Friday, June 11, 2004

Books, books, books, knitting? 

A one-armed combat instructor called Cliff (yes, I know - he taught unarmed combat, and he only had one arm - very occasionally life is like that) once told me that pain was a thing you did to yourself. Other people did things to you - they hit you, or stabbed you, or tried to break your arm - but pain was of your own making. Therefore, said Cliff, who had spent a fortnight in Japan and so felt entitled to unload dog-shit of this sort on his eager chargers, it was always within your power to stop your own pain. Cliff was killed in a pub brawl three months later by a fifty-five year old widow, so I don't suppose I'll ever have a chance to set him straight.

Pain is an event. It happens to you, and you deal with it in whatever way you can.

--The Gun Seller by Hugh Laurie

I'm re-reading this for the first time in a long time, and that passage, almost at the beginning, really struck me. This passage can take you very different ways, depending where you're at...but mostly, it's just a very enjoyable book, although there are parts where it seems he's trying a little hard with the wordplay (although not as hard as Kinky Friedman tries in his books, now THAT'S obnoxious) and it's a lot of fun.

There are a lot of "serious" books out there I should be reading, but I really enjoy the ones that tell me a story AND make me laugh. Here there's a sort of P.G. Wodehouse connection, because I used to love the Bertie and Jeeves stories, loved watching the Masterpiece Theater Bertie & Jeeves series, and now, enjoy reading the books from Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie. Making History was probably my favourite of Fry's, but they're really a genius comic team:A Bit of Fry & Laurie.

I couldn't help myself, I listened to Sedaris's newest while sitting on the couch knitting, driving, washing dishes, sorting pictures...I love the stories with "the Rooster," his foulmouthed brother Paul.

I'm reading my way through the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett, having been intrigued by

and then hooked by

and so now I'm reading The Color of Magic which is one with Rincewind. But I like the ones with the Watch, or Death, best. I just love that Death is pretty much the most sensitive character, the character who's most "human," or at least, what we'd optimistically like to believe is "human."

Knitting-wise, not much is going on: I've charted up a paw print and started up a second 36" CritterCozy blanket, to be made out of Homespun. It's funny: I washed the first blankie I made, took it out of the washer and it felt "gross and crunchy," but drying it in the dryer return it to all its lustrous acrylic glory.

I've progressed a little bit on the Map of the World Afghan, but not much as I had to change the chart. For some reason I found it offensive that within South America, Africa, the continent of Asia, there were different colour blocks for each country but for some reason my beloved Mexico was undifferentiated from Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. Part of Panama was coloured orange! As if it was part of Colombia! Not yet, motherfucker! Not while I'm knitting! ;)

Logically, I suppose it was because to bother with such little blocks of colour might be frustrating, but since it matters to me, every country gets a separate colour. The thing I like about this project is that I have the Option To Map The World As I Choose...which means the whole USA may be intarsiad: "The Whippet Kingdom" or the "Nation of Two." Okay, we're four, but it's a book thing. Ooohh...maybe I should chart some dragons for my oceans..."thar bee dragons here..."

I haven't spun in a while. I think I'll finish spinning up 1600-2000yds of BFL in aran weight, but then I'll start spinning the merino/tencel blend in peacock and the merino in mojave I bought from Paradise Fibers (though the fibers are Ashland Bay's) and spinning those up for the Rogue. I really think the Rogue would look good in the dark silky blue of peacock with the cable sections a bloodred accent. And, really, you can't have too much aran weight yarn.


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