#1 son drove us around yesterday. He is hoping to take his driving test today. We picked up #2 son at the dorm, went out for an overpriced and badly cooked breakfast, and picked up the essentials of dorm life: shower shoes, Cheese Doodles, candy, batteries, cold cereal. #2 daughter said this was what her grocery shopping always looked like. I believe her.

The females in the family went to church. The males cannot be persuaded to do so, even to hear #2 daughter’s solo, which was excellent. The pastor said,”Every time I hear her sing, I feel like I’m fallin’ in love.” One of the ladies came up after the service and said she felt the same way. Next week we are singing a Sally DeFord duet. We’ll see whether anyone else falls in love. People enjoy my singing, but I do not think it causes them to fall in love. This could be a useful talent for a girl who intends to sing professionally. Even if listeners don’t feel like falling in love with her in particular, the feeling of falling in love is such a pleasant one that it would probably guarantee album sales.

The sermon was excellent. The topic was the problem of evil, always a tricky one. The pastor said that good and evil are so closely intertwined that you could not eradicate evil without eradicating good. Arranging that humans would no longer have the capacity for impulses toward bad behavior would keep them from having impulses toward good behavior.

Eddie Izzard does a bit on evil among herbivores. An evil giraffe — what could it do? “I am eating all the leaves, so the other giraffes will get none, and starve. Muah ha ha.” You see his point. And yet, if there are no evil giraffes, there also are no noble, self-sacrificing giraffes.

Izzard also has a bit on walking into a shop wearing make-up, and the shopkeeper’s reaction. I don’t think he has considered it from the shopkeeper’s point of view. He is assuming that the shopkeeper’s dismay is based on prejudice. I think, from my own experience, that it is more likely to be dismay at the etiquette problem of how to address the customer. I have had several customers of whose gender I was not certain. Including a couple who looked like men in make-up. You stand there trying to guess, knowing that at some point you will have to say “Ma’am ” or “Sir.” I’m not old enough to call other adults “dear,” so it’s either take the plunge or come up with some kind of circumlocution that allows me to talk to them without committing myself. I bet I have a dismayed look on my face.

Even outside the shop, there is a little bit of an etiquette question. A friend and I were outside the arts center once (after a Bobby McFerrin workshop — it was great) and a man dressed up as a woman came up to ask for directions. He had done such a good job of dressing up. Way better than I had. But he was obviously a man. We wanted to compliment him on his costume, but there was always the possibility that he was imagining that he actually looked like a woman. I mean, if you see someone dressed up as a mermaid, you can admire the costume, can’t you? But a man dressed up as a woman — it is conceivable that he thinks he is fooling people. A compliment might shatter that illusion.

And, as with the customers of uncertain gender, it could actually be a woman. Treating her as though she were a man in drag would be worse than enquiring after a baby’s due date and then discovering that the woman was not pregnant.

But I digress.

It was wonderful to see #2 son. He is having a good time and making friends. This week they will begin building their “primitive hut.” He is planning a really cool one. We gave him a good home-cooked meal and took him back to the dorm. At that point it was so hot that we could do nothing but loll around for the rest of the afternoon and evening. That is our excuse, at least. Summer lethargy is a habit of ours.

The second bawk continues. I am using the online pattern, but I decided to hasten the decreases at the neck by switching to smaller needles. DPNs, while I was at it. These are bamboo, and they have a nice, smooth feel. I usually use steel, and am not excited enough about these to want to replace all my needles, but they are very pleasant to work with.

Going from #5 needles to #2 needles will automatically make your knitting smaller. For the bawk, I want a nice tight turtleneck collar, without disturbing the pattern. This does it handily. You can do this to provide waist shaping, too, on patterns that don’t have it, or to shape a sleeve slightly more than the pattern calls for. This is another reason that it’s worth having needles in lots of sizes. I do not , however, have any monstrously huge needles like the ones you can see today over at Silkenshine’s xanga. You should check those out. You would not have to stab people with those, should you decide to be violent with your knitting needles on an airplane some day, because they could be used as a club.