Monday, May 28, 2007

Here and Back Again

Forgive me for saying so, but South Bend is not the cultural epicenter in the Midwest; such titles can be given to the Twin Cities or Chicago, but not our little metropolis. When residents hear we have visitors, they understand the difficulty we have as far as entertainment is concerned.

Nevertheless, during Charity's visit, we have made a respectable attempt at exploring. Until the weekend time was leisurely spent as we joined my regular yarn group for one evening and just enjoyed the weather.

By the end of the week we were ready to branch out. After an indoor picnic due to the rain, we wandered the Snite Museum of Art. The museum was deceptive from the outside -- very unassuming and not disclosing the caliber of works inside.

Perhaps because of my English major background, I entertained myself with finding titles of works that caught my eye. Some were written down because of their overly descriptive nature, some for the interesting subject matter, and some just for the choice of words. Just imagine what some of these titles could have represented by their descriptions (the last two are my favorites):
- Canyon at 4 AM
- Gutentag IV (Study for
Homage to the Square)
- The Roll Call of the Last Victims of the Reign of Terror
- Little Silver Hole with a Painting in It
- Figures on a Roadway by a Pond, Underneath Ruins
- The Bird Has Flown
- Cupid Playing with a Butterfly
- Neopolitan Fisherboy Playing with a Tortoise
- Ratskin
- Horse Attacked by a Panther
- China Christ
- The Hovering God
- The King is Dead
- Futuristic Cheesecake of America
- A Circle Never Sleeps

We also took the token tour of Notre Dame. Despite our presence here, we don't know a lot of the folklore about the campus. Despite some of the propaganda we were told, we also learned why we play Navy every year, and a lovely story why the residence hall Sorin College has its name.

Furthermore, we visited the South Bend Chocolate Company. The most sacrilegious line of our chocolate factory tour, you ask? Well, it was found in the video: "In the beginning was the word, and the word was chocolate." It then proceeded to play the Hallelujah Chorus and as the music swelled, visions of melted chocolate swam before our eyes.

Another appropriate venue is the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. Unfortunately, it was difficult to find ourselves inside, so we filled our time instead with a trot around one of the lakes and took pictures of the delightful waterfowl.

After our third attempt, we finally found the basilica open and empty, so we introduced Charity to opulence.

Add some mini golf, the farmer's market, and Guitar Hero with some reading, writing, and knitting, and you have our time.

Alas, she is gone away, leaving us to anticipate her next visit. Until then!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Random Thursday

I have been quite busy as of late. It's probably no surprise that I finished another pair of socks (stock pattern from Interweave Knits 2000 -- while I intend to branch out soon, I don't like to mess with a good thing). And I'm not too far from another pair being done. In fact, I started knitting before the high-school group at church. It calms me during the loud chaos before, and it's actually a good conversation starter. I vow that I will teach a high-schooler to knit before all is said and done (as long as Eric and I stick out the awkward beginning volunteer time and actually develop some relationships).

And there's been another project up my sleeve. Here's a glimpse:

Any idea what this zippered pouch could hold? It even has a removable strap.

Give up? It's a sleeve for my new laptop.

That's right. I have switched from my desktop to a laptop, and I'm quite delighted. Much time was spent transferring files over, but I'm pretty much set.

I considered (and actually began) knitting a case, but it was quite time-consuming and I feared it would stretch out with use, so I switched to fabric. I did fight with it as I attempted to sew in my first zipper. It took a few tries and lots of time with the seam ripper before it was satisfactory. I won't say it's without error, as the corners caused me to come up with some creative solutions, but I don't mind going out in public with it, and I like the fact that few actually realize that small pouch holds a laptop. Furthermore, this is one of the first times I've worked a project without a set pattern, so I'm surprised it came out. Apparently I have this idea that I need set directions. In fact, I hate deviating from recipes and patterns and remain in awe of those who can alter either without a second thought, so I'm somewhat aghast that I just whipped this out.

Currently, we are entertaining my youngest sister Charity. She was to take Amtrak all the way here earlier this week, but as can be the case with trains in the summer, there were some major delays due to rail construction. She was to leave Iowa around 8 AM and didn't depart until almost 2 PM. No surprise that we chose to meet her in Chicago instead of forcing her to arrive in the middle of the night (in addition to having to reschedule her last leg of the trip, as it was long gone).

When we arrived at Union Station, well in advance of her arrival, I amused myself with my camera, Eric dutifully trotting alongside. There was quite the variety of subjects just waiting to be captured.

Here's the stock Union Station photograph.

Near the ticket counters was a small garden with some bright flowers.

Not too far from those was a fountain.

And there were some creative lamps casting out slight lighting.

Let us not forget the stone stairs, showing evidence of the thousands of people who have trod upon them.

I'll spare you with the many others taken of clocks, benches, arcade games, ticket counters, and the glass ceiling. And the stories of three requests for money from different individuals in the span of about half an hour.

Instead, let me introduce you to a delightful couple that has taken up residence at Notre Dame's reflection pool.

Forgive them for being shy. They were in the midst of their choreographed swimming routine and I didn't want to interrupt.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Enter the Traveling Sock

Ever since my first forays into sock-knitting, I can't seem to stop. In a nod to my adult version of a flighty attention span, I like to have a variety of projects going at any given time (the same goes for books being read--several on hand for whatever mood I happen to be in). As I speak, I have recently worked on a duck, a cabled scarf, this sock, and a blanket.

Each requires separate expenditures. However, the sock is most likely to be on my person, as it's small and the pattern is pretty burned in my mind, requiring little attention to what my hands are doing.

As such, at last night's Silver Hawks game, my fingers found themselves itching to be moving as I followed the progress on the field. I felt that I needed to immortalize its presence at the Cove, so a picture was quickly taken, much to the confusion -- and, quite likely, the chagrin -- of my husband.

If my sock is fortunate to make other such debuts to society, I will try to catalog them, taking after the Yarn Harlot's fashion of doing so. For those who side with my husband with your mounting worry, just avert your eyes as such posts come along and quietly repeat to yourself, "This too shall pass."