Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Keep trucking

That's what I'm doing. Trucking along.

I so appreciated every single comment that you all left for me after my last post. It meant a tremendous amount to me to hear from all of you, and to know that I'm not the only one who has trouble facing things like this, and who struggles with finding a good response to a terrible tragedy. Thank you, truly.

Mostly right now I'm trying to remember my resolve to stay mindful. I went for a lovely long walk with the girls on Sunday while Rick was mountain biking (we kept waving to him from various parts of the open space we were in). We brought both the dogs along, and they had a lovely time, even Kia, who is getting slower and slower this year. We also saw a beautiful rattlesnake (eek!); thank goodness both dogs came immediately to be put on leash, and we were able to wait patiently until the snake had decided it was done with the trail and slithered off into the underbrush.

I've also spent a lot of time knitting and contemplating, but there's not much to show for it, from a photographic perspective. I'm working on Rick's sweater; I've finished the back yoke and the armhole shaping, and am ready to start the armhole shaping for the front half; once that's done, I can join the two halves and start knitting in the round. I'm trying to decide whether to then finish the body, or put all of that on a holder and knit the sleeves down first. I'm leaning toward the former course -- any preferences out there? I should mention that I'm still in love with this yarn; I may have found my preferred cotton. I wonder if they have it in a less bulky yarn? (It's Blue Sky Alpaca's 100% cotton, btw.)

I'm also knitting a scarf for a friend who sometimes reads the blog, so I'm not showing any pictures of that right now; with luck, it'll be done by the weekend. And I've wound the yarn from the latest STR sock club installment, which I adore. I love the colors, the pattern, everything, so these will be for me; I might cast on for them tonight while I'm watching TV (House and Fringe, and why is House on at the same time as NCIS?) so they're ready when I need a non-bulky project to carry around. And finally, I mailed Cheryl's socks off, so now I'm waiting with bated breath to see if they fit.

Meanwhile, we're in that long slow just-past-midterms period of the semester. I realize that there is something about this time of the fall that just isn't so good for me. The general theory could be that it's the loss of light, except that I like shorter and colder days. Thinking about it this week, I've figured out what my problem is with October in San Diego (I never had this problem when I lived in the Bay Area): the Santa Anas. There is just something about the dryness (the dryth? shouldn't that be a word? like warmth, except for dry) that does really bad things to my brain. Last week, the humidity was down around 7% for a while, and then it went up to a whopping 20%. And seriously, people, that isn't even enough to keep synapses firing. (I have lately developed some really complex theories about the way electrical impulses travel through liquid in the brain, or not as the case may be, and I'd rather not have my bubble burst if there are any neurobiologists out there thank you very much.) There's just no way to stay hydrated enough for anything in weather like that. And it does really bad things to your hair.

I spent the whole week feeling like my eyes were swollen and I couldn't make my brain work. I was drinking plenty (I'm sure you all can imagine the kind of evidence I'd cite if you were to ask), but it just didn't help. Dry dry dry. Turns out I don't so much like the dryth. I like damp. And coolth. Fog, gray, mist. Mmmm....

Not dry. Not this kind of dry, at least, which is, in my considered opinion, simply inhuman. (Not to mention the fear of fires; I don't think any of us are ready for another disaster like last year's.)

We got some fog over the weekend, which seemed to help clear my brain a little bit. But tomorrow is supposed to be dry again, alas and alack. Do you think mojitos help with hydration?

17 comments:

EGunn said...

I hear you with the trucking. This is the week of the first midterm, and it's been a long one already (are there really 3 days left??).

If you don't like dryth, you should move to Seattle. We have plenty of wetth, damp, and coolth this time of year. And then, we could visit. =)

Sounds like you're making lots of progress, even if there are no photos to show for it. I like to finish the sweater body before starting the sleeves, but I don't really have a good reason for the preference.

Lynne said...

We could do with some dryth - we've had humidity in abundance! My sinuses are not happy campers and that plays havoc with the synapses too!

Sorry I didn't respond to the last post; it was a hard day at work and I was 'down' so didn't feel like commenting. I did read every word though.

Anne said...

I'm with you too, even though I may not be commenting as much. I'm at that point in the semester when the having to grade of work I assigned starts to overwhelm the pedagogical logic of having assigned it in the first place. Every teacher out there knows what I mean ...

Marianne said...

Sadly, I don't think the mojitos will be much help re: dryth (love that word) or your brain synapses but as we all know, drink enough of them and one doesn't mind at all, for awhile anyway.
I know I complain about the heat and humidity here in the Summer sweltering months(90+%humidity is a bit MUCH) but like you, I love a bit of moisture in the air. Must have it.
Looking forward to seeing all your knitting projects!
Hang in there.

KnitNana said...

Great Britain, anyone? Or perhaps Seattle?
I cannot imagine that much dryth. We're lucky to get down to something in the 40% range and my joints appreciate it, but I suspect any lower and THAT would be a problem, too...
Rattlesnakes. {shudder}
(((hugs)))

Alwen said...

Michigan is the sine wave state when it comes to wet and dry. The humidity plummets in the winter and my hair looks like I'm standing by a van de Graaf generator. Then in the summer we have the air you can wade in, bah!

Stell said...

Oh J, some things just make us want to be mindful. I've just caught up - and yup, you are right that would have been a glimpse into a dark dark place. Give the girls a hug, and the other parents to if thats possible and right.

Sounds like nice cotton, and I'm wondering if that felted neck warmer from last post couldn't become a felted bag? And admiring your socks, nice design, well done.

AlisonH said...

I got off a San Jose-to-Washington DC plane once, and as I stepped off the plane, the person in front of me grimaced, "Feel that humidity!"

And I answered with the biggest grin, "Yeah. I'm home!"

FUZZARELLY said...

The good thing about humidity is that is keeps one looking youthful. (Hydrate!) That is what I tell myself. And, really, it is true. (Think of those southern belles.)

However, too much moisture in the air means I cannot breathe.

Sigh.

In southern Indiana, right now, the air seems totally devoid of a molecule of h2o.

Again I sigh.

Willow said...

The Santa Anas are fierce today! And it's hot, to boot! Talk about dryth. Yeah, I'm feelin' it and so are the 1st graders. Sniff, cough. I tend to agree with you about the synapses--dried, shriveled up, little things they are this week, I'm sure. Will they recover and survive or are we fated to live out our lives in 'trucking' mode?

twinsetellen said...

43F and something more than a drizzle but less than a rain here today. You don't like the dryth, I don't like the dankth.

But winter is on its way here, and we are going to get the cold dry that makes a lip balm in every pocket a necessity.

Gwen said...

I think mojitos are just the thing. I'm sure they'll keep the synapses moving along well.

fiberjoy said...

Dryth alone is managable but the fickle wind'll do it. Drives right through to shrivel the soul sucking at any bit of moisture. Along with the inward knowledge that winter is around the corner. A turning of seasons to the darker days makes a body more, well, prone to moods and jags.

Mary Lou said...

I can't remember where I read it, but if I do, I'll send the reference. It was actual scientific research on how the Santa Ana creates an electrical effect of some kind that affects the brain.

Samantha said...

I think "drouth" is the word you're looking for with regard to dryness. It's in everyday use in Scotland (usually meaning "thirst" rather than dry weather ... longed for dry weather ...).

Bea said...

I think mojitos help with hydration if you chase them with water!

Anonymous said...

About the Sta. Ana's, for us it's not just the awful dryness, but the reminder of what happened last year this time. The red flags which go up on our mountain are like little daggers in the heart. My now 5' daughter (yes, we measured her this morning) has been juggling the one year anniversary of Mrs. Fox's death and the remembrances at school with the death of Marie. Anyway, for me, the Sta. Anas are now about sorrow.