15 June 2009

On the wing

On Thursday, I stopped in for a visit to a local knitting group for the first time, and had just given up hope that others would show, when I saw a woman giving up her recon mission for the same crew. What gave her away was the wooden knitting needles (old old old Susan Bates' straights, as it turned out) sticking out of her bag. She joined me at the booth I had set up house in, and, later on, so did a much younger woman whom I had met during a huge, much-hated grading binge two weeks before.

We knit and schmoozed and knit and schmoozed some more, me working on the huge frickin' Felted Bag of Doom referred to in my previous post, then made plans for Saturday's Worldwide Knit in Public Day. (As if I don't do this most days of the week, if only at stoplights.)

It has been striking me upside the head every now and then that if I used something roughly the same sizes as the suggested yarn AND the suggested needles, I wouldn't be here. So now, as I write, the Denial Fairy is taking a vacation to pester someone else, and it occurs to me that I may be making something that will hold exactly two LP records or a set of twenty 12" x 21" index cards. Christ.

I'm going to have to measure it, revamp the directions to make a base that is mathematically related to the sides, and rip out the whole shooting match. Shit. The good news is, I will have enough yarn this time, as I won't be trying to knit a windshield cozy.

And ever more good news is that on Saturday, while knitting in public with glee, talking with a friend whom I have not seen for quite a while, talking with new acquaintances, talking with some of the most charming, enthusiastic, inquisitive little kids I've met in a long time, I saw this season's first ladybug. (One landed on me and rode for a while many years ago when I was walking to campus. I was on my way to find out if I had been accepted into grad school. I had been. I love me some ladybugs.)

It felt as if the Universe were smiling on me.

Today, though, I fear I have pissed off the protector of winged (read as two syllables, please) beasties. When I got home today, my mailbox showed evidence of the presence of squatters. Well, not exactly squatters, as they don't squat. But a couple of birdlettes (sparrows, I think) had taken advantage of the fact that I haven't removed the mail for a couple of days, and they had built a 6" x 4" horizontal twig condo in my mailbox, between a human rights group's invitation to contribute and a big-craft-box store sending me coupons.

I looked for eggs, wondering what I would do if some were present, then removed the nest as gently as I could, even though my head was filled with childhood wisdom about birds smelling the presence of humans and avoiding the egg/chick/bird toys ever after.

I felt bad about destroying the beautiful spiral construction, and considered leaving a few scraps of nice wool yarn for nest insulation, but then realized I had a more primitive, equally usable alternate close to hand, all of the same dye lot. I scrubbed my hands around on the icky carpeting on the stairs and next to the discarded nesting materials, I added my donation of a handful of the Doglette's hair.

Boydog likes birds. If he caught one, he'd try to get in its lap, I'm sure. He will be glad when I tell him he's acting as a long-distance incubator.

In other news, now that I've been reasonable for several days since the end of the strike, now that I've rented two Bollywood movies that did NOT actually have English subtitles as advertised, and now that I've seen two parallel cinema movies that were very good but were utterly fluffless, it's time for a Punjabi wedding or a dancing case of mistaken identity or something, y'all.

Bring out the Bollywood, folks, or someone may get hurt.

07 June 2009


Now that this news has arrived, I can breathe again.

We have been undergoing a monumental technological clusterfuck at work (e-mail and phones out for most of a week, and it's not completely right yet---can anyone imagine this happening in the private sector and people not lose jobs left, right, and center?) which means that they had to quarantine the work-owned laptops. I don't have a TV (mostly by choice but influenced by an amount of twisted pride, I'm discovering), so I watch movies only on my (borrowed) laptop. So imagine me, visibly tense, perhaps flush with anxiety, grinding my teeth, trying not to whine, trying to fool them into thinking I'm a grownup, when they take my computer for two days and overnight. During a Bollywood strike.

Hai Ram, shouldn't that be illegal? In addition to the fact that this is a time when having a computer is vital to where we are in our work-year, and that it is one of the three or four highest-stress parts of our calendar, there's not a new Bollywood movie to be found. My local Bollywood palace did come to the rescue: they ran Jodhaa Akbar for $2 one week, and Swades the next. I went to both, even though I saw the first one twice in the theaters and I own Swades on DVD and have watched it three? four? times, perhaps. (Enough to absolutely dread SRK's a capella rendition of Foreigner's "Waiting for a Girl Like You" even though he sings it while bathing, bare-chested, outside. Sigh. Maybe he never heard the original. Maybe he learned it by listening to someone else's off-key version. Maybe he just can't sing. Just before I saw the movie again at the theater, it suddenly struck me that the song was by Foreigner, which doesn't seem accidental anymore.)

But seeing those movies again only slowed down the twitchings of withdrawal, preventing convulsions. I'm still down a couple quarts. Let it be known that I am not happy, Mumbai movie mavens. Mai khush nahi hoon. And my already bad Hindi's getting worse.

Working on this, in Lamb's Pride bulky in a gorgeous turquoise, is helping to keep nausea at bay. I fear it will be mammoth even after being felted, but I can't stop knitting. There are no new Bollywood movies out this week, and if I were to frog four skeins of bulky yarn, I would cry as badly as SRK was directed to overact when leaning against the gazebo at the wedding in Kal Ho Naa Ho, one of my least favorite scenes in one of my favorite movies. The heat of my tears might felt the half-knit yarn, and then where would I be?

I don't know how much more vicious and rambling the parenthetical interjections are likely to get; so next week's new releases had better be good, Mumbai, because I'll learn how to say "shit list" in Hindi, and then you'll be sorry.