I've had a rough time lately. Nothing horrible has happened; it's more like death from a thousand cuts. I'm not doing as well as I'd like at work and it's taking an emotional toll. Maybe I am a real idealist to believe that there should be something fulfilling in one's job. Must be the theatre background talking. Well, I'm not feeling all warm and fuzzy these days, and it's wearing me out and wearing me down.

It's not just the job. I've been in denial about it, but I got an email from the CTA on Wednesday about the service cuts and fee hikes slated to happen in less than two weeks. I'm not hugely dependent on the CTA, but it still upsets me. Basically, the system in a shambles. Dirty old stations, constant track delays, trains moving at a walking pace, etc. They are trying to improve things, like making stations on the Brown line ADA compliant, but the CTA is still a disgrace. Now they're facing serious funding cuts, which translates to service cuts AND higher fees. Let's look at this problem from a couple of different angles. A) This will unfairly burden the city's poor population. The service cuts will affect them the most, and the increased cost will hurt their pockets more. B) This will cause more people to drive. As if traffic in Chicago wasn't bad enough already, more people will just drive when CTA service becomes impractical/inconvenient. Where will all of these people park? How will increased traffic impact traffic control in the Loop (ie, how much more will the City have to spend on traffic cops)? C) This is bad for the environment. That statement must seem laughable to anyone who has been stuck behind a CTA bus, but it is true. All those extra drivers on the road, circling the streets for parking spots that don't exist, will burn more fossil fuel, directly impacting the air quality in the city. I know that the EPA is more concerned with the "particulate matter" coming from the chocolate factory on the west side. I don't mind inhaling chocolate. I have a problem with smog.
I don't want to drive everywhere. I cannot. I can't afford to park in the loop all the time, or buy all that gas. I like to ride on the train and read the New Yorker or knit. There are a lot of places that I go that have no practical parking, take forever to reach by road, etc and I don't want to stop going to them. So, I really hope that the politicians in Springfield get their act together as far as the RTA funding is concerned. That's my political rant for August.

Nothing new on the knitting front. I jotted down a list of my stash and stashed projects while I was bored and nearly had an anxiety attack. My stash is not small, but it's not responsible for part of the GDP of Scotland, either. I looked at the list and felt that I would never knit all these things. Self-imposed knitting guilt. That stash freakout was really about my feelings of not having any free time. I'm used to having unstructured time and my time is pretty structured these days. I get up, I go to work, then come home too tired to do anything. So my sense of accomplishment is fairly low these days.

Good things that have happened lately: I sold a design to an LYS. It's for a hemp exfoliating washcloth, with a pocket to hold a bar of soap. Totally adorable, and an affordable project, since you can make two from a single skein of Allhemp6. If you're interested, email me and I'll give you the details.
I smoked a Cuban cigar for the first time this week. Yes, I'm a scofflaw. Well, maybe not, since I did not purchase or transport the cigar. I only smoked it and it was fantastic.
I'm making some headway on my Picovoli sweater. I just finished the waist decreases. I think that I will add a couple of extra increase rows later to give it a bit of flounce. This project is a bit of an experiment. I'm dipping my toe into the pond of design by making modifications in my work. I also have a modified bolero planned (modified into a full length jacket, with increases worked in lace pattern. I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.), as well as some simple original ideas.
A couple of friends and I are planning a Stash Enhancing Expedition in the next couple of weeks. My stash is pretty enhanced at the moment, but I'm the sucker with a car. So, not everything is bad, it's just hard to focus on the good. I guess I'll have to take another long soak in the tub with some lavender.


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