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Remembering the admonishment to have more fun, I reviewed the last seven years captured in these snippets. Iím startled and dismayed to realize that six years ago I was pretty much in the same trapped mindset. Five year ago, I was wrestling with the lack of a local female member of my inner circle. This is the Summer of Deja Vu, clearly. It is time to start taking morning coffee out on the porch again, keeping the computer off, and insisting on time to listen to each other and the universe. Not specifically fun, but it is something I enjoyed.
Today was the long awaited annual performance review. Something did astonish me Ė that my relationship with certain other departments and individuals was noted as improved, although the reviewer is not in any position to know what my relationship actually is. And the improvement all occurred in a period coinciding with my recent incapacitation Ė what does that say about things: if I roll over and play dead, the relationship is better? I kept my mouth shut during the proceedings, point where he finally pushed for any response; I donít think he liked the response. I wonder if he learned his lesson?
Thinking tonight of the holiday and her recent departure, I remember the walking tour we once did. After the fireworks, after the crowds had all gone home, meeting on the steps of City Hall, we joined up with about twenty others on a guided tour of colonial New York. The streets were dead quiet and there were occasional whiffs of cordite in the air, an eerie combination. I remember enjoying the walk, feeling as though I could begin to see the old city, but about the only detail I can still recall was how tired I was at the end.
Driving out east, in search of local berries, tomatoes and lavender, we talk about living on the North Fork. It is one of many ideas that we toss around about what to do in the nearly-mythical time of ďafter his house sellsĒ, but as it would require a significant change for me professionally, we havenít actually pursued it. An impromptu picnic lunch of our local purchases on a town beach reminds me how wonderful it can be to live here, but it is not the normal state of things. I think I would still prefer to move off the island.
Dinner in the back yard on a summer eve. It sounds so simple, but with my back yard exposed to the neighbors, the almost too-friendly neighbors, the fact that there is no fence, no screening, means every time we use the back yard when they are around, we are definitely on display. Tonight they werenít around and so we took advantage of the space and cooler air, never mind that it was leftovers, it was a great summer meal. Next year, one way or another, there will be a private back yard to enjoy, even if thereís still no pool.
I blocked the Sundara tulip yarn lace shawl, finally, it has been sitting around for a week, completely finished. This was the project I started during the depths of my recent back problems and my first triangle lace shawl. I now understand the desire to have several pattern changes in the shawl, it can be quite a mass of rows and rows and increasingly longer rows of the same stitch. I think it is quite beautiful, though, and no mistakes in the lace, although my improvised additional rows may not be quite as perfectly started as they could have been.
Thereís no good news on the house situation. It was shown a couple of times over the holiday weekend but there was no offer in the mix. The real estate agent doesnít seem to have any backbone, just wants a quick sale (we would like that too, all honesty) and apparently can only offer one suggestion on how to make that happen: drop the price. Not surprisingly, himself doesnít take that suggestion very well. I think we need a strategy meeting because every month the house is costing Geoffrey, and us, more and more, and this winter will be worse.
Sometimes I ask myself ďwhy bother?Ē We all ask ourselves this from time to time, I know. I donít know with what frequency others do it, or how often they are frustrated when they ask it, rather than just asking it as an honest question. For me, more often than not, Iím asking it in regards to work, and Iíve been frustrated every time I can remember saying or thinking the phrase. There hasnít been any break or change in the atmosphere in over a year and Iím in a very unhealthy state of mind, but unable to change it.
The smell of new-mown grass almost knocked me over, and then transported me back to the grandparentsí house on the hill, then almost immediately into a memory of a summer morning sitting at their kitchen table, the Today show on the little TV on the counter, as we talked about the astronauts and Tang. Momís school district always went a day or two past mine at the end of the year, so stashing me next door with the grand-parents was the easy answer for everyone. I realized today I miss them both, even though grandmaís been gone for many years.
I seem to be caught in remembering summerís past. One memory sets up another, and I wish I had time to just sit back with a drink and reflect, to capture some of these thoughts when theyíre fresh. There was the summer I had chicken pox, then went to the summer Gifted program, where I got the idea of what school could be. Discussions with G have prompted memories of all my childhood camping, especially that we did things like make jam and pies. Iíd really like visit to Copper Harbor with G, Iíve not been there in decades, literally.
Hospital emergency rooms are flawed, both in their concept and in their execution. I very recently heard an interview with someone in Denmark (I think!) who ran an acute clinic that was open 24x7, where one doctor on rotation would go out to visit patients who had no means of getting themselves to the clinic but were experiencing some kind of health crisis. The doctor would provide ďacute careĒ in home or call an ambulance as necessary, but apparently most of the time no hospital trip was required. Something like that would vastly improve the quality of acute care here.
A concert in the park under an absolutely beautiful clear and warm sky was the epitome of summer. Never mind the tens of thousands who joined us, or that the classical musical selections werenít my favorite, it was a wonderful evening, and it was free. I wish we had more opportunity to hear classical music outside in a park. Or even just classical music that was local and good. I donít want to have to go into the city for all my entertainment, but the Island does seem somewhat culturally bereft of good museums and music, especially this far east.
I have tidied the yarn closet, really organized it. Iím sure it wonít stay that way very long, and Iím slightly appalled by the number of Works In Progress I have, especially the number of Very Nearly Done WIPs. Things like finishing edging on a tank!! There are problem WIPs: the sleeves done, but too big for the sweater, or the whole garment should be frogged, but it is a ribbon yarn, so the yarn may not be salvageable. As soon as its cooler, I will frog the Zinna cashmere and start over, now that Iíve found all the yarn.
Music. I realized Saturday night I have no idea when I last saw a live classical music performance, no clue and that is astonishing. Not that Iíve seen much live music in the last few years. Rush is on the Island tonight, it would be fun, but not on a school night. I dreamt of Bauhaus last night, donít know why. I have at least purchased some new music, canít wait to listen to it. But Iím really looking forward to the Crimson concert next month. It has been more than five years since I saw them, which seems impossible.
When I lived in the city, for years I promised myself Iíd go to the Lincoln Center swing nights Ė the idea of dancing to swing tunes played live under the sky at that wide-open plaza is one that still makes me smile. I did go one night but the experience was rather disappointing and I learned that you need to be with a group or partner so you can actually dance. Yes, it was crowded, yes, we were hot, but the dancing was fun. I really enjoy dancing Ė almost any kind. How do I work it back into my life?
Pierce Turner is coming back to town this fall and its almost a birthday bash, just a few days after the actual event, and on a Saturday no less, hurrah! I want to go, I want music, I want to have fun, I want to be out and about and be social. I will wiggle, I will sing, dance, and I will flirt with Geoffrey, and maybe even Pierce. And if he does another Parlour Gig, I will sign up for it again Ė it was a great night out. But for now, its tickets and a table at Joes Pub.
Iím being tempted by music again. Wondering if I could find time to play. Wanting to find time to play. Immediately discouraged because if I canít find more pool time or for all those other things I want to do, then the prospects are tough for music. Iíve cast about for some other ďsupposed to doĒ that I can give up, but Iím unable to find anything that I can reasonably give up. I suppose when Iím done with physical therapy (assuming that ever happens) perhaps I could take an hour of that time Ė I want a regular practice time.
Iíd never heard of Gadolinium before today. Gadolinium (Gd, atomic number 64) is a silvery-white, malleable rare-earth metal with a metallic sheen Ė it looks rather pretty in the few photos I can find of it Ė very elvenish, even its name sounds Tolkeinesque. Although a crystal at room temperature, it has paramagnetic properties, leading to its use as intravenous contrast agents to enhance images of abnormal tissue in MRIs. The web is littered with ambulance chasing references to various purported dangers , but I have healthy kidneys and am not diabetic so I donít forsee any problems. Other than the needle.
A lazy summer weekend. I have my list of things to do, which is as usual rather detailed, but I want to do as little as possible, Iím exhausted after staying up late last night, I was a bit wired after the Stitch & Bitch. The idea of lounging around the pool and drinking cocktails all day is quite appealing, except thereís no pool here and a cocktail would probably knock me out at this point. I am afraid Iím missing this summer, not participating in it due to my back and nerve issues. I want my summer back!
After Friday nights S&B at the yarn shop, Iím energized again, on two fronts: the social thing and the knitting thing. The social thing is going to be a lot harder to figure out, although Iím finally searching Ravelry for other local get-togethers on the theory thereíd at least be one thing in common. The knitting thing is easy, although pattern hunting for the pink silk/bamboo is getting frustrating. I want a classy summer tee to wear anytime. I should install the design software and see what I come up with, but that seems like too much work right now.
Iím thinking hard about the Tavern again, one of three acceptable houses weíve seen: the Tavern, the Bayport Dream House and the Setauket Cedar Shake Ship, but those last two sold. Thereís a new house in Bayport that I think would work for us, but Iím not at all convinced about the plot and it is massively overpriced anyway. The Tavern, it has the land, enough interior space, we could make it work, easily. I just really want a house very soon that I donít have to worry about the faulty electrical and failing foundations, never mind with adequate space.
Once again, Iím filled with ideas and start-it is, but I need to finish a few things first: the re-knit Provence cotton sweater in Kennebunkport teal needs to be sewn together, as does the minimalist shrug in Tokyo Rose Zen. And before I forget, the cashmere stole is waiting to be grafted together. But Iíve finally cast on for the Minimalist Cardigan in a white cotton blend, hoping to get some use out of it this summer. There are two or three other projects Iím absolutely itching to get started on, and I know Iíll blow the yarn diet soon.
What do I say? She has irrational expectations and Iím baffled that she would even consider some of these things. I canít get a grip on a lot of her reasoning, and sheís driven by things I simply donít understand. She probably things the same thing about me. Weíve had periods where we were in synch, going through similar issues with similar reactions, and periods where we clearly didnít have any idea how to relate with what the other one was going through. Other than to say, Iím here, youíre my friend, do you want to talk, can I help?
I am struggling with the daily schedule. It has been six weeks of physical therapy, and the evenings are still not my own. I suspect I have at least another month, which will mean the entire summer will be spent in this monotony of weekdays that are long and tortuous at the office, and weeknights that are nothing more than an after-dinner pause before it is time for bed. Weekends have a bit more time to enjoy the summer, but I seem to be exhausted so easily these days, I donít know if it the meds, the schedule, or what.
The doctor confirms that Iíve escaped the worst. To celebrate what I feel is a huge weight off my shoulders and as I am on my own tonight, I fall back on my old routines: a new book, a nice dinner out, a delicious bubble bath, and going to bed with an album playing on the stereo downstairs. Thereís something very soothing about music wafting up from down below, it is not at all the same as music playing on the CD on my bedside table. I think the house likes it too, I need to do this more often.
We grabbed the opportunity for a quiet dinner out in the backyard, not being on display as the boys next door were away. The last time we did this, we were absolutely hounded by flies, which I find rather off-putting, never mind they were a rather attractive green & gold iridescent. Today, a beautiful evening, Geoffrey was bothered by gnat like insects, while I was left alone, so dessert was inside on the front porch. Wherever we end up, we really do want to be able to linger comfortably over dinner outside on such glorious summer evenings, in relative privacy.
Thunderstorms swept in and out all day, with a spectacularly intense display in the early afternoon. I love sitting on the porch, smelling the rain, feeling the cool permeate the space, watching for the sudden flash and hearing the thunder roll across the water in the Bay. The neighboring ďgirlsĒ (well, one is a Mother and older than I am!) were outside, hands linked, shrieking, giggling and dancing in the rain, three wonderfully pagan souls delighting in Mother Natureís gentler displays. After it had cooled down a bit, Geoffrey and created a little heat and thunder of our own upstairs.
Iíve been spending time on Ravelry. Not just pattern hunting but reading boards and looking at other peopleís projects. It has me jazzed. I want to install the pattern software. I want to try my hand at creating a sweater based on elements I know I want, such as stitch pattern, fit, shape. I donít know how much the software will help me do this just for myself, let alone a pattern for publication. Iíve always known what I want in clothing, and have a hard time finding it, and I know Iím not alone in what Iím looking for.
When I dream about NYC, it isnít the real NYC at all that appears. It is a funky construct, with all the right place names, and things are in relatively the right direction, but the streetscapes, distances between places, and geographies are of my imagination. Thereís one in particular streetscape that I recognize as being part of the town where I grew up, although not a part I was familiar with as a child. For all of the variations from reality that appear in my midnight Gotham, it is remarkably consistent Ė even if I donít dream about it for months.
I succumbed and bought more yarn. Several cones of beautiful pale green cashmere, a color called ďwaterfallĒ. It is a heavier weight that varies slightly thick to thin, and Iím already plotting what to knit, never mind that it is 90 degrees and humid outside. Iím making progress on my summer cardigan for the office which I only started last week. As I look through my favorite blogs, I see even more that I want to knit, the patterns, the yarn calling to me. But honestly, how many scarves, shawls and stoles does a girl really need? I canít tell.
This month I asked myself: what activities amuse me, and I got some obvious and expected answers: listening to and performing music, dancing, knitting. The process also renewed my understanding of how much I enjoy reading: I find a good novel, one that entertains me, very satisfying to read. I love to learn little bits about something while being captivated by someoneís story. I can read for hours and be happy. I can be amused at a much deeper level by a good book. Lately Iíve had problems finding those good books, rather than something to just pass the time.
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