Wednesday, August 02, 2017

slice of life

Getting a "rest day" today in two aspects - first, it rained last night (and is foggy this morning) so I won't have to water the field plots (today is my day - my student does M, T, Th and I do the rest of the days as needed. And here's hoping we get rain Friday, as well...)

Also, am taking today off from exercising: I did a workout yesterday, and both Sunday and Monday I did fairly strenuous yardwork. (I try to gauge by "Am I getting 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week" though now there's a new study saying you really SHOULD be RUNNING and that for FOUR HOURS A WEEK. Yeah, no. Given what's going on geopolitically I'm not going to exercise more than what I need to feel good right now - I'm not going to give up even more of my free time if there's a chance we all wind up as a glowing cloud of radioactive particles in the coming year or two. Also running gives me shin splints.)

So I get to leave the black widows on our field plots in peace today. (Maybe they'll amble off somewhere away from people? I hope).

More spider news....I saw a large wolf spider. It was obviously a female (anyway, the females are longer-lived and get bigger, so I suspect most of the big ones I spot are female). She had her babies on her back. Apparently wolf spiders are the only group that does this.

I dunno. I'm not arachnophobic and I kind of like seeing wolf spiders around (they are very easy to identify, unlike the "is that a house spider or a brown recluse" thing in the house). But even I find the "baby spiders on the back" thing a little uncanny.

Well, it would be worse if it was in my house and I had to imagine trying to avoid stepping on any of the little spiders when they dispersed....I'm guessing spiderlings are kind of like sea turtles and something like only 10% survive to adulthood, because while wolf spiders are fairly common, it's not like my backyard is *buried* in them or anything.

And now I'm glad I did all that brushcutting - the city has already been by this morning (it's Bulky Waste day) and removed it from the curb. I could do more but I'm going to give it a little while and I'm not sure where I'd store it until the NEXT bulky waste day rolls around. (We can take stuff to the dump ourselves, but it's an effort, and it costs, and I don't like having buggy pollen-y branches in my car)

I felt sad and tired last night despite not doing v. much during the day, but I do think - as I posted - reading a lot of this stuff, much of which happened in the 1970s and some of which I was vaguely aware as a kid (the bald eagle thing) is bringing up memories from childhood. Some of those are not so good, some of those are good things that are now long gone and I'm sad because of that. I sometimes have the experience of having a particularly vivid memory come almost unbidden into my head. Yesterday, something made me think of the old office-supply store in the town where I grew up, the narrow dark-stained hardwood floor in it, and the fact that they sold those Diener eraser animals that I loved to collect and play with so much as a kid - and I could remember a day when my mom took me there AND I had some pocket money AND they had just gotten a new container of them, and being able to dig my hands into it to look for the ones I particularly wanted. (And part of the pleasure, yes, was tactile - being able to thrust your hands into a nearly-full container of little rubber erasers. If I were a rich woman, and such things were still available, I might buy a couple tubs of the Itty Bitties and put them in a container large enough to dig my (adult-sized) hands into just for the nostalgia of it). Though maybe the preciousness of it was that it only happened once in my childhood that I remember (the intersection of "brand new tub of Itty Bitties has been set out" and "having enough pocket money to be able to buy several of them")

Everybody wants a rock to tie a string around.

(I wonder if my love of blindbag toys - which I have not indulged for a while, but maybe this weekend, I don't know - is related to my childhood memories of those little eraser animals, or the little bags of zoo/farm/Dog Breeds of The World/ whatever toy animals you used to be able to get at places like Kresge's)

I did work more on Hagrid last night, I think I'm once again within 10 rows of being done (Unlike that time before I thought I was within 10 rows, and it was really 40). Nothing good was on (I like a little background noise when I knit) so I pulled up Amazon Prime, and while they've deleted-from-free some of the things (Never did get to watch "Song of the Sea," unfortunately, and I can't rewatch "The Secret of Kells" without paying), there are some things still free.

I started rewatching the Loki Rangarok weird little anime series. (Which, being a knitter, I keep wanting to call Lopi Ragnarok). I guess some "serious" anime fans have panned it, but I kind of like it because it's slightly weird (Loki is in the form of a pre-teen boy, apparently he has been banished to Earth. In a later episode Thor - in the form of a high school boy -  finds him, intending to kill him (?) but decides not to. And there's a manservant who is, I guess, supposed to be the "dishy" character for girls who watch, and there's a teenaged schoolgirl who helps them out. They have kind of a paranormal detective agency). And also it seems - at least in the episodes I've seen - to avoid the sort of squicky "fanservice" anime is known for. And it's fantasy - I find more and more that I need things that are set somewhere far away (in time or place) from me, or that take place in a fantasy world. And while Loki is set in (I guess?) Tokyo or another Japanese city, there's a strong enough fantasy element (and anyway, Japanese culture is different enough from my own that there are things to learn).

(I guess some of the "pans" come from the "SUB NOT DUB" people, which yeah, I understand the sentiment, but gosh - it's free on Amazon prime. And I do get a hint of "superiority" from the "Oh, you watched the DUBBED version" sneering. And I don't like that)

Anyway. I had got up to episode seven in my earlier (more than a year ago) watching but had totally lost the thread so went back and started from episode 1. I might watch some more of it tonight - certainly better than watching the news (and, I might joke, "Less surreal")

There are a couple more all-agey type series I have on my watchlist - Princess Tutu, which I guess is fairly well-respected, and some other thing called Little Snow Fairy Sugar that I don't remember much about other that it was very cute and very aimed at little girls, but I'm okay with that - again, the idea of it being background noise while I knit.

Though maybe that's what I need - semi-mindless "all-ages" anime to have on in the background for color and sound and to keep me in my chair, so I can knit and start to work down on the mountain of yarn I've accumulated through the years. (I have sweaters' worth of yarn I've even forgot about having - I found a kit the other day and was like "Oh yeah, I remember when that was going to be the next sweater in the queue....")

Still, I think Friday I am going to go accumulate a little more: I need a day out and the idea of going to Whitesboro is appealing. I do have a cowl pattern Purlewe bought me (as exchange for something I sent her) that calls for worsted weight yarn, and I don't have anything 100% suitable (most of my worsted-weight yarn I either need all of for the sweater I'm going to make, or isn't soft enough to wear on your neck) so I might look for something for that. And more sockyarn, of course, because that's Quixotic Fibers' specialty. Or maybe a couple skeins of the same colorway for a shawl. I don't know.

(And anyway, again: given what I see as some fairly dire geopolitical threats - I doubt taking that $40 or whatever I might spend and putting it in a retirement fund I might not even live to use is a better thing than going and being happy with that $40 NOW)

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