Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Not quite April

Snow is expected tomorrow night. It is sunny, but filthy cold. I can hear the wind sharpening its whatever that takes your hair off. I still have redpolls, whom I love, who may have decided that this IS Northern Canada and perhaps they will stay.

In three months, God willing, I'll be complaining about the heat.

I had my 7-week post-op and I am just amazingly fine.  I am very happy with that. I am also trying to eat more vegetables and perhaps even exercise more. I am cautious about lifting things. Since the frost will never get out of the ground, I'll never know whether I can shovel decently.

Last weekend was Conbust. The weekend before that was Doug and Barb's wedding.

I have low expectations of weddings. I was worried the liturgy would be so bad my inner liturgist (who used to be Top Personality) would have a Level Seven Wobbly (or 'take a fit,' as they say here. Have a cow).  Since, in my liturgy rating system, it is almost impossible to come out with a positive score, only losing a few points is pretty good (bells at the elevation, communion under only the appearance of bread, use of a deacon instead of lay Eucharistic ministers). Unexpected not-losses of points: short sermon, consecration of the hosts for the mass AT the mass; really pretty, not-overwhelming music/no one singing 'How Great Thou Art;' no mentions at all of birth control, abortion, the vocation crisis, or people with statistically unusual sexual preferences. I didn't come even close to losing my temper, which is, sadly, amazing.

The reception was buffet, tasty food, reasonable bar, comfortable setting (the head table was another table like unto all the rest of us and not on a dais), and really nice people.  The music was just low enough that you could actually converse, as well.

Deb accused me unjustly of stealing the blankets the first night, at her house, so I got the bed at the hotel  all to myself while she and Sarah shared. On the trip home, the Boisverts suggested a stop at Rein's Deli, at which I have wanted to eat since I was in college. But I am not often on I-84,, and when I have been I have been in a hurry, so I have just looked mournfully at the sign when I drove past. It was up to expectation. I had the Nova Smoked Salmon Salad and Potato Pancake Platter. The place smelled like the delicious half-sour pickles they give you while you wait for your food. Deb Boisvert and discovered that we had both spent the same chunk of our lives -- old enough to yearn, too young to drive -- in New Jersey.

Doug was away for the next week, on his honeymoon in Mystic Seaport, CT, and York Beach, ME. I prepared for teaching three small fibery workshops at Conbust and had performance anxiety. On Thursday I took off and crossed a small but valid continental divide over the Connecticut River, off New Hampshire's granite chunk of Africa onto Vermont's edge-of-North America limestone former-seabed. It was sunny, though neither green nor warm, and a lovely drive. A gas station just over the border had home-made pea soup, which fortified me for getting lost in Bellows Falls. At last I reached Saxton's River and DyakCraft. I picked up ten Cheap Sheep spindles and drove on to Northampton. It was good to see Grace and Debbie, although Grace was in MCAS hell (a special version for Special Ed teachers). Friday I did things in Northampton and was in a foul mood, which was sad because it was only moderately cold, sunny, and everyone was nice to me.

Conbust had originally suggested I give the needlefelting workshop at 9 pm Friday night, when all good science-fiction fans should be drinking and or watching movies, and I should be in bed. At my protest, they moved it to 6 pm Friday, an hour after the con opened for registration and while there were still long lines of people waiting to sign in. I was not surprised only to have one student, but she was delightful, and we had a wonderful time making Luna Lovegood's radish earrings. An ideal first project.  Since the committee had also decided that an hour per workshop was enough (I usually get two), we had to move to the ConSuite and I demonstrated wet felting of small radishes in difficult circumstances (no hot water in the bathrooms, and the only cups they had were coldcups that did not fit under the spigot of the hot-water device (#ConSuiteFAIL)). And while we were there I taught someone else to needlefelt.

I went back to Grace and Debbie's in a much better frame of mind and watched the Bruins crush the Canadiens on the high-definition TV.

Saturday was lovely and cold again. I awoke early and took advantage of the excellent wifi by listening to New Hampshire Public Radio. I also read my e-mail and found out Diana Wynn Jones had died. She was a kind, funny, good writer of mostly YA fiction, not that any adult would fail to find it subtle and exciting, and I was sorry to hear of her passing. She would have approved of Conbust. And Gerry Ferraro, too, and the dust was rising in NH about the ghastly legislative budget proposal. It made me melancholy.

I had just about decided no one wanted to learn to embroider when the class filled up. Today's youth (one male person, the rest female) want to embroider baby monsters and kitties, not rocket ships or skulls. And they are fiercely determined to make things as hard for themselves as possible, as when several decided that they should fill a 1mm-wide line with 1mm-wide stitches, instead of following it in, say, 1/4" ( 3.5mm)- LONG stitches. I also discovered why DMC's Prism floss is so much cheaper than their good stuff: it is made of shorter-stapled cotton, so not only is it less shiny, it tends to snag more on itself and anything it can find. The students murmured in agreement when I suggested that all embroidery floss was out to get people, anyway.  I tried to teach them Stem Stitch. Some of them invented Running Stitch and Back Stitch instead, but on the whole I think it was a success.

I went back to Grace and Debbie's and was exhausted. Later we watched two episodes of Bones and then someone dispatched the Red Sox, but it was pre-season so that was all right. We also went to a tapas restaurant, where they prepared very tasty Spanish bar food in minute, edible portions, and my table argued about the existence of God.

On Sunday I only had two spinning students, both male persons. One was nice guy I met on Friday night, who had enjoyed watching the needlefelting (and whose head exploded painfully when he heard about the existence of Kirk/Spock fanporn. Someone should really have told him sooner), and the other was a lutenist at various renfaires who wanted to know how to spin. After our hour was over, he and I carried on, and then I taught a passerby to spin who ended up buying a spindle (as had the lutenist). Not the best weekend for numbers, but I had a good time and I think the people who took my workshops actually learned.

I bought one of my friends a Grateful Dead bandana for her collection, got some lunch, and drove home. My cats are well, and Doug survived his honeymoon. I think we can be sure Barb is neither a honeybee nor a praying mantis, which is always a relief.


17th stitch said...

OMG I was AT ConBust and was (apparently, mistakenly) told that all of your classes were full... or you would have been bothered by me at 2 or 3 of them. I will push harder to get to at least one of them next year!

Anonymous said...

"lutenist." Nice.

LauraJ said...

He looked surprised when I called him that, but pleased. I remembered just in time that he wasn't a luthier. Thanks!