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.