing this. Don't get me wrong, I really want to have done it*. But doing it is going to involve so much work. I just keep telling myself, I want to be there, more than I want to be here, and it's only going to get harder, physically, to do what needs doing. Better to do it sooner.**
*One of my friends asked if the hurricane had made me rethink that at all, and it's a valid question, but honestly, no.
**As the saying goes, "If I had killed him when I met him..."***
***Have you heard that one? It ends, "...I'd be out of jail by now."

My friend's daughter is turning 13, and when I went to write her card, I realized that what I kind of wanted to write was, "Happy birthday! It's all downhill from here." Which I did not! But it speaks to my state of mind, not today but this year generally, when I am feeling my age a bit. Which would doubtless make my mother, and my grandmother, laugh and laugh...

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Assorted Knitting Updates, and California Yarn

I touched on The State of the Knitting briefly last week, notably that I finished the baby blanket, but let's see if I can be more comprehensive.

So, baby blanket done, and it turned out well if I do say so myself!
Two feet wide, just over two feet long.

I wasn't sure I was going to like the corner (which is where you can tuck the baby's head in), but I had knit it, so I pinned it on to try it.
Which turned out okay. At least, I didn't dislike it enough to remove it!
I like how the edging looked.
But not the way the front rolled up.
So I got out the green, picked up stitches, and knit a few rows of garter. (The pattern calls for an edging around that side and the whole rest of the blanket, but I didn't want to do that.) And it turned out fine. Done!
Meanwhile, there is the sock-in-progress, progressing.
In most lights, the actual sock looks light grey or off-white, but it's moving toward the light purple center. Slowly. It's a very, very gradual gradient.
The black-and-gold sock got pulled out for hockey on TV.
And the shawl-for-airplane-knitting has progressed from this:
To this:
To this (upside-down versus the previous pictures).
Briefly going through this:
On its way to the last section. It's hard to get good shots, since the needle is long enough for working on it but not long enough to spread it out. We'll see if I bother putting it on another needle before I finish knitting it and the point becomes moot.

And that's the knitting for now! Though I did buy some yarn in California, of course. This wide-striping sock yarn, dyed specially for Piedmont Yarn.
And at The ReCrafting Company, which is the craft consignment store in Alameda, I picked up these two skeins of Frog Tree for the color.
And this kit, which I liked for the colors as well as the pattern. (The photo on the cat is pretty badly lit, but good enough for me to decide I liked it, for the price.)
I like the interplay.
I picked up a few non-yarn things there, too. This fun little ruler.
Which unfolds.
And a hand. Of course. As one does.
It's lightweight, papier mache, and slightly smaller than life size. Or my size, anyway.
They had a few draped with bracelets and rings, and when I commented on how cute that was, she told me they were for sale. For the grand price of $4.50. I couldn't resist. (My mother carried it on the plane for me, alleviating that concern.) I probably will put some jewelry on it, but I am also thinking it will be a good hand model next time I knit mittens.

Oh, I also got this purple skein at Piedmont, for Mary Ellen, and I could not get an accurate color photo of it! I hate it when that happens.
Or, rather, doesn't happen. Camera/color mysteries.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Carlos; Bruins; Berkeley and a Play

Most days when I'm working, Carlos has a fit of the don't-leave-me-alones and will come to the office a few times in a row, wanting me to come back to bed with him. I will take him back and try to settle him down, but it often doesn't "take" the first time (or first seven times). Today, as I patted him on the soft warm bed, in the sun, by the open window on a lovely day, he was all, "I know you're just going to leave again."
Silly cat.

The Bruins preseason game last night was televised, the last one that will be (though granted, there are only two left). They won, which was nice, but I'm more excited for the regular season, which starts next Thursday. Hockey's coming back!

One surprising, though not bad, thing about the schedule is that for the first time in my memory, I won't be missing a game while I'm at Apple Festival. So odd! They play the Thursday game, then not until the Monday matinee. I'm only taking Friday off, and will drive home Sunday night, so no remote monitoring required.

Well, not until Monday, when I will keep half an eye on them while working. Naturally.

Back to California! On Labor Day Monday, we went up to Berkeley, north of Oakland, for an outdoor performance, or as they called it, very-nearly-Shakespeare-in-the-park.
The Knight of the Burning Pestle was first performed in 1607, and is, they say, the first parody written in English. When CR brought it up, I couldn't turn down the opportunity to see it.

The conceit is of a play-within-a-play, and overall it was very entertaining. However! One of the characters, who in her defense was supposed to be annoying, went far above the call of duty. Her voice alone was so incredibly irritating that my peaceable mother was whispering of a wish for a gun before the show was over. So, kudos to the actress for throwing herself so fully into the part (unless her voice actually sounds like that, and she wasn't doing it intentionally, horrible thought), but next time, dial it down a little.

Of course, I was knitting as I watched.
And it turned out, as I saw at intermission, that so was a woman behind me! But they left before the show was done, perhaps driven away by Mistress Nell.

Other Berkeley notes: we ate lunch at BurgerMeister, which was good. And Pegasus Books was really fun!
If you go (and you should, if you're around), look for the giant rubber band ball at the register--it's about the size of a basketball--and give it a bounce. Carefully!
It's surprisingly satisfying. Almost exhilarating, in a "don't lose control" way.

Other California stories:
Color everywhere
Oakland Zoo
Zoo butts and cat cafe

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Well, Butt

I had hoped to do another substantial post about the California trip today, but it is not to be (I have just enough of a headache to slow me down considerably, energy-wise). However, as a follow-up to Friday's post about going to the Oakland Zoo, here is a little themed photography.

Elephant butt!
Zebra butt!
Meerkat butt!
Tiger butt!
Emu butt!
And, finally, cat decoration butt!
This was in the cat cafe we went to on Thursday, Cat Town in Oakland. For a small fee, you can spend an hour playing with as many cats as want to play, and admiring from a polite distance those who are tuckered out by their adoring public. And as this photo indicates, the decor is very cute, too.
This house was modeled after the Tribune Tower, an iconic part of the Oakland skyline.
CR said it's often used as a reference point, so that one might see it in the distance and say, "Oh, is that where I am?"
There was one cat mostly willing to play:
And another who wasn't sure it was worth getting up for.
But watched.
And got the occasional paw in.
Then there were a number of cuties who were less interested.
These naps don't take themselves, you know.

This lady was about the floofiest thing ever.
She let me rub her head, and when I did, she melted, with the loudest purr.
In short, if you see this sign, follow it!