christmas is an unusual time for me, both horror at it's suddenness and irritation at the all consuming nature it has taken on. both feelings could be traced to several factors: too many years working retail to be thoroughly disgusted by the time december finally arrives; the small selection of thematic songs which are repeatedly played in every store, tv commercial, radio station, and supermarket, year after year; the constant reminder of being surrounded by family (painful if you're not able to be); the fact that work in my industry is slow and paychecks small during these months; and the driven consumerism that the holidays entail. one weeks celebration is fine, if each holiday stays in it's own month i would have zero issues with this one in particular. all of which combines to make one want to hide out in a part of the world where christmas doesn't exist (until the craziness subsides).
but, come the week of christmas, i am happy to be cheery and bright, put up small decorations, and cherish gift wrapped packages under a tree (however unusual). happily, though i was far from family, i had a lovely day and received even lovelier gifts!
while waiting for some work to be done on my car, i walked down to the monterey bay aquarium. it was just at opening, so the crowds were small, and i was able to safely move into the child friendly "splash zone" without risk to self or hearing. i find it interesting that no matter how often i visit, i find something new to gaze at. on this day it was these two blue and purple hued tanks, above and below:
apparently it was feeding time at the large tank, and i was able to witness a school of sardines eating krill. they're fast. like, piranha fast. and can eat massive amounts in a swirl of light and motion which darts here and there like a moving wave of quicksilver. it was utterly fascinating! makes me wonder what it would look like when it's bluefin tuna feeding time...
i wandered over to san francisco yesterday; the weather reports all said rain, it was clear and sunny when i got there. mostly it was to visit japantown and chinatown. i also wanted to check out some hopefully yummy french tea which was to be found at a french tea and macaron shop, chantal guillon. the tea was lovely, marco polo black tea by mariage freres, and i always take delight in a macaron.
i found this nifty little palm grass scrubby which is so tactile and a great color at an interesting hardware/kitchenware/paper store on post street; i'm not sure if i'll use it to actually scrub anything. it's one of those things that make large cities so interesting; shops don't just specialize in one area. chinatown was like being immersed in another country, and i oohed and ahhed over the 24kt gold figurines found in the window displays of jewelry stores. i often find myself at a loss as to what else to do when one is in chinatown, other than eat, and look at what is being sold as food.
one of my favorite things is this little baby owl incense holder from shoyeido, which i came across in a lovely scent filled store in japantown. i've had my eye on it for some time now, and was glad it was just as cute in person as it is on their website. you lift the little chouette off it's leaf and there's a small ceramic holder for stick or cone incense; the smoke comes out it's ears and tail area.
i've been spinning some cream cashmere, and progressing slowly, having only started it back in october. but, a few days ago i completed the singles, weighing in at a little under an ounce. plying is usually more alluring for me, as you get to see your work as it will look when finished. it goes quicker too; only two days.
spinning is something i do when waiting, while having a slow time at work, when i need to give my emotions a rest, and something to set time aside to do. i can't say for sure how many hours it takes to create a skein of yarn, there's no log book i record time in; it's more fluent than that.
as well, it takes longer to create a finer thread. i had the dropsies several times; and had to, at the end, freeze my spindle to get the shaft unstuck from the whorl. for now this yarn will remain a lovely dumpling, as i am far away from my skein winder. although it is easier to use it in this form to knit with, i like seeing the skein; it brings truth to the way the fiber rests, and is how i full the yarn.
well, i've been practicing yoga on a regular basis for the last 50 days, trying to go at least three times a week. i'm proud to have been able to dedicate time to my physical welfare, as it has been only too easy to let exercise fall by the wayside of life. mostly, it's because i find the majority of physical pursuits mentally boring. but, rowing, that i could get interested in. alas, a rowing machine won't fit in my room. so, instead, there's yoga! i'm going to try for three months of steady yoga dedication; i read somewhere that it takes three months to create a habit. here's a photo of my class card, which i snapped as a bit of a memorial of time and effort.