Wednesday, 28 December 2011

A day of destruction

During the session of indoor archaeology, I discovered various stuff.

I also don't assign the title of cleaning to a twice-weekly removal of stuff left o the floor and lazy vacuuming, that would go to the category of irregular maintenance. Cleaning is an in-depth activity when things are put to their place from wherever they veered, sorted out, cleaned, assigned to a gift pile - or to trash.

Now, the time ripened for dealing with several knitting work in progress, known as WIPs in the trade.

I'm a passionate knitter but at a point, I started, did my best but half a year later, it wouldn't be my best but badly substandard. However, I only threw out one sweater in my whole life. It was made of garden variety wool which is still produced and still as nice as evah and it was worn to unwashable greyish shade and to shreds. I even tell my gift recipients that in case they didn't like my handknits, got bored of them, outgrew them or lost too much weight, or they weren't able to deal with the tar stain, they should return them. Everything can be fixed and I prefer to reknit something to the giftee's expectations (well, to an extent) rather than having my work lie somewhere at the bottom of the closet.

I ended up with quite some WIPs or even finished things that were not to my liking. The blue sweater I started in high hopes of having it ready for the previous winter wasn't finished but it already showed that it wasn't what I would want it to be. Meantime I got annoyed knitting it so now there's a bit of fabric to rip and three huge balls of reclaimed yarn; it's gooddamn yarn, I'm telling ya, I don't knit from shit.

The sweater I've worn only once, for a walk on the day of my 30th birthdy, when I also discovered that there were several design faults that made it sort of problematic was destined to be ripped long time ago but I somehow lifted my lazy ass only today. One of the yarns used was already being lunched on by the goddamn carpet beetles but it's still salvageable - just coming in more pieces. Now there are two huge balls of reclaimed yarn and a box full of kinky rippings that need some special attention.

This was one of my early experiments, it’s in expensive and weird yarn and it’s made really badly, with major mistakes and construction faults.

There are a few more in consideration. Every each of them was turned around and inspected and I did lots of thinking before I decided that this or that piece is going to the recycling bin. Short sleeves can be lengthened, design experiment gone wrong may be partially ripped and fixed... but sometimes it happens that it's badly designed, in wrong size, the yarn choice is plainly wrong and I don't find any pleasure in the knitting process anymore. Then, the time for reconsideration comes.

I admit that I keep several sweaters (and several boxes of other clothing items) too small for me. Hope springs eternal and I really intend to lose some weight. When the time comes, and I'm sure it will come, I'll be well dressed.

Then there's the category of things that are worn out. I haven't got that deep with cleaning but I know where they are and their time will come.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Indoor archeology

I do major cleaning plus decluttering for one and only reason: when I miss something. Then I start digging up in a random place, discover a pocket universe of aggregated things among three volumes of Mikael Niemi's books or behind a tome on Italian Baroque art, I bring a washcloth to wipe the dust, and to wipe the dust, I take out the books from the whole shelf segment, finding more things between, in and behind the books... you see where it goes.

The missed objects were remote for the vacuum cleaner and scissors. Said remote was located under a small pile that contained a hank of yarn, an old magazine, folded silk scarf and a bottle of nail paint. Hank of yarn sits on a chair along with 20-odd others, pulled from the crrevices and abysses of the small bookcase, old mag was tossed, silk scarf was added to a goodie bag for a friend and the nail paint is sitting somewhere around.

The small bookcase, though... It contained a heap of perfumes. I totally need a special cupboard for my collection because they deserve a decent storage. Meantime, they're located in a sturdy box that contained the stovetop; it's big, flat and sturdy. I don't really know how many perfumes I have, it's not worth the bothering. Hundreds. I found some of whose existence I forgot and I noticed that I'm missing a few, which practically means that they live in some other parallel universe; no biggie.

I also randomly opened a book and a banknote fell to my feet. Maybe I'll be rich at the end of the day.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Sad. For realz

I generally don't comment politics and stuff. Not that I wouldn't be aware about things going on but I'm not that interested in such matters that I'd be able to comment them in at least half-assedly qualified manner.

I sometimes make an exception, though.

The revolution was on the 17th, which was Friday. Parents were busy building a house so they noticed something was going on only on Sunday evening. It took two more days until mom and her friends deposed the commie school director - I yet have to find out what they were actually doing because later on, mom was invited to the new parliament. She refused, though, because she had a kid who would need to change schools and... anyways. My only chance of being a spoiled politician's brat was thus missed. I'm a spoiled businesspeople's brat and instead of being at the funeral procession, I'm sitting at work, watching the procession online, doing nothing because work be damned now and I'm pissed that I'm not there.

Mom would however take me to all demonstrations and public meetings and the atmosphere got etched deep into me and the urgent feeling of possibilities within reach.

I saw Vaclav Havel only once in person. He came to my hometown for the students' celebrations of 1st of May. Mom and her revolutionary friends were there along with all the kids. We sat on the edge of an 18th century fountain and... that was it. History was happening around me, it's worth it for its own sake.

Now, I feel history happening again and the spirit of the revolution was brought back.

I just wanted to share my feelings. Don't look for a point here and excuse me now, I'm busy being sad.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Santal Massoïa

It's weird. Seriously weird.

I should get some santal essential oil to relate, the closest I got to a santal is Keiko Mecheri's solilignum (1) Bois de Santal, which is sweet, creamy woody thing. I expected more of the same from Jean-Claude Ellena but I got this weird stuff.

They finally got it at Hermès, the sales lady sprayed me generously and I went Oh what the fuck. No creamy sweetness but something weird. I smelled and sniffed and wondered until something connected in my little blonde brain and shouted Salted butter!!!

At which point, I got even more whatthefucked and puzzled. I went to Hermès to buy this thing and I wanted to love it to shreds but it was so weird. I chatted with the sales lady, tried on Voyage (probably goes to the no, thanks file) and Jardin sur le toit and hiris and then the thing on my wrists went all celery root fried in butter. Not bad, actually a nice smell, it's one of my fave foods, fried celery root. In a perfume, though? That crossed my mental border of perfume accords and the ideas started to veer into the dangerous areas of food scents. Something in my brain started to yell What's going to come next? We've already had caramel and butter and honey, is there going to be a Boeuf Gardénia or Pizza Labdanum in the Hermessence line sometime soon, or even worse, Chocolat Roquefort?

What saved me from running away was a blotter sprayed with Hiris. Hiris went surprisingly well with Santal Massoïa and I ended up buying two bottles although I cursed myself that I get a perfume and then another perfume only to make the first one wearable.

I went home, did laundry and some other random stuff and then brought myself to unpacking my loot from the shopping war. I sprayed myself with Santal Massoïa again and I noticed the sweet creamy thing I had imagined as proper santal and a soapy facette. Maybe even a touch of iris but the aldehydes or rose or what may be the cause of the soap could explain why it works so well with Hiris.

At the end, I did come to like the Santal Massoïa. Earlier than expected, even. After all, if the chefs can spray food with perfume (2), why there couldn't be a Quattro formaggi cologne. With some extra peperoni on a good day.

For some factual information, check Perfume Shrine here. I only do rants.

(1) the word soliflor is used for a fragrance based on one accord. It means single flower, though, and being a generally anal person and a proud grammar Nazi, I've already coined soliradix for vetiver stuff and soliherba for whatever comes from the leaves and stems. Solilignum is a natural addition to the line.
(2) it's actually essential oils. (3)
(3) and I'm skipping the whole field of food flavourings because it's another can of worms.

Monday, 12 December 2011

An interesting start of the week.

Sometimes, the rather boring office job gets a bit of zing.

Boss' briefcase was stolen from his car overnight. He’s old school, he writes his notes on paper, in pencil, and he had two months’ worth of some tables and calculations. The loss made him quite unhappy, especially because it wasn't the first time. Ironically, he uses his briefcase only as a thing to hold all his papers together, he carries money, cellphones, cigarettes, keys and the interesting stuff in his pockets.

The editors were summoned and sent to search the nearby trashbins and shrubbery because it was sort of expected that the villains check said briefcase for interesting content, find none and toss it. So, there were four of us in our office finery, peeking into yew growths and inspecting places used in lieu of public toilets (there used to be some in the park but the city tore them down deeming them useless or some such).

At the end, it was an excellent spiritual exercise. Facing a heap of bottles that used to hold cheap liquor, one has to be of a saintly nature to hold hopes for humankind without serious inner struggle, I pondered, and maybe some follower of St. Francis of Assisi could bring a trash bag to collect all that rubbish, disperse it into the proper recycling bins and preach to people about proper usage of said bins, and doing all this without a word of complain. Not me, I wouldn't resist placing the trash bags on the doorstep of the city hall with a nice note regarding the office for municipal lawn and shrubbery.
At the end, I concluded that life goes nowhere anyway and that I could use a good soak in brain bleach so that I stopped pondering.

Briefcase was not located. It was rightly remarked that brown briefcase in brown rotting leaves is hard to spot and that next time, the boss should opt for an orange model with reflex stripes.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011


In winter.


The first plant that sprouted from the turfs and clusters of soil which I was able to identify is Oxalis pes-caprae or Bermuda Butterfly. Okay, there's something which is likely Crocus nudiflorus but it's only likely, the leaves only started sticking out lately.

I'm accumulating various cheese and yogurt pots to house the seeds and that's going to be another endless source of fun. The tags say things like This looks like Delphinuim, Stuff that grew on the sidewalk in Ribeira Brava or WTF. My abilities to identify plants by seeds are just around nil.

Today I got a letter saying that I got kicked out of the Natural Sciences. I knew it was coming, I failed to sign up for the semester in time. I don't really care, it was a logistic nonsense. I'm not even upset or anything, just sort of sorry. I do perceive it as a personal failure because a logistic nonsense is not a thing I couldn't manage, the hell, if I tried harder. Or some such shit.

Monday, 5 December 2011

I'm a knitter, live with it.

This darling is finished. Or, frankly, almost finished. I ran out of yarn halfway through the last row and I'm not ripping anything to shorten it by a few rows to have enough. No, I don't have more of that yarn, it was the only skein. I have something similar used way up in the sweater at home II. so it will take a while but I consider the sweater finished.

The picture was taken three skeins ago, on Sunday morning. At a certain point, I decided to bite it and I'm taking my knitting downstairs to work on it while watching telly and there was some downhill skiing and stuff. The Eurosport channel is much more fun in winter and no, I don't like football. I do tolerate tennis but my mom is working hard in disgusting it to me.

Anyway, now I need to find something in mild progress so that there would be idiotic knitting enough to go on and on and on while House M. D. is being mean, or something like that.

Or maybe I should start working on those 10 pages I should have written by tomorrow noon. That's probably a way to go.