Thursday, December 22, 2005

Once more unto the breach...

How typical. The exam was Tuesday afternoon, I only have to grade 6 pages (1/4 as much as the last exam), I should have been able to have it all done by yesterday, it really MUST be done for tomorrow, it's 10pm and I haven't even begun. This is the last major task I have to do before the holidays and our short get-away next week, and I just can't bring myself to pick up the red pen. This really is pathethic, and there's no excuse for it. And yet here I sit.

In my desperate attempt to avoid this, I've pulled out my semester-long neglected knitting, the Shapely Tank Top from White Lies Designs. I'm doing it in a lovely yellow cotton and will be adding the optional sleeve caps to make into a T-shirt. The yarn is Butterfly cotton from Greece, shown here, in colour 3525 "cornsilk". It's lovely to work with. The front is done, with short-row shaping added at the bust, and I've just started the back. Pictures will come eventually.

I also became intrigued by this little novelty from the latest Knitty: Marley's Ghost, and so whipped up the first 6 links of what will probably be a fun scarf using Lamb's Pride worsted in Aubergine and Sunburst Gold (a.k.a. Gryffindor colours). I had a bunch of it left over from making a felted bag, so I'm alternating 2 maroon with 1 gold link for variety. Again, pictures eventually. Honest.

In other news, we replaced our on-again-off-again television (the sound would die occasionally and return the next day) with a beautiful Panasonic 32" flat-panel wide-screen LCD TV. I couldn't tell you the model if my life depended on it. To my embarassment and despite being a techno-geek myself, I tend to leave the electronic appliance choosing and setting up to my husband. It makes him feel so useful. The purchase necessitated a 90-degree change of orientation to our living room, which is another thing I leave to him. We now have so much space I don't know what to do with it all. I suspect more bookshelves are in our future. I also keep forgetting that we have the TV. Every time I come home and see it there, it's a surprise.

My brass quintet played our annual (4th year in a row, I guess that qualifies for "annual") Christmas Sing-A-Long at the Ben Wicks pub in Cabbagetown last Sunday. Much carol-singing and hilarity ensued, such as the drunken Scotsman who by the end of the afternoon was loudly proclaiming to anyone who would listen (and to some who wouldn't) how Christianity had saved civilization. With a few children in attendance, the raunchy jokes were kept to a minimum, so hopefully we'll be asked back again next year. I gurgled my way through Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring after once again neglecting to empty out my 3rd B-flat valve, an oversight that was almost as embarassing as it was when I did the same thing before a solo at my 5th grade Christmas band concert. But some friends from school came for a bit, which was sweet of them (thanks Magda and Chiara!), and we only had to play Silver Bells three times and Hallelujah Chorus twice. No one requested Rudolph or Joy to the World, which was a nice change. My bi-annual beer of choice was Killkenny, since they had (HORROR!) run out of Guiness. I'm coping.

Since this is probably my last post before the holidays, I leave you with this final thought: The Overalls of Shame. The woman who knitted these as a gag gift is my new hero. It makes me proud to be a knitter.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Dem rattlin' bones

Some people are driven crazy by the sound of nails on a chalkboard, or squeaky styrofoam. These sounds don't bother me much. For me, it's the sound of a jackhammer, or the thing the dental hygenist uses to polish your teeth. Not the high-pitched whining dentist's drill, that's not a big deal. But rather the rumbling sounds that are so deep that they feel like your insides will never stop rattling. Those sounds drive me crazy. I suspect I would have this reaction to earthquakes, which I guess takes California right off the list of places to retire. Oh, and metal nail files. I hate those too.

So here comes the dilemma. The husband, he snores. It's a frequency somewhere between the jackhammer and tooth-polisher, and it lasts longer - on the order of hours. The volume is at a level that no television or earplugs can compete with. What's a girl to do? I love the man. I simply can't be in close proximity to him while he sleeps.

So, I send him to bed, or to the couch, or to his favourite chair in the library, and I shut the door. This cuts the volume to an almost tolerable level. Half an apartment away, the noise is barely audible, and so I peacefully go about my TV watching, or knitting, or reading, or - heaven forbid - work... until eventually I notice that I'm becoming agitated. Why is that? And then I notice it, the overpoweringly loud, wake-the-dead, shake-me-to-my-bones sound. The Snore is back. My teeth are rattling in sympathy with my ribs. It's been going on for some time, but I was so absorbed in my work that I didn't consciously notice it. Only subconsciously, where it STILL irritated me. Now that I'm consciously aware of it, I'm likely to go out of my mind.

And, oh look! The door that I closed an hour ago is open. At some point he woke up and wandered into another room, to another crash spot, and he's fallen asleep again. So I get up and go in, roll him over a bit (the avalanche of sound stops temporarily), kiss him on the head and close the door to that room, being careful not to turn out the lights, because he gets very disoriented if he wakes up in complete darkness.

Wait one hour. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Did I mention he also sleepwalks a bit?

And thus proceeds my evening ritual.

Gram C. (my mother's mother) was fond of the comic strip "Family Circus". After once hearing The Snore, Gram sent me a clipped Family Circus strip in which the mother first laments her husband's snoring, and then after a conversation with her own mother where she talks about how much she misses her deceased spouse, the mother goes to bed the next night, now happily hearing her husband's snores as virtual music to her ears.

Bullshit. Heart-tugging, male-conceived propagada intended to convince a nagging wife that she is in the wrong when she complains about the noise.

Do I snore myself? Of course I do. But let me tell you. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, compares to the sheer volume this man puts out. It's impressive, in a way. I've even caught the cats staring at him on occasion with something resembling awe in their golden-green eyes. To them, it must sound like the most contented purr in the world. And so it is. Aside from the occasional bout of sleep apnea (hence the sleepwalking), he generally sleeps like a baby. The sleep apnea is a problem, of course, but it's a problem for another day. Today, there is finally peace in our home.

I fought for years to try and sleep in the same bed at the same time. And what a fight it was: I poked, I prodded, I cried, I screamed, I tossed, we both turned, we sometimes fought, and in the end all that happened is that we've both lost a lot of sleep. So I've given up. I'm not really certain where this concept of "married couples have to sleep in the same bed in the same room" came from in my world. My parents always did, my grandparents always did, so I guess I figured that's what married couples do. But why? I mean, the fun bits are when you're both awake, right? No need to mess up perfectly good sleep just to keep a tradition.

Really, a good door solves so many problems. I can't believe it took this many years to figure that out.