Sep 122017

So yesterday went reasonably well but not good enough. I did most things on my to do-list – which is great – but I did not work on the novel. (Sometimes I think I should just stop talking about this thing, and either drop it or only say something when it's finished.)

I did waste quite a bit of time in the afternoon between students. I keep telling myself that twenty minutes is not enough time to pull out the big novel binder and all my index cards but of course that's bullshit. When I sit down to edit I often do so for only ten minutes at a time. It's not ideal but better than nothing. So my task today is to make use of those odd, small moments in between.

The other thing I did that was fun at the time but a really bad idea in hindsight was spending a lot of time listening to karaoke versions of old bossa novas in the afternoon, and singing my way through quite a few jazz songs in the evening. I only stopped when the boy came over to tell me he couldn't sleep because I was still singing at 11 pm.

I'm doing this not only because I want to make more music again (I always want to do more of everything, it's a sickness) but because I need a birthday present for my mother for her 75th birthday next month.

When she turned 70 I made her a wool jacket. I spun all the yarn and knitted the whole big thing. The idea was good but she never liked the cardigan. She's always hot, and the wool was heavy, and so she never wore it. In the end she asked me if I would mind her ripping it back and make the yarn into a blanket. So she got to knit with handspun (I guess the first time in her life), and now she has a lap blanket that she uses almost every day.

When my father turned 70 two years earlier we had gotten him a big case full of all kinds of sample beers to try. That had been a pretty good idea but it's not something you can repeat all the time. Especially since he saved those beers, and drank them very slowly and it took him a long time to finish them.

When he turned 75 two years ago I had one of those really brilliant ideas. We had been visiting my parents in the spring, and he had complained that the blanket he was using on the sofa was tickling him, and clung to the couch fabric, and since he spends a lot of time on that sofa under a blanket I though I should make him a new one.

I spent about the same amount of time that I had on my mother's cardigan. I spun some Shetland that was blended with silk in several natural colors, I designed the whole thing, wove it on my rigid heddle loom, and sewed the two panels together.

My father was thrilled. He loves the blanket, and is still very happy and grateful I made it for him. So that was good.

But now I need to make something for my mother's birthday that is on approximately the same level. And I'm stumped.

So I thought I'd take the easy way out, get a few karaoke versions of some songs that I know very well, and then record me singing along, and give that to her. She keeps complaining that she never hears me sing, and she loves that kind of music so I thought that would be a good idea. My original idea had been to learn how to play those songs on the ukulele as well, and record everything but that would have taken a year or more of work so that was out. Karaoke it was.

Of course when I had that idea I had thought I'd do all the preparation in August,,,

Well, I haven't. So now I have to move pretty fast. And most karaoke recordings don't really sound all that great. Still. I can do this.

But that's the reason I stayed up way too long yesterday. I am already curious what today's reason for not going to bed on time will be. I definitely shouldn't plan to get anything done after dinner today.


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