journal excerpts: November 5 and 7

November 5

I've been reading chapters 5 and 6 of The Selfish Gene.

Last night I finished the 3DS sleeve I was knitting for Tim. I am proud of it--in some ways, it is the nicest thing I have ever made. I had to begin by learning how to knit in the round on double-pointed needles. Once I'd figured that out, and determined the number of stitches that would result in the prospective sleeve fitting snugly around the 3DS, I knit in green yarn (leftover from Justina's sweater) and stockinette stitch. The fabric is beautifully smooth and tight. I finished by sewing one end up, and tidying the join in the open end. (For the first time, I attempted to "weave in" my ends with a darning needle, rather than leaving lumpish and tenuous knots cut to the quick. I discovered that it can be done almost invisibly. This small detail feels like the greatest accomplishment.)

I think "An uncharitable sketch" has promise, but needs work. Today is not the day, though. I will copy what I have now into my poetry notebook and then move on. I have decided to dedicate the first week of December to revisions (which will give me some necessary retrospect and perspective). For now, I am behind on my one-a-day quota, and would like to start closing the gap today, before it grows any wider. There will be time for perfecting.

November 7

There were hardly any pages left in it, I'd torn so many "final" drafts out to make edits, but the final drafts notebook for poems which I started in August 2009 is now full. They aren't even all final drafts any more. No, they never were. I won't use a notebook again - a binder or folder for looseleaf is more realistic.

It is the 7th of November and there are only 2 items on my "November poems" list. "An uncharitable sketch" had me hung up miserably for days, and turned into 10 weak poems to be read together in sequence. I am not satisfied, but I am washing my hands of them for now--they were the last things to go into the old notebook. I may re-work them later.

Was wholly absorbed in constructing a gluten-free, black bean chocolate birthday cake for Kathy yesterday. On a bit of a "cleanse" from the fat and sugar I ate: fruit, vegetables, tea, and yogurt mostly today. I operated on my first pomegranate of the year first thing this morning, and ate a bowlful of the seeds in milk for breakfast. Coleslaw and broccoli and carrots for lunch. The crunch and sweet spiciness of fresh green cabbage is so deliciously winterish. Tim thinks coleslaw is the worst combination of '50s "salad" mania and peasant food, but sometimes a girl can't get enough of it. I do not use Miracle Whip. The dressing is mustard, salt, sugar, olive oil, pepper, and lemon juice. It makes a meal feel like Thanksgiving.

I'm nearly finished The Selfish Gene. Hofstadter and Hawking are up next, and the end of my list is in sight.