#2 daughter arrived safely last night and we had pizza and watched Flushed Away, which is really quite funny, and not as fixated on scatalogical humor as I had feared. Then we got to see the DVD of her choir’s British tour from last year. The acoustics in those cathedrals are every bit as amazing as everyone says. You can’t really imagine it. You have to hear it. We also got to hear her solo.

People (well, okay, her siblings) sometimes complain that #2 daughter is immodest about her singing, but you know, if you sound like that, you can hardly help noticing. I think it is impressive that she is able to maintain any vestiges of humility at all.

Anyway, the DVD was not artistic at all. It was just a bunch of kids in red choir robes standing in one place and singing, and after watching it for a bit, I looked down at my knitting and gasped in horror.

A large crescent of white had appeared right in the middle of my apricot sweater!

I had run into the kitchen for a minute to whip up some soap, using a new scent from Brambleberry called “Ancient Sedona.” I leapt to the conclusion that some lingering traces of this scent had bleached the yarn.

Sedona is in Arizona. I have been in Arizona a time or two, and I don’t really find that “Ancient Sedona” evokes Arizona at all. It actually reminds me of Arab men’s perfumes. I used to teach English as a Second language, and found that Arab students, depending on the country they were from, preferred to smell like a rhinoceros or like a mysterious garden of spices and exotic fruits. It takes a great deal of self-discipline, as an ESL teacher, neither to back off from those who show their manhood by encouraging those ripening sweaty smells nor to edge closer to those who favor the mysterious garden approach, nostrils flaring, to ask what that wonderful scent is.

But I digress.

#2 daughter immediately assured me that the apparent bleaching of my lovely yarn was only an aftereffect of having been staring with rapt attention at the bright red crescent of choir robes on the screen.

But #2 son said, “No, it’s bleached! Look! It’s all white!” in tones of horror.

It was not bleached. It was the red crescent. All is well.

I owe #2 son a cruel trick, though.

Kali Mama asked where I find my books. I manage a bookstore, actually, so finding books is part of my job. Kali Mama has been to my store, but had kids with her, and so was probably distracted by the toys and didn’t even notice the books. Or at least not enough to consider how they got there. And, nowadays, most bookstores don’t have a human being whose job it is to suss out the coolest books, but have a computer do it based on things like the size of the town, so I shouldn’t be sassy about that question, should I? The answer is that I get all kinds of book-related information in the mail and online and from humans and spend several hours each week finding cool books for myself and for the store.

The book I am reading now, though, is an odd one indeed. It is Amy Sedaris’s I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence. Some of us consider hospitality a commandment from God and some of us dread it, but Amy Sedaris probably has surprises for us all.

The first thing that strikes one about this book is that the photographs are all that weird 1950s coloration. I have an old Farm Journal cookbook that has photos like that, often of things like ground beef in aspic. I have always figured that it was something about photo processing in those days that caused this look, and it always makes me queasy to look at food photographed in that way. Sedaris has recreated this look.

So lots of people are going to like the book right off just for that.

It also has lots of curious little bits to read, about things like how to get bad smells out of mattresses and how to amuse the elderly, as well as recipes. I have not tried any of the recipes (see queasiness, above) but I will let you know how they are if I ever do.

This morning #1 son and I are going to have haircuts, and then we hope to get the computer back from the computer hospital, and then we expect Arkenboy for lunch. I will check and see whether Sedaris has any hospitality tips for normal situations like this. All I can remember is the idea of pinning a rubber lobster to the door and labeling it “Pinch me!” which will not, I fear, meet the case.

There is something about spell-checking, or indeed lingering over the entry in any way, that causes the ancient computer I am currently using to lose heart and die, or at least disconnect from the internet. I therefore apologize for all the typos there probably are in this entry, and wish you a fun weekend.