Desk, noun. 1. That place where one keeps a collection of dead pens, pencils with no point (and no sharpener), and odd stacks of important papers. 2. A hand me down my mother just gave me. 3. Where I keep my precious, expensive electronics and sound equipment. 4. Where my cat likes to lie as I am trying to work.

You can see the problem here. My mom gave me a desk, an appreciated gesture that allowed me to move my computer off of the kitchen table. I will never again be tempted to unplug the refrigerator while recording. I know myself well enough to say that I would forget to plug it back in. So, I moved all of my beloved devices onto the desk, which made me realize that I really need a hub to control all of my cables and that I had a lot of crap on my previous "desk". Need three dead cell phones, several colors of nail polish that I don't remember buying, or old work schedules from a few different jobs? Sigh. How did I have so much crap on my desk and still manage to get anything done?

Which brings me to the new problem: the cat. My mother let him lie on the desk, in front of the monitor, so he now assumes this to be an inalienable right. I do not like this. I especially do not like him standing perilously close to my drink (as I do not think you will find cat hair in the Boston Guide), patting at my cardoid mic, or playfully chewing on various, expensive cables. Things that were completely uninteresting in their old location suddenly require feline scrutiny. He is not at all deterred by tiny, sharp knitting needles where he wants to lie or withering glances.

I finished the birthday socks, with a few days to spare. This comes as a great relief, since the present that I ordered in the mail was secreted in a safe place. There is a great family tradition of safe places, places so safe that the treasured, important item is never seen again. My grandmother put her car keys in a safe place before going to England in 1986. The keys are still missing. This is such an ongoing problem that just saying "safe place" to a family member will elicit a groan. We know where that story is going. So, thank god the large, lace socks are done! I wish that I'd gotten a better photograph, but it was a bit tricky with the silk sheen and modeling the sock on my arm. One of these days, I'll have to invest in a sock blocker and tabletop setup.Until then, it's random appendages and available light. I almost always shoot available light (hence the name of the blog, which was chosen for its sad double meaning), but I digress.

I finally got around to watching my Netflix dvd. I am a bit ashamed to admit this, but I've had it sitting around for over a year. I was never in the mood to watch it, I had better things to do, etc. And so it sat. I estimate that it cost me a C-note to have it sit there waiting on my coffee table. Still, I'm glad that I didn't send it back unseen, as I did so many "important" Nouvelle Vague films after months of procrastination. The film was An Affair of Love and it was incredible. This is the type of film that I thought wasn't being made anymore, due its subject matter and limited marketability. It was the film that I'd wanted to see (without knowing) since I saw A Man and A Woman. I found the subtitles irritating at times (spotty translations, but French is very idiomatic), but still highly recommend An Affair of Love. Great for a good, cathartic cry.

I'm living the life of a hermit. Really, I'd make a lousy hermit because I like communication with the outside world. I might be addicted to Facebook. I prefer to communicate on my own terms, so please don't be offended when I screen my calls. I don't go out much, which has as much to do with the unrelenting humidity and sun as my comfort in my own company. I watch a lot of Travel Channel and am often found curled up with a book or the New Yorker when I'm not knitting. I might be developing a crush on Anthony Bourdain, have decided that I want to travel in Scandinavia, and am rereading The Forsyte Saga. I keep busy, but there are times that I could use a friend. Maybe we could have a hermit convention.

I was lured out of my hermitage by the Feist concert at Ravinia. Honestly, I wasn't very excited about the event, but was looking forward to seeing my friends. The whole day was a comedy of errors. I was in heavy traffic from Will County (the northern part of what Chicagoans call "downstate", where I buy cheaper gas) all the way to Zoe's house on the North Side, which pushed things back. When we finally made it to the train station, three trains passed us by, unable to take on any passengers. So Zoe drove, which was a bit of a relief. So much for choosing environmentally friendly modes of transportation! The concert was mellow, and the weather perfect. We had food and alcohol aplenty and the stars above us. I can only hope for such luck when I go see the Gipsy Kings at the beginning of August.

I may have to make a batch of the new summer drink Zoe and I concocted for Ravinia. I made lavender hibiscus lemonade, using this recipe from the Anticraft. I strongly suggest using a vegetable steamer while making this, or you'll have a lot of fun straining out the hibiscus flowers. Oh, and use fine cheesecloth to catch all the lavender. It's edible, but most people don't like straining their drinks through their teeth. The lemonade alone is lovely, or with a slice of cucumber swimming lazily in the glass. When combined with Zoe's limoncello, though, it is fantastic. I think that she used Michael Chiarello's recipe. The limoncello requires advance preparation, but the lemonade can be made in about an hour and a half. Mix liberally over ice and don't operate heavy machinery.


KellyS said...

oh yum.
Yum to the hermitage (?), the books, the movie, the concert and oh yes teh lemonade!

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