Wednesday, August 24, 2005

I can't believe.....

.....I'm doing this, posting instead of reading/studying/memorizing the absurd number of pages I have been assigned for tomorrow.

Vet School is no joke, apparently, and they seem bent on drilling this concept very thoroughly.

L'hai voluta la bicicletta? Ora pedala!

Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you to all that have sent me good thoughts and emails, and apologize if I have not answered. My email address book is at work still, but I should have it tomorrow, so I hope to catch up.

And I also wanted to reassure you that I do still knit. In fact I have somehow managed to produce this One-Skein-Wonder since start of school, 3 days ago. With reading and listening to orientation seminars, it seems knitting time is still available. So far.

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Kindly excuse the abismal photograph, my trusty photographer Maddie is away camping. Another reason for which I should use my time wisely and go back to my books!

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Growing pains

Today I bought a new car.

I feel that something is not quite right. How can it be that I am now in the position to do such a big, grown–up thing? And on top of that, it is a much bigger and newer car than what I thought I wanted/needed/was suitable to my needs.

This feeling is very similar to what I feel still when I walk up the street to my house: do I really own that lovely, large house? How come? (and I have only been living there for four years…)

Somehow, something tells me that my house and my car really should belong to somebody respectable and together, like my aunt. For my part, I just can’t get over it. I mean, I have not learned yet to do all the other stuff, wear make-up and work clothes, keep my hair in some shape, keep house etc. I have never outgrown my poor student mentality, a rusty bicycle and a cramped apartment, shared with a bunch of noisy room-mates. A new car? Really? For me?

The whole thing is very confusing. Time to go knitting and center myself again. Before school starts all over again.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Small things, big things

Today the mail brought me many new toys, some for knitting and some for school. And they are not totally unrelated. Here is the story.

For knitting, I got the new Rowan book, No. 38. While I do not care much for most of the patterns in it, that fact that it was actually delivered to me first time around was a personal victory. I have been a Rowan International member for probably over 10 years, but, in the last 4 years, not one issue has been delivered to me without further solicitation, until today.

Two summers ago, the wait proved, for some reason, particularly excruciating: I’d come home hot, tired from work, having to attend alone to children and house (my husband must have been away somewhere), and would look hopeful inside the mail box for some respite: my new Rowan, about which everybody on the Rowan forum was raving.

And everyday, I’d find only bills etc. And everyday I’d get grumpier!

After two weeks of this, while opening once again an empty mailbox, I straightened my back and had a sudden realization: if my happiness depends so heavily on the arrival of a knitting magazine, something here is wrong.

The next thought was: that’s it, I am going to quit my job and go back to school. I want to become a homeopathic vet.

So today, aside from the new Rowan, I also got some school books, a cell phone and a digital voice recorder. Tomorrow I’ll go buy some notebooks and pencils.

Vet school starts Monday!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Pictures? What Pictures?

Once upon a time, before PowerPoint presentations and brainsticks, Ben went to a big scientific conference, made her selection of presentations she wanted to listen to, and stepped into a dark amphitheater room.
There, standing by a slide projector, stood a regular type scientist guy (you know, beard, round glasses, shabby clothes, sandals and socks). He waited patiently until everybody was seated before starting with the following opening:
‘In my trip to come here, I foolishly checked in my bag containing the slides and the bag was lost.’ The audience gasped and murmurs of commiseration were heard.
‘However, I have decided to proceed with my presentation anyway, and you will just have to imagine the slides’. Without any further ado, he went on to give one of the most spirited presentations Ben had ever seen, pointing to specific points on a blindingly white screen and saying with a totally straight face things like: ‘As you can see on this graph, the blue bars are consistently higher than the red ones’. And so on and so forth.
Ben was awed and forever wished she had the guts of pulling something like that off. The applause at the end could not have been more sincere!

Why am I relating this story? Because, although my long vacation in Italy and Ireland, spent on fabulous beaches and lovely country side, I have no pictures to show you. Not because I have lost my camera, no, just because I thought my mother’s computer (not the best behaved machine I have come across) was eating the photos off the camera, and so stopped taking them. Very lame, but totally true. Only when I got back I realized the first few photos I had taken were actually still there. DUH!

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First Italian photo: fresh delicious ripe apricots for breakfast, picked early in the morning and delivered to my mother’s house just for our arrival.

Anyway, forget about all the unpictured amenities, what about the knitting?

Well, imagine the Half-Pie Shawl in Weekend Knitting. Imagine a fluffy mohair boucle’ blend, DK weight, in a vivid red with variegation of all possible colors thrown in. Imagine knitting this fluffy and very warm, fairly large item in the Italian July heat. Then imagine running out of yarn about 15 short rows from the end of the last slice of pie. Arrgh! Imagine jumping on a bicycle and pedal furiously to a yarn store, praying for a decent substitute. Of course, in Italy things tend to be seasonal, and yarn stores in July sell just about nothing but cotton. Imagine the sweaty knitter rummaging through a couple of pretty big sales bins. And finding at the bottom a ball of mohair boucle’. Only it was blue. And much thinner. But for 0.80 Euro, she decided to give it a chance, no matter how its decidedly small potential. Imagine a consultation with the knitter’s mother, a woman of great taste and ingenuity. Imagine a red/multicolor Half-Pie Shawl with an intriguing (isn’t that a great word for weird?) blue/red slice (the blue was too thin on its on, so it got paired with some red yarn, to produce at least a consistent weight and texture). Imagine a fancy Rickrack lace edging made with solid red plain wool. All the way around the shawl. Possibly over a hundred repeats (could not bring self to count them). It took weeks. And it would not have been finished without the aid of transatlantic flights. Imagine arriving back into the States, grafting the required 7 stitches together, blocking the thing and, the very next day, sending it off to its recipient, the lovely and very understanding Yvonne. Not even one picture was taken.

No, not really. Polly would not have forgiven me, if I had added such neglection to my huge delay in delivering my Rowan Edgy Exchange thingie.

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