Wednesday, August 30, 2006

No Excuses

But I can make some up as we go along here.

I have not blogged since the 17th, and I have no good excuse. There's been some knitting, but nothing exciting or finished. I am working on two projects at the moment. No...three. Wait. Four. Oh. I forgot Gene's Endless Socks; that makes five.

There are no pictures. First, I am working on Malea's Rockstar Jacket in Royal Bamboo. I like this pattern, the charts are very clear and easy to follow. Unless you have a row gauge issue. And then you have to stop and re-jig the charts so your decreases for the arm scyes happen correctly. But we're not going to discuss that right now, or my eye will start to twitch again. Since Malea has given me the mugs and I sip from them every morning, I feel obligated to haul tushie on this project. At the same time, I must go cautiously, calculating as I go to compensate for the row gauge difference between the yarns. So I take breaks here and there and work a few rows of other projects.

Nearing completion, and I am hopeful for today, is a shawl for Gail, a.k.a. Kangaroo Dyer. She had some lovely stuff that she'd dyed up and needed pattern support for. My plan was for an undulating wave-like pattern, simple but dramatic, in a rectangle shape with a simple crocheted ruffle edging. It should be done today or tomorrow and then I can post a picture. Then I have to write it and email it to her with some photographs, assuming I can find a willing model. She's requested a specific model, and it's not even Cirilia, but I am not sure if we'll have compliance.

In between times I work on another Noro Silk Garden project for myself, a garter stitch cardigan now after my Revised Klaralund. OH! The Cirilia-Lund!! I forgot to get a picture of that, and it's being washed now. Oh well. Suffice to say that it took me days of endless wearing to release it for washing and blocking. I love the thing. That's only three. What am I forgetting?

I remember - I am teaching a round of My First Sweater this fall and I needed to make a sample of the garment using the pattern before I try to teach it to others. I ambitiously decided to do an adult size. MISTAKE. I don't have time, who was I kidding?? So that's in progress and will have to get some attention soon. I cannot even remember when class starts. AH! The end of September. See, I've got time, all sorts of time!!

And Gene's Endless Socks, unusual for me because I whip socks off like nothing, but these ones seem stuck to the needles and have given no indication of leaving any time soon.

On top of this we have Life Complications. 1.) The Investment Property (this is a tongue in cheek concept, folks, we'll be lucky to get out even) is under deposit, but not yet sold. That means we are paying two mortgages and since no one stays in the house but us once a week or so, there's no rental income. We don't like to say that in front of Mr. Wonderful. He gets this look, and mumbles words I can't repeat. 2.) Summer. I don't know why, but summer sucks up time. It's like they have some competitive thing going, who can beat who to the finish line. Days get shorter, time disappears. Projects need completing, events need attending.

Speaking of events. Poor Girl. This is very sad, and is getting sadder. For Girl's graduation she requested, and was given, tickets to see John Mayer at The Meadows in Hartford. I bought three tickets. One was for Girl. One was for me. The third was for Mr. Wonderful, because we needed either a driver, or a room for the night. MelissaKnits turns into a pumpkin promptly at ten pm. Mayer was appearing with Sheryl Crow, and we grown-ups are fans enough of hers to listen for a couple of hours. And I like Mayer, actually, now that he's steering away from the pop-scene and into a more blues-influenced style. We got in line just before 6pm. The gates were supposed to open at 6, and we'd skipped supper, intending to be really bad and eat junk. We waited. We waited and waited and waited. At 6:30 a security guy emerged and surveyed the scene. We asked him what was up. The response "Something with production, they're not telling us anything, but we should be opening any minute." We waited some more. We waited and waited and waited. And waited. People started smoking, Girl started coughing. Asthma is so fun to take on the road. And now the crowd stretched behind us, up a hill behind a thing called 'The Expo Center' (don't ask me, I live in the woods!), and was fanning out on either side of us and getting deeper and thicker every minute. It reminded me of why we live in the woods.

Now 7:00 with a 7:30 starting time...and security emerges again, hinting at something complicated, but not saying what. I watch him as he finds friends in the ticket line just to our left and begins speaking to them. Reading faces and gestures can be as effective as reading lips, you know. Things were about to turn sour. As I am watching them converse and trying to glean as much information as possible from their faces, the overhead intercom comes on. A tape began playing over and over; you know the kind, the relentless repetitive recordings that make you want to smash speakers? It appologized, and citied technical difficulties. It did this over and over and over. I turned to Mr. W. and said "They're gonna cancel it." Girl was initially crestfallen but stubborn in her belief that it would work out. She ended peeved at my suggestion that Mayer would ever disappoint his fans. Then security people emerged, all wearing headsets and each carrying a sheet of paper. The woman in charge said "OK, let's get started." The security folks fanned out and started reading their handwritten announcements. "We regret to inform you that John Mayer will not be performing tonight." In front of me, two young teens looked ready to cry. I felt for them. So did Girl. They got out of line. The announcement continued... "If you wish to receive a full refund for tonights performance, do NOT enter the gates. Refund information will be made available on our website early next week. Sheryl Crow will perform her full headline set. If you wish to see Sheryl Crow, please enter the gates. If you enter the gates, no refund will be given." By now the overhead intercom had joined the song. No Mayer. A fuzzy lollipop for Girl. A big huge fuzzy lollipop.

We debated. We considered. I was about ready to pass out from hunger. I'd done 80 minutes on the treadmill and skipped lunch. I was running on a handful of peanuts. I was in a cold sweat and my hands were shaking. Mr. Wonderful did his weekly 3 hour ride in the morning and also skipped any real lunch, figuring we'd eat "crap" instead. We'd been in line for an hour and a half, plus. I needed to pee. Girl was wheezing from smokers. The line behind us was endless. I wondered how long it would take us to get back to our car, and questioned whether we really wanted to be leaving the parking lot with a bunch of angry tailgaters. And I like Sheryl Crow. My daughter does not. She wanted to see Mayer. This was supposed to be the capstone on her last summer of girlhood. Jamie Cullum at the Calvin, then Mayer at the Meadows, and college next week. I felt bad asking her to enter the gates. I knew she really had lost the ambition to step through that queue line into a location where Mayer would not be performing. We pointed out the Mayer merchandise - a t-shirt perhaps? A tour item, not available online... and food - there's food in there...she entered with us.

We ate food that was horrible - it had been sitting in it's own grease for 1.5 hours waiting for early entry folks. Really really horrible. I downed a Blimpies wrap so fast I don't even know what was on the thing. Girl and Mr W. got a worse deal than I did. They ordered hot food. A hot dog that had cooked for an hour and a half too long, and fries and chicken fingers that were cold and had absorbed 1.5 hours of grease. I personally topped my lousy food with worse beer - Bud draft - I am not sure it gets any worse than that. It indicates the desperation of the moment that I was willing to drink the King of Yellow-Water. Mr Wonderful caved and had one too.

Here's where it gets sadder - Mayer has announced that he's going to do "something nice" for his Hartford fans. I assume this will only be people who requested and received a refund. Because we entered the gates, Girl won't even get to be part of the special Hartford fan moment. Guilt. Maternal guilt coming out of my eyeballs. Almost as bad as when we left the Nickel Creek concert early because I was worried about Boo (he was a baby then) and we found out later that just after we left they shut down the amps and played acoustic - they way they're meant to be heard - for another hour or more.

I got a t-shirt (Sheryl, breast cancer awareness) to wear on my bike and a canvas bag (Every day is a winding road..."), and Girl got a Mayer hoodie, and spent the evening responding to "Are you cold?" with "No...John is keeping me warm....".

OK...now one shining note of joy, one blip of happiness on the sad radar of Girl's bad weekend...

I'm expecting. Any minute, maybe even today. This is my new baby. A Trek Pilot 1.2 WSD. Isn't she beautiful?? I had to order a 43cm frame, as I am too short to be anything remotely "in stock". She should be at the shop today and assembled by afternoon, so I can go and fetch her home. I traded the toe clips out for clipless pedals, so now have to commit to riding clipless on the road, which is a little worrisome, but everyone assures me I will only fall over once. The last time I was on the road was 2 years ago, at our old house, on my hybrid Specialized which I took tooling around town for bank, post office and library errands, and local farm chores. (Farmers need vacations too, and the chores don't just do themselves while the farmer is off playing, you know. This is where I come in.) I've been riding on the trainer for a while, and getting stronger and feeling like I want some road time. There are no phones on the road. No deadlines, no clock, nothing but me and the bike and the road. Isn't she just the most beautiful thing you've ever seen? Look at her shiny lava red frame and her beautiful bontrager cranks and her carbon fork. See her little Shimano 105 derailleur? Isn't she adorable??? I had to pick her without a test ride. In order to test ride I would have to go into a city and find two or three dealers who keep a series of extra small frames in stock and assembled of at least 2 or 3 models of various makes of bikes. Although I love my Specialized and really wanted to ride a Dolce before I made my final decision. They do women specific bikes, but did not give me any information about what's different Trek did. In fact, they went to great lengths to make sure a shopper can see the specific differences in frame and componants. I am entranced by Trek's Women Specific Design program and the effort they put into quality componants on women's and smaller bikes. Shorter cranks, shorter top tube length, shorter stem...all of this speaks to my complaints on my current bike. I'm reaching too far, I am too stretched out...I trust that Trek has resolved that, and I trust their dedication to designing for women. As Trek says, "He doesn't wear your swimsuit, why should you ride his bike?" Amen.

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