Thursday, December 27, 2007

The lightbulb went DING!

While driving to work today I had a minor epiphany. This occurs often during the morning commute. My mind suddenly surfaces from the muddle of drowsiness, like your ears popping during a change in air pressure. Or like a movie playing in reverse of a pool of murky water de-mixing as a drop of blue food coloring de-falls from a body of crystal clear water. I was pondering the common and almost pesdestrian analogy of life as a journey when suddenly I realized the stupendous aptness of it all.

If life is a journey, there are many paths, roads & highways from one place to another, connecting people, places & ideas. Some routes take longer, some more difficult but it is all relative to the person taking the route. Usually on a journey, we have a destination and we plan our route (some of us do anyway) but as in life, our planned route may not work out. Natural disasters may have blocked certain roads. Earthquakes, freak storms, bodies of water get in our way but we choose our path.

The main roads & highways are pretty much set by the larger community as a whole. They're not moving anywhere and the experience will be similar for almost everyone on that road, but we choose the paths that lead to those roads. We base our path decision on many variables, such as the presumed ease with which a path may be completed, perhaps the scenery is what gets us. Some of us actually choose the treacherous mountain climb for the thrill, the excitement. Maybe we choose it out of familiarity.

What is fascinating is the frequency with which many of us will choose the same paths even though in the back of our minds, we KNOW that it leads nowhere. In fact, it may even have led us into some sinkhole or swamp that took us forever to get out of. Did we merely forget this fact? Some of us learn, we make maps, mark down the hazards and set out a new course.

There are others of us...who are not as smart, or perhaps brave is a better word. We are afraid to explore unknown territories and in the end, we walk around in circles going through the same motions, experiencing the same obstacles, never quite settling in one place for long. Yet, never quite happy with where we are now either. There are people who finally settle in where ever they find themselves. Somewhere between neither here nor there they attempt to make a place called home. It is possible to find happiness this way if that is where you feel comfortable but I am afraid many of us are merely paralyzed with fear, forced to settle while still imagining ourselves at the final destination we initially set out to reach but were not hardy enough to complete the remainder of the journey.

Another point to add to this is that every travellor should know to some degree, how far their means of travel can really get them. A horse can only take you so far before it tires and needs refreshment. Can you abandon & sacrifice all other needs in order to ensure the horse is fully nourished for the entire journey? What about your companions? Will you leave them on the trail in order to lighten the load for your horse, to get somewhere faster? What about knocking other people on the same path down to clear the way for yourself?

I bet there is more to draw from this analogy and it's just too much fun to visualize it. A diagram should be drawn to symbolize this concept. In time...

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Final Countdown

The days are numbered, the hours are dwindling. My Christmas list is as good as kindling. To those I've forgotten or carelessly missed, no need for anger, no need to be pissed. I send you my love, my wishes & prayers for all of your joyous holiday affairs, through all the drunken, mischievous fun, remember "safety first" and have a good one!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Busy hands

Christmas is fast approaching and the list of people I suddenly realize I should have a gift for grows. I realize that the holiday seasons is not all about gift giving or receiving and I am usually pretty stingy anyways. Realistically, I only have 6 people on my must-gift list but it's always fun & nice to give out presents. There are at least an additional 8 people/groups of people that I feel should receive a small obligatory gift.

Usually these people get the generics: wine or homemade cookies. Two of these lucky people are relatives who used to live in HK and I've decided this past Thursday (12 days 'til Christmas), to knit up a scarf and a hat for them. This doesn't sound like a lot to most knitting enthusiasts but it is to me. I can most likely finish the hat in 1 night on the weekend. The scarf which contains a pattern of 44 rows X 42 stitch repeated 9X is currently only 4X complete in 4 days. With that amount of progress over 4 days, 2 of which were weekend days, on top of my daily chores, planned grocery trips, extra cookie baking time, last-minute Christmas shopping, etc. Will I finish them in time? I don't even know when I will be seeing them!!

I would also really like to make and finish roommate's 1up Mushroom Headband for Christmas as well. So many things to do, so little time. I wish I could just take time off work to knit/bake up a storm.

BTW: I'm back on WOW; started a new character on the 4 days I took off 2 weeks ago. We did some hardcore leveling in 5 days but I haven't played since that week. I have a level 18 Gnome Mage right now who I desperately want to squeeze in some time for to do some instances with our make-shift guild, on top of all my other hobbies. Everyone else is getting ahead of me again.

I still want to finish my quilted sewing machine cover. I've also been thinking about making my own ball-winder as inspired by David North's Lego Yarn Winder. Although I would preferably not make it out of plastic parts. Oh, so many ideas!

Monday, December 3, 2007

A slow but cold month

Winter has come very early this year and I've been procrastinating on my knitting. It's been almost 3 weeks since my last post. Bf's head is covered by some generic retail available toque (in fact I think it might have been free) and I MUST get back on track! There're many reasons to procrastinate like my fingers are cold and dry that they are actually snagging my yarn! I've also been sewing a little on the weekend, not too much. I started making a quilted cover for the sewing machine using left over halloween costume material. The material is slippery and stretchy and being the beginner that I am, the first attempt was quite the disaster. Correction: the first attempt on the first piece of quilting was a disaster.

Anyhoo, last few nights I got back on track and found some very useful articles that I did not read before about knitting intarsia in the round. I think the basic thing that I have to accept is, you can't, but you can do something like it with some adjustments. The adjustment I've chosen now, a third of the way up the Skull pattern, comes from one of Knitty's 2007 Fall patterns. With its simplistic approach, I've been back on the knitting wagon for 2 days. I think I will end up lining the hat with fleece to hide all the ugly string coming out the WS.

There have also been other distractions. Political turmoil at home and abroad. You know, the usual. Seriously though, at home there have been a few troubling issues. First with me and bf, then roommate too. It made me realize yet again and more so than before that our hidden demons can really affect our lives. Even when we keep them hidden, they drive us to things so obviously bad for us but we will deny the root causes even if they were pointed out to us. Sometimes even if we verbally agree and admit the cause, our hearts won't allow us to stop hurting ourselves. Why do we always have to ram our heads against a wall a million times before getting the message? It's really beyond mere stubbornness.

I am Christian, no longer a practicing Catholic. However, this season, aside from the new year's resolutions that need to be made, I actually feel the need to pray and send good wishes to my friends & family. Maybe that's what happens when you're older, you finally realize there are some things you can't do anything about. You can only affect change on things in your control. The rest, if we are lucky enough to still be optimistic, we'll just have to leave to God.