Sunday, December 23, 2018

Introvert exertions

Freedom reaps the flowers of France
Fair-haired boys
String the harps to Victory's voice
Joyous noise.

Random thoughts today.

Blog writing seems to be (or is becoming) passé. Many of the bloggers I followed in the past have turned to other social media platforms such as Instagram.

Some still write but less often and with less engaging content.

For myself, I’ve not lost interest but finding the time has become harder, especially since yarn happened and I will happily spend hours single, half-double, and double crochet stitching.

Which sort of leads me to my next thought.

I think I should complain more often. Because all too often, no sooner have I whined to Neil that bead sales are stalled, I get a big order.

Recently I complained about my friend-making challenges. Since then, I’ve gotten together three times with the woman in my subdivision who I mentioned was interested in beads, glass, and yarn.

I like her. She’s a couple of years older than I am, her husband is a couple of years older than Neil. She’s from Long Island, is Jewish but not observant, is an extrovert, and has no hesitation about texting me day and night.

It’s as if I’d invented her, cut her from whole cloth. The only red flag so far, is that she’s not aligned with us politically, which is shocking, insofar as she’s both female and a New Yorker. I just have to shake my head.

But I refer to my mom’s maxim that if you want your friends to be perfect, you won’t have any friends. So we’ll just shy away from politics and focus on what’s important. Beads. Glass. Yarn.

She - Robin - has already been over to make a few beads. I’ve to hers twice now. And she taught me how to cast on yarn for knitting. It’s not coming back to me the way crocheting has. I’m going to need to practice, since I signed up for a January class to knit mittens. I’m supposed to have some comfort level with double pointed needles and have knitted the first cuff, so good luck with that to me.

I wanted to order some regular needles to practice with, but we’ve been traveling again and I had to time it so they’d arrive after we got home.

My calendar is pretty clear for the rest of the year. My ceramics class ended and I’m happy about having a break. I did sign up for the next session, which starts in January. Before we left town, I picked up my finished pieces. I’m chalking them up to a learning experience. I told Neil I might display them in the basement on a “shelf of shame.”

I’ll admit, I don’t seem to have any particular talent for hand building so far, but also, I wasn’t trying that hard. If a piece wasn’t coming together well, I called it done and moved on to the next thing. I was hoping that glazing the pieces would redeem them to some degree.

I was in it more for the social aspects, to get out of the house a bit. I was very happy to go out for lunch on the last class day with a group of classmates and my teacher.

My teacher and I also did a trade, my glass beads for some of her ceramic work, which made me happy too. I'm hoping to try a bit harder to make some nicer things when class resumes.

Good intentions.

I tried to write more of this post while we were traveling, but Blogger is a bitch on my iPad. I seldom can place the cursor where I want it, cut and copy are well nigh impossible, and the words run off either the side or bottom of the screen, so I can't read what I have typed.

That said, let me do a quickie recap of the trip.

  • Wednesday. Traveled to Houston, Steel City Pops and then BBQ with Neil's kids and grandson Blake.
  • Thursday. Lunch with Neil's workmates at Ginger Thai, visit to my friend Pam's, drinks at Hops House with Shell gang, performance at Blake's preschool, dinner with the kids.
  • Friday. Lunch (separately) with friends, me at Khyber, Neil at Pico's. Dinner with the kids.
  • Saturday. Blake's birthday party. Monkeys were involved. Visit from Chelsea.
  • Sunday. Dim Sum at Fung's with Neil's friends, kids, plus Chelsea. Dinner with the kids and Xmas presents.
  • Monday. Lunch at Escalante's with Neil's friends, walk with different friends, dinner at Black Bear Diner with the kids.
  • Tuesday. Traveled home.
So, a lot of eating and seeing friends and kids. A whirlwind in fact. Highlights for me were lunch with my girlfriends and time with Chelsea. All in all, exhausting for this introvert to be so intensively social.

I did work on the scarf I was making for Robert, but when I showed it to Chelsea she didn't think the browns and golds were his colors. So I ordered more yarn, shades of black and gray, and I'll make another.

Being home has felt great. I started a scarf for Chris and this time I'm not making the mistake of showing it to anyone, I'll just finish it and send it.

We just finished reading A Presumption of Death, the second book in Jill Paton Walsh's continuation of the Peter Wimsey series by Harriet Vane. We just started Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises. I'm still working my way through the Margaret Maron mysteries.

We started watching Westworld, me very reluctantly. Three episodes in and I'm not sold on it, but trying to be a good sport, since Neil is really gung ho. I plead too much violence, but another series that we're watching, Wire in the Blood, is at least equally gruesome. Before the trip I finished watching The Last Post, which I thought was really good (so naturally it wasn't renewed for a second season). And I started The Bodyguard, which so far is keeping my interest.

We're set for a quiet Christmas week and that's AOK with me. The week after looks to be quiet too, before we return to the usual madness of classes, appointments, and a few social events.

A good time for reflection and maybe a little more writing before we close out 2018.

All quiet on the Western Front,
Nobody saw
A youth asleep in the foreign soil
Planted by the war
Feel the pulse of human blood
Pouring forth
See the stems of Europe bend
Under force

All quiet
All quiet
All quiet on the Western Front

So tired of this garden's grief
Nobody cares
Old kin kiss the small white cross
Their only souvenir
See the Prussian offense fly
Weren't we grand
To place the feel of cold sharp steel
In their hands

All quiet on the Western Front
Male angels sigh
Ghosts float in a flooded trench
As Germany dies
Freedom reaps the flowers of France
Fair-haired boys
String the harps to Victory's voice
Joyous noise.

All quiet
All quiet
All quiet on the Western Front.

(Bernie Taupin, Elton John © Universal Music Publishing Group)

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