It is so happy. I’m taking a MOOC – massive online something something. (Hmm, I used to know all the words. Hmm.) A Coursera class on Soren Kierkegaard, which starts with a huge discussion on Socrates, and then Hegel. My brain is soooo grateful.

Which I hope means I will be able to remember things for more than .3 seconds. I also worked really really hard and figured out how to read the charts on The Aeolian Shawl, which is actually done except for the cast-off and blocking. I wonder why I haven’t worked on it today? Washing dishes just isn’t all THAT important.

I’m also working on gloves, the directions for which were difficult a few months ago, and are now indecipherable – at least in their present form. When I calm down and re-write things, I do pretty well.

All my most recent photos are on the other camera, from which I am not yet able to download, I think. So you get bad pictures of my birthday cake instead.

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It was that lurid. It was also a Duff’s cake mix. I don’t recommend, really; all sweet, no flavor. We had purple and orange sprinkles though, which made it better.

“Beepbeep m beepbeep YEAH!” (I kind of broke our agreed-upon etiquette, and sang along to most of the album with my headphones on.) It’s a 2009 remix. There are chords and chord progressions that I have never heard before. But! I admit there’s a rebalancing in one or two places that I don’t like, and they cut that first chord from “I’m looking through you.” It was a little like when an elevator drops an inch or two. Overall, I love it.

I found this poster on Facebook;

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And I realized it could all be expressed in formulas.

People (hurt) = Hurt people

Anger is a negative. But if the next factor is a positive (smile), you get a positive effect.

“Forgive and forget about finding fault” just means multiply that negative stuff by nothing. Anything times zero is zero. Poof! It’s gone.

And just like algebra, this shit is hard. But you need it to graduate/get on with your life.

And so ends your homily for the day.

Because Bach.

I’m just a silly person, but to me listening to Casals, it’s like he worships Bach and puts him up on a pedestal. And Rostropovich takes the music out for drinking and dancing and wild sex. This guy, it’s more an earth-bound spiritual thing, I think. Sometimes the music feels like gentle rain.

I promise that someday I’ll listen to Yo Yo Ma doing this.

Aside from blue, I mean. I took it out into the sun to take pictures, and lo there were many shades of blue and purple, and it was a joy to behold and all was good. Then I took off my polarized sunglasses, and it became blue again.

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The Aeolian Shawl, back when we were happy.

I thought I had figured out why my brain was having such problems, and the next row went great, and the purl back went great, so I went on to the next row – and got about 35 stitches in and had to rip it back, so the shawl is on hold till I get my courage back. I have to admit that even all scrunched up, it is beautiful. And I really like nupps, now that I know how to deal with them. Also, beads.

On the plus side, the glove I put aside many many months ago has suddenly become the easiest thing in the world to knit! So the first one is done and the second it 3/4 the way to the thumb gusset. (I promise to take pictures of it while I’m working on one of the fingers, when it has six needles sticking out of it and a separate chunk is resting on a scrap piece of yarn.)

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But first, a little slice of the big city.

We went to the bakery to get a cup of coffee and a roll, because I was incredibly hungry for bread. I had my camera, because of the leaf-snapping. So we walked to a little corner city garden to look around. It was beautiful, a long row of sage to smell, succulents in bloom, really pretty.

And then we saw this petunia, coming up out of the pavement.

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Just as happy as could be.

We’re going over to a campground across the bay. Today you get more social justice stuff.

I was reading Rebecca Solnit’s book, Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities. I didn’t get all the way through it. I do that to a lot of books; get to what I need to hear, and move on. Her point was essentially this; that you can’t do this sort of thing any more, because people are taking their strength back.

people didn't die

Hope is the vision that things could be other than they are. Hope gives you the strength to cut through the jungle of assumptions to get to the new world.

Hope is an ax.

Whoopee. We’re all gonna die.

So, I’m working on The Aeolian Shawl. I have set a deadline for completion by October 2nd, so I can block it and wear it over the weekend up to Apple Fest, so 11 days. I’m on the road for two days of that, and work two days, also, which leaves me with 7 days, and 13 to 15 rows left to go. I don’t like leaving it the middle of a lace row, and now it’s getting so goofy that I like to finish the purl row that comes after, so I can check for mistakes while the pattern is fresh in my mind (and oh by the way THANK YOU UNIVERSE that it is a symmetrical pattern).

And I want to insert here a note of admiration and respect for anyone who can write lace patterns, and an especial thank you to the person who designed this shawl, because I am sure it will be absolutely stunningly beautiful when it is done. Saying this is important because –

WHOEVER WROTE THIS PATTERN IS A PSYCHO FREAK!!!!

The last row I knitted went like this;

(a certain amount of preamble, then) *K2T, YO, k1, NUPP (k1,yo,k1,yo,k1,yo,k1) k1, yo, K3T (slip one, knit one, pass knitted one back to left needle, pass next stitch over, pass knitted stitch back to right needle, pass slipped stitch over) yo, k1, NUPP (k1,yo,k1,yo,k1,yo,k1), k1, yo, K3T (slip one, knit one, pass knitted one back to left needle, pass next stitch over, pass knitted stitch back to right needle, pass slipped stitch over) yo, SSK, k4, yo, K3T (slip one, knit one, pass knitted one back to left needle, pass next stitch over, pass knitted stitch back to right needle, pass slipped stitch over) yo, k4.*

And then repeat. (Am I on the first nupp or the second? Is that K3T over a nupp or over that decrease? DID I REMEMBER TO YARN OVER? WHICH YARN OVER AM I ON????)

One of the things I admire about lace knit pattern writers is their ability to graph things. Which in this case involves many many open spaces, because the writer has realized that there is a certain amount of WHAT THE HELL?!?? going on in this pattern, and tries to give you visual cues as to what you might be trying to accomplish. This particular row has three separate clumps of three, followed by a fairly long clump. Plus the beginning and end of the main pattern. Plus the two separate edge charts and the separate center chart.

I am getting afraid of what the next row might bring. Also, I’ve only used about half the beads I ordered for the project. And the rows are taking close to 45 minutes each.

October 2nd, here I come.

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