Sunday, June 28, 2009

frogging back

I've been having some problems with numbness in one of my arms, which has seriously cut down on my knitting time. I did no actual knitting for almost ten days. Not fun. (The 30-35 degree heat was another factor in the non-knitting.) I always forget how important of a stress management tool it is for me until I can't or don't knit for a while. Yesterday I decided to take matters back into my own hands and worked doggedly on a pair of Craic socks. Lovely (if challenging) pattern, and the product was lovely too...until I decided to try on the six inches I'd knit so far and couldn't fit the bloody thing over my foot.

I had no choice but to frog. Sure, I could've offered the socks to someone else, with smaller feet, but this is a) my Handmaiden Casbah, which is about the most luxurious sock yarn I own, with its 10% cashmere, and b) it's one of those patterns that only another knitter could really appreciate--and I am selfish enough to want to spend those hours of valuable knitting time on myself.

Since then, I've recast on for the Blackrose pattern from Knitty, and it seems to be working out much better.

Passchendaele premiered on the satellite tonight. I've been wanting to see it since it was in theatres, but couldn't quite sack it together at the time to do so. I fully expected to be quite happy with it--Canadian history, war movies, Paul Gross writing/directing/acting--but unfortunately the whole wasn't quite the sum of its parts. A friend had told me that it was superb except for the last fifteen minutes, and he was mostly right. I wouldn't call it superb so much as very, very good, but those last fifteen minutes are brutal. I want more from Paul Gross; I admire him and his work very much, and I think that what he does for Canada and Canadian film is so important...but this just didn't work for me.

In other news, there is a new yarn store in North Bay. I will write more about it later.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Your Ex-Lover Is Dead

Or, You're So Vain, You Probably Think This Post Is About You

Quick question for you, Gentle Reader. Are you friends with your exes? Is it possible to be friends with them? Do you want to be friends with them? What kinds of friendships do you have?

I haven't had many relationships, so my pool of experience here is pretty small. I've also been the instigator of the break ups in both cases, which I imagine alters my subjectivity on the matter. I think the answers to the questions above depend on a lot of things: The characters of the people involved; the length and depth of the relationship; the terms on which the relationship is ended. For me, these factors have always lead me to a single conclusion: friendship is not an option. I'm an intense person in a relationship, and I genuinely believe that after a certain point, you can't unring a bell: the possibility of friendship is, by necessity, gone.

Unfortunately, the exes don't always see it that way. "Why must it be awkward between us? Why don't we have anything to say to each other?" one asked me last weekend. Sadly, I was sober at the time, and was unable to indulge in a drunken tirade that would have put paid to such idiocy once and for all. As this conversation took place in a public place (a mutual friend's wedding reception), I didn't say any of the things that I wanted to say, which would have included the following statements:
  • We are not friends because I don't actually like you
  • It's awkward because making small talk with people you don't like is awkward
  • the details of my personal life are none of your business
  • Don't hug me and pretend to be happy that I'm engaged
  • We can't be friends because I haven't forgiven you for the way you treated me while we were dating
  • We can't be friends because I haven't forgiven myself for letting you treat me that way
  • What possible benefit could there be to anything beyond being superficially polite?

Thankfully, this was the last of our mutual friends to get married, so our paths shouldn't cross again for some time. If we do, though, I've promised myself that I will explain the above points to him, calmly and firmly, and continue to maintain my distance.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

In advance of Father's Day

Assuming that my plans for the weekend will likely prevent me from posting tomorrow, I wanted to get this posted today. I've watched High Fidelity twice in the last week (in shameful, US network censored versions) which has caused me to make a number of All Time Top Five lists in my head. I'm quite pleased with this one--and I can't think of anyone I'd rather make Top Five Lists for than my dad.

The All Time Top Five Songs for My Dad (Father's Day edition)

5. Rod Stewart - You're In My Heart: When my dad retired from the police force, he gave a really touching tribute to my mother. Being the wife of a police officer wasn't easy (particularly for someone who had to balance her own career as a nurse against the demands of a province-wide force), and the early years of their marriage might have broken up a lesser couple. He used part of this song in his speech.

4. Crosby Stills Nash & Young - Teach Your Children: One of my dad's favourites to play on the guitar: "Don't you ever ask them why/ if they told you, you would cry/ so just look at them and sigh/ and know they love you."

3. The Beatles - If I Fell: The Beatles are, of course, my dad's favourite band. This is his favourite Beatles song, near as I can tell--can you ever pick just one favourite song by your favourite band? I'm always kind of surprised by this one--it's an easy one to forget, I think, in term of the Beatles' overall oeuvre, but it is a good one.

2. The Animals - House of the Rising Sun: This song was the first 45 single that my dad ever bought, launching him on a music collecting career that's spanned about 40 years and several different media. At last count his CD collection comprised about 2500 volumes. My mom bought him an 8 gig iPod touch for his birthday in April, and he's already filled it.

1. Rod Stewart - Maggie May: His favourite of all his favourite songs. Need I say more?

Happy Father's Day, Dad! I hope you like your Darth Vader card. It beat out the Tom Hanks in A League of Their Own card by a very small margin. (And if the Tom Hanks one had said "Avoid the clap, Jimmy Dugan" instead of "There's no crying in baseball", it would've lost.)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

left and leaving

My father was in town briefly yesterday, and he came over to check out the new guitar. He agreed with my assessment that it was in good condition, saying that it looked to him like it had hardly been played. He then tuned it for me, so I am playing around with it a little tonight.

It's been years since I've tried to pretend like I could learn to play guitar. I have no rhythm, and no particular musical talent. Strangely, my rhythm has gotten better as I've gotten older. While I'd never say that I'm good at Rock Band or GUitar Hero, my performances there aren't quite as EPIC FAIL as they once were.

Back in high school I used to spend a lot of time teaching myself bits and pieces of songs from the Oh Canada Tab Archive. The archive is still there, though it looks like it hasn't been updated in about 8 or 9 years. It is literally like living in 1999 again. Which manages to be awesome but sad.

Though sometimes I feel out of step with my generation, I'm glad that I wasn't born younger. I would've been an emo scene kid--one of the worst kind.

Monday, June 08, 2009

after the pity party

Thank you for bearing with me through last week's efforts at throwing myself a pity party. I'm working hard on keeping busy, at least until I think of another plan. Mat bought me a secondhand guitar last week, so that should help. Or at least eat into my knitting time.

My sort of-LYS, Sheepstrings, is closing. I'm not terribly surprised by this announcement, but am still sad. Girl Tuesday and I drove down on Saturday to visit the closing sale, but I didn't buy much. Hard to justify it with the looming house repairs. There was some remaining Mirasol Sulka for $4/skein, which was irrestible, but that was pretty much it.

Being responsible sucks. But I know it will pay off in the long run.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Against Despair

I don't like blogging when things are bad. Not that things need to be sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows for this, but I've started to realize that sometimes it's better simply not to acknowledge some of the negative aspects of life. I'm a person who dwells on things, and sometimes writing them out makes them real.

Thus, the radio silence around here as of late.

Things could be worse. *knocks wood* I have an unfortunate habit of manifesting my mental and emotional stresses with physical symptoms. My left arm went numb for about six days last week. It was very strange, and very uncomfortable. I couldn't knit (or do any number of other things)...and since knitting is my stress buster of choice, the feeling just kept perpetuating itself.

This time of year is always hard for me. I just don't know what to do with myself, and my end of year aimlessness is combining with my fear/anxiety (most of which is house related this year) to make me listless. I could accomplish so much right now, and I simply...have not.

Things still aren't great, but I'll survive.

I don't have any other choice.