I want culture. I want to go to a ballet, or the opera, or a really great play. Well, I live in a major metropolitan area, so that should be easy, right? Well, a quick scan of the ads really doesn't inspire me. I should live in Europe, where there are heaps of ballet and opera companies, instead of one of each here. Well, one major company of each. Whine, whine, whine. Hell, even NYC would do it. It's that Sunday night feeling that creeps in when you're least expecting it. Maybe I'll go to the Art Institute this week. That's cultured, to say the least. I take so little advantage of all of the artistic opportunities available in the city. I've never been to the Goodman, for example, and I haven't been to a museum in town in years. I need something to recharge my artistic battery. Maybe I'll buy a copy of Einstein's Dreams and finally hang onto it for myself.
There's knitting, I suppose. I got bored on the train home the other day and actually read the general instructions at the front of one of my Colinette pattern books. It was very interesting. They advise going up a needle size for circular needles. Maybe I've been doing this unconsciously, since I generally swatch a size larger than the pattern specifies to start. I have a tight gauge, though nowhere near as tight as it used to be! Since I knit nearly all of my projects on circular needles these days, I'm surprised that I hadn't come across this bit of advice before. Maybe it's a Welsh knitting secret, or just so obvious to everyone but me that no one's mentioned it. Hmm. What the general advice should state is that Colinette yarns are dangerously addictive, especially to American knitters who are unfairly dependent upon the whims of the yarn's greedy importers. I've heard that it's hard to come by in the UK, since they export most of their stock, but I've resolved only to order it from there. I bought another Colinette pattern book (total now two) when I was at the young hip knitting shop. This was largely inspired by the shop model of a ribbed cardigan in Giotto, the yarn of my current project. As though I need another project in the lineup. Oh, about that current project. I detest knitting sleeves, but nearly all of my sweaters have them, so I am soldiering on through a pair of sleeves now. I had a little yardage freak-out and ordered another ball, but suspect that it may not be necessary. Well, better too much than too little.
Today, I was sitting at a high counter in the window of a coffee shop on Michigan Avenue. Yes, I've absorbed enough café culture to want to be near the window when possible. So, there I was, perched over a panini when a woman whizzed past on a Segway. Well, maybe whizzed isn't the correct word, since I think they move at a brisk walking pace at best. The Chicago Police Department has outfitted some of their beat cops with Segways, which amuses me to no end. Beat cops not actually walking their beat---blasphemy! Are they for low speed chases? It's just so absurd to see them scooting around dispensing parking tickets in the Loop. This woman, however, was not a cop, but wearing a tweed coat and carrying an expensive-looking purse. She was nonchalantly moving under borrowed power. I guess she caught my eye because she was at eye level with me as I sat at the counter. Very weird. Segways are the rickshaw of the 21st century, for rich people who are too damn lazy to walk anywhere. She was in her late twenties, too.
Chicago is a weird place somedays. Other days, fantastic. It's supposed to be spring now and the weather is almost coöperating. Lovely to look at today, but there was a sneaky cold wind blowing. I was fooled by that warm week at the beginning of March. There was even a warm day when the wind blew the sweet aroma of the chocolate factories of the Gallery District into the Loop. Such a warm, enticing scent.


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