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I went around all day with my shirt inside out.

On the other hand, I bought all new clothes for my interview with Big Agency.  This happens on Monday morning.  I still need to buy a thank-you card and do some studying and practicing, and also time the drive.

Behold, I made this, a tiny bag:


The brown wool is local Icelandic from the shop; the white is English somebody, is very long-stapled, and came with one of my Wildcraft spindles.  I have the information in the mailing tube still.  I used a B hook, I think.  In a way I probably should be keeping much more detailed records of all this, but I really would so much rather do it, you know?


is tiny.  Spizella passerina:  “little finch perching bird;” “chipping” from “chirping.”  He looks right at me, straight into my eyes, actually hopping along with the car and peering in.  What does he want me to get?  I really feel an attempt to convey a shopping list.  Anything with seeds, surprise us.


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Syrinx (bird anatomy)

In my sphere, or dimensionless point (I don’t know that my life is broad enough right now to be a sphere of any diameter) of existence it’s usually about starting too many projects at once.  Or not starting the unpleasant ones at all — that seems more reasonable to me.  Listening to or reading the comments of artisans, fellow crafters … is it self-indulgent to start lots of things?  I have all kinds of experiments going on.  But a lot about my life would look self-indulgent and childish to most people.

I’m enjoying the sensation of not coughing my lungs out any more.  Whatever I’ve had, it’s awful but gets over quickly.

I hope I didn’t infect anyone else, especially since I worked at the shop yesterday.  I tried to keep my distance.  If the only way forward is for just one of my recent contacts to start sneezing and wheezing, I must regretfully choose a lady from more southerly latitudes who came in and complained that none of our yarns were suitable for her climate.  I apologized that Vermont produces so little cotton but showed her some locally-dyed stuff, which she rolled her eyes at.  She also barked with laughter at a shop-sample coat — “that old thing.”  Evidently a pattern she’d seen before.  Some of the nicest local wool yarn we carry, she dismissed as “rough.”  (Well yes, stupid; it’s for making cold-weather outer garments, not tampons.  Honestly.)  She didn’t buy any of our crummy old junk, of course; as she pointed out, “when you’re going on a plane you have to be very selective.”  Have a virus, honey, they’re nice and small.

I do think of myself as grown up; I’m just a jerk.

But when people aren’t jackasses I’m as happy to see them if they spend nothing or $100.  Even if someone just comes in for directions or to ask what the name means.

my body is nice and the weather inside my body is terrible!  I don’t know what I have, but this cough hurts and is making me wet my pants, which infuriates me; my nose is running, I’m hot, out of strength, petulant and guilty and uncomfortable because I stuffed myself with compassionate leftover food from a party I couldn’t attend.

I had a pertussis and tetanus booster at the beginning of the month.  I couldn’t have whooping cough, could I?

Sue whoever’s responsible for the app I just shouted at a Facebook ad for, the one that encourages you to pick a Team USA athlete to follow.  I’m pretty sure the notion of paying attention to and cheering only for your own country’s athletes is antithetical to the spirit of the whole damn thing.  Also, the only possible “official restaurant” is the local taverna, pub, cafe, Biergarten, tea shop, or similar venue where real amateur athletes from anywhere might raise a glass.  Boom — billions and billions more moneyburgers served directly to Greece.  And if USOC has the resources to go after gays or fiber artists for violating “its trademark,” somehow failing to respect with appropriate solemnity the hard, hard work it’s put into “creating its brand,” it’s surely the ripest plum on the tree.

I know.


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Elsewhere, it’s cold.  Go here and scroll quickly down below the frightening hotness to see today’s lowest recorded temps.  Granted, most are in Antarctica, but not all.

I applied for an adjunct faculty position at Small Public College.

And made a very nice little red and blue wool bag.

And ate doughnuts!

It seems that we will be serving a special dinner when Kinan and Dinuk return for their concert next month.  On the drawing board:  Indian (as a proxy for Sri Lankan), unspecified Mediterranean (proxy for Syrian), Italian, and Korean foods.  The unspecified Med’s a big place.  With big food.

I think that whatever they choose, these foods will work well together.  It won’t be like the potluck at the 142nd.  When I was in grad school the first time, I still had two years left on my enlistment in the Utah National Guard but I didn’t really want to commute even once a month from Logan to Salt Lake.  I’m pretty lazy and didn’t like to think about how early I’d have to get up those Saturdays.  Women couldn’t be in field artillery units, so I took a Russian aptitude test and squeaked into the MI linguist unit as an interrogator.  I’m not sure on what subjects I might have been able to interrogate any Russians at that point, but I had recently done fairly well on an oral exam in my second-year Russian class — my topic was “о чем погибель динозавры?” which in hindsight looks a bit idiomatic, but I conveyed the idea that there were dinosaurs, they died, and some big thing had killed them, and that’s what mattered.

“о чем погибель динозавры?  Was it you, scum?  Talk!”

Anyway, this intel unit was unusual because everyone had to have a language.  Didn’t really matter which one.  Most of the others, apart from us Russian speakers, had learned the language for their LDS missions and had a lot of experience with the local cuisine.  At the potluck we had borscht, crepes Suzette, enchiladas, egg rolls, kimchi, sauerbraten, and a lot of other stuff.  Everything separately was delicious.  Everything together failed to achieve detente.  But that was during the Cold War, after all.  Dinner will turn out fine this time.


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Waiting for laundry to be done; watching a squirrel hanging by its toes to eat birdseed.

I haven’t read the Hunger Games books, don’t really feel like it at the moment.  But I’m always overhearing people complaining about the third of the trilogy, about how characters die — important characters that everyone has come to care about, and suddenly “by the way, that guy died.”  But that is how people die in war (and there’s a civil war going on throughout most of the trilogy, right?).  There’s no setting or plot or buildup or backstory.  They just don’t come back.

I was talking about this with C.  He used to eat at the mess hall with one pilot; then that guy died.  He just didn’t come back to the mess hall.  Completely ordinary lunches, then no lunches.

When people are shot they don’t fall slowly and agonizingly just because you knew them or they were on your side.  Neither are they forcefully thrown in some lateral direction, most of the time; they just fall.

There’s nothing very deep or important here.  Laundry’s done, too.

Pretty sure …? that I did everything at the shop today, the closing procedures, I mean.  There’s nothing missing from the mental list, nothing to do with money or lights or locks or anything else; it just feels as if someone else was there all afternoon and I was watching.

Around the time I came in a woman was browsing, talking to Perry, and stepping over the dog.  She wanted to know what the fiber was for, and Perry told her about felting and spinning, that she spins with a wheel, and I spin with a drop spindle.  So she didn’t know what a spindle was, so I came over and took one that had a little bit of fine black yarn started on it, and twirled it around.  Then, because that proves nothing, I reached for a little piece of grey fluff hanging over the rim of an open bag of wool, used the black yarn as a leader, and showed how the twist climbs into the little disordered cloud.  I spun a fine thread, finer than what was already there.  It broke but I started again, reproduced it.  She couldn’t at first see how this was related to yarn that you make sweaters from.  You can ply two, three, or more together, I said.  You can also make them much thicker than this.  I rolled a piece on my thigh — “oh, so this” — the spindle — “is just there to keep it turning.”  Pretty much.  It’s a machine, as I mentioned here a bit earlier, just one with no moving parts.  She kept thanking me and apologizing for taking up my time.  But that was what I came to do, mostly.  I had chosen some random spindle that was just okay … on purpose.  We also have several of these right now, but I have never yet seen anyone pick one up without buying it (it’s happened to me twice now), that’s how good they are.  I know not to pick one up and wave it around carelessly, because they’re magic; they teleport your money to Oregon.

And here for your enjoyment is a bubinga tree (Guibourtia demeusei) of Cameroon:


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8 Reasons Why Bubinga Is Awesome (includes images of beautiful bubinga-wood things other than spindles; the ninth reason has to be that it’s just a fun word to say.)

I sorrow because Bejeweled Blitz is running so slowly and poorly on this laptop that I’m just going to have to stop playing.  It’s too painful to remember that I once scored over 700,000 and now the best I can do is under 50K.

However, I rejoice that my apartment is not really full of kraits, as I had dreamed.  In the dream they looked like little yellow cobras.  They were just everywhere.  Constantly in my way.  Of course, this has nothing at all to do with the garter snake visitor, who has not returned.



The Ratel Motel