Thursday, June 30, 2022

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

...Travel? How Do I Do That?

I did go on that short trip to Sarasota a few months ago, but I haven't really traveled, traveled in the sense of "getting on a plane," since the Hawaii trip in January 2020. Such a long time ago! So much water under the bridge. And now here I go again, I hope I hope, all fingers and toes crossed. (I took a self-test today, just in case, and will probably take another tomorrow: I feel fine, but it seems like a good idea to be sure.)

I used to fly once or twice a year, so two and a half years seems like forever. I would already have forgotten how to pack for it, despite all my lists, and then you add on things like extra masks and covid tests and yikes. How do I do this.

But I've been working on it. As an added challenge, I am trying my hardest to go all-carry-on and not check a bag. It isn't so much the cost of it as the time waiting for bag check and the awful possibility of a checked bag going the wrong way and arriving late if at all, which I have read is happening more frequently these days. I just don't want to chance it, as a five-day trip has very little leeway for such things.

But it does mean getting all my liquid items into one quart-sized bag, which is its own kind of puzzle. And as someone who is naturally prone to the "bring it just in case" school of packing, getting everything into a carry-on size bag is a challenge in itself. Over the weekend, I did a lot of gathering things together, but I don't leave until Friday, so I wasn't going to pack completely, of course. Still, I feel decently prepared. Kind of.

The packing may not be 100% ready, but I myself am completely ready for vacation! Work is just so annoying this week--not that it is intrinsically more annoying, but I am more annoyed by it than usual. It's really hard not to check out.

Two more work days. And then to trot off and leave this one behind:

She will not be amused.

Monday, June 20, 2022

The Developing Rainbow

I mentioned that I had wound a rainbow skein of yarn, in honor of Pride month, but wasn't sure what pattern to use. And then, I picked one!

It turns out that this doesn't just progress from blue to purple, etc., but through blues plural...
Into purples...
And more purples:
Into pinks!

And then pink-orange shades.
And then coral-to-oranges:
And I'm almost to yellow!

So much fun to watch!

I am not, by the way, taking this on my trip as travel knitting. I'm looking forward to picking up my treat yarn project again. And it's still very small, fitting easily in a sock-size project bag:

And it's so soft! 
I'm looking forward to some lovely, mindless*, meditative knitting to get me through Travel As It Is Today.

*Not that Centrifugal is at all complex: much of it is repeating two simple rows. But you do have to pay some attention, as you can tell by the shape, and with this one, it's knit-knit-knit all the way. Well, for a long time. You know what I mean.

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Warning: This Gets a Little Gross

Graphic Language Warning:

In one sense, cursing, like when I say I got my fucking period again and I am fucking pissed, goddammit!

In another sense of graphic, saying I am so sick of tampons and pads and mess and ow and yuck.

Just at the end of my rope with this shit, frankly.

By Tuesday night, it seemed that this damned unwelcome period was winding down, and there was nothing happening first thing Wednesday morning, but then it came roaring back in, to my considerable irritation. And I do mean irritation: the hormones surging around had me limp as a wet rag, and tired, and so, so easily irritated. My god, do I hate this shit.

Thursday really was the end, finally, and I once again packed the supplies out of the way, and went back to un-menstruating life. But not without giving the general situation some serious side-eye.

I'm just so over it. I am 53 years old, 54 in October. I have never used my reproductive system, and I ain't starting now. I'm on birth control! Which for me is period control, for all this awfulness. And even so, for the second time this year. Ugh.

Anyway. No response required, I just needed to vent. And that's one of the things a blog is good for!

Friday, June 17, 2022

Book Nerd Question

As I shelved the new Addison with the others:

I thought a bit wistfully of Sarah Monette. You may or may not know that they are the same person. I only have one by Monette, The Bone Key, a collection of extremely spooky stories, but it is shelved under M.

And I just can't bring myself to put it with A. Even though they are the same person.

Could you? Or would you leave them as I have them? 

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Of Books and Audiobooks: Katherine Addison

When I first read it years ago, I loved Katherine Addison's The Goblin Emperor from the start, and if possible, loved the audio version more: the reader, Kyle McCarley, is excellent, and with a world of elaborate and unfamiliar names and words and naming conventions, audio is a blessing. I have listened to it many times since, far more often than I have read the print version (though I do that, too).

The Witness for the Dead is not a sequel, but the story of a supporting character from the first book, Thara Celehar, and as such is performed by a different reader, Liam Gerrard. Also very good, both book and audio!

And now The Grief of Stones, the sequel to Witness, is just out, and in addition to reading the hardcover (gobbling it up, in fact, and then starting again), I of course got the audio version and am listening to that as well.

Which is all to explain to you how I knew instantly that this reader pronounced Cstheio Czireizhasan differently from the first.

I am not complaining, mind! The first story is from a different perspective than the next two, and I have no problem with having different readers, especially when Celehar's books are in the first person and Maia's is not. And of course there are valid reasons why characters have different pronunciations, are from different regions or backgrounds; the worldbuilding is deep and rich and ornate, words mean so much in Addison's books. Which of course I love.

(It's not like the situation with poor Martha Wells and book five of the Raksura books being read by someone who was not the reader of all the others, and while I don't blame the reader, it isn't his fault if no one told him, I started listening to it and the supporting character of Delin, who in the previous books had his name pronounced dee-lin, and had a high squeaky voice, was suddenly called dell-in and had a deep low voice, and I couldn't listen to it, the cognitive dissonance, if that's the right term, was too much for me.)

Anyway, I was delighted to find, in the book:

A reason to pull out this book, or rather this volume:
Do you know how often I come across a word I have never heard before? And that my mother has never heard before? Not very often! But here we are, with the characters going to give a deposition, and all of a sudden:
"He deponed and I deponed"? What? I knew what it had to mean from context, but what? But there we are: to testify.
Just what it had to mean. But I had such fun following up on that.

I probably sound like a nut, and I am: a word nut. But even if you aren't, they're such good books.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Almost There... Just a Few More Days...

My dad died in 2009, so the period where the lead-up to father's day is endlessly awful is past for me. (That first year, whew: he died in April, so it was pretty much just as that was gearing up, and it was agonizing.) But every year, a week or two before the day, I hit the point where I am just Done With It All. Can we stop? Can the reminders at every turn go away?

I know I'm not the only one. Others have lost their fathers, or don't have good relationships with their fathers, or for whatever other valid reason hate father's day. But oh, y'all, it's hard.

Last week, I dreamed that I was hugging my dad. In the dream, it was just a nice hug, nothing special. But when I remembered it the next day, it made me so sad. I miss him.

The emails can stop ANY time now.

Monday, June 13, 2022

Not Worth the Candle

This week*, anything that requires leaving the condo is being stringently assessed to determine if it is worth the candle: that is, do I want or need to do it enough to deal with five flights of stairs? Yes, it's finally elevator repair week, part two, in the building, and to me, very little is worth five flights down and five flights back up.**

*Really hoping it's only this week, which is their goal, but I'm not holding my breath.

**Supposedly, Monday and Tuesday nights, the elevator will be working, and in fact it did work late Monday afternoon. Again, though, not holding my breath; one doesn't want to count on that.

Now, mind you, does the elevator need fixing? Absolutely. Ask my mother, who was briefly stuck in it yesterday. Ask me a few weeks ago, when I got home from water aerobics to learn it was out (five flights on top of an exercise class SUCKED). Ask our neighbor, who has to carry her elderly, short-legged dog down five flights and back up when it's out. But still.

  • So I won't be going to water aerobics this week. (Well, I wouldn't have gone today anyway, what with the period and the cramps oh my god when will this stop, but that's a rant for another day. Possibly tomorrow.)
  • We stocked up on heavy groceries yesterday--no one wants to carry a gallon of milk, etc., up five flights.
  • If this goes into next week, there are a couple of social things I'll skip--sorry, y'all, I don't want to see you five-flights-worth.
  • I really, really hope it will be back by the end of next week, because that's when I'm leaving for a short trip up to Boston to see friends (first time on a plane in 2.5 years, ahhhhh, exciting and scary), and I'd hate to start off by having to carry my luggage down.

One thing I will be going down for, cheerfully, is when Katherine Addison's new book, The Grief of Stones, is delivered tomorrow, as it had better be! I am so excited to read it. That one is worth the candle.

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Am I Blue(s)

I started the shawl last night, and the second try at casting on worked just right:

No stretched out stitches, yay.

Also, to my delight, not only does it start off with blue, but shades of blue:

Look at them!

This thing is going to be so fun to watch develop. Come on, rainbow!

Thursday, June 09, 2022

Happy Mom's Birthday to You

It's Mom's birthday! We're going out for a nice dinner to celebrate.

I finished the footless-sock she asked for.

It grew slightly after blocking, and i know it looks small, but she says it fits perfectly.
I also have her the traditional stack of scrubbies, as she gets every year at her request.
(Crocheted out of nylon netting, and they really do work great.)

In other craft news, I've got a plan in mind for the rainbow yarn:

A couple of people asked if this yarn would stripe, and though the dyer does do yarn that does, this one isn't short stripes, but in longer blocks of color instead, so it will go through blue-purple-pink-red-orange-yellow-green-blue before getting to the grey. I look forward to seeing it develop.

The pattern I'm going to try is one that I had noted a while back with different yarn in mind, and I was thinking of it as a large-shawl pattern, but it actually has a bunch of sizes, and the smallest should work with the amount of yarn I have here. Plus, it's an unusual construction, so doing this will be a kind of dry run for how it works bigger. Win-win! The pattern is called Centrifugal (Ravelry link), by Carissa Browning.

In fact, I started, but although I found the i-cord cast on to be simple enough to do, it stretched out the first row wildly.

Which a few other people mentioned as a problem. So I'll rip it out, and do an i-cord that I pick up stitches from, instead. Baby steps.

Tuesday, June 07, 2022

Ready to Go

Do I know what I'm making with it yet? No, I do not. But it's wound, and it's pretty.

Sunday, June 05, 2022

Knit Switch

I finished a sock recently.

It's the first of a pair, and I'm very happy with the lovely yarn (Knit One, Crochet Too Crock-O-Dye, which has a touch of silk, in color Seaglass), but I didn't cast on for the second one yet. And no, it's not second sock syndrome.

Instead, I pulled out this nice rainbow yarn from Urth:

I like to celebrate Pride Month with my knitting. It's not as soft as the Crock-O-Dye, but I like the statement of it.

I also pulled out this lovely skein of rainbow from Gauge Dyeworks:

But I haven't started anything with it yet. I just want something simple, that will show the stripes to advantage, but I can't decide on a pattern, and the one I liked the most of those I looked at, Wave by Ewelina Murach, is on Ravelry but isn't available to buy, there or anywhere else, as far as I can tell. I emailed the designer, and will give her some time to reply before I make myself let go of the idea and choose something else.

Thursday, June 02, 2022

Time for Some More Maggie

I haven't blasted you with Maggie pictures recently, have I? Well, the princess likes to be admired.

(Yes, that really is a Maggie picture. See the curve at the bottom? Kitty, implied.)