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http://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/solar/2014-october-23

Unca Bri, Mark and I drove out across North Dakota in the dead of February to see a total eclipse.

We didn’t get as far west as we needed to, to see totality, but we got the diamond ring. The shadows the weeds cast in snow were crescent shaped. My dog, the first one, Joe, freaked out and locked the car doors. Mark talked us into watching WKRP that night for the first time. It was the turkey episode.

The night I came home from Brian’s funeral, the fog was so thick that I pulled into a motel to spend the night. I turned on the tv, and there it was again.

Tonight I’m blowing up set of headphones, listening to Abbey Road, and thinking maybe I’m spending too much time in the past.

“Boy, you’re gonna carry that weight…”

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.

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.

Whoopee. We’re all gonna die.

Daughter spends a lot of time on video games (n.b. is that even what they’re called now?), which irritates me. But it also means she’s spending time listening to and learning from critical analysis, which Is. So. Cool. to an art historian. It also means we have discussions revolving around which character in the Elder Scrolls represents which god in classical mythology, which led to a brief discussion about Nature and the Wilderness as a representation of supreme beings of different types. Which is good, because – oh, there’s a list of reasons. Neither of us is letting our brains rot. We are equal in our geek fandomness of Big Things and Ideas. And we can spend quality time together in so many different ways.

The summer was cool, which is good because I hate being hot. It was bad because the few hot days we had (I think it was three) were too hot to get in the car and go where we could go swimming. We’ve had what seems like an early cold snap, which means that it’s time the garden closes down, which is sad, but it also means a return to hot bath season, which is Thank You Universe. Hot Bath Season is good, in that it means hot – HOT! – baths, which is also bad, because it means that that hot bath should have been lotion instead of water.

The return to Hot Bath Season means a return to many many blankets on the bed, which is good, because snuggle in and sleep like a log. And also because –

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I get to play.

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It was hot that day, okay?

We’ve had Katniss for just under two years, now. I think she’s starting to think we’re okay.

I worked till eight yesterday, came home and settled into my settle-down routine. Katniss ignored me for a while, then came out into the living room and started running around. So, I dragged the Scariest Toy Ever around for about 30 seconds, and sat back down. Not good enough.

Katniss has a thing where she acts like she wants to sit on my lap, but is really just using me as a shortcut – to the window, or to the keyboard of my laptop. So, yes, sit on my keyboard. Open all those functions that I don’t know how to get to. Let me scritch you. Lie down and let me scritch you. Fall asleep with me scritching you. Let me carefully gently pick you up and slip you onto my lap and scritch you.

First time ever, that she let me hold her on my lap. Not for long, but a few minutes.

So, I have to be back to work in less than 12 hours, so I go to bed early. She’s sitting in the window when I come in to the bedroom. I say hi, tell her I’m going to bed, start putting on jammies – and she comes down from the window and curls up on my bed. And stayed there while I got under the covers and curled up.

First time.

She didn’t there stay very long either, but beds are pretty scary to her. Like feet used to be, like some laps are, like sudden noises and things lying on top of her. Like people walking by 50 feet away when she’s outside. But bringing home a kitteh and letting her see that people aren’t whatever it was she went through that tiny bit she wasn’t living in the shelter, makes me feel so good. Teaching her that words have meanings, that Kitteh means her, that we’ll come to her aid, that we’ll feed her when she’s hungry. I’m pretty happy.

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