1. Since it’ now officially the “holiday season,” I will tell you about my new favorite festive drink: Make an Old Fashioned, but use a clementine instead of an orange. Tasty!
2. Speaking of whiskey (and really, when are we not?), the two cases of scotch under a hut used in Shackleton’s 1909 expedition are now a little less buried in ice, so the maker of the scotch wants to drill them out. Drill, baby, drill!
3. And finally, someone has probably already forwarded this to you, but it is too awesome not to post. The Muppets present Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
This week I stopped repeating the same part of the beige cardigan, finished the back, and got the sleeves sewed up, too.
Now I just have the front trim and collar to do–I don’t think I’ll have enough yarn left for a belt, but I’m OK with that.
And I’m planning an elaborate cabled sweater (Thing #22) to start before the year is out. I think I’ll use an Elizabeth Zimmerman pattern, who is famous for being an awesome knitter, yes, but for also coining the knitter’s equivalent of “Keep Calm and Carry On”: Knit on with confidence and hope, through all crises.
The more I watch Cosmos, the more I like Carl Sagan. Here’s the opening voiceover from Episode 8:
The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars. There was a time when the stars seemed an impenetrable mystery, but today we have begun to understand them. In our personal lives, also, we journey from ignorance to knowledge. Our individual growth reflects the advancement of the species. The exploration of the cosmos is a voyage of self-discovery.
1. The documentary Grey Gardens showcases some of my deep-seated fears (being old and poor, becoming dependent on someone else, turning into a crazy cat lady), so I had some reservations about watching the HBO film about the same characters, but it was very good. I recommend it, if only to better understand how crazy cat ladies get that way.
2. An interview with Cormac McCarthy in the Wall Street Journal reveals that he drinks what I drink, when I want gin (which is often): Bombay Gibson, up. And that he writes the way I do, when I don’t have a deadline:
“I get up and have a cup of coffee and wander around and read a little bit, sit down and type a few words and look out the window.”
3. And finally, here’s a map of Holme’s London, with notes about what adventure happened in each mapped point. It’s very thorough.
(He’s not usually allowed up on this counter, but the rearranging created so much excitement that he had to check it out.)
After I put up a picture of the in-progress cardigan/vest two weeks ago, I noticed I’d gotten off on the pattern on the left front about six inches from the top (it looks like a bumpy line on the right side in that photo). I debated just leaving it, but the point of hobbies–besides being relaxing, of course–is that I’m in control, dammit, so I ripped back and started that part of the front over.
Except the second time I tried to do it, I got it too long and had to rip back again; and the third time, I made the same mistake and had to rip back one more time. The fourth time was the charm, though. So two weeks later, I’m essentially at the same point. But it’s mistake free!
A Monday sort of poem: Part of “Mayakovsky,” from Frank O’Hara’s Meditations in an Emergency, as quoted in Season 2 of Mad Men, which I am re-watching:
Now I am quietly waiting for
the catastrophe of my personality
to seem beautiful again,
and interesting, and modern.
The country is grey and
brown and white in trees,
snows and skies of laughter
always diminishing, less funny
not just darker, not just grey.
It may be the coldest day of
the year, what does he think of
that? I mean, what do I? And if I do,
perhaps I am myself again.