Sunday, January 28, 2007

mea culpa

I've been poorly behaved.

1. I haven't posted in over a week. Not Good.

2. Despite brave words about getting two major projects done this weekend, I've basically done nothing (not completely nothing, as seen below) except plough through Taipan again and start reading Samuel Marchbanks, the non-trilogy work of Robertson Davies (having finished the Cornish trilogy again earlier this week). No matter how much I fight it, I get kind of stuck on things one might class "non-productive" in the dead of winter, and the important degree-getting, money-making things are a real drag.
Marchbanks is, like all of Davies' work, hilarious. He's a semi-fictional alter ego to Davies, being slightly more scandalous and perhaps less true to the memory and more to the spirit of anecdotes of daily life. Like Davies, he's a curmudgeonly old writer, living along in Toronto (I believe) in the 60's, wrestling with his health, the stress of dealing with people, taxes, and his furnace, which he refers to as though it's some sort of evil crouching monster in his basement, plotting and scheming how to make the most mess and bother while producing as little heat with as much coal as possible.

Then I went down into the cellar, and addressed my furnace in these words: "O Furnace (I always model my speeches to my furnace on Cicero's orations).... O Furnace, three winter months having now gone by and the Yuletide and New Year seasons having been complete, I, Marcus Tullius Marchbanks, have purchased all the coal, wood, coke, charcoal and kindred combustibles that I intend (to purchase, understood). Look to it, Furnace, for I shall feed your justly, but not wastefully, and if it should so hap that when all these good things are gone the gods still send us inclement weather, I shall cram your maw with broken chairs and cardboard boxes, but not another morsel of coal will I buy. Witness, O ye gods of the household, and you, O Furnace, that M. Tullius Marchbanks will throw himself upon his poker and perish before he will spend another denarius on coal." ... The furnace was impressed and roared politely, but there was a faintly contemptuous smell of coal gas when I went to bed.
Maybe not for everyone, but I'm entertained, and that's what matters.
3. I've started two new knitting projects, despite having one around already (though it may go for a swim in the frog pond soon, due to issues of gauge and design). This is also Not Good, because, now that Sean is knitting too, the number of WIPs (Works In Progress) laying around getting attacked by cats is multiplying frighteningly.

So, in penance, here's a bunch of pictures. Because on the list of things I didn't do is "cleaning the house", there are no sweeping panoramas yet of the rearrangement of the house, but some cats and yarn and a rat.

This is Binnie:

She's Sean's rat, and mainly stays in his room. We get along well on the basis that I do not touch her nest, and occasionally give her a bit of food; in return, she usually doesn't chase me around. Usually.

My cat is extremely unphotogenic. For every picture like this:

There are about twenty like this:

I think she looks like a disapproving bunny. Still, most of the time in real life, she looks like this:

Seriously. The same chair, the same jumble of mismatched black and white limbs, no face. I wonder what a veterinary chiropractor would say.
And yes, sometimes she falls clean off.

In the interest of somewhat equal time, here's a picture of Parallax. She always looks more or less elegant.

On to the knitting. Here's the right side of my brilliant new scarf pattern:

And the wrong side:

I'm very proud of it. It's easy, and the resulting fabric is squishy and thick. And it's a relatively dignified sort of scarf - the kind that could be made for a man without being embarrassing.

This lump of black wool is going to be a large, floppy, undignified beret:

Because you can't really be an undergraduate without an obnoxious beret, and it's too cold out for the one I've got.

This is the older one that will probably getting frogged and restarted:

Lovely chart, but ye gods. I was supposed to be knitting it for Sean's brother, who may or may not make the bar stools he was constructing to trade these for. I'm pretty sure these socks will be too big, and they're definitely too short in the ankle, and really a lovely chart isn't an excuse to preserve a crappy sock. So, to the frog pond.

Just to wrap up, this is Tonks modeling my favourite of Sean's paintings to date:


Blogger dp said...

Well, I am happy to read your blog.
1. I love the scarf pattern. Can't wait to see more.
2. I love all the kittie and Binnie pics.
3. The socks look awesome and it seems like a ton of work to just throw in the frog pond
4. I love Sean's painting... how does he feel about it. Its one of his assignments?

6:08 PM  

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