Archive for August, 2010

Decisions, decisions

August 14, 2010

No Saturday matinee today, much too busy packing for the cruise.  I always pack too many clothes – because I want to be prepared for anything unexpected that might come up.  Then I end up not needing half of it.  Well, maybe not half, but some.  After all, there must be clothes for touring (comfy, layered, good walking shoes), clothes for hanging out on the ship, clothes for dinner and/or a show, clothes for the exercise room / walking track, clothes for the pool.   Should be hot weather, but there can also be an unexpected cool breeze.

Just as critical, of course, is deciding which WIPs to take.  I’ve narrowed it down to four, to give some variety, depending on where and when I’ll be knitting.  I usually try knitting on every deck and in every lounge, to see where the best conditions are.  🙂  I’m fighting the strong temptation to toss in some new yarn and a pattern to start a new project.  I promised myself I wouldn’t!  Argh.

Partner has looked up the forecast, and it seems we may have some rough seas, at least for part of the journey.  On the cruise we took a year and a half ago, we had one night of really rough sea.  Partner didn’t sleep at all, but it rocked me right into a deep sleep.  Early conditioning, possibly, my parents owned a sailboat and they used to set up my playpen right on the deck and I would play and sleep there.

Cat has been boarded.  She was still wary of the new surroundings but OK when I left her there.   Kidlet misses her already.

A few last errands in the morning and we’re off to the port!  I may not have much time to blog, but I will try to post a picture or two a day.

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Happy Friday the Thirteenth!

August 13, 2010

Friday falling on the 13th of the month occurs one to three times a year. Only once this year – today.  Doesn’t happen again until May 2011.

The fear of Friday the 13th is called friggatriskaidekaphobia, frigga, meaning “Friday” and triskaidekaphobia, or paraskevidekatriaphobia, a word derived from the concatenation of the Greek words Paraskeví (Παρασκευή, meaning “Friday”), and dekatreís (δεκατρείς, meaning “thirteen”), attached to phobía (φοβία, from phóbos, φόβος, meaning “fear”).  The word was derived in 1911 and first appeared in a mainstream source in 1953.   Sources believe that it’s the most widespread superstition in the United States today.

It seems to be  mainly a Western thing, but not exclusively.  The Chinese regard the number as lucky, as did the Egyptians in the time of the pharaohs.

There are lots of theories about the beginning of the superstition.
There are many ideas about why 13 is unlucky. There are other ideas about why Friday is unlucky. So the combination of the two of them strikes fear in people.

Some sources speculate that the number 13 may have been purposely vilified by the founders of patriarchal religions in the early days of western civilization because it represented femininity. Thirteen had been revered in prehistoric goddess-worshiping cultures because it corresponded to the number of lunar (menstrual) cycles in a year (13 x 28 = 364 days). As the solar calendar triumphed over the lunar with the rise of male-dominated civilization, it is surmised, so did the “perfect” number 12 over the “imperfect” number 13, thereafter considered unlucky.

On the other hand, one of the earliest concrete taboos associated with the number 13 is said to have originated in the East with the Hindus, who believed that it is always unlucky for 13 people to gather in one place — say, at dinner. Exactly the same superstition has been attributed to the ancient Vikings.

In many pre-Christian cultures Friday was the sabbath, a day of worship, so those who indulged in secular or self-interested activities on that day could not expect to receive blessings from the gods — which may explain the taboo on embarking on journeys or starting important projects on Fridays  (which still influences some folks today).   So the early Church went to great lengths to suppress the pagan connection.   If Friday was a holy day for “heathens”, it must not be so for Christians — thus it became known in the Middle Ages as the “Witches’ Sabbath,” and many myths and legends were spread to keep the people in line – just one of the measures of the horrific witch hunts.  Thirteen became associated with the Witches Sabbath as well,  in myth representing the number of people in a coven.

Well, I choose to go with the opposite end of the spectrum…the TGIF crowd.  Beginning of the weekend, off work, preparing for the Sabbath.  The ancient celebration of women.  And personally I happen to love the number 13.      So…

the 13th!

 


A Whirlwind of Preparation

August 12, 2010

Today was the last day of work before everyone goes on vacation for a week.   Rush rush rush to get everything done before closing.  Last-minute details and glitches.  Trying to clear the desk.

Another three days before we leave on our holiday.  We’re off on a cruise, this time to different Greek isles.  Lots of racing around to take care of all sorts of personal details before we go.  Found a place to board the cat.

Finished the bind-off on the Seascape Stole on the way to work!  It wasn’t as loose as I would have liked, I’m still debating undoing it and using larger needles.  But I want to block it and take it with me on the ship, it’s perfect for a cool breeze on deck.   On the way home, I dusted off the Glorianna scarf yet again.  I want to finally finish that.  I still have to decide what WIPs I’m taking with me.

I can’t wait to sit back and relax on holiday!  Pressure cooker for the next couple of days, though…  No weekend shopping, have to clear out the fridge.

It really is time to get away.

Not recommended by dentists

August 11, 2010

Kidlet needs to take some treats in for the end of summer school party tomorrow.  We wanted to go together, but she hasn’t been feeling well, so today after work I got instructions and set off alone to grab some treats.

Care to join me at our local sweet shop?  Never go here when you’re hungry.

I filled up three bags with loose candy.  Mostly gummy stuff – gumdrops, gummy bears, gummy worms, gummy hearts….well, you get the idea.  A few other types got thrown in there too, like licorice…

They have fancy stuff, too, but not for kidlet’s party.

Gift packages, too.

On the middle shelf to the left, you can see my personal favourite, stroopwafels.   Do you like stroopwafels?  They’re a Dutch treat, two very thin layers of wafers with syrup/caramel/other filling in the middle.    I save them for guests, and occasionally a very rare treat.  Do you know the proper way to eat  them?  Let this fellow show you!

Have a sweet day!

Green Fiber Goodness

August 10, 2010

  • 100% Merino Superwash
  • 100% Alpaca
  • 70% Mohair/30% Silk
  • 50% Linen / 50% Cotton
  • 55% Linen / 45% Cotton
  • 100% Acrylic

Green.

Furniture for animal lovers

August 9, 2010

I’ve found the perfect sofa.  Now all I need is a new house big enough that it will fit into.

Soft, flexible…you can probably move the legs and tail around to whatever comfy shape you want.  After all, cats usually use us as furniture however they please, it’s time the tables (or rather sofas) were turned.

Seeing this sent me off on a quest to search out more animal furniture.

Here’s a couch from Harrod’s  that looks quite comfy as well.  Can you find the ducks and turtle?

photo by memimenam

The problem here is I can’t see myself knitting on this couch.  Drop a needle, or goddess forbid a stitch marker,  and you can search for it forever.

Rodolfo Rocchetti from Tappezzeria Rocchetti is a master upholsterer from Rome, and he has made some …um… interesting pieces of furniture.

They do not look very comfy.   And I’m a little worried about those horns.  Although they could be useful in winding skeins of yarn….

Nothing to do with animals, but I kinda like this scrabble furniture.

Designed by Stephen Reed Industrial Design and Alistair Willmott. The end tables serve as double and triple word scores.  Interesting possibilities, you can leave messages for people.  Or shopping lists.  Not so sure about the comfy factor here.

This last discovery was enough to stop me from searching any more.  This is by far the creepiest piece of furniture I have ever seen, and I love sheep.  But this is way past too much.  Ew!  Triple ew!

I can’t imagine the mind that conceived this…….     Don’t have nightmares now…

Bare footsies

August 8, 2010

Mud is very nice to feel

All squishy-squash between the toes!

I’d rather wade in wiggly mud

Than smell a yellow rose.

Nobody else but the rosebush knows

How nice mud feels between the toes.

— Polly Chase Boyden

One of my favourite poems as a child.

Do you like wearing shoes?  I don’t.

I never wear shoes if I can help it.  Definitely not at home.  When I come home from work, or anywhere else, the first thing that happens is the shoes go flying off my feet.  And when going out the very last thing I do is put on shoes.

It’s so nice to know that going barefoot is actually much healthier for your feet than binding them up in footwear.  Study after study has been done,  and the general conclusion is that the more we keep our feet out of shoes, the better off we are.  Here are just a few examples of barefoot research.  Many doctors recommend we go barefoot at least part of the day.  Most folks would probably do that around the house  (except for  some people I know who can’t stand being barefoot, even when they sleep), but a growing number of people – calling themselves “barefooters” – advocate being barefoot in public as well.  Not to mention the advantages of running barefoot – we’ve seen some excellent cases in international track events.

There are a lot of myths about being barefoot in public.  For example, in the US and Europe it is not against the law or health department regulations to go barefoot into any kind of establishment including restaurants.  The health laws refer to employees, not patrons.  The “no shirt, no shoes, no service”  policy in the US began around the 1960s, some believe as an attempt to keep hippies out.  There are also no laws against driving barefoot.

Awareness is growing in Europe about barefoot living, and there are Barefoot Parks for people to enjoy nature without shoes!  I want to go!

The Society for Barefoot Living has lots of resources and information about the benefits of being barefoot.

I would love to spend more time barefoot, including outside.  Especially on the grass.  My only concerns about spending more time outside barefoot are sharp objects that can hurt and the fact that hey, it’s hot here, and walking on pavement can burn my feet!  Barefooters, of course, have answers to these worries.

In the meantime, I eschew shoes at home, at the beach or pool, on a lawn.  Whether I will expand my barefoot horizons remains to be seen.

Saturday Matinee – The Philadelphia Story

August 7, 2010

Got your popcorn?  I do have to apologise, many of the clips could not be embedded and must be clicked on to watch.  Hope it’s not too much of a distraction.

Continuing on with Katharine Hepburn… another classic.    The Philadelphia Story was written for her by Philip Barry as a stage play.  It was a big success, and was brought to the screen in 1940.  Kate chose the director George Cukor and her co-stars Cary Grant and James Stewart.  I love the snappy, witty dialogue, there are so many wonderful one-liners in this film, from every character.

Kate’s character Tracy is a high-society socialite about to remarry,   when her first husband (Grant) shows up with a couple of reporters (Stewart and Ruth Hussey) pretending to be friends of  Tracy’s brother.  The family discovers the deception, but allows them to stay in order to avoid a scandal about Tracy’s father being published.  The next 24 hours are filled with craziness and rapidly changing relationships.  Tracy and her little sister decide to put on a show for the reporters (who don’t know that their  secret is out).

Tracy also turns the tables on them, interviewing them instead…

Tracy and ex-hubby finally get to have it out…

One of the best things in this movie is the interaction between the two leading men – they were both perfect, and the scenes between them were masterpieces of humour and timing – they played off of each other like the pros they were (although Hepburn outshone them in every scene she was in).  This is the beginning of one long scene between the two men.

And later in the scene

And the following day:

One of the best scenes is James Stewart crooning to Hepburn.  He truly deserved the best actor Oscar he won for this role.

Kate’s character at the beginning of the film is a haughty  and somewhat bitter woman – but as she learns truths about herself through the film she is quite changed at the end.  And needs to make new choices.

Have a good week.

Another knitter with too much time on her hands…

August 6, 2010

Rapper kitteh?

But….why?   If I tried this with Nike I would be bleeding profusely by now.

Speaking of the beastie, we’re off to the vet – not one of her favourite places.  She got spayed a couple of weeks ago and today she gets her stitches out.  I’m preparing myself for at least a day of indignant from her…

My posties know me by name…

August 5, 2010

Got some packages and surprises in the mail today.  I love packages and surprises, don’t you?

In the mail I got some signed bookmarks from Lorna Barrett to celebrate the release of her book Chapter and Hearse (Booktown Mysteries).

Then the packages.

I won a prize in the Dancing Cranes KAL last month, and it arrived!  Some Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock in the TidePooling colourway – really lovely!

Sara, who sent me the yarn, also sent a darling button for my collection:

Then my summer picnic swap package from Beverly in France also arrived!  Bev chose a theme of  “teatime on a terrace” for the package, and it’s wonderful.

A tablecloth made by her grandmother that reminded Bev of Alice in Wonderland, wrapped with some dried wildflowers. The little ceramic teacups were originally yogurt pots – to protect fingers from getting burned Bev knitted little  cotton sleeves.

Vanilla Rooibos tea from the Tea Zone.  Dark chocolate from Saint Domingue.  Sesame biscuits.  A pretty notebook.  A book of MFK Fisher’s journals and stories.  Lavender lace weight cotton yarn.  Some wool wash.  And a note that was also a puzzle.

I’ve been spoiled yet again.

Contentment.

And to add to the joy, California’s Proposition Hate Eight has been overturned!  By a Republican judge once considered too anti-gay to sit on the bench!

Cheers.