Saturday, February 23, 2008

I know it's cold when...

Gwilim spends the day following me around the house, meowing plaintively whenever I leave the room, and actually jumping into my lap and lying down. You have no idea how rare this is.
Can you see him there on my lap, curled up while I'm trying to work on the computer? Yup, that's Gwilim, the original not-lap-cat. Neither of the cats is really a lap cat, which I am still adjusting to, as my beautiful Simmer, who died two years ago at the age of 16, was the ultimate lap cat. She could sit on my lap by the hour, which served many purposes, not least of which was to pin me down when I needed to get reading or grading done (it would appear that I am congenitally incapable of disturbing a sleeping cat, or even a cat who is pretending to sleep so that I won't disturb her; I'm a sucker that way).

When it's cold, though, Gwilim decides that the warmth afforded to him by my lap (or by my legs at night), is worth the trouble of jumping up and settling down. And thanks to him, I did indeed have a very productive day. Yesterday was the first Friday I've had in weeks that didn't involve a three-plus hour meeting. What a relief. I spent the whole day tucked away in the house, alone, getting work done. It was raining and cold, which was perfect working weather, and I made the most of it. If I can get two more piles of grading done tomorrow, I might start to feel like I could actually catch up someday. Imagine that. I'm almost afraid to say it out loud, but with luck, the Universe is illiterate and won't notice that I'm tempting fate.

Today dawned sunny, and knowing that rain was coming again tonight, we made the most of it. We had a relaxing morning and then headed down to Balboa to go to the museums (museum entry is half-price this month at thirty museums in San Diego county). The only major disappointment was that we'd planned to go to the Copper Age archaeology exhibit at the Museum of Man, and in spite of the fact that it's still advertised on their web site, it had already moved on. However, we had a lovely time, and then Rick and the girls went to see an IMAX film at the Fleet while I read outside (IMAX makes me sick to my stomach). We even got Ethiopian food for dinner. Mmm...

I forget sometimes how much I love watching people in an urban setting like Balboa park. Anything that a person can be, someone is, in a setting like that. I watch all of these people around me, everyone doing their own version of this thing we call living, in all of the infinite variations that are possible, and I feel an overwhelming affection for all of them. And you know that if I met them all individually, there are probably some whom I'd really dislike, but there's something about seeing everyone together that just makes me so glad that people are different from me and from each other. It makes me happy to see all of the ways that there are out there to do life, some better than others, many of them really good, and every one unique. And, as I used to say about living in Berkeley, there's almost nothing that I can do that is stranger than what someone else is doing within arm's reach of me in a place like that. It appeals to the part of me that prefers to blend in; I'm completely unnoticeable when there are so many people who are out there performing life with so much more overt exuberance than I.

None of this, as happy as it all is, has been conducive to much in the way of knitting. I did get quite a few repeats of Gust done last night while playing a new game with the kids and Rick, and I'm hoping that I might be able to finish it tonight. If so, there will be blocking shots tomorrow, and with this one, comparing the before and after shots should be good fun. Then, it's the second violets rising sock, and on to Rick's second sock. I am not typically a person who takes a break between first socks and second socks, and having two seconds to finish is making me a little bit nervous, I must admit.

I'm so glad that I threw the Kestrel question out there to you people; I knew I could count on you. I got some amazing suggestions of yarn that's already out there, as well as an offer to dye a colorway like the one I'm looking for, which may be the route that I go, if it turns out to be possible. I'm feeling fairly picky about this one, as I know that I'll be putting a lot of time into Irtfa'a, given the fact that I've never knit a shawl this big before, and I've never knit anything with faroese shaping. But if I could finish it before our various travels this summer, it seems like it would be the perfect plane/cold summer evening shawl, so it will be well worth the time.

13 comments:

twinsetellen said...

Wow - the last few days actually sound like work-life balance. Way to go!

You capture and express so well what I have also felt - the wonder and beauty of diversity observed that sometimes has its rough edges if one has to actually interact with it on a personal level. And of course, there is the fresh wonder that sometimes occurs after sufficient interaction smooths those rough edges.

(but I have to admit that there are a few diverse individuals for whom I can't seem to get past the rough edges - something to work on in my retirement, I guess)

fiberjoy said...

A very pleasant sounding day. I enjoyed your description of people watching. There is a "safe" feeling when sitting back in throngs of people, as long I don't feel the need for intermingling.

Anne said...

What a nice day you all had! I almost feel *I* had it, after reading your post ... It's pretty amazing that you were outside reading and people-watching, we were digging our cars out of piles of snow, and friends Down Under are in the throes of summer.

Marianne said...

Bloglines seems to be sleeping the past 24+ hours, I just decided to come by... so glad I did :^)
I'm with Wanda, on the people watching, something I've done my whole life.
I'm so glad to hear you have an offer on the Kestrel colourway! There are some mighty fine yarn dyers among us.

Bea said...

I love Balboa park. We spent some time there last summer. So much fun! Sounds like we were sharing weather this weekend too! We've had 70 degrees and super sunny, which was nice after all of last week was fogged over and drizzly.

Can't wait to see blocking shots!

Hopefully bloglines will start catching up to what people are posting!

EGunn said...

It's so cute when cats curl up to warm their noses. =)
And I definitely hear you on being much better at staying put and working when there's a sleeping cat to avoid disturbing.

Your trip to Balboa park sounds lovely...it's so nice to sit and watching the world go by.

Gwen said...

Satisfying few days. I wonder if a sleeping cat in my lap would keep from wandering the internet?

Gwen said...

Keep *me* from wandering the internet! Argh.

Helen said...

There weren't many acceptable excuses for getting out of doing things when I was growing up, but 'I can't do that, I've got a cat on my lap,' was allowed :)

Alisha said...

What a great post. I enjoyed reading it.

I am a person that could sit and watch people for hours. We really are an amazing bunch and you capture so many wonderful thoughts in your post.

Your cat is adorable all curled up to keep warm!

Rachael said...

I love people watching. Do you ever make up stories to go with the people?

I might sound a bit nutso, but sometimes I make up stories - why he's rushing home - is somebody in the hospital, or maybe his wife is mad and he needs to pick up flowers - or maybe he's got a hot date - or maybe he thinks she's cheating and he's trying to catch them - or maybe, just maybe, he's an international spy! There's a neverending supply of scenarios in my mind, and I love that there's no way to tell, and I'll never know, but it doesn't ever stop me from imagining it.

It may sound crazy, but for me it's a really fun game to play when I'm watching people go by!

Kim said...

Ha!! I thought I was the only one who puked at the Fleet Imax!!!! Almost makes me break out into a sweat just to go in there! hahaha... it was a lovely saturday wasn't it??? And then Sunday was perfect knitting weather: nice and rainy!! Guess I won't be meeting you at Lace in the Woods.....

Willow said...

The Professor has a favorite saying, "It doesn't take all kinds to make a world, we just have all kinds."

I should run out of those three hour meetings screaming and pulling my hair! A three hour anything is a bit much for me.

The shawl sounds like a perfect summer travel accessory. I am looking forward to seeing its progress.